You are told that money will make you happy. Maybe, you didn’t have much money growing up, or maybe you had everything. Whatever the case, you don’t want to let money define the relationship.
Learn the truth about why money causes problems in your relationship.
We live in a country that puts a high value on money. This can leave you feeling like you don’t have enough. You really can’t buy love. Money cannot replace the time you spend with your loved ones. It also can’t take back the past or predict the future.
The truth of the matter, is you need money to survive in this country. It will put a roof over your head, clothes on your back and food on the table. This is something everybody needs. So, why is money the root of all evil? For many, money is power and status. You really need to be careful here. If you idolize people with money, you will not see them for who they really are.
I see a lot of couples in my practice, and a lot of them have issues with money. They have different beliefs about money. This can come from family of origin, society and gender roles. The first order of business is to start to understand your partner’s beliefs about money. Without understanding you won’t understand why money is causing problems in your relationship.
Here are 6 reasons why money causes problems in your relationship.
- The comparison game. It’s easy to compare your relationship to others. Do you have as much money as them? What is their house like? Do their kids go to private schools? The list goes on. When you compare your relationship to others, you will always feel disappointed. The truth is everyone is at a different spot in life. It’s also true that everyone didn’t start at the same spot.
- You don’t talk about money. This is a really important topic to discuss in your relationship. If you have to set up a time to have a meeting about it. You definitely want to have done this before moving in together. Will you have a joint checking and savings account? What are your credit scores? Will you invest or put money into a savings account? How much money will go for fun? This doesn’t have to be a painful area in your relationship. But, if you don’t talk about it, it will.
- You keep money secrets from each other. Many couples report hiding their spending habits from their partner. This can feel like a betrayal in the relationship. Communication is important in this area. You should feel comfortable bearing your financial soul to your partner, without judgment.
- You are separating the money and splitting the bills. Marriage is a partnership. Both parties need to be involved with the finances. Don’t use money as power or keep it all to yourself. Work on the budget together. You both have dreams, and most of the time you need money to support them. The last thing you want is a power struggle here, this can destroy a perfectly good relationship.
- You have different financial priorities. You both need to be responsible with money. One person shouldn’t always have to monitor the other’s spending. You need to talk about your financial priorities. If one person wants to save for a trip to Spain, while the other drops $500 on a night out with friends. Then, there is a fundamental difference. You need to trust your partner with finances. It’s much easier when the two of you have similar goals.
- You have a lot of unsecured debt. You are a slave to your credit cards. This means you use them a lot, but you aren’t able to pay them down. This leaves you paying a lot in interest. It also makes it harder to get out of debt. When you have less debt, you have a happier relationship. Sometimes, being frugal can actually pay off. Start to use coupons and buy things on sale. This will pay off in the long run.
Money problems don’t have to divide you. With a little hard work you can come to a compromise. This is an area where things can change. Learn to accept influence from your partner about money.
Solving problems about money in your relationship, isn’t easy or quick. But, by understanding the true nature about money problems in your relationship, you will be able to rebuild the emotional closeness in your relationship. This is what you really want. You want to know that your partner has your back no matter what. You know this when you know your partner really gets you and understands you.
You are in a partnership. It’s important that you both feel heard and that you both feel equal in the relationship. You don’t want to feel miserable in your relationship, and you shouldn’t. If you find this isn’t enough, you can get help. You can talk to a professional, like myself. This is nothing to feel embarrassed about. Many couples are going through the exact same thing that you are going through.
If you liked this article, then go to Relationship Challenges, for more helpful tips to build happiness in your relationship.
Lianne Avila is a Marriage & Family Therapist helping couples in San Mateo, CA who are looking to rebuild a close emotional connection and get their relationship back on track. Please subscribe to Lianne’s free newsletter on www.LessonsforLove.com to learn more about her services and expertise.