Is money something you and your partner argue about fairly often? It’s a common issue in relationships to have extremely different opinions about money. You may have grown up with certain expectations and experiences with finances that carry over into how you feel about the almighty dollar as an adult. Your significant other might have had completely different money experiences in their own family. It can be hard, to say the least, to meet in the middle.
According to the American Psychological Association,1 in a survey performed with the Harris Poll, 72% of people said they felt stressed out about money issues. In addition, 31% reported that it did cause problems or conflict in their marriages. That stress may translate into serious problems affecting your relationship, ultimately leading to divorce if differences can’t be worked out in a constructive way.
Are you one of those people letting financial woes impact how you feel about your relationship? If so, there are steps you can take to reduce the amount of stress taking a toll on your partnership. When you understand how money problems can affect partnerships, you’re better prepared to prevent that from happening in your own marriage.
Understand Emotions Tied To Money
Again, your own experiences dealing with money as a child tend to directly affect your financial outlook in adulthood. If you had a parent with spendthrift habits that disrupted your family, you might be the opposite as an adult. Or, you might follow directly in their footsteps, repeating those detrimental patterns.
Either way, if you feel the emotional hold of money, it could be affecting interactions with your significant other. Letting personal feelings get in the way of concrete financial planning and budgeting may lead to long-term problems. Being logical and productive about your money goals and spending can help any discussions about money be less fraught with emotion. It becomes more manageable to develop a plan that works for both partners when you put your logical mind to it. Set high-stress feelings and emotions aside as much as you can.
Consider Different Spending Habits
If you and your partner have similar spending habits, that’s great news. In reality, though, you likely spend money very differently. With that being said, you can get on the same page if both of you are willing to be open and honest about the good and bad points surrounding each of your spending habits.
Is there something your partner does that makes financial sense? Try to be open about adopting that habit and vice versa. When you are willing to learn from your partner’s good points about money, that can be a beneficial aspect of your relationship to grow together.
Communicate Often With Open Discussions
Letting money issues fester can cause arguments about other things. When you communicate about money often and it’s an open topic of conversation, where each person isn’t afraid to speak up about how they feel, it’s going to lead to more productive talks. That way, everyone in the relationship feels like they can bring up the dreaded money subject at any time. If you never want to talk about it, the subject almost feels too taboo to bring up. Resentments about money can boil over into arguments when that happens.
Remember That Finances Can Be Stressful
Having some perspective about how stressful finances can be will help you cope with all the details surrounding money conversations. Keep in mind that money is usually tied up in feelings about power and control in a relationship. Having as much balance as possible between partners can make it less stressful for both people.
Extreme financial stress can sink the ship of any good relationship. Navigating those financial waters can be tricky, at best. If you need help in your financial situation, it’s always a good idea to look to a third party for assistance. A financial advisor can help set you and your partner on the right track to untangling some of the issues you are facing with money, and mediate a plan that works for everyone.