Your relationship with your partner can be challenging and it requires your full attention. The same could be said about your relationship with money. These are two connections that — on their own — require foresight and patience.
When you enter into a committed romantic relationship, the stakes get higher. As a result, money problems can and often do become marriage problems and well… you know the rest. Economic-related stress negatively impacts many other aspects of your life. It’s hard to feel settled as a couple when money is tight and/or your financial goals are not in sync.
Common Money/Marriage Problems
- Secret Spending: It’s important to have independent lives and personal interests but this can’t bleed into one of you hiding or lying about your money usage.
- Black-and-White Thinking: How you handle money is not a personality issue. It’s a learned habit. Thus, it can be changed.
- Unwillingness to Change: Both of you must accept the concept of compromise as a path toward resolution. Always be willing to change.
- Competition, Jealousy, and Envy: There is ZERO positive value in judging one another on topics like salary, career, etc. Don’t let money bring out the worst in you.
- Letting Money Issues Color Other Interactions: Financial strife is inevitable. However, you have the ability to control its impact. Don’t blend your disagreements into one big fight.
How to Make Sure Money Problems Don’t Become Marriage Problems
Big Decision: Separate or Joint Bank Accounts
The only “wrong” answer here is underestimating the importance of this decision. Talk to a financial advisor for pros and cons. Talk to a counselor to hash out the emotional issues just beneath the surface.
Accept That Different Experiences = Different Views on Money
Each of you was raised in a way that influences your perception of money. Accept this reality. Then compassionately ffactor it into your discussions. Understand that financial perspectives can and must evolve. This is your opportunity to grow as a couple.
Unless you’re buying a surprise gift for your partner, there is absolutely NO reason to hide your spending. This is a time-proven recipe for disaster. It shatters trust and also,makes it virtually impossible to work as a team.
Be On the Same Page When it Comes to Your Kids
If you have children, you already know how they will play one parent against the other. Their efforts may double when they want you to buy them something. Stay united as a team or you will risk both financial and family difficulties.
Keep the Lines of Communication Open 24/7
Your family’s personal economy is not a destination. It is a never-ending journey that requires, as stated above, your full attention. Therefore, you and your spouse must never downplay the importance of healthy communication. Let each other know that you are always ready and willing to talk about money in a compassionate, open-minded manner — for the good of your relationship, your family, and financial health.
Do You Need a Financial Advisor or a Couples Counselor?
Short answer: You may need both. However, it is through counseling that you can get to the root of the situation. All the money wisdom in the world can be wasted if a couple doesn’t dig deep to find and address underlying issues. A couples therapist is the experienced, unbiased guide you need to work through the tough money conversations.
When your concerns are out in the open, the problems don’t seem as daunting. As a team, you’ll be able to work on healing old wounds while simultaneously creating new patterns. Relationships are hard. Money matters are tricky. Couples counseling helps you develop the skills you need to navigate both.
Getting Started With Couples Counseling in Lakewood & Longmont Colorado
We invite you to call us at 720-551-4553 for a free 20-minute phone consultation. You can schedule your appointment via phone, email, or the contact page on our website. We offer both in-person and online counseling. We’re open to whichever option you feel more comfortable with. We look forward to hearing from you!