Relationships: Money Talk

Money is perceived as the root of all evil and in relationships that evil shows up once too often. Many couples often decide once they are comfortable to be open about and share their finances as this would make life together easier and more convenient. Sometimes it works out and most times it falls apart. The real question though is; how does money really affect your relationship?

According to statistics, 50% of marriages end in divorce with the main reasons being children, family and finances. The odds of marriage ending in divorce due to finances are believed to be around 45%. Reasons for this include a lack of discussion couples have before they get married regarding their personal views on finance, what debt they are bringing into the relationship, experience they have with budgets, what they envision their financial future to be like, etc. The money discussion is somewhat of a sensitive topic to even begin with your partner but it is the most crucial if you’re planning a future together. Most men grow up being taught than a man is a provider therefore it is not necessary to have a financial talk with their partner as they will “take care” of everything. This often leads to an argument as an independent woman will feel sidelined and a sense of being untrustworthy or rather invaluable when it comes to the relationship finances.

Money itself has nothing to do with love and it doesn’t matter if you love your partner more than anything in the world. If the two of you have conflicting values about money and make financial decisions that fail to accommodate each other’s feelings about the subject, you are going to have serious relationship problems. The basic facts that we all need to consider are: How you spend your money has nothing to do with how much you love each other. You may have been raised differently when it came to money, you may value money differently, and you probably spend money differently. Money determines how you live, where you live, the places you visit, the experiences you have and your quality of life. Many people believe how a person is able to manage their finances is important in a relationship yet half of that many actually have the financial talk with their partners within six months to a year of dating.

Financial conflict is stronger, lasts longer and predicts divorce better than any other marital issue. It’s difficult to talk about money because the money issue is always a power struggle and power struggles kill relationships. A relationship should never be determined by how much you have in the bank. However we would be fooling ourselves if we thought money does not affect our relationships.

Author: Zanele Mash
Sources: Fedhealthy, May/June 2014
relationships and money

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