Money is one of the most
significant areas of potential conflict in marriage and is consistently
among the top four reasons for divorce. Financial issues occur between
couples across the economic spectrum from wealth to poverty. Having
a lot of money is not a guarantee of happiness or ease of dealing
Part of the real work
of marriage involves making money and managing money. Couples who
work together as a team and can reach agreement about financial
matters are happier than couples who perpetually disagree about
finances. Closely related to financial matters are two other important
areas which couples must consider: career decisions and desired
level of affluence/lifestyle. Career goals and attainment of material
wealth can often be in conflict with relationship goals. What is
most important to you and do the two of you agree about that? Do
you think it's possible to "have it all"? A frank exploration
of financial styles, expectations and goals is extremely important
to marriage success.
Money means different
things to different people. Financial attitudes often reflect one's
most basic feelings about the world and are usually learned in one's
culture and family of origin. Some people regard money as an important
element in ensuring happiness, while others see it more as a way
of ensuring security and a defense against fears. Some people are
"savers"; others are "spenders". Some people
feel discomfort just talking about money. Others are more open about
money. Some people think being in debt is fine. Others are scared
of debt. Status, security, freedom and control are just a few of
the things people associate with money to different degrees.
Disagreements about money
often reflect hidden issues between a couple. Money issues are seldom
just about money. Financial matters can be a trigger for deeper
issues in the following areas of a relationship:
Power and control
By exploring what money
means to each of you and how its meaning influences your financial
behavior, you can begin to sort out the role that money will play
in your relationship. These issues are behind many more concrete
differences concerning finances. Once you've come to terms with
your feelings about money, it will be less difficult to make satisfactory
financial plans and resolve financial problems. Advice about budgeting,
credit problems, financial planning, etc., is relatively easy to
find. It's your feelings and attitudes that are more primary.
References and Reading:
David Bach, Smart Couples
Finish Rich. A values-oriented approach
to financial issues.
here to learn more about or buy this book through our bookstore
MST pre-marriage preparation
seminars are designed to help couples build the skills and understanding
that they will need to succeed in marriage, including help to overcome
all of the issues that challenge couples in modern marriage. MST
is religion-neutral and based on the latest marriage research.
Don't wait for problems
to emerge, take preventive action to promote the happiness and success
of your marriage.
here to learn more about the benefits of marriage preparation.
here to learn about Marriage Success Training.
2003, Patricia S. & Gregory A. Kuhlman. You may copy this article
for non-commercial use provided that no changes are made and this
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