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Money Problems in Marriage


"The Truth About Your Money Problems In Marriage"


If you've ever checked out the FYMO Resource Center, you will notice that there are a lot of resources on health and overall well being? Why? Well, now I would like to consider this a site focused on wealth building. A lot of people think of being wealthy and being rich as the same thing. This is not the case. Wealth means abundance. And while wealth includes money (regardless of institutions that try to convince you that you can live "abundantly" without it), it also includes your health, spirituality and well being. They all go together.

This is where marriage and relationships come into play. It is a fact (though very rarely discussed) that the spouse you pick is one of the most important decisions that you will make in your entire life! Make the right choice and you can almost guarantee good health and happiness. Make the wrong choice and you are in for a life of strife (sometimes even after divorce).

Studies show that of all people, happily married couples are the healthiest people and will live the longest. So if you are single, you may want to consider falling in love, as it can have a positive effect on your health.

On the other hand, being in a bad marriage can have an adverse effect on your health. Now, divorce seems to have a different effect on men and women. While women tend to see a decrease in health after a divorce, men seem to show no ill effects and will sometimes improve their health by leaving the relationship (I won't touch that one). Nevertheless, you are better off being single than being in a bad relationship. So if you are single, you may want to consider WHO you are falling in love with!

Anyway... let's get back to good relationships. One of the most factors in a relationship if not the most important, is communication. When you can communicate well with your partner, then everything else will normally fall into place. This of course is paramount when it comes to money! Massive amounts of marriages end because of finances. And in often cases (when both partners have good intentions), this is simply a communication problem.

You know it's funny. Most couples never talk about money, until it's time to fight over it. And I guess that is fine if the couple just happen to be coincidentally 100% on the same page about every single thing financial issue. If not, the fight is inevitable. You see, many couples don't discuss finance because they feel that it is a nuisance to do so. But in reality, it will be a BIGGER nuisance when things go wrong. So today I will present the following article by David Berky on communication between couples. Hopefully this will help or inspire those in (or thinking of being in) a relationship to learn to communicate. So if you are in a relationship, your health is at stake!

Why Do We Always Fight About Money?
by David Berky

Two of the keys to financial well-being, especially in a couple's relationship, are communication and knowledge. This article will focus on communication.

The Vice President of Simple Joe, Inc., Tom Monson was presenting a series of free seminars on personal finance to people in his neighborhood. A lot of couples were scheduled to come but only two or three were showing up.

Tom and I talked about the situation and pondered why attendance was so low. We knew several people were interested and many had expressed a desire to learn more about finances directly to Tom. But when it came to attending the seminar they seemed to find other stuff to do.

While Tom and I were discussing this he talked about the attitude and behavior of some of the people who came to the first two seminars. At the first seminar, Tom noticed that several of the husband & wife couples seemed a bit uncomfortable talking about finance matters with each other.

A lot of Tom's seminar involved evaluating and recognizing your current financial situation, setting personal finance goals and ways to measure your progress. But he was having a difficult time getting the couples to discuss financial matters between themselves.

We wondered if those couples may have been slow to have a frank financial conversation because discussions about money can lead to disagreements and even fights. It has been estimated that over half of all divorces happen to some degree because of disagreements over finances and money.

So maybe those couples were hesitant to get into a public argument about their finances because they know that every time they discuss money they fight. Or maybe they just had one or two really bad fights about finances and so now they try to stay away from the subject.

I would venture to guess that all fights about finances and money can be boiled down to one of two root problems; lack of communication (or misunderstanding) and selfishness.

Lack of communication happens when one spouse spends money the other had earmarked for something different. Or when an important finance decision happens without input from the other spouse. Or when a big purchase is made without the consent or consultation of the other spouse.

Misunderstandings can happen when the couple is hesitant to talk about personal finance, has trouble communicating or just has problems expressing financial ideas. It could be that one spouse does not fully understand a financial concept. Or one spouse is not being patient enough to have a thorough discussion on the subject.

The need to be right vs. wrong in making financial decisions is in many cases very strong, especially in men. As the traditional provider for the household, some men see finances as solely their domain. It can also be a sign of ego or status. And in a situation where there are financial problems, a lot of men can get defensive quickly when the wife questions situations or decisions. This can lead to misunderstandings and/or fights.

After the discussion breaks down, the husband might feel as if the wife is not grateful for what he does and doesn't trust him to make the right financial decision. At the same time, the wife might feel like the husband is talking down to her, doesn't value her contributions to the household and maybe is even keeping something from her. This can occur when emotions get in the way of communication. It is paramount to be considerate of your spouse and be mindful of how you phrase comments and questions.

It is also important to ask questions when you don't know or understand a financial decision or situation. Lack of understanding will lead to confrontations in the future. The husband may assume that the wife knows the impact of the decision they just made. So then if something goes bad the
husband can get angered at his wife's questions because, to him, they could seem like accusations.

The wife may also do something that the husband doesn't fully understand and then the husband will get upset because "she did not tell" him what she was doing or why.

How do we avoid or solve the problems of misunderstandings or lack of communication?

Firstly, leave your ego outside the door. You do not know everything and your spouse doesn't either. It is important to make certain that both partners understand the financial topic, how it affects their life together and what kind of decision is best for them and why.

Let's say that wife is stronger in one topic of finances. Then she needs to patiently explain to the husband what she knows and how it affects them. But if the husband is more versed in a financial area, he should patiently explain to the wife what he understands.

If both of them don't have a good grasp on the topic, "shut up" and go learn something more about the subject. Also don't be ashamed or embarrassed of not knowing something. Just because you are the "man" does not automatically mean that you were born with financial genius.

Simply because you are the "woman" does not make you an expert on household finance nor does it mean that you are "not capable" of understanding financial concepts and topics. Don't pigeon-hole your spouse or allow your spouse to glaze over a topic without an explanation that both of you understand and could repeat to another person.

Everyone makes errors and we all have things we can learn. Don't let your ego or your pride block your financial success. Don't allow the subject of finances become a sore spot in your relationship. If you can remember to converse with your spouse the same respectful and patient way that you talk with your boss, your discussions about finances will go a lot smoother.

© Simple Joe, Inc.
David Berky is president of Simple Joe, Inc. a marketing company that sells simple software under
the brand name of Simple Joe. One of Simple Joe's best selling products is Simple Joe's Money Tools - a collection of 14 personal finance and investment calculators.

Hope this article was helpful,

So until next time,

Free Your Mind... Online

Matt Mason

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