Is Money Conflict Ruining Your Marriage?
Do you love a good shopping spree, but dispose of the evidence faster than you can say “CSI”?
“This old thing?” you laugh off to your beloved husband when he compliments you on your brand new summer maxi dress. “I’ve had it for ages!” Erm, guilty as charged! Or, did you have a recent windfall and you’re hiding this in a secret savings bank account from your significant other?
Conflict over money is a major cause of marital discord, psychologists say. In fact, study after study of married couples’ relationship habits shows serious financial secrets can in fact lead you on a rocky path to divorce.
So, what’s the key to happy and harmonious monetary matters with your spouse?
Speaking from personal experience, it’s certainly tricky going from being an independent bachelorette with your own bank account, to sharing a joint bank account with a partner, where your every expenditure is open to scrutiny.
Should couples keep their own independent bank accounts, rather than a joint one? Is that a less stressful option for both parties? There’s no easy answer to this – you have to work out what’s best for you and your partner, relationship psychologists say.
And while I personally still struggle to curb my shopaholic tendencies in my marriage, I’ve certainly learnt to be more mindful of my spending thanks to my husband’s more thrifty ways (luckily for our bank accounts). So, why is it so important for couples to be honest with each other about their personal finances?
“All good relationships are based on trust. If someone is dishonest with their partner about their spending it’s highly likely they will be found out and it will be very difficult to regain the trust, putting the relationship at risk,” says my go-to clinical psychologist source.
“The most likely reason a person may have a desire to hide their spending from their partner is due to something they’re ashamed of, or which their partner would disapprove of, such as gambling, an affair, or spending up big on a personal project that doesn’t benefit the partner.”
And if you’re wondering why monetary conflict is such a “red, hot button” in your marriage, it’s because we as a society closely connect our financial situation to our sense of emotional security.
“Everyone likes to feel that there will be enough money available to them for essentials and emergencies,” says the relationships psych. “So, because of the emotional component involved, arguments are bound to arise if partners have different priorities in how to spend their available funds.
“It’s also likely that strong emotions such as fear, anger and anxiety will continually crop up if it seems there won’t be enough money for what each person perceives as important.”
So, should I stop hiding my new clothing price tags in an effort to be more honest and open about my summer maxi dress obsession with my husband? Shhh, don’t ask, don’t tell…
Images via www.pixabay.com.
What do you think?