You’ve probably heard plenty about how money problems and relationship problems often go hand in hand. You’ve seen the statistics, and read about the reality of financial and budget problems and their impact on relationships. However, it’s important to get to the root of the problem. And this means taking a deeper look at what might be underlying your financial disputes.
How Do You View Money?
The first step in addressing the issues is taking a look at how you view money, and how your partner views money. Consider your own money personality, and how you handle money. Do you prefer things or experiences? Are you a spender or a saver? Take a look at your own financial habits, and then look at how they compare with your partner’s.
Remember, though: This is not an exercise is blaming your partner. This exercise is meant to help you understand yourself and your significant other in terms of money. Perhaps you like spending a little bit, and find yourself annoyed that your partner is so stingy. Or maybe you think your partner is too free-spending, and you resent all of the money he or she doesn’t save.
One of the biggest hang-ups in a relationship can be disapproval over how the other handles money. Understand where this is coming from, realize that your money style isn’t better than your partner’s, and then look for a way to compromise so that your joint finances reflect the money styles of both. This can be difficult, and require a lot of work, so keep at it — and try not to blame your partner. Look for joint solutions for moving forward.
Are There Other Issues?
Another thing to consider is that your disagreements about money might stem from other underlying issues. These might include fears about the economy, concerns about security, worries about control, and even hang-ups about status. In some cases, one partner may be upset about money because they see it as a way to improve social status, while another might see it as a means for financial security and future comfort. It’s important to address underlying motivations so that you can both learn to use money to meet your goals.
Realize that sometimes fights about money have a related emotional component to them; it’s not always just about spending and saving and debt. Worries about debt might be strongly rooted in feelings of security and control, and that makes them stronger. So be sure to take a step back and address these issues as well.