How to Deal with Money Problems in a Marriage
By America’s #1 Love and Marriage Experts.
While times are tougher than normal in the country today, the best marriages and love affairs will sustain the test of tough times for all the right reasons – during good or bad times the best loving relationships find ways to survive and thrive.
The more important question through all this is, How do we as a married couple, or lovers engaged in a loving relationship, make sure we sustain our love affair through all this turmoil, through all this uncertainty?
As we stated so clearly in one of our books entitled Building a Love that Lasts, people in love must talk sense when dealing with their dollars. Here’s what we mean.
Balancing the family budget requires teamwork. It requires common goals. It most certainly requires family support. People in love support each other through thick and thin – through tough financial times and uncertainty.
People in love don’t blame, castigate, or chastise each other in tough economic times. They work together to make ends meet and to prepare for tomorrow.
There is a natural tendency in tough times to blame the one you love for your collective misfortune. There is, sadly, the desire to find a scapegoat when times get tough. There is, unfortunately, the need to find someone to blame when your economic fortunes go south. But it doesn’t have to be that way because the truth is, there usually is no one to blame for your misfortune.
People in love don’t wallow in self-pity. They grab the bull by the horns and work for solutions – recognizing that running a household is not easy. Making a family work is, clearly, difficult even in the best of times. But the unequivocal truth is this – if you don’t view your relationship as one requiring teamwork, all is lost. If you don’t work together to address head-on the economic challenges of your relationship with each other, there is little hope of success.
Whether you lost your job due to downsizing or whether you had to take a pay cut to keep the job you have, always remember this, what sustains your relationship is being in love with someone you trust – someone you would trust with you love, your sacred honor, and with your life.
In summary, here are the seven most important actions you can take to deal with your financial issues together:
1. Communicate openly about all financial issues in your relationship. You are in this together. Never make a major purchase without talking it over with your spouse and sleeping on it. You would be surprised at the number of purchases you don’t make if you sleep on it! Financial communication and sharing is the best insurance that you both agree on the purchase. It prevents a serious fault finding session later, if the decision was a bad one from a financial point of view.
2. Don’t run up a butt load of debt. This is the number one cause of stress in marital relationships. Too much month at the end of each paycheck makes it tough to relax and enjoy life together. Work out a budget together and stick to it. Put off purchasing anything that you can until you save enough money to pay for it.
3. Approach all financial problems as a team, setting goals for resolving your financial setbacks. These are after all our problems not my problems and your problems. Agreeing on a course of action together provides the clarity of purpose necessary for finding a solution.
4. Don’t blame each other if things go wrong. The blame game doesn’t work in love and marriage.
5. Don’t wallow in self-pity; it is a wasted emotion. No financial problem has ever been solved by feeling sorry for yourself or your situation. Climbing out of financial difficulties takes focus and a positive team approach.
6. Take ACTION today to begin addressing your financial issues together. When you are in love being the Lone Ranger doesn’t earn you bonus points.
7. Celebrate each time you have a financial success such as paying off a credit card or finding a way to cut expenses. Fiscal responsibility is a virtue. Taking time to celebrate together creates the feeling that the next goal is even more achievable.
Times do occasionally get tough, but here’s the bottom line – if you have a loving and trusting relationship with someone, believe in that. If you love someone completely, then understand that your true love will sustain you through the best of times, and the worst of times.
The financial difficulties you are experiencing will improve if you work together to find solutions and build a team approach to handling money matters in your marriage.
In love and marriage the simple things matter. Love well!
By Dr. Charles D. Schmitz and Dr. Elizabeth A. Schmitz
For hundreds of tips to enhance your relationship get the Doctor’s best-selling and multiple-award winning book Building a Love that Lasts: The Seven Surprising Secrets of Successful Marriage (Jossey-Bass/Wiley 2010) Available wherever books are sold.
Winner of the INDIE Book Awards GOLD Medal for Best Relationship Book
Winner of the Mom’s Choice Awards GOLD Medal for Most Outstanding Relationships and Marriage Book
Nautilus Book Awards Winner for Relationships