Author: Andrea Fisher
Published: Dec 23 2013
Every relationship has its up and downs, but there’s something widespread obviously happening when 50 percent of marriages in the U.S. result in divorce. Left and right people are taking a plunge towards singledom again. And it’s more than a coin toss or the luck of the draw. Of all the causes of divorce to consider—whether it’s infidelity, distrust, abuse, addictions, etc., the most prevalent issue remains the same: money. Fortunately, financial issues can be resolved with open communication and mutual respect.
Money-based arguments are reoccurring topics that only build in intensity. Yes, life happens and things like a job loss are straining, but what of the daily financial pressures that hover over the vast majority? According to the National Marriage Project, differing views on money (such as standards and expectations) can be seen early on in a relationship. Something as simple as one person being expected to pay for dates, etc. is innocent enough; however, speed forward several years and without proper communication and a willingness to see eye-to-eye, financial issues can snowball into regular arguments.
Are these reoccurring topics that you and your spouse often argue about?
- The Household Budget
- The Balance of a Mutual Checking or Credit Card Accounts
- Recent "unnecessary" or "sporadic" purchases
- Different Spending Priorities
If so, it’s time to address your finances objectively— without playing the name game. Your marriage may ultimately depend on it. Be able to sit down with your partner and actually discuss your own personal financial expectations. Avoid pointing the finger, using words like, “you.” Instead focus on your own feelings and thoughts. Address what matters most to you— whether it’s paying off the mortgage, being able to refinance a loan, paying for your child’s education, etc. Find out what your partner feels is most important to them. Is there anything that aligns together as a mutual priority? That’s a good place to begin together; the rest will depend on a true compromise.
Establish your monthly household budget according to your billing due dates. Tackle what must be paid; any money left over should then be allocated for agreed amounts for saving and spending. This will create a sound financial foundation to work towards each day. Put the past in the past, it doesn’t matter what you’ve argued about yesterday if you want to continue on with a fresh, clear perspective.
Marriage—well, the 50 percent are successful depend on open and clear communicate throughout the good and the bad. It may not be easy; quite frankly it’s often draining, but find a way to manage your finances together with actual teamwork. Doing otherwise may leave you hanging out at the single’s table.
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