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Dealing with Financial Problems in Marriage

Marriage Woes Over Money are Often Linked to Trust

By Susie and Otto Collins

The stereotype of a married couple arguing about money, unfortunately, rings true for many partners. Despite the best of intentions, arguments, disagreements or unspoken tensions around financial issues can drive a wedge between two people in a marriage or love relationship.

It is no wonder that, in countless polls, money is the #1 reason why couples say they argue.

Even if you maintain separate bank accounts, when you share a home, some degree of living expenses and a life together, there are bound to be differences and the potential for discord. You might consider yourself more of a saver and watch your partner's spending habits with fear and trepidation.

On the other hand, you may prefer to set high financial goals for yourself and find your mate's attitudes about money limiting and restrictive.

When it comes to money, the habitual and attitudinal differences between you and your spouse don't necessarily mean you have to argue or experience tension. In fact, it doesn't even mean that one of you has to be "right" when it comes to money and the other "wrong."

Instead of trying to ignore or avoid the differences in
how you each deal with money, you can make it your goal to develop connecting habits that will provide more easeful interactions between the two of you when it comes to this finances.

Jeremy feels shut out and mistrusted. For some reason, his wife Carla has not been completely honest with him about her salary. The two of them maintain separate bank accounts and they've agreed to each contribute to a joint account as well that they use for their house and car payments or when they take vacations.

Although Jeremy agreed to this arrangement, he's always been a little uncomfortable about it. And now that he stumbled upon information that shows his wife earns more than she admits to, Jeremy feels hurt and troubled.

He confronts Carla about this mistruth and she becomes defensive and angry. When Jeremy pushes her to reveal what's actually going on and why she lied about her salary, she refuses to speak anymore about it. Instead, she storms out of the room leaving Jeremy even more hurt and confused.

What are your trust issues?
Many times disconnection between a couple over money links directly to disconnection between the two people about trust. If you and your spouse argue about finances, take a look at how strong the trust is between you.

One of you might feel mistrustful because of a past experience that taught you to always "watch your back"-- even with your love. It could also be that there is something unresolved in your marriage that is contributing to trust being lacking or damaged.

You might start by looking within at your own trust
beliefs. Focus in on trust in general and in specific
regard to money. If you choose, share what you've
discovered with your spouse. Ask him or her to do the same inner explorations and communicate what is found out.

Simply becoming more aware of the core trust beliefs that you each hold can help you two to move closer together.  You can better understand where your mate is coming from and your own reactions and habitual responses too.

The argument with Jeremy really upset Carla. She never meant to lie to him about the raise she received a year ago. But, for Carla, it seemed wise. She grew up watching her father gamble away the family's earnings every month-- this was especially painful for Carla as she observed her mother working two jobs just to make up for the losses due to her father's addiction.

Carla promised herself that, no matter what, she'd never allow herself to be taken advantage of like her mother was.

Even though Jeremy doesn't gamble, Carla feels safer with her own personal bank account. And when she received the raise, she knew it put her salary higher than his. On some deep level, she worried that he'd try to take the money from her. With this clearer understanding of her own behavior, Carla is able to see how much her childhood and past are dictating her present behaviors.

When Carla shares with Jeremy what she's discovered, he is surprised and also relieved. With this deeper understanding of where Carla is, Jeremy can stop taking the whole situation personally and start asking Carla how he can support her.

Carla has decided to begin working with a coach to release her past as well as the limiting beliefs she has about money. She and Jeremy can also begin to
communicate more honestly with one another and re-build the trust between them.

Sometimes a money issue in a marriage is more than it seems. It doesn't matter if you see yourself as the one with the "problem" with finances or you see your spouse in this role. Either way, you both can learn by taking a closer look at your money beliefs and how trust plays into them.

Communicate with one another about what you find out and listen to understand. From there, you can begin connect more of the time about money and any other issue that emerges your relationship.



Relationship coaches Susie and Otto Collins, authors of "Should You Stay or Should You Go?" and "No More Jealousy" are experts at helping people get more of the love they really want. Learn the 5 keys to a closer, more loving relationship, click below for your free 5-part mini-course:


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Contact Info
Relationship Coaches Susie and Otto Collins, PO Box 14544, Columbus, OH 43214
Contact Susie or Otto about Relationship Coaching by calling (614) 568-8282.
For all other inquiries, contact us by email.

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