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
Instead of trying to ignore or avoid the differences
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
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
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
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: