Money is the number one thing that couples fight over and it’s no wonder. Money is intrinsically tied to lifestyle and the dreams you hold for the future. It impacts how you are able to live today and tomorrow. Relationships can be perfect alliances, but more often than not, they involve a large amount of compromise. Differing financial visions and approaches to money management lead to some potentially damaging arguments you would do well to avoid. Here are some of the most dangerous money arguments that relationships often face.
Money Arguments over Divided Income
This is counterintuitive to some people. That’s because it seems easier to fight over shared money than it does when you keep your incomes separate. The reason arguments arise from dividing income is that it divides the household. How you budget and save and spend money needs to be in alignment. Whether or not you share a joint account, as a couple you share a common goal. Keeping separate accounts works against that goal and promotes self-interest. It may seem fair. However, it causes arguments that can potentially destroy your relationship if you aren’t careful to compromise and find common ground.
Arguing about financial decisions is important as long as it doesn’t get out of hand. In the end, both you and your partner must work together for the best interest of your relationship. Financial decisions big and small have an impact on how you function as a pair and where you see your partnership taking you later in life. Anytime the distant future comes into discussion it has the potential to blow up a present situation, because each of you may envision an end goal that is drastically different from the other. This is why it is important to explore commonality and adjust your future vision to accommodate you and your partner if you want to keep the relationship healthy and thriving.
Arguments Over How to Pay Off Debt
Besides potential relationship shattering differences in goals and aspirations, it’s also easy to get hung up on the details of how to reach those goals. If you are in debt, you may agree that you want to get out of debt and start building wealth. That’s all well and good, but what if you can’t agree on the method. How you do something like getting out of debt is vitally important to the health of a relationship. both parties must be on board and follow the same playbook. Most often when there is an argument about this, it is because one partner lacks the commitment or resolve to follow through with a solid plan that involves sacrifice. Identify when the argument becomes not about how, but if. The latter argument is much more dangerous and needs to be addressed carefully.
The Financial Impact of Kids and Family
Stress leads to arguments and the financial impact of things outside of the immediate relationship can always threaten to undermine the resolve of your partnership. Kids are expensive, but it’s not as simple as just higher food costs and paying for clothes (although, those are not so simple either). Raising children requires major decisions throughout their development that all mean something financially. Falling out of alignment with each other about how to spend money on your kids, or even extended family is dangerous to a relationship. Avoid arguing by determining shared values and priorities.
Money Arguments in the Form of Personal Attacks
When an argument about anything resorts to personal attacks the hope of reaching a resolution is lost. You only entrench yourself in your belief that you are right and you further alienate your partner, making them less likely to try and see your side of things. Whenever you have a disagreement, you should never attack somebody personally if a resolution is your end goal. instead, show that you are willing to listen and show signs of respect for your partner. Then, if you believe you have a better solution, calmly explain why you think that is. It may be that logic is a barrier and you may need to show compassion in those situations. When logic fails it’s most likely due to some fundamental difference in attitude or approach to a situation. You need to determine that before you become so exasperated that you begin name-calling.