When money gets tight, it can put a lot of pressure and stress onto a relationship or marriage. In fact, many studies claim that money problems are responsible for 30% of divorces. Personally, I think the number is probably higher than that because financial stress can be the underlying symptom of many other marital problems.
The thing is, traditionally, the marriage vows are "for richer or poorer" not "As long as you have a job, or if you lose your job you should have a new one within a few months.". Still, financial infidelity can end a marriage almost as quickly as sexual infidelity. To keep this from happening to you, here are 5 ways to keep your relationship strong when money gets tight:
Have dreams and talk about them often - Do you and your spouse have long term dreams like buying a summer home or retiring and moving to Central America? Whatever your dream, talk about it with your partner and make a goal. Then, while you are saving, keep talking about it so that you can both work on it together. Working toward a common goal will make your bond stronger and help you stay focused.
Give each other some personal money - Many couples make the mistake of having one person be the money manager and the other person just hands over their paychecks. Although it can work very well sometimes, you have to remember that everyone deserves to have some cash in their pocket that they don't have to be accountable for. Making an impulse decision to buy a cup of coffee or go out to lunch makes us feel like grown ups. When people don't have any power over the money they make or how it gets spent, it can make them resentful, cause them to feel desperate and even led them to act out in various ways.
Be honest and communicate - If you've made a mistake, have run up the credit cards or spent your savings account, it's always going to be better if you tell your partner right away. Sure, they will probably be upset, but it's better than them finding out later and knowing that you withheld the truth.
Discuss what to do with windfalls/bonuses/tax returns - If either you or your partner get a large amount of unexpected money like a bonus or tax return, you should both decide what to do with it before you spend it. You two might have very different idea about what to do with it and that can cause a huge amount of resentment. Make sure that your partner feels included in the decision making process.
Don't change your agreements without discussing it - If you have both decided that it is best for your family if both of you work, don't change that agreement without discussing it. Of course, you can't help it if you lose your job, but before you quit your job, decide to go back to school or change the way that money is earned, you have to talk it over first and get an agreement.
The biggest thing that kills relationships isn't the lack of money, it's the feeling that your partner has betrayed your trust financially. Small indiscretions are much easier to deal with when there is more than enough money, but when you're making every dollar stretch, the little things can add up. Just remember that there isn't a material purchase you could make that would be as valuable as the love and trust between you and your partner.
Do you have marital problems caused by money? What have you done about it? What suggestion do you have for others in this position?
By Melissa Kennedy- Melissa is a 9 year blog veteran and a freelance writer for HealthcareJobsiteBlog and Nexxt.. Along with helping others find the job of their dreams, she enjoys computer geekery, raising a teenager, supporting her local library, writing about herself in the third person and working on her next novel.