Money makes the world go around. Some may say that it is love or kindness but, most people would agree that it is money. This is unfortunate and disheartening, but it is true. This being said, money should not control us, and it should definitely not control our relationships.
Studies have shown that couples who fight frequently about money are more likely to get divorced and that money is one of the leading causes of divorce. This is not about selfishness or jealousy. It is because, the way we think about money, the way we perceive it along with its benefits, is intrinsic to our very being. It is a core element of our character and when we fight with our loved one about it, it is basically a clash of belief systems.
This kind of conflict leaves both parties hurt, misunderstood and ultimately isolates one from the other. It is this isolation which destroys relationships. There is nothing quite as terrifying or heart-breaking than feeling dissociated from your loved one. How then does one stop the fights? How do you get to a point where you are not fighting about money but rather for it?
- Figure out what money means to you
In a broad sense, when it comes to money there are two types of people in this world. There are spenders and savers. Spenders believe that money’s value lies in how you can spend it. It is simply a tool which people use to satisfy their hearts desires. It can take you on holiday, buy you gourmet food, pay for the best clothes and place you in the driver’s seat of the best car.
The possibilities are endless. The other type of person is a saver. A saver believes that money is more valuable when saved. They do not splash their money around or participate in reckless spending. They believe that it is paramount to put money away and carefully evaluate the need for each purchase.
The first step to stopping the money fight, is it figure out whether you are a saver or a spender.
- Have the conversation.
Once you and your spouse have decided which camps you fit into, the next step is to actually have the conversation. This conversation should be as objective as possible. Each party should be given the opportunity to explain their view and feeling towards money.
They should talk about what it means to them, how it makes them feel and how it impacts their impression of themselves. This is not a fight. This is a conversation. You need to listen to your partner here and not listen just to respond.
This is not a fight anyone can win. It is not a fight anyone should win. There is no right or wrong, there is only a differing of opinions. Once you fully understand where you and your partner stand on the topic of money, it is time to map a way forward. This could be by laying down a budget or setting up goals. It does not really matter which route you take. The point is to compromise and agree on a plan of action which makes both parties feel comfortable and satisfied.
Life is not easy. It is a series of challenges and trials. Your marriage should not be one of them. A couple should be fighting for something together, not fighting over something. Have the conversation, find common ground, map a way forward and start working for the life that you both want.