- Category: Love and Relationship Readings
- Last Updated on May 06, 2013
- Written by Mark Blair
If you and your partner fight about money, then you are in a normal relationship. Money is one of the biggest flash points that cause an argument. The goal is to not let money and those fights rule the relationship. Learn how to communicate about money with your partner and how to turn those money talks into productive discussions.
Regardless of the amount of money that each person brings into the relationship, start by agreeing that each person has a vote that weighs the same. If people in a relationship don't agree to deal with money as equals, then one of them will feel inferior when it comes to money matters.
The next thing to understand is that men and women see money differently. Men view money as a measure of success. Money can easily be the end goal for them. This makes them take more risks with money. They generally don't like to save it and when there's not enough, men can have real self-esteem issues.
Women see money in terms of safety. They have a feeling of security when there's money in the bank. And they can have a real feeling of fear if they perceive there isn't enough. Anxiety and depression can happen when a woman experiences financial challenges.
There are at least two types of people when it comes to money. The odds are that you have one of each in your relationship. One type is good with numbers, knows the checkbook balance everyday, and watches the stock prices and mortgage interest rates. The other is more of a free spirit. They hate number-crunching, never look at or keep receipts, and just "feel" that the money stuff is OK.
These two people need to work with each other. The numbers person needs to be open to input from their partner and not control all of the money matters in the relationship. The free spirit needs to get involved and not shy away from money discussions. It's alright if the couple agrees on roles that each will assume, but they both need to have ownership of their part of the money in the relationship.
Money should be viewed as a tool to attain and maintain a comfortable life for the couple. It is also the means by which lifestyles change and grow. If you want to be able to take two month vacations every year, you'll need money. If you want a bigger house because your family is expanding, you'll need money.
Keep in mind that the money issues and discussions are so you and your partner can grow and enjoy life together. It should not be a source of frustration or argument. If an argument starts over some money matter, stop and ask "What do I not understand here?" Your partner is probably crystal clear about some aspect that you haven't seen, yet.
Productive conversation is the key to getting past those frustrating money conversations. If things get heated up, agree to take a break, chill out, and come back to it when you both are in a better space to listen to each other.
When money becomes a scary thing in a relationship, it does drive it. People who live in fear don't feel safe or secure so they are constantly looking for ways to feel that they are going to be OK. If the fear becomes too great, people may start to blame each other for the situation. This is a dead end road that has ended in breakups, separation and divorce for many couples.
Practice having money conversations with your partner. Get used to talking about money with them so it's not a scary topic. The more skilled the both of you are in dealing with the money in the relationship, the better the chances are that love, and not just money, drive it.