Money and relationship problems can lead to the break down of a marriage

Money and relationship problems can lead to the break down of a marriage

Relationships can be difficult enough. When you throw in the potentially dicey element of finances, the gloves come off and the scene can be set for verbal fisticuffs.

“Relationships” include marriage, couples living together, family members who are borrowing or lending money and even roommates who split the rent. Money can destroy a relationship and a friendship faster than you can say, “YOU OWE ME MONEY!”

Money, or lack thereof, can cause grievous relationship problems, with couples frequently landing in divorce court as a result. Communication is the key because men and women tend to deal with money differently. Men need to know that — as do women. Not understanding these differences can lead to money and relationship problems.

Men are more likely to be ambivalent about saving money and they may take more monetary risks than women. Women are more prone to view money as security, something that they stow away just in case they need it in the future.

When a man isn?t rolling in dough his self esteem may plummet because some men associate the amount of money in their wallet with their self-worth and some women may lead them to believe this is so.

Of course, the above is a generalization because there are men who are very cautious with money and women who are spendthrifts. There are many well-balanced,self-assured men who don?t care how much money they have. However, when different money-handling types marry or decide to live together this can result in fireworks.

BEFORE YOU TAKE THE PLUNGE

Before you get married or decide to cohabit, sit down and seriously talk about your finances. How are you going to handle them as a couple?

Be up and up about your financial situation and expect your future spouse to do likewise. If your income has dropped because you?ve made a lousy investment or they?ve cut back your hours at work. spit it out. Don?t pretend that things are okay if they?re not.

Spouse-to-be, do the same. If you are in debt, don?t conceal this from your partner. If you have come into money, don?t hide this either.

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As you talk about money, try not to verbally attack one another. Behave like reasonable, sane adults who need to work out a financial plan. Quit blaming each other for everything under the sun, particularly lack of money, and come up with a working plan.

Deciding who is going to pay the monthly bills is a good place to start. Have a dedicated spot in your home where the bills are kept. Get organized.

Marriage is supposed to be a partnership so keeping separate checking accounts and separating money, splitting the bills, may not be a great idea but if it works for your marriage and isn?t resulting in any riffs than by all means do it this way.

Each party should have his own discretionary money which means it is unrestricted. He or she can spend as she chooses. That is, if there is any discretionary money and there might not be.

You might consider a joint checking account from which you pay your household bills and separate accounts for those discretionary purchases. You know, the missus just has to have that pair of Louboutins and she?s been saving for them for months so don?t stand in her way. She?s earned the money, she?s saved the money and she can spend it how she pleases. When the mister wants a new set of golf clubs, he can do likewise. He?s saved and he can spend his money as he so chooses.

However, if the bills aren?t being paid and the credit collectors are on your doorstep, you need to rethink the Louboutins and golf clubs. Pay your bills ASAP even if that money has to come out of your individual discretionary accounts.

Make a budget and stick to it as closely as possible. Of course, the car is going to break down at an inopportune time (as if there is ever an opportune time for this) and the washing machine is going to go on the fritz. These are unforeseen expenses and are going to mess up your budget. Try to make allowances for these unforeseen expenses and factor them into your budget so that you aren?t totally thrown for a loop.

GET ORGANIZED AND DESIGNATE A BILL PAYER

If you are the ordained bill payer and you see that you are in trouble or are heading for it, discuss this with your spouse. Don?t yell or scream or blame (or at least try not to). Be level headed and together figure out what you?re going to do to avert financial disaster. You may have to cut back drastically on your fun spending: No more eating out or movies for a while. You?ll survive. Or someone may have to get a second job.

Ideally, you know upfront how much money the other person is making so don?t do an about face when you get married and decide that you are the king or queen of the roost because you out-earn the other person. This type of attitude can quickly destroy a relationship.

CREDIT CARDS

Credit cards can be the killer. Discuss with your partner if you are going to have them and which specific cards. Do you already have massive amounts of credit card debt and does he? Find out. You both need to know.

Keep a lid on your credit card spending and try to pay off the balance each month, which is difficult to do if you?ve spent far too much money. You might consider cutting them up. Yes, we hear you groan.