Studies show that money problems are one of the main causes of divorce. I often hear couples say that the reason they are divorcing is because they have financial problems. Little do they know, the reason they are getting divorced is NOT about money, but about the fact that they don’t know how to TALK about money!
Rather than talking below the surface about the topic of money, people often lead with their fear and blame the other person for the state of their finances. “You always charge too much on our credit card!” “You never pay the car payment on time!” “Why did you buy another suit?” “You didn’t need to buy another purse!” And it goes on and on.
Rather than playing the blame game, couples need to learn to talk about money matters on a feeling level rather than on a materialistic level. For example, “When I see our credit card bill go over $1000, I panic. I’m afraid we won’t have enough money saved to pay it off and the interest will build. I would like for us to work together within the next two weeks to put a plan in place for spending, saving, and paying off debt.”
What usually happens in relationships is people get overtaken by fear and don’t know how to think straight enough to communicate how they feel and what they want to have happen.
Number one rule of finances and relationships, especially in dire economic times: look beyond the dollars to the underlying feelings and then talk, talk, talk!