No matter who you are and how much you earn, you can still have money woes. It’s no surprise, then, that 35% of people say that financial problems are at the heart of their relationship problems with their spouse. In these cases, money, and frequently the lack thereof or the mishandling thereof becomes the root of all evil and can usher in a divorce filing.
While chronic debt and an overall lack of money and resources can certainly strain anybody’s marriage, the real issues seem to arise when spouses simply aren’t on the same page when it comes to their finances. Here are several different ways that money trouble can lead to marital trouble:
1. One spouse is a spender, the other is a saver
Different people have different “styles” when it comes to handling their finances. When one partner likes to live for the present (and spends accordingly) while the other is always saving for a rainy day, they may balance each other out – unless they can’t figure out how to compromise. The trouble usually starts when one spouse feels like the other is trying to control or limit what they do unfairly, or a lack of communication leaves them at odds.
2. One spouse is financially unfaithful
Infidelity comes in many different forms. Financial infidelity means purposefully hiding (or lying about) money matters to a spouse – and it’s extremely common. More than 31% of people admit that they have hidden purchases from their partners, while more than 28% admit to lying about their debts. Amazingly, 22.6% of people admit they don’t even tell their partners the truth about what they earn. When they’re eventually caught, it can lead to damage to the trust between a couple that simply cannot be healed.
3. One spouse uses money to control the other
In a lot of high-income or affluent households, it’s not uncommon for one spouse to prioritize their career while the other spouse serves as the family’s homemaker and their spouse’s support person. Unfortunately, the spouse who brings in the income may start to develop the idea that since they earn the cash, it’s up to them to decide how every dollar is spent. That can lead to a great deal of resentment by the other spouse, who may feel forced into dependency. The converse of this is when one spouse earns money and the other spouse, usually over time, intentionally reduces their income drastically, which can manifest as financial abuse of the earning spouse.
Sometimes money issues can be resolved by therapy and better communication. Sometimes they cannot. If you find yourself in a situation where money has created an irrevocable rift between you and your spouse, legal guidance can help.
Let Me Be Your Brave
Mia Poppe, Esq.