Dr. Goschi's Blog

Money and Marriage

Conflict around money is a common isssue discussed in my office. Chaotic financial times can worsen money problems. It is my experience that the way a couple communicates about finances says a lot about the openness, balance of power, and personality style of the couple.

Couples tend to deal with money issues in several different ways. They may be very open and discuss their finances in a candid fashion. This approach tends to revolve around problem solving and mutual respect. Other marriages view money as a means to control the partner. This style results in one spouse feeling angry. Or, I’ve seen the couples where neither one takes care of finances and their lives spin out of control. Lastly, I’ve seen the estranged couple where they don’t talk about money and everything they own is separate.

Partners deal with money much the same way as they struggle through any other relationship issue. For example, passive-aggressive couples may act out using money as a means of indirectly expressing anger. Let’s say they’ve had a fight the night before. The wife/husband decides to “act-out” the next day and spend money in hopes of “sticking” their partner with the bill. This scenario is more common than I would like to think. It’s extremely common in divorces. Many other character flaws can be displayed through our unhealthy relationship with money. To name a few of the flaws that I’ve worked with; withholding, controlling, generous, rewarding, greedy, or stingy. The adjectives are endless. It is helpful to look at your relationship with money and how it may reflect the health of your marriage.

If you believe that your relationship is fiscally “out of control” I would recommend that you talk to someone like a financial consultant, investment expert, or financial planner. They can give you objective advice that will take the power struggle and emotions out of your finances. Make sure that you both have a say in what you need, want, and what goals you have. If you do not contribute to the discussion you are only making yourself a victim in the long run. Make sure your voice is heard.

Another important peice of the money puzzle that many couples miss is establishing a slush fund for yourself. That’s right – each of you having access to funds that belong to only you. This way you could go for that extra round of golf or pedicure without being scrutinized by your partner. It can be very degrading when your partner grills you on where that extra $150 went to. Having independent money keeps you emotionally independent – even if you are completely financially dependent on your partner.

If you find that money issues are so serious that it is affecting how you feel about eachother then it is time to seek marriage counseling. Therapy can help you express your feelings about your financial lives in a more productive fashion. It can help you examine how you are reacting to your spouses actions in an unhealthy manner. You can learn how to communicate more effectively about these issues leading to a more intimate and fulfilling life together.

If this is your marriage then therapy can be a means of mending the pain and conflict. Help is a phone call away. Begin feeling better today and call Dr. Goschi @ (312)595-1787.

Leave a Comment

Your email is never shared. Required fields are marked *

(will not be published)