What’s the number-one thing couples fight about? Money. In fact, a recent study found that couples who fight about money once a week are 30% more likely to get divorced. So if you’re having nightly battles with your spouse over the grocery bill, or you’re nervous your fiancé spends too much money dining out, it’s time to address these concerns before they get worse—because they will.
Here are three ways you can avoid fighting with your spouse about money:
1. Don’t blame the other person
More than anything else, my parents (before getting divorced) fought about money. But it was never a “you spent too much on this” or “I wish I made more money” battle; instead, every fight grew out of a general sense of despair and stress that stemmed from not knowing how to pay the rent or buy the kids new soccer cleats. When one of them came home to another bill in the mail, and then realized their daughter forgot to empty the dishwasher, they lashed out. Not because there weren’t any clean forks, but because they were so stressed about that bill. This has to stop—it hurts your children and your spouse.
If you’re worried about money, stop blaming the people around you. Fix it. If you can feel your blood start to boil, stop and take a moment to consider why you’re really angry. Take a deep breath and pray for patience and peace (2 Timothy 2:23–26). Above all else, if you’re stressed about money, take comfort in your spouse. They’re your best friend, so confide in them. And for goodness’ sake, ask for a hug (it sounds simple, but I swear it works).
2. Be honest about your spending
This doesn’t just mean you admit to your husband that your new purse cost more than the phone bill—it means you’re honest with yourself. I get that you think you deserve a mini vacation with your income-tax return, and I totally understand that since you did a good job at work that you deserve a new TV—and feeling this way is totally natural, but it’s not smart (Proverbs 21:20). If you have an “I work hard, so I deserve material goods” attitude, you need to admit it to yourself and your spouse so you can fix it (Deuteronomy 8:17–18). Likewise, if you’re hardly putting any money in savings because you’re spending extra money on grande mochas, you need to admit to yourself and your spouse that you’re a bad saver. After all, “The first step is admitting you have a problem . . .” Before you can fix your finances, you need to be honest about what you’re doing wrong.
3. Figure out your financial roles and responsibilities
Is your husband a better saver than you? Is your wife better at planning and budgeting? Whatever your skill set, use it to your advantage. Then, figure out a budget that you’re both contributing to. That doesn’t mean you need to battle over who’s the bread winner—it means if your wife stays home with the kids, she finds ways to cut expenses, like affordable meals and thrift-store baby clothes. If the wife gets a bonus from work, the husband encourages her to put it in savings. Support each other and map out a budget that helps you cut frivolous spending and save for the future.
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To learn more about establishing a healthy relationship and healthy finances, I highly suggest these helpful resources by bestselling authors H. Norman Wright and Stormie Omartian:
- Before You Say “I Do” Devotional by H. Norman Wright
- Before You Say “I Do” by H. Norman Wright
- After You Say “I Do” Devotional by H. Norman Wright
- The Power of Prayer to Change Your Marriage by Stormie Omartian
- The New York Times, “Money Fights Predict Divorce Rates,” December 7, 2009
- American Institute of CPAs “AICPA Survey: Finances Causing Rifts for American Couples,” May 4, 2012
What’s the number-one thing couples fight about? Money. In fact, a recent study found that couples who fight about money once a week are 30% more likely to get divorced. So if you’re having nightly battles with your spouse over the grocery bill, or you’re nervous your fiancé spends too much money dining out, it’s […]