Money is one of the biggest sources of conflict in marriage.
There are two important reasons husbands and wives struggle in this area. The first is that a lot of couples assume that the solution to their financial problems is more money. It’s not. Extra income may ease a few immediate financial pressures, but it’s usually not a long-term solution.
Generally, the more money a couple earns, the more likely they are to elevate their standard of living and, therefore, their spending. Not only are couples earning $50,000 per year struggling, so are couples making three or four times that.
The second reason couples experience conflict is poor communication. You might not have a money problem. You might have a marriage problem.
According to authors Jeff and Shaunti Feldhahn, 77 percent of couples never discuss their finances. God’s best for couples is to become one in every area of life. That includes money.
Couples often struggle to find unity in money because they each value money differently. One’s a spender. The other’s a saver. One values budgets and penny pinching. The other values convenience and time efficiency.
Differences like that show up in everyday decisions. Jeff and Shaunti nearly had a conflict over the purchase of movie tickets once. She ordered them online and happily paid a service fee because she values convenience. Jeff would have happily avoided the extra fee by getting to the theater early and standing in line.
If you and your spouse are having money issues, it might be a relationship issue more than a financial problem. Couples who don’t communicate never get to what’s happening beneath the surface, so they each approach money as if their way is the only correct way.
Money is not a secondary issue in marriage. It represents a couple’s value system and dictates how their family operates. Where your money goes, and how and when it goes there, says a lot about what’s important to you.
If conflict over money is a source of trouble in your marriage, coming into agreement becomes your greatest opportunity to improve your relationship and your finances. Fixing your communication can make a good marriage great or lift one that’s struggling to new levels of intimacy.
We’ll tell you how on our Focus on the Family Broadcast “Game-Changing Marriage and Money Insights.” Our guests Jeff and Shaunti Feldhahn are offering practical ideas to help couples navigate financial issues in healthy ways.
Shaunti Feldhahn is a popular speaker, author, and social researcher. Jeff is the president and CEO of a tech company. Together they’ve written a book called Thriving in Love and Money: Five Game Changing Insights About Your Relationship, Your Money and Yourself. It’s available for a gift of any amount. Visit our website or give us a call at 1-800-A-FAMILY (232-6459). If you can’t afford it, we’ll find a way to get it to you.
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