By David Roppo
Without question, money problems are at the root of a substantial number of marital crises. In fact, according to most sources this issue ranks within the top 4 reasons for divorce – sharing the stage with the likes of infidelity, communication and emotional abuse. And typically, the mainstream approach to overcoming this dilemma has been to manage it on the surface with the following advice:
- Agree on a budget
- Set goals
- Open separate checking accounts
Now, I wouldn’t dispute the possibility that these common sense recommendations could prove to be helpful when it comes to couples fighting about money. However, none of them will amount to a hill of beans if you don’t fix the root of the problem! You see, most marital issues are merely a symptom of a much larger underlying problem. Take infidelity for example. The reason most people cheat on their partner is the loss of an emotional connection caused by fears, insecurities and low self-esteem. Another example would be lack of communication. People don’t communicate with their partner as a result of their critical, argumentative, smothering, clingy, needy or controlling behavior. Plain and simple, they don’t want to be around that behavior. Therefore, they withdrawal and the communication diminishes or ceases altogether.
Subsequently, money problems are no exception! Sure, when the wallet gets a bit lighter or there’s not enough money in the account to pay the bills because of a poor economy, the situation may be exacerbated or inflamed. But, two partners that are well grounded and aren’t struggling with fears and self-limiting beliefs will usually work through those tough times. At the end of the day, if spending money matters in a relationship, perhaps you’re not spending enough emotional currency on the things that matter most. Are you struggling with fears and insecurities? Do you feel jealous or do you feel like your losing control of your relationship when your partner spends money on him or herself? Or, do you feel slighted because your partner doesn’t spend enough time with you or give you the attention you desire? Hence, you become angry when they spend money on themselves? Does your partner attempt to control you and/or your relationship through financial means? Perhaps your partner has a fear of abandonment or a fear of losing control. Bottom line, there’s usually an underlying issue that causes most couples to fight about money. However, there is one exception to the rule – compulsive shopping or addictive behavior. And, that is another matter altogether.
In conclusion, if you want to eliminate the financial squabbles in your relationship, you must correct the underlying fears and insecurities. To get rid of a bad emotional weed, don’t just prune the leaves; pull it out by the root!
Good luck and great love,
David Roppo is the founder of Relationship Rehab for Women, author, coach and pioneer of ‘The Secret Principles to Saving a Relationship.