Money can be a source of stress in your relationship, but it can only cause trouble if you let it. There’s no need to let money ruin your relationship. All you have to do is spot the signs, be open about it and work through it together. Trust me I know.
I have had my share of money troubles which of course caused trouble in my relationship because the stress of money is like no other and it consumes you. If you aren’t so great with managing money or if your spouse has a less than perfect financial track record here are five ways to work through it.
Spot the warning signs
Money is everywhere and although some people can hide their troubles very well, it’s hard to keep money woes a secret. If your spouse stresses every time the rent is due or suggests you always stay in instead of having a date night out on the town then maybe they are running their check book in the red.
Drop subtle hints such as “Do you want me to get this one?” or “Is everything O.K. did you have a big expense this month?” Their reaction will tell you everything i.e. if it’s recent or if the situation has been ongoing.
Talk about it
Financial trouble is not one of those problems that just works its itself out. We have to work at it. The great thing about being in a relationship is that you don’t have to do it alone. Talk with your spouse about being in debt and they can help change your habits.
If you don’t want to talk with them about it at least keep them up to date on your progress if you’re talking to a professional. Remember that when you’re in a couple your money doesn’t only affect you.
Don’t fight about it
The absolute worst thing you can do when someone is experiencing financial troubles is argue about it. I can tell you first hand that not being responsible enough to manage your own money and pay for your living expenses is a big blow to the ego and fighting about it only makes it worse.
Let the situation cool off and talk about how you can change habits or get help at a time when you’re both calm. Making someone – especially someone you love – feel bad about their bank account is not the way to fix the problem.
Be generous with your own money
Money troubles are a temporary situation if you want them to be. If your spouse is working towards cleaning up their finances be a little bit more generous when it comes to joint expenses until they get back on their feet.
I am by no means suggesting that one person covers all the expenses because you don’t want to set a precedent. You can’t always take care of the monthly bills. However offering to pick up the check or pay for groceries once in a while are little gestures that can go a long way when it comes to financial relief for your loved one.