Money, Stress and Relationships

Posted on by Alyson Jones. Posted in Resources.

How much stress does money create in a relationship?

It’s no secret that money problems can be a huge source of relationship strife — surveys indicate that at least half of disagreements with couples are caused by financial concerns and money is one of the main sources of stress in a relationship. Money stress can seep into many parts of your life.

Money doesn’t buy happiness or love, but it can create security and a foundation for achieving goals.

Depending on how the couple communicates people may build a successful relationship or fail miserably. Money may not be everyone’s priority, but by the end of the day, it will be a factor in your primary relationship.

How has COVID effected money, stress, and relationships?

Covid has created situations in which many people/couples have suffered financially in one form or another during the pandemic.
The stress level created by Covid has taken a toll on many relationships, and we have seen financial strain and stress contribute to many separations. In general, people have been less patient and less forgiving about all sorts of issues – including finances.

Can money destroy a relationship?

Many couples break up because of money-related issues, but it does not have to ruin the relationship. The sooner a couple addresses money openly in a relationship, the better for the relationship. It is not just about money, but rather about how you communicate with your partner and how you resolve differences together. If both people are mature and willing to work together and communicate, they have a good chance of resolving the issues.

Couples with communication issues and financial stress tend to have lower levels of satisfaction in their relationships. Emotionally strained by their financial struggle, some people become irritable and hostile blaming their partner for any financial woes.

Why is it so hard for us to talk about money in a relationship?

Most of us were not taught financial literacy in our childhood. The sooner this is a source of conversation in one’s life the better. Some people feel it is embarrassing or in poor taste to talk abut money, but to approach these conversations in an open manner demonstrates maturity and creates a strong emotional and financial foundation for life

Why do couples avoid talking about finances?

We all fear judgment. We may fear judgment of accumulated debt. The more debt we have the more hesitant we are to be open about it. In addition, sometimes people do not want to stop reckless financial behaviour and they go to great lengths to avoid looking at it or taking responsibility.

How do I initiate a conversation with my partner about money, and some of the stress I may be experiencing?

Let your partner know you would like to have a conversation about finances and agree on a time together. Talking about money can bring up lots of emotions, like embarrassment or fear, so approach each other with care and good intentions. The earlier you start this conversation in your relationship the better.

When it comes to money what are some red flags in a relationship?

  • Borrowing money without the other person knowing
  • Hiding important financial information such as debt or credit card usage
  • Inconsistency between what is said and what is done regarding finance.

What are some of the ways money can strain a relationship?

  • Different spending habits
  • Different sense of value
  • Lifestyle differences
  • Family planning – having children and the finances not being based in reality
  • Different financial goals
  • Partners having different socio-economic experiences in their childhood.
  • Involvement of the in laws in the couple’s finances

Tips for a Healthy Relationship

  • Be open about your financial health and challenges, share information.
  • Discuss your lifestyle choices together and talk about what money/experiences mean to you.
  • Recognize and appreciate your difference in personality
  • Be aware of salary differences and do not let that come between you
  • Keep purchases out in the open, track what you spend and work on debt together
  • Set expectations together
  • Discuss your boundaries
  • Prepare to compromise, it can not all be your way
  • If you have children remain in your parent role and do not let the children dictate your spending
  • Get professional help – there are some fabulous financial advisors out there, and a good therapist can go a long way in assisting couples as they discuss their financial health and wellbeing.