Most couples will clash over money at some point. We all have different values and outlooks towards it, and this can be particularly difficult when one becomes unemployed. Loans can be a solution to unemployment induced debt but frequently the problem isn’t going to be about money itself. No relationship is easy all the time and there will be times when you squabble: as with so many other things, talk it through and you may well find a solution.
Love or money?
Psychologist Terri Orbuch found that 7 of 10 couples have issues with money at some point in their relationships. Writing in Psychology Today, she said, “Too often, disagreements about money have little to do with money itself and more to do with issues of control, security, self-esteem and love.”
When there are issues building up between you as a couple that aren’t dealt with through proper communication, the pressure kettle may release itself through battles about less important things. Money may well be the cause on the surface but in talking to one another to resolve the fight you may find that you need to talk about other, quite major things that could ultimately break you apart.
According to another psychologist, Rhonda Pritchard, because we are all different (opposites attract!) we often have very different ways in the way we see money and how we live with or without it. Here are some examples where a couple may differ through their personalities and how this impacts their money spending habits:
- One of us may prefer to save for a rainy day while the other likes to live in the present. One may want to go to see a music gig or sports event, for example, and the other may prefer to save the cash.
- One may think that debt is a fact of life, while the other doesn’t like paying banks to stay afloat.
- We have different capabilities over money. One may be better at budgeting than the other.
- One may have a different view over the rights and wrongs over money to the other. For example, one may think that you should always pay interest to a family member when you borrow from them, where the other may think it should be a ‘free loan’.
- One may spend money in different ways to the other, such as one using a credit card to hedge against their income every month, where the other may prefer just to use a debit card.
Talk it through
One of the key foundations of a good relationship is communication. Sit down and have a talk with your partner about money when you aren’t being hot headed with one another and try to discuss your views on money and beyond. Talk about current and future scenarios, and where one has an issue about the way the other spends money, try to deal with it in the conversation.
Orbuch pointed out that women tend to save against a rainy day and worry when cash flow is a problem, where men tend to live more in the moment. She said in her article, “Try to understand your partner’s perspective. Compromise is often essential. It is fine to disagree on some issues, but don’t let them get in the way of your overall goals as a couple.”
Address the issues
One of the classic times when a couple fights about money is when one becomes unemployed and cash flow is suddenly a problem. Can you take out a loan for unemployed people to cover the immediate problems while looking for work? Are there other ways to cut back on expenses such as gym memberships so you can survive the blip in income?
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger
Often couples that come together in a time of stress go on to stay together through thick and thin. No one likes a quitter and someone who talks with you in depth to help resolve the problem as a team is probably Mr or Mrs Right for you! It is just a matter of sitting down together and discussing the problem in the first place. If you do, you could well survive whatever life throws at you in years to come.