Is Money Pulling You and Your Spouse Apart?

by Sonya Smith-Valentine

With the economy still floundering, you and your spouse may be fighting about money more.  In a recent poll, 61% of couples said that money conversations were turning into arguments.  A year before it was only 45%.

Recent studies show a correlation between financial feuds and marital problems.  So how can you tell if your money fights are a problem or just normal part of marriage?

Here are some signs to watch for:

  1. If you are arguing often, be wary.  Couples who argue about money at least once a week are two times more likely to get divorced than couples who only disagree about money once a month.
  2. If the disputes carry over to other areas, this is a red flag.  You should be concerned if the money fights cause you and your spouse to withdraw from one another.
  3. If debt, savings or spending is the main topic, watch out.  These topics are big trouble.  A couple with $10,000 in debt and no savings is two times as likely to divorce as a couple with no debt and $10,000 in savings.  Also, there is higher marital discourse when one spouse disapproves of the way another spouse handles money.

Money fights are often about more than just money.  They are about the differences in what money means to each of you.  If the financial disputes in your home are increasing, it’s time to attack the problem and get financial counseling.

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