When you think about money and your partner together, does your heart sink or do you feel reassured? Scientific research shows that disagreements over finances are almost always cited as one of the top two reasons for divorce.
Money can be a source of great pain or great support in a relationship.
If we trust our partner with our money, it provides for a strong foundation and can support us with working through other issues.
Having separate finances also works for some couples, when each party knows who pays what and also allows for small, generous gestures.
Where things go pear shaped is if there is less trust or clarity in the relationship and this can often be reflected and magnified in our attitudes towards money. If one partner is good with money but the other thinks they are good with money but really are not things can get a bit sticky. The one who is good with money is often put in the situation of telling their partner the truth and risking the relationship, keeping their finances separate, keeping a secret stash of money or risking their financial well-being.
Money is an explosive subject in many relationships and being clear and honest about it gives us a big edge.
A great way to look at the difficulties is that money is an indicator, not a cause of what is going well or not.
If we constantly run out of money, what are we constantly doing that needs changing? Charles Dickens put it beautifully in David Copperfield:
"Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen [pounds] nineteen [shillings] and six [pence], result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery."
A simple approach when money is tight is to either reduce our spending so we don’t get into trouble, or, much better, increase our earnings so trouble doesn’t catch up with us. This sounds utterly trivial but if we make the effort it can have quite a positive flow on effect in our life and relationships.
Money is a reflection of our choices in life and we always have a choice to change our choices, even if it doesn’t always feel that way!
Sex and Money
Written by Christoph Schnelle and published in the
April / May 2016 issue of Style magazine