Dating & Relationships

4 Steps to Resolving Money Conflicts With Your Spouse

Arguing with your spouse is never fun, regardless of the cause. However, conflict arises even in the most healthy relationships. Fighting over money can cause heated arguments that can get out of hand. If you’re wondering how to resolve money conflicts in marriage, these steps can help.

1. Have Open Communication 

Open communication can solve the most complex marital disputes, including financial stresses. Talking to your spouse about things that bother you in a relaxed and nonjudgemental manner can significantly improve your relationship.

Communication is a hot topic that causes arguments, along with finances. When you don’t communicate effectively, many things can be taken out of context and you can have difficulty understanding one another. Explore and learn each other’s communication styles to improve your relationship.

Talking styles range from passive to assertive communication. Passive-aggressive communication can cause many issues in your relationship. Learn how to be open with one another and talk about the hard things so you can work together effectively.

Communication is key to a healthy marriage, so keep everything transparent. Don’t hide purchases from one another or have separate credit cards or accounts they aren’t aware of. There are more important things in life than fighting over money.

2. Combine Your Expenses

Combining expenses and bank accounts is a highly debated topic among married couples. Many don’t want to give up the financial freedom of having separate bank accounts. In reality, getting married is about more than giving your heart to another person. You’re essentially becoming one in many ways — that includes your finances.

Combining your bank accounts can make it easier to pay bills and keep track of finances together. Get on the same page about where you are and where you want to be financially. You’ll want to set goals and create a plan to set in motion to reach them.

What are your fiscal values? Do they align with your spouse’s? Take time to ask each other these questions. You’ll also want to discuss combining insurance policies, life insurance and more. Health insurance helps manage big expenses, which can significantly help your marriage. If your spouse has insurance through an employer, you may be able to join their policy once you’re married.

3. Work as a Team 

Combing your bank accounts and expenses is a step in the right direction, but there’s more. As with everything in married life, you have to work together as a team regarding finances. Open communication always helps, so ensure you have emotional safety in your marriage.

Emotional safety helps break down barriers, and allows you to be vulnerable and open in your relationship, contributing to efficient teamwork. Communication styles, love languages, nonverbal communication and gratitude all play an essential role in effective discussions in your marriage. Getting out of debt is challenging, but like many other things, it can be easier when you aren’t doing it alone.

Cheer each other on and help one another by doing the work to reap the benefits of a healthy, flourishing relationship. Try not to divide financial roles as you divide chores — this can lead to an imbalance that seems unfair and leads to disagreements. Instead, consider sharing roles equally within the household, including finances. Attack debt together by eliminating cable for a few months or other frugal decisions.

4. Stay On Track 

Once you devise a plan for your finances, it can be easy to get off track. One person in the relationship can feel like they’re the only one staying on budget or keeping track of expenses. Check in with your spouse and hold up your end of the bargain.

Sit down together and track your progress at least once a month. Keep each other in check in an understanding and supportive way rather than derogatory terms. Compromise as much as possible and work through income shortfalls together to avoid fighting over money. Through all this, it’s important to remember life happens and everyone struggles occasionally.

Marriage often involves compromise and that includes picking up each other’s slack. Try to keep an open mind and work through issues together to stay on track.

When one partner isn’t reaching their full potential, the other can accommodate them and vice versa, but it must work both ways. When it doesn’t, resentment can form, which isn’t ever a good feeling. Support each other through every crisis and step up when your partner struggles.

How to Resolve Money Conflicts in Marriage

Arguing is natural for couples who have been together for a long time. Conflict in relationships can be healthy if you work through it together. You’ll likely reach an agreement and find a solution when you collaborate. Use these strategies to navigate financial conflict with your spouse and find healthy solutions that work for you.

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