Sep 252013 12 Responses

People Do Not Get Divorced Because of Money

Nearly every survey shows the number one source of conflict for married couples is money. Yet no marriage ends because of money.

Money is never the disease; it’s always a symptom.

When I was in college, a friend broke up with his long-term girlfriend. The break-up surprised me so I asked why he broke up with her. He said, “I’m going to be a pastor; she wants to be a doctor. I can’t marry someone who is going to make more money than me.”

I said, “Can I have her phone number?”

In a partnership, both spouses contribute equally to the success of the marriage. One might bring in a larger salary than the other; one may not even receive an official salary, but both contribute. The equality of the relationship is not determined by salary, but is determined by their equal work, passion, and contribution.

In over a decade of working with couples, I’ve noticed a common trait in healthy relationships, they always talk about “our money.” I’ve seen it in power-couples where both spouses have six figure jobs and I’ve seen it in traditional families where the wife works at home and the husband draws the family paycheck. While scenarios differ, the philosophy is the same—”we are a team and we own everything equally.”

In a true partnership, who makes the most money doesn’t matter. It belongs to both, and each party contributes to the success of the whole.

In the same way, in a true partnership, how money is spent is agreed on by both partners. They might experience moments of disagreement. They might have to regularly negotiate some expenses. They might even have to seek an outside advisor to help determine the best course of action, but they do find a working agreement on how much to spend, where to spend it, and what priorities take precedence.

The myth about marriage and money is that couples divorce because of money. They don’t. Most often, money is simply the presenting symptom. The real diseases are:

Poor communication: Financial decisions require open and honest communication. Any weakness in communication will often reveal itself in the areas of money or sex. Money is not difficult to figure out (See A Simple Money Solution) if a couple can properly communicate.

Selfishness: Money has an uncanny way to reveal our true hearts (See A Money Test). When one spouse is unable to submit their desires to what is best for the marriage, it will often be revealed in how they spend money.

Addiction: Alcohol, drugs, gambling, and shopping are common addictions which can be often be hidden and first revealed through the checkbook. As it takes more substance to satisfy the addictions, bills stack up and money runs thin.

Poor coping skills: Probably the most overlooked money problem is an inability to handle stress properly. Instead of finding a healthy way to cope, some people spend money. This pattern is manageable when money is in abundance, but where it is not in excess, stress-spending can ruin a couple’s financial situation.

If money is causing stress in your marriage, don’t ignore it. Yet, don’t be fooled into thinking it is just a money problem.

Money reveals our hearts and a couple who constantly argues over money has a problem at the heart of their relationship.

Read 10 Questions About Money and see if your heart is in the right place.

What is the best money tip your would offer to newlyweds?

12 Responses to People Do Not Get Divorced Because of Money
  1. […] solidifies while having children. At this point a true partnership should be formed as a couple at...
  2. […] People Do Not Get Divorced Because of Money […]...
  3. […] convinced the number one cause of divorce is not adultery, financial problems, or irreconcilable dif...
  4. […] convencido de la causa No. 1 de divorcio no es el adulterio , problemas financieros o diferencia irr...
  5. […] “Well, no,” the Mom says, not realizing her grief for her deceased husband is about to be compou...
  6. […] In the same way, whoever traditionally does less of the work needs to continually offer to help. Mak...
  7. […] Kevin A. Thompson Blog […]...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Please enter your name, email and a comment.