Financial issues is cited as one of the top reasons for divorce in the United States. If you and your partner are going through financial issues, here are some ways to resolve them without hurting the marriage.
1) Be honest and upfront (ie – communication is KEY): no one wants to be blindsided with a load of debt or financial problems as a wedding gift. If you are going through financial hardships or anticipate financial stress, being upfront and open about it to your partner is the best move.
2) Understand your partner’s thoughts and behaviors when it comes to money: If you are a penny pincher but your partner spends money like there is no tomorrow, there is bound to be conflict ahead. Understanding why your mate thinks and acts the way they do towards money helps you anticipate triggers that may cause those conflicts and nip it in the bud before the argument starts. If you are already in a stressful situation, it also helps to determine who is best suited to handle specific situations.
3) Develop a WE attitude towards the issues and goals for the family: Making your partner feel bad, insecure, or inferior when it comes to problems only makes the situation more stressful. The hows, whos, whys, and whens no longer matter when partners decide that it is now OUR problem to solve. Couples who can stand together in adversity end up building a stronger relationship through tough times.
4) Create a plan (together), decide on roles, and stick to it, while staying flexible: In order to achieve any financial goals, you must agree on a plan and stick to it. Together decide on a budget and who is going to do what. Maybe the penny pincher can create the budget. Maybe the spender can decide how each line item is to be used. Whatever agreement you make, make sure you’re both on the same page and that it is moving you towards your goals.
5) Reward “the team” when reaching milestones or breakthroughs: Never forget to reward yourself (even if it’s modest) when you’ve made progress or you’ve reached a milestone. Rewards help to celebrate all the hard work that you’ve done together and keep you focused on the end goal.