Today, let’s talk about how money affects our marriages.
In fact, I just learned from this Dave’s Complete Guide to Money book that you can easily tell the strength of your marriage based on how you handle money.
- If you’ve got a weak marriage, you’ll see it in how you handle money
- If you’ve got a rock-solid and secure marriage, it’ll show in how you handle money
But that doesn’t mean a solid marriage has no money fights. Actually, it’s normal to have money fights in a marriage.
And in fact, my lesson for the day comes from that sentence:
If you’re married and you have money fights, congratulations – you’re normal.
Right now, we’re in the third paragraph of Page 27 – Page 28; in Chapter 2 of Dave Ramsey’s Complete Guide to Money.
Yes, It’s perfectly fine to not have the same perspectives on money as your spouse.
It just confirms what we already know about marriage:
That marriage is supposed to bring two different people with different backgrounds, experiences, and upbringings, so they can merge into one.
And so, the first lesson we should hold tight here is this…
… having money fights in our marriages doesn’t mean our marriage is doomed and can never be better.
It definitely can.
It’s just that there are varying levels of money fights in marriage.
Some money fights in marriage that turn worse are definitely a big cause for concern.
In fact, many money / marriage statistics in America has tied money fights to a leading cause of marital tensions and divorce:
- According to a 2018 Ramsey solutions survey, money fights are the second leading cause of divorce, behind infidelity
- About a third of adults with partners reveal that money is a big source of conflict in their relationships
- Compared to non-money issues, money fights in marriage are more problematic, recurrent, and remained unresolved, despite more attempts at resolving those fights
- Money tensions predict marital stress
In other words, one of the best ways to enjoy lasting peace in your marriage is to overcome money fights, and be on the same page with your spouse as regards your family finances.
So why exactly is money such a threatening and headache-causing aspect of our marriages?
Money is rarely just about money. Money goes way beyond those paper notes we stuff in our wallets.
For example, as a man, I know I tend to associate money with freedom, confidence, and responsibility.
Generally, men tend to associate their ability to be a husband and father who provides for his home to their finances – how much they earn, and how much they bring home.
And so, beyond those dollar notes, a man can feel less of a man, if he feels he’s not bringing in enough money to adequately take care of his family.
Generally, it’s fairly different for women: women tend to associate money with security, safety, and relaxation.
In fact, there are a few things that can make a woman uncertain about life, more than not knowing how the bills will get paid this month.
It’s therefore safe to say that: how we handle money in our marriages connects to our level of survival, self-worth, self-esteem, power, priorities, dreams, passions, and outlooks on life.
Take suicide rates for example:
According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, men died by suicide 3.56x more often than women in 2018.
And one of the leading risk factors for such high suicide rates have been shown to be money-based.
… such money-related concerns include business failures, loss of a job, home, money, status, self-esteem, or personal security.
If you are having suicidal thoughts, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 for support and assistance from a trained counselor. If you or a loved one are in immediate danger, call 911.
So, how much we make, how much we owe, and our net-worth are rarely simply a reflection of how much we have in assets and liabilities.
No, our net-worth trickles down into other aspects of our life, especially our marriages.
You can check the pulse of a host of other aspects of your life and marriage, if you look through the lens of money.
BUT this is not meant to say that a couple making lots of money will have a marriage that’s rock-solid and awesome.
No, it simply means the health of your marriage is more about how you handle the money you have, and less about how much you earn.
In fact, some money problems can be traced back precisely to the fact that the couple brings in a lot of money.
For example, a 1-percenter couple earner in the U.S., bringing in more than $422,000 a year might have to worry about the balance between caring for the kids, always gone for work, and having enough time for the marriage and the kids.
In other words, more money, more problems.
And so, I believe that beyond certain levels, it’s not so much how much you bring in, as it is how you handle what you bring in as a couple.
And so, if money can be such a pain to manage in our marriages, is there any good news here?
Yes, there is good news!
Here’s the good news…
… if money can be such a huge problem to tackle, then we’ve got a huge opportunity to turn the tide, and improve the way our marriages relate with money…
… and in the process, we can use money as yet another tool to build up rock-solid and stable family finances, which then trickles down to make our marriage peaceful, loving, and joyful.
Most couples start out with money fights. In fact…
…if you’re married and you have money fights, congratulations – you’re normal.
But who says you can’t do way better than normal?
You just need to be able to seize that huge opportunity that money presents, and agree with your spouse about money.
That’s all for today, my friend. We’ll continue in the second paragraph of Page 28 of the book tomorrow.
See you then.