Find out finance issue that can cause problems in marriage
By Abigail Nwakanma
August 25, 2022
“Love is sweet, when money enter love is sweeter” – these are the immortal lyrics of Davido’s Assurance hit track and it is true! Money is not only the currency that facilitates the exchange of goods and services, money is the currency of life; and by extension, it is the currency of love. While it is a universal truth that money doesn’t buy true love, the lack of it can make true love bitter. The place of money in romantic relationships cannot be over emphasized and there is no need for us to pretend about this reality.
The default mindset, especially in this part of the world, is that the money ought to flow from the man’s side alone. Well, it is 2022 and a lot of women, now, more than ever are stepping up financially and it is a good thing to see.
Now, it is not enough for there to be money, the attitude of both parties towards money is also key. This is because, just like the absence of money, the availability of money can also be a source of issue. Yes, we have established that when there is no money, there is this friction that arises; there’s anger, bitterness, resentment, mental and even psychological stress, especially on the part of the person responsible for providing. On the flip side, there is also the friction that arises in relationships when it comes to how best to handle available money.
Relationships and marriages tend to bring together people with different orientations, family backgrounds, academic accomplishments, childhood upbringings etc. Ultimately what this means is that, it may be the case that both parties have differing opinions about money – what it is and what it represents, and when these differences are not well addressed, they can serve as breeding grounds for a number of problems.
A not so fun fact: Did you know that money arguments are the second leading cause of divorce, after infidelity? According to findings from a Ramsey Solutions Study, financial disagreements are the second leading cause of divorce in the United States. Although this finding cannot be applied locally, it reveals the importance of a good financial climate in marriage.
In this article, we will discuss six reasons why finances affect marriages:
As stated earlier, a lot of factors that make a person unique and different from the next person also affect their deep seated opinions about money. Financial incompatibility arises where a husband and wife have different opinions about money. This clash of opinions can lead to disagreements if not properly handled.
2. Financial infidelity This is a situation where a person has secret money somewhere, bank accounts, assets, debts and other undisclosed financial liabilities. The fact that these things are not known by your partner means you have not been completely honest with them about your financial position. There are many reasons why married people hide these things from their partners. Granted, there are situations that justify such moves, but dishonesty and lack of trust in marriage does more harm than good in the long run.
This is usually an issue when it is the responsibility of only one person to provide (usually the man). Stinginess does not mean there is no money but it means that despite the availability or even abundance of money, the person providing finds it hard to just give their partner money for relevant things that may not be necessities. Being with a stingy partner can be an utter pain and this is why it is advised for both husbands and wives to reduce their financial dependence on one another by finding ways to earn their own money, no matter how small.
4. Mismatched financial priorities
I know people who prefer to save rather than invest. I know people who prefer to invest than save. Now imagine a marriage where both persons cannot see eye to eye on this salient issue. Saving and investing are both financial priorities and it takes cooperation and unity of thought for married people to navigate both successfully.
5. Loss of earning source
This is a financial nightmare that no one prays for, especially when things were rosy before. Having to adjust to a life of hardship after having gotten used to financial ease, brings up a lot of unique marital challenges that no one can sadly be ready for.
6. Unforeseen expenses
A health emergency, an emergency trip, damage to a car, house or other properties –all these and more can put a strain on a family's finances because, well, they are unplanned. The best approach to this situation is strong communication so that everyone is on the same page as to how money is being spent and made up for.
My 2 Cents
Before you make the commitment of marriage, please discuss these things. It is very important. It is not enough that he earns six figures or that she is financially independent. Knowing the financial behaviours and tendencies of your significant other to be will go a long way in weeding out some challenges that may sprout up along the way in the course of marriage.
And yes, we cannot all be fully prepared for everything life throws at us. This is where establishing good financial communication from the outset comes in. Although, there are not guarantees that all will be rosy, these can make the storms easier to weather, if they ever come.