How To Prevent Money From Ruining Your Marriage

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“I Do”…..

Those 2 simple yet powerful words that a married couple says to each other when they commiserate their marriage.

Marriage is a beautiful thing because it is 2 people committing to each other to build a life together through both good times and bad.

But I bet you never thought to ask each other how to handle your finances BEFORE you were married, didn’t you?

I know I didn’t.

Who would think about that, right? People just naturally assume that finances would flow and fall magically into place. I mean, you didn’t worry about finances before you were married, why now?

It’s because you now have to share and reveal you habits (both good and bad) with your partner.

It’s because your financial decisions now affect 2 people, and if you have kids, many more than that.

Want some examples how financial problems can affect a marriage? Read on! 😊

How Financial Challenges Affect Marriages

The stress caused from financial challenges can impact your marriage in many ways.

Here are a few examples:

  • Health – Financial stress can cause several physical and mental health ailments from headaches, fatigue, loss of appetite, and an upset stomach to angry outbursts, a lack of patience, and even anxiety attacks.
  • Resentment – If talking about money leads to frequent fights, guess what? It can also lead to resentment towards each other. You may start to feel like your partner is not listening to you or make you feel not valued. Resentment is a natural by-product of these feelings.
  • Damages Trust – when financial problems crop up in marriage and if a partner is making purchasing decisions that goes against what was agreed to, it can cause a severe lack of trust.
  • Lack Of Intimacy – Let’s face facts. If your health is suffering due to financial problems, you are resenting your partner for how they are acting, and you are losing trust in them, do you REALLY want to be intimate with them? Probably not.

This is why it is SO important to learn how to make marriage and finance work together.

Want to learn how to overcome this?

How Money Can Ruin Marriages

Today, we will talk about 5 ways to both overcome your financial struggles AND repair your relationship with your significant other.

Talk Open And Candidly

Open, candid communication without fear of verbal attack is the first place to start and is a cornerstone of a successful marriage.

People who practice positive communication also experience higher satisfaction and less negativity about the relationship.

Great communication involves a few key skills.

The first one is listening. Listening to your partner without interruption promotes making the other person feel loved, valued, and understood

Listening also helps in building a connection with the person speaking to you.

Plus, when a person feels heard, they are more likely to reciprocate the same treatment.

The next skill you need to master is talking about how something makes you feel.

Talk to your partner about not only the secrets you may have kept from them but also your hopes, dreams, and even fears.

Laying it all out there and being vulnerable with your partner also promotes connection and trust.

You are trusting your partner to keep these discussions between the two of you because that is where they belong.

Lastly, these meetings need to also be a mutual discussion where there is healthy give-and-take. It’s not your job to do all the listening and neither is it your partner’s job to do all the talking.

Give-and-take combines active listening, seeking to understand, and expressing your vulnerabilities at the same time in a healthy way. If you are feeling heard and feeling validated, you partner should also.

Coming to these meetings with a spirit of honesty, transparency, and forgiveness can go a long way to erasing any concerns your partner may have and strengthens the bond between the two of you.

I talk more about how to build stronger, healthier relationships in the article below.

5 Habits That Need To Be Created To Build More Fulfilling Relationships

Understand Each Other’s Priorities

Keeping your spending priorities under wraps is a surefire way to cause tension in your marriage.

Plus things change over time and priorities change as well. Where you once may have spent thousands of dollars a year on eating out, now you prefer to stay in and splurge on a nice vacation.

It’s ok.

What is NOT ok is to not discuss your priorities with your partner. That’s when problems can occur that can derail a marriage.

Talking about your finances as a couple ensures that your priorities are aligned, and your marriage stays happy and blissful.

This also includes understanding what is important to your partner.

For example, if your partner values having enough insurance and you value your monthly fishing trips, there could be some tension building up if your partner starts questioning where all the money is going.

Know what being open and transparent about your priorities also solves?

It stops the blame game!

We’ve all done it.

Those late-night arguments of how you are spending so much money on “trivial” things while we cannot afford to pay the bills.

How you are spending so much time and money on “getaway” trips, yet you do not value what is important to me.

Take it from me: nip that $h!t in the bud right now!

All the blame game does is cause discord and resentment. The blame game erodes relationships and puts couples on opposite sides of a battle when they should be a united front.

To avoid this, keep the lines of communication open and talk about what you want to accomplish this year.

It’s what my wife and I do. We have a meeting at the beginning of the year to set our priorities and ensure our budget reflects those priorities.

Then every 3 months or so we sit down with the budget to see how things are going and if any course-correction is needed.

Believe me, a little communication goes a long way towards avoiding a knock down, drag out fight…. been there and done that! 😊

Avoiding the blame game won’t fix all your problems, but it a great start in the right direction.

Understand Your Partner’s Money Mindset

Everyone has their own approach to how they view money and sometimes viewpoints can clash which causes tension and conflict.

Don’t believe me? Let me tell you a story……

It’s about my wife and me.  

She was a staunch spender, and her mindset is that she will always be in debt so why bother worrying about it and just enjoy life?

I was a staunch saver because I had a scarcity mindset, hated debt, and never felt like I had enough.

Understanding Your Partner's Money Mindset

To say these 2 mindsets clashed is an understatement.

How did we manage to work together? We learned each other’s mindset and took away the best of each.

Understanding both my mindset and her mindset educated each of us not only on our partner’s thought process but our own as well.

We learned that both mindsets can be destructive in its own way as well as beneficial.

A scarcity mindset will attack debt and save for the future yet hates risk and “splurging” even if it offers other benefits not easily measured.

A spender mindset, while believing in abundance, constantly digs a financial hole and never thinks about how to avoid it or get out of it.

The end result was that combining the mindsets and focusing on the best of each made us enjoy life more, enabled us to be more financially responsible with less stress (Financial Zen’s motto! 😊) and improved our marriage to boot.

Now, we both took on an abundance mindset to produce more AND learned to keep saving for a rainy day.

In other words, we learned to enjoy life today while still planning for our future.

End result was we started enjoying our life again, accelerated debt payoff, quit fighting about money, and now actually enjoy talking about finances with each other.

A united front is a beautiful thing, isn’t it?

Accept Help

Money is connected to everything that can impact your marriage: stress, parenting, communication, even sex and intimacy can be impacted by money marriage issues.

If fighting over money has taken control of your marriage and are struggling to right-size your marital relationship, it’s ok to find help.

Don’t let your finances hijack your marriage, enlist a 3rd party to help you get back on track.

There are 2 logical routes to take to ask for help: marital counselor and financial planner.

You can try one or the other or both if you choose.

Let me tell you about my experience.

How To Learn To Accept Help

Many counselors we experienced followed a “cookie-cutter” approach that just didn’t fit our situation.

When we found the one marriage counselor that fit us, things were going well. Unfortunately, after awhile, we hit an impasse’.

We kept focusing the blame on each other, insisting the other person had to change, and not taking care of the marriage.

Because of this impasse’, we decided to stop counseling since it was causing more upset feelings towards each other.

A couple of years later, we decided to work with a financial planner who is fiduciary and took a 1-time payment. It was a game changer!

It was no longer me trying to convince my wife the financial path to take. We had a 3rd party surveying our financial situation and giving their honest assessment.

It enabled both me and my wife to accept our situation, make positive financial steps, improve our marital relationship, and accept the help being provided.

I’m glad we did it! 😊

There is also a 3rd field of interest opening up called financial therapy.

 Financial therapy is dedicated to helping couples navigate financial turmoil and may be a fit for you…..check it out!

Learn To Compromise

When it comes to marriage and finances, compromise is a valuable ally.

You and your spouse are probably different people with different values, mindsets, and experiences (Lord knows my wife and I are TOTALLY different people – opposite attract! Lol 😊).

That’s ok. There is strength in diversity if used correctly.

Learn to respect and appreciate each other’s differences and strengths.

The cold, hard fact is that you will never agree on everything, so compromise is essential for moving forward as a couple.

A strong, healthy, committed relationship requires give and take with both parties willing to give up something in order for the marriage to thrive.

What compromise really means is finding a solution that works for both of you.

A common hurdle for couples to work through is the saver / spender dilemma.

My wife and I are prime examples of this.

We found a compromise that works for us.

We built in a little buffer in the budget that we use as our allowance. It’s allowed to be spent any way each person chooses.

We also decided that my wife would own the food / gifts portion of our budget since she does most of the shopping for this. We take out an allotment each paycheck in cash and use it for that part of the budget. She spends it as she see fit.

Learning to compromise also means sharing control of a situation. This was a BIG lesson for us.

What was causing a lot of our strife was that my wife felt that I was being too controlling with the finances and she felt like she had no ability to make decisions.

By compromising on the finances, we found a way to share control of our financial life as well.

This arrangement has worked well for us and has prevented a lot of money arguments as well.


It’s no secret that fighting over money puts a strain on relationships and is one of the top causes for divorce.

While the prognosis seems grim, it doesn’t have to be.

If you follow the 5 steps discussed above, you can prevent money from destroying your relationship and be one of the success stories too.

A Happy, Successful Marriage

Both a healthy marriage and savvy money management will require teamwork, communication, and dedication.

Putting these 5 strategies in place should not only improve your finances, but your marriage too.

When you get on the same financial team, your marriage comes along for the ride too.

Remember, treat your spouse like you want to be treated: with dignity, love, and respect.

This may seem intuitive since this is why we all married in the first place, right?

Trust me, when tempers flare and heated arguments start, it EASY to forget this.

When things seem their worst, remember that a little love, respect, and attention can go a long way.

Food for thought……..


Live The Life You Love, Want, And Deserve! 😊


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