How Can Money Affect Your Relationship?

Money can’t buy love, but it certainly can lead to relationship problems. Financial stress can lead to a number of issues, so it is crucial to stay aware of its potential impact. Let’s discuss six money issues you may face in your relationships.

No. 1: Financial Infidelity

Money is a difficult topic on its own, but when one partner hides incomes and expenses from another partner, it can ruin a relationship. Keeping conversations open and honest with your partner when it comes to incomes and expenses will prevent financial infidelity and allow you to be financially naked with one another. It will also help to reinforce your trust in one another.

No. 2: Debt

The average American has a certain level of debt. Some of the common debts we see are student loans, credit card debt, or gambling. Being honest with one another about debt will help make sure your partner never feels blindsided by your financial obligations. You may have to craft a plan for paying off and acquiring more debt, but what’s important is that you are open and honest with your partner.

No. 3: Spending Habits

We all have different views of money, but penny pinchers and big spenders are probably going to clash in a relationship. If spending habits are affecting your relationship, it is critical to have an open and honest discussion with your partner regarding each of your feelings and attitudes towards money and spending.

No. 4: Power Plays (Though they may be unintentional)

There may be some power dynamics at play in your relationship when it comes to finances. If one partner earns more, they may try to control the other partner’s spending habits. But try not to fall into this trap. You’re on a team together and you share the responsibility of managing your money. It is important to remember that even though one partner may make more money individually, the money of the marriage is managed by the partnership.

No. 5: Children

If you are thinking about having children or already have some, remember that having children is expensive. Your kids will each have their own medical, educational, and recreational expenses that you as the parents will be responsible for. You and your partner should discuss how children will affect your lifestyle, marriage dynamics, and expectations about retirement. 

No. 6: Extended Family

Issues with extended family and money often go hand-in-hand. You may take issue with how your partner gives money to their family or takes care of family members in need. Or maybe your partner takes issue with how you care for your family and friends in need. It is important that partners remain open an empathetic to the reasons why one may share their finances with close relatives in need.

Money Isn't Just a Number

Money is more important than just the number you see when you log into your bank accounts. It is a reflection of goals, values, and hard-work. Whenever you discuss finances with your partner, remember that it can carry an emotional weight. Fights about money tend to indicate a lack of communication, not a moral failing. That being said, sometimes money issues are not fixable. Couples divorce over money issues all the time, but sometimes financial issues show a greater degree of incompatibility than anything else.


So, if your relationship isn’t working out, don’t blame yourself. Also be sure to pay attention to the warning signs of incompatibility early on in your potential relationships to understand how you and your partner view money and spending habits. 


If you find that you and your partner are fighting over money, and you want a prenuptial/postnuptial agreement, or are ready for a divorce, schedule your consultation with Douglas Family Law Group, PLLC today. You can reach us at 914.615.9058. Our mission is to protect what’s most important to you.

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