How Does Money Affect a Relationship?

Money can cause friction between couples
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Romantics claim money can't buy love. Proving that, though, may not even be possible, since love is not as simple as arithmetic. What has been evident throughout human history, however, is that money does have a power to either make or break a relationship. Those who aren't driven by greed might believe financial matters will never stand between them and their partner, but sometimes that turns out to be wrong.

Money and Satisfaction

A research study by the Texas Tech University suggests that economic hardship evidently has negative effects on marriages. Couples with extreme financial stress tend to have lower levels of satisfaction in their relationships. Emotionally strained by their financial struggle, some people become more hostile, irritable or uncommunicative toward their spouse. Many couples even point fingers at one another for their financial downfall. This is not to say, however, that low-income couples are doomed to have less successful relationships than millionaires. With constructive communication and compromise, a financially challenged couple can save their relationship and thrive through their financial crisis together.

Spending Habits

When a couple shares the same attitude toward money, their relationship tends to thrive. If a penny-pincher pairs up with a spendthrift, however, it's a match made in hell. The miser may always sigh at the sight of his improvident partner's shopping bags, whereas the squanderer can't help but think her financially prudent lover is such a bore. When faced by this issue, the couple needs to have a serious conversation and try to establish their shared financial goals instead of allowing friction to build up over time.

Money and Communication

Money is a touchy topic to discuss. Many couples find it difficult to talk about their financial disagreements in a calm and open-minded manner. Even a small problem, such as an unpaid phone bill, can sometimes lead to a vicious shouting match. What many people often fail to recognize is that money isn't only a tangible matter but also carries emotional weight. According to Dr. Terri Orbuch, a professor of sociology at Oakland University, financial arguments between a couple are not always about the money itself but may have more to do with deeper issues, such as self-esteem and control.

Money Sharing

Many committed couples share their income and split their expenses. While this financial strategy may sound optimistic, it could also entangle a couple in a web of conflicts and ultimately wreck their relationship. For example, a wife may be driven to the brink of insanity after learning that her husband has drained their joint account and spent the money on a luxurious car instead of kitchen remodeling. Some people may feel it is unfair that they have to work long hours just to see their unemployed partner spend their money like a drunken sailor. To maintain a healthy relationship, couples who share their wealth should work together to create a budget, set up specific spending rules and always consult each other before any major purchase.

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