Marriage research has listed finances as one of the top three reasons couples get into trouble. Couples who begin to struggle with money issues are having problems at a deeper level than the cost of the items.
Money is symbolic in our culture, and it symbolizes values, goals, and what each person prioritizes. Therefore, attacks regarding money become attacks of basic values, which have a tendency to insult the spouse's family as well as the spouse.
Happy couples argue about money too, but money problems with unhappy couples lead to heated disputes.
In a book titled, "For Better: the Science of a Good Marriage," a simple quiz helps you understand how you compare to other couples. Respond yes or no, giving careful thought to the question. The answers you get will give you something to talk about with your spouse on date nights.
It may interest you that happy couples agree on at least four of the statements. According to Tara Parker-Pope, the author of the book, if couples disagree with three or more of the statements, they are more likely to score low on marital happiness tests.
In a national survey, happy couples who took the above test scored like this:
Whereas, unhappy couples scored like this:
How we manage our money is an aspect of marriage we can all work on and be successful. As you take the quiz, make sure you take the time to talk to your partner. Try not to lecture them, but rather discuss the areas you both feel could benefit from changes.
Below are a few suggestions to help you get started:
Taking steps now can prevent your marriage from struggling with money. So many conflicts can cause distress within a marriage. Money does not have to be one of them.
On the Web:
Mary Jo Rapini -- http://www.maryjorapini.com/