Friday, 22 February 2013

'Til debt do us part

During the courting stage of a relationship we are often impressed when our partner flashes the cash. However, this can quickly change as responsibilities grow and our finances become shared. Money troubles can create extreme stress in a relationship and, in the current economic climate, they are becoming an increasingly common cause of divorce.

The key to dealing with money troubles is honesty. Trying to hide your spending will not solve the problem, but will result in your partner feeling betrayed. Talk openly with them and explain exactly how much money has gone. Anger may be your automatic reaction if your partner has overspent, but try and remain calm so you can work together to find a solution.

If you earn significantly more than your partner it can be easy to blame them for any financial troubles. But it is very important not to use money as a weapon. If you have agreed to share your finances then you must not regard money as 'mine' or 'yours'. Ensure you both fully understand your financial state so one partner does not overspend. If your partner's spending becomes excessive, talk about it calmly, but be careful not to accuse.

We have all been guilty of spending money to make ourselves feel better after a tough day at work or an argument with our partner. However, this behaviour can quickly spiral out of control and eat into our finances. Emotional problems cannot be solved with money so try get to the root cause of your or your partner’s spending. Understanding why you feel the need to spend money can lead you both to a solution and improve your relationship.

Finally, if you have found yourselves in financial difficulty, it isn’t the end of the world. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and make sure you deal with the problem head on. Use the opportunity to spend quality time with your partner without the distractions that money brings: cook meals together rather than going out, go for walks rather than shopping or just watch a film at home rather than going to the cinema. As long as you are honest with each other and open to solutions then you will get through your money troubles and will hopefully emerge a stronger couple.

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