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January 26, 2016, 8:18 AM

6 Reasons Why Married Couples Fight About Money

 

One of the greatest causes of marital disagreement is money. According to survey results from Fidelity, 51% of couples admitted to arguing either frequently or occasionally about their finances. So why do we do this? Why do these conversations get so heated? Here are 6 reasons why you may find yourself arguing with your spouse about money:

1). Different financial personalities. Are you a spender, or are you a saver? What about your spouse? More than likely, your financial personality differs from your spouse. While the difference in personality may provide some balance to your financial decision-making, it will also create conflict.

2). Different financial goals. You would like to pay for your kids’ college. Your spouse would like to pay off the mortgage. You both are passionate about your goal, but you cannot do both at the same time. The lack of consensus creates tension anytime tuition or a mortgage payment is due.

3). Different financial histories. You grew up having little. Your spouse grew up having plenty. Therefore, you find yourself more cautious with money than your spouse. Your prior experience with money shapes your financial preferences, and can create a perspective on money that differs from your spouse.

4). Different bank accounts. This is a big one. I am always concerned when I here that married couples have separate accounts. When God created marriage, He intended it to be an all-in deal. For married couples, joint bank accounts communicate trust, transparency, and commitment. Separate accounts communicate the opposite.

5). Different reactions to financial troubles. Perhaps pointing your fingers at others is your thing. You just blame whoever is sitting closest to you at the time for your woes. Your spouse suppresses their emotions until they can do it no longer, and then there is an explosion of emotions. It is likely you have or will face financial troubles in your life. A job is lost. A medical bill appears in the mail. The economy plummets. When faced with financial turmoil, differing reactions to the situation can prompt arguments.

 

6). A lack of perspective. All of us can lose perspective. And when financial turmoil strikes, it can seem as if it is the only thing that matters in life. We become obsessed with it. This loss of perspective can injure our walk with God and our marriage, inevitably leading to a fight.
 

For a variety of reasons, money can create arguments among married couples. Different financial personalities, goals, histories, accounts, reactions to financial troubles, and a lack of perspective can prompt marital fights.

However, financial matters do not have to bring division to a marriage, but can serve as a point of unification.

 

Written by Art Rainer. Art serves as the Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

 

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