Why do couples argue about money?

Couples Argue About Money

Here are the top 10 reasons why couples argue about money in a relationship.

One of the most common complaints from couples argue about money. Constant arguing is also one of the leading causes of relationships breaking down. Money is integral to our lives; we can’t survive without it. It is our emotional response to money that is key. Even though money can’t buy us happiness, not having enough of it can cause difficulties. 

As a therapist working with couples in crisis, I find that all relationships struggle with these same challenges. However, if we can conquer most of these, we have a much better chance of living a life of contentment and happiness.  

1. We are all different.

 There are so many factors that influence how we feel about money. Let’s say you are either a spender or a saver to make it easy. You have your money personality. Some people never even give money a second thought and like to live minimally, while others love to shop and enjoy bargain-hunting. We must be willing to compromise and understand our partner’s needs if we want a harmonious relationship.  

2. The Need for Control 

Some of us have more controlling personalities than others. As a result, we find it hard to trust others. We need to know things are done in a specific way to feel safe and secure. If you’re in a relationship where both people want to control the finances but have different ideas of how that looks, it can cause conflict.   

3. Poor communication.  

Sometimes it just comes down to how you communicate about money. For example, when we feel emotional about money, we might act defensively, and when one person is defensive, the other can feel judged or criticised. Conflict arises when we make assumptions.  

4. Different money role models. 

Your early childhood experiences significantly affect how you feel about money as an adult. For example, did your parents have financial difficulties and argue about money? Your history can trigger you to respond when your partner is a spender. Ask yourself, are you repeating what your parents did?  

5. Dishonest and secretive behaviour.

Suppose one party is often secretive and even lies about how and where they spend money. In that case, it can make it hard to stick to a budget, which can end up causing problems eventually. So, if you or your spouse is being secretive about money, this must be dealt with immediately.  

6. Different Money Values  

One person’s value is not always another’s. For example, each person values money differently. On the other hand, one person may love fine art, while the other likes to save money and spend on experiences.   

7. Incompatible Saving Habits 

If one of you is a good saver and the other can’t stick to the budget, this can mess up the savings plans and cause conflicts in the relationship. In this case, the saver needs to understand they can’t be controlling, but the spender needs to be more realistic and careful.  

9. Income Earning Differences

It can be challenging if one person earns substantially more than the other. One of the best solutions for this situation, if it’s realistic in your circumstance, is to let each person pay for bills based on the percentage of total income they earn. Each person must have some money allotted for their spending needs, even if one person makes far less. In addition, we need to show appreciation for the contribution made by both parties; if one earns more, the other shouldn’t feel less worthy.  

10. Conflicting Values 

One person likes decorating the house with new things, and the other likes buying used ones. One wants to recycle, and the other doesn’t. One likes to buy experiences the other would prefer to spend on their home. These problems can arise in any relationship resulting in fights over money. Once again, we need to be willing to compromise.  

Suppose you are struggling with your relationship and constantly arguing, don’t wait until things reach a crisis point to find help resolving your issues. The earlier you address the problems, the less chance there is for unhappiness and escalation. Contact me today.  

Read about building communication in your relationship here.