As published in the February 2019 edition of Woman Entrepreneur magazine.
Remarks like ‘I want to get married to somebody rich’ or ‘I will marry for love and not for money’ are often uttered. As a matter of fact many people end up doing exactly that. In reality it will be difficult to divorce the two concepts of love and money within a relationship. Money does impact on relationships. Sometimes the impact is positive, but sometimes the impact is negative. Money can cause a lot of friction within a relationship. Both having too much money as well as a lack of money can impact negatively on a relationship. Several marriages end up in divorce as a result of money.
The lack of money can cause serious trouble within any relationship and often love is not enough to carry a couple through the uphill battles of trying to raise children, paying the bills and trying to survive. Another money challenge, potentially causing even more friction than not having money, transpires where couples do have money, but they have totally different views about money.
People’s views about money and how they treat money are to a great extent formed during their childhood. What parents teach children about money and the experience of having money or not having money during childhood years plays a big role in how people react towards money when they are grown-up. Beliefs and values, thinking patterns, emotions as well as life experiences also play a role in people’s behaviour towards money.
Partners having different views about money and the value they attach to money will definitely result in friction and often financial stress too. One partner might be selfish or treat money with respect while the other partner might be a big spender. One partner might be conservative by nature when it comes to investments while the other partner is an opportunist and will jump at any money making scheme often ending up losing hard-earned money. While one partner might be comfortable living in an average neighbourhood, driving an average car and going to the beach for holiday; the other partner might consider driving expensive cars, sending the kids to private schools and splashing out on overseas trips and luxuries as a necessity. Do you recognise some of these scenarios in your relationship?
Partners having different earning brackets can also result in tension. These days more and more women are becoming financially independent and even earning more than their male partners. Financial independence is a necessity for women nowadays and is definitely something every woman should work towards. However it can put a lot of strain on your relationship if your partner doesn’t like the fact that he is not the main provider. These type of scenarios should be openly discussed between partners.
Money does impact on relationships and can often supersede love if the problem is not resolved in a mutually agreeable manner. The best solution for couples is to talk about money. Make an effort to understand why your partner is behaving in a certain way and also why you are behaving in a certain way when it comes to money matters. Discuss these different behaving patterns and how it impacts on the relationship and your financial wellbeing. Raise potential concerns when it occurs and don’t wait until it has evolved into a serious issue. Sit together to do financial planning. Involve each other when making financial decisions that will affect the family. Set financial goals that the whole family can relate to and buy into. Finally get everybody on the same bus on your journey towards financial wellness.
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