5 ways money wrecks a relationship

Joe Vesey-Byrne
Sunday 25 September 2016 09:30

Money worries can ruin your relationship, whether you don't earn enough or one of you earns more than the other and it becomes a point of tension.

According to Dr. Terry Orbuch, an author and professor writing for Psychology Today, seven out of ten couples report that money causes friction in their relationship.

The reverse is also true. According to a poll of 1,000 people by Time, couples who are in sync on financial issues generally feel more secure, argue less about money and have better sex lives.

1. Insecurity

According to Kate Levinson, writing in Forbes, one of the ways that money can cause problems is through associated insecurity.

Unfortunately, we don’t like to acknowledge that money influences our intimate relationships—it’s like a hidden operating system whose presence is undetected, but has the potential to influence everything.

An income gap between partners can breed insecurity, and create bitterness or a lack of self worth in one half of the relationship.

The partner earning less may overcompensate in other duties, or else worry about their own finances in the case that the relationship ends.

Levinson advises treating this problem head on, addressing insecurities and avoiding making unilateral decisions about finances, either as the higher earner or the less earner.

2. Stress

Stress concerning money effects men and women equally. A poll for the American Psycological Association found that 67 per cent men and 66 per cent of women rate money as significant sources of stress.

As such relationships feel that strain. The stress can make you less attentive, and generally meaner, but also have physical effects such as lowering libido, lowering hormone levels, and erectile dysfunction.


3. Burdening

According to the author Deborah Price, Breadwinners can feel burdened and resentful, especially if they are paying all of the bills.

They can also feel guilty, and then feel resentful, because they feel if they end the relationship they will also be responsible for ruining the finances of their more dependent partner.

4. Secrets

In a survey for Time which compared the attitudes to money held by millenials and baby boomers, $154 USD (£118.19 (GBP) was found to be the amount a person felt they could spend before they had to inform their partner about it. This was the average of the maximum amounts that survey respondents disclosed.

Keeping secrets becomes a problem, especially if you feel like you'll be judged by your partner.

Having a separate account is sometimes sensible for financial independence. It's a problem if you can't tell your partner that it exists.

5. Judging.

Regardless of whether you earn more or less than one another, couples should not viewing money behaviours as hard and fast character traits.

Discussions about spending or other money habits should stay specific about the money concerned. Psychologist and author Andrea Bonier writing for Psychology Today warns against extrapolating from a money issue to define a person, or relate it to other problems in a relationship.

Keep finances about finances, in short.