The two of you have so much in common!
You like the same films, you enjoy the same outdoor experiences, you always agree on restaurant choices and your physical relationship is thoroughly satisfying. However, there’s still an underlying uneasiness you feel about your situation, the source of which you can’t quite identify.
In many cases, when everything else is cool, but there’s something nagging in the background, it’s probably money. It’s entirely possible to be in love with someone with whom you are financially incompatible, and many couples experience money-related stress.
Here are some signs your relationship has money problems.
1. You Question One Another’s Purchase Decisions
People are, by and large, the products of their upbringing. You’re going to bump heads when it comes to money If one of you came from a family mentality of abundance, while the other grew up in a home where lack was a concern. In that instance, what one of you might see as a fun purchase the two of you can enjoy together, the other will see a needless frivolity.
2. One of You Feels the Need to Hide Purchases from the Other
“Astrid,” played by Gemma Chan in the film Crazy Rich Asians, is so self-conscious about her affluence she hides expensive purchases from her husband, even though she’s spending her family’s money — not his. Granted, this typically happens because one partner is buying things they know the family can’t afford in real life. However, the result is the same.
Money is at the root of their problems.
3. Discussing the Future Elicits Different Responses
Getting back to number one above, differing views of purchases typically arise from differing views on the nature of your future together. Maybe one of you is about having as much fun every day for as long as possible, while the other is more intent on sacrificing today’s “wants” to ensure tomorrow’s needs are covered. There will be significant disagreements if one of you is into instant gratification, while the other is all about securing the future.
4. One of You Has Hidden Debt
This society is full of contradictions. On the one hand, we’re told “more” is better and we should all strive to live the good life. On the other hand, we’re taught being indebted is bad; we should avoid it at all costs. But then, we’re bombarded with credit card ads saying the good life is just one flash of a Visa card away. It’s no wonder then that debt is an outsized problem in a consumption-driven society. Moreover, the taboo placed upon debt can easily lead one partner to keep it hidden from the other.
The good news is making adjustments to your household budget, settling debts through a company like Freedom Debt Relief, or a meeting with a credit counselor can help get things back on track — if you talk to each other about it.
5. Talking About Money Results in Arguments
Another of the financial contradictions in this society is the one about discussing money. It’s bad form to discuss salaries with your co-workers. Asking someone how much something nice they have cost is considered rude. People are literally more comfortable talking about politics, religion and race than money. Remarkably, one spouse cannot tell you exactly how much money the other one makes in one-third of American households. Here’s the thing, though: Not talking about money in a relationship leads to serious problems.
If you’re experiencing any of these issues, they are definitely signs your relationship has money problems. However, they don’t have to rule your relationship. The key to the solution is identifying those symptoms so you can discuss them and help one another find a cure.