5 Tips for a Happy Money Relationship
MONEY STRATEGIES FOR A HEALTHIER RELATIONSHIP
A Special Series from Dr. Terri Orbuch, Ph.D.
This month we are excited to share advice for couples on a variety of money topics from trusted relationship expert Dr. Terri Orbuch. Check back each Thursday for the rest of June to read her expert posts.
While money is always welcome in our bank accounts, it is not always a welcome subject matter to those in a relationship. My research has found that in the early years of a relationship, money is the number one source of conflict*. Even if you have been in a relationship for a long time, money problems do not disappear. Money is such a hot-button topic in a relationship that 49% of those who divorce and repartner/remarry still worry that money will become a major issue in the household*. Read my top five strategies below to maintain a happy money relationship with your partner:
1. Don’t Let Finances Come Between You
Too often, disagreements about finances have little to do with the money itself and more to do with other issues within the relationship. When a financial issue comes up, ask yourself: Is it really a money problem or is it a relationship problem? Think carefully as you discuss money issues with your partner to make sure there isn’t a larger problem at the core.
2. Share Responsibility
It is not unusual for one partner to play the primary role in managing the finances, but it is vital that both partners be involved and share in the responsibility. Studies show that couples have less conflict when they share (or consult one another) in all big financial decisions. Before you decide to make a major purchase by yourself, take a step back and pause the impulse. It is a good idea to decide on big spending decisions together as a couple.
3. Focus on Smart Saving
Studies show that being financially responsible (or saving smart) can increase the romantic desire between you and your partner. People who focus on saving smart are seen as more desirable and attractive, than those who spend excessively, because savers are viewed as responsible, trustworthy, and more committed to the relationship.
4. Resolve Money Conflict
Disagreements about money are inevitable in romantic relationships. But women are happier in their relationships (and feel more attraction to their partners) when they feel the disagreements have been resolved well. Men should make an effort to be kind and offer support during difficult money conversations, with the goal to end conflicts on a positive note and make sure their partner feels comfortable with the resolution.
5. Keep Things Exciting and New
It is very common for a relationship to fall into a rut. It becomes routine and humdrum, and partners start feeling as though they are missing all the good things that make relationships exciting. Reignite the excitement in your relationship by trying novel or surprising things together as a couple like a different cuisine. Take advantage of great Valpak offers for activities you can both try for the first time such as amusement park tickets, or quaint local restaurants.
*Terri L. Orbuch, The Early Years of Marriage Project. University of Michigan, Institute for Social Research. Supported by a grant from NICHD (HD40778).
Dr. Terri Orbuch, Ph.D. (also known as The Love Doctor®) is a trusted relationship expert, author, professor and therapist. She is the director of a landmark study called “The Early Years of Marriage Project,” funded by the National Institutes of Health, and author of five books including “5 Simple Steps to Take Your Marriage from Good to Great” (Random House).