Money is a major source of conflict in many relationships. Disagreements and awkwardness can become even more intense when you make significantly more or less than your partner.
The situation is becoming more common in the aftermath of the pandemic. While some recessions spread their losses around equally, COVID-19 widened the gap between rich and poor.
How can you keep finances from knocking your relationship out of balance? Study these modern rules for handling income inequalities.
Tips for Couples on Handling Money:
- Accept yourself. You might feel guilty for having more than your partner or resentful because they bring home less money. It’s easier to keep your perspective if you have a healthy self-image.
- Recognize different contributions. There are many valuable ways to invest in your relationship and give back to society. Pay attention to the non-monetary things that you and your partner supply. Maybe you do the greater share of chores and child-rearing, even if you make less money.
- Communicate openly. Talk about your values and expectations. Money can stir up strong emotions and involve deep-rooted habits. Listen to each other and search for common ground.
- Spend transparently. Ensure that your actions match your words. Are you hiding credit card bills or other debts? Avoid keeping secrets and let your partner know about circumstances that affect them too.
- Share power. Money can be especially divisive if it’s used as a weapon for controlling others. Treat your partner with respect and collaborate on important decisions.
- Make a budget. Prevent friction by agreeing on basic rules and establishing routines. Decide in advance how you’re going to allocate your money. It may also help you to spend, save, and invest more wisely.
- Pool your resources. You can have a happy marriage and separate bank accounts. On the other hand, life might be simpler if you feel comfortable commingling your money. It can give you a greater sense of unity and accountability.
- Express appreciation. Ensure that your partner knows how much you value them. Show your gratitude on a regular basis.
Tips for Couples on Reducing Stress:
- Support each other. Money will probably be less of an issue if you can make your relationship more harmonious overall. Happy couples look for ways to help each other, even when their partner is unaware of their efforts.
- Work out. Exercise is a great way to relax and stay fit. Buy a dual or family membership at your local gym and use it regularly. Find activities you both enjoy and can do together.
- Get a hobby. Enriching pastimes are more effective than watching TV when you’re trying to unwind. Practice playing a musical instrument or plant a vegetable garden.
- Take time for quiet reflection each day. A few minutes of reflection can calm your thoughts and sharpen your concentration. If you’re uncomfortable sitting quietly, walk around or try other relaxation practices.
- Set boundaries. Many conflicts can be avoided if you understand healthy limits. Let your partner know how you wish to be treated and be consistent about your expectations.
- Renew your commitment. It’s natural to be concerned about money because it has a big impact on our welfare. However, if you’re in a long-term relationship, you can help each other to feel more secure. Make your relationship a priority and set goals that help you to keep growing as individuals and as a couple.
Relationships take work, but your efforts can help you overcome the differences in your bank accounts. Value each other and work as a team, so you can build a loving and lasting connection.