How not to let money ruin your marriage

By Mike Aquino for Yahoo! Southeast Asia

You can’t expect to stay happily married if you and your spouse disagree about money. And as far as relationship conflicts go, money is a doozy: your attitude to money boils down to your fundamental beliefs about life, and money spats quickly become fights about deeper things. Not a few marriages have foundered on the rocks of money incompatibility.

Not all couples find themselves on the S.S. Moneyfight and headed for the rocks, though. Money incompatibility by itself is not an issue if you follow a few successful rules of thumb.

Keep communication channels open. “Money isn't the root cause of divorce, but failing to talk about money certainly is a leading cause of financial friction in a marriage,” writes Jeff D. Opdyke in his book, Love and Money: A Life Guide For Financial Success. “Talk about your money and your goals often and you won't have to worry about money derailing your life.”

Opdyke believes that both partners’ views on money should be a point of rational discussion even before the “I Dos” are said. "Your ultimate goal before walking down the aisle should be to map together your financial future over the short, intermediate and long term and to understand what's truly important to each of you over those periods,” explains Opdyke.

To this end, he suggests that both partners write lists of their financial goals and put both sets of goals on one sheet. With this list in hand, “You'll learn things about your partner you never knew and that puts his or her financial needs in perspective,” Opdyke says. “Your partner learns just as much about you. Such knowledge will allow both of you to more effectively manage each other's financial concerns, not just today but through the years ahead.”

Don’t sweat the big stuff. Spend your money on things that you both cherish—not just things that keep the clockwork of your lives chugging along. Natalie Jenkins finds that many couples make the mistake of trying to “handle” money decisions by putting off spending on “couple” time that’s just as valuable.

“Part of being financial partners is learning to handle all the events of life together—as a team,” writes Jenkins in her book You Paid How Much for That?: How to Win at Money Without Losing At Love. “At the same time, marriage is not a project; it is a relationship. Events will always happen.”

So if you need to get the roof repaired; do you then forget about having that date for a couple of months? Many couples do—“These couples will wake up one day and wonder where their life went,” says Jenkins. When these “events” crop up, advises Jenkins, “don’t try to stop them, and don’t try to handle all of them before you start living.”

Know the difference between “good” and “bad” debt. At the same time, you ought to be making sure you’re not digging yourselves into deeper debt just to keep the marriage chugging along. “The savviest couples recognize that debt should serve only one purpose: to help you and your spouse build a better life together—not a better lifestyle,” says Jeff Opdyke.

Opdyke cautions against unchecked debt, which “has the power ultimately to hack apart a relationship, leaving a trail of financial destruction and obligations you're both responsible for.” Debt, if well managed, can improve your family life without placing unnecessary burdens on the couple.

What does Opdyke consider to be “good” debt? “A mortgage on an affordable house; a loan on an affordable car.... In effect, good debt improves your life permanently.”


Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

Latest News

  • Russian superhighway could connect London to New York AFP Relax - Fri, Mar 27, 2015 1:24 AM PHT
    Russian superhighway could connect London to New York

    Russia has unveiled ambitious plans to build a superhighway that, in theory, could make it possible to drive from London on one end to New York on the other. According to a report by The Siberian Times, the head of Russian Railways is asking the government to seriously consider his project dubbed the Trans-Eurasian Belt Development, the first modern transportation corridor that would link up the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean. Plans call for the construction of a new high-speed railway and the …

  • What Everyone Gets Wrong At The Gym Realbuzz - Mon, Mar 23, 2015 5:00 PM PHT
    What Everyone Gets Wrong At The Gym

    Not seeing results for all your hard work at the gym? It could be down to these common pitfalls …

  • 8 Signs the Girl You’re Dating is Not the One 8list - Tue, Mar 24, 2015 8:25 AM PHT
    8 Signs the Girl You’re Dating is Not the One

    Neeext! …

  • White House unveils plan to fight antibiotic-resistant germs Associated Press - Sat, Mar 28, 2015 4:35 AM PHT
    White House unveils plan to fight antibiotic-resistant germs

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House on Friday announced a five-year plan to fight the threat posed by antibiotic-resistant bacteria amid fears that once-treatable germs could become deadly. …

  • Sierra Leoneans to stay home in final push to stop Ebola Associated Press - Sat, Mar 28, 2015 8:03 AM PHT
    Sierra Leoneans to stay home in final push to stop Ebola

    FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (AP) — Sierra Leone's 6 million people were told to stay home for three days beginning Friday, except for religious services, as the West African nation attempted a final push to rid itself of Ebola. …

  • Taking chicken from frozen to delicious in under 30 minutes Associated Press - Fri, Mar 27, 2015 9:27 PM PHT
    Taking chicken from frozen to delicious in under 30 minutes

    Despite its reputed speed at getting dinner done, the pressure cooker was slow to win me over. …

  • Trim the fat for happiness, says latest diet research AFP Relax - Thu, Mar 26, 2015 11:12 PM PHT
    Trim the fat for happiness, says latest diet research

    Diets high in fat can lead to not only weight gain and heart disease, but depression and behavior changes, according to a new study at Louisiana State University in the US. These changes come about due to the high-fat diet's affect on the gut microbiome, according to the study. They transferred the gut microbiota from mice that had been fed either a high-fat diet or a control diet into adult mice of normal weight that had been kept on a normal diet. Those who had received microbiota shaped …

  • 7 Health And Fitness Blogs To Read Before Summer Realbuzz - Tue, Mar 24, 2015 5:00 PM PHT
    7 Health And Fitness Blogs To Read Before Summer

    We find fitness inspiration from all corners of the Internet – social media, apps, expert articles. But one platform that’s really made an impact over the past decade is blogging. Personal accounts from health and fitness gurus are priceless. You get to hear genuine advice from ‘real’ people; people who are as excited, interested and passionate about the subject as you are. Rather then umming and ahhing, trying to decide whether that recipe’s really worth trying or if that new workout …


My New Year's resolution is to:

Poll Choice Options