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  • Writer's pictureRMTC Team

Managing Financial Stress in Relationships



Collecting money

Financial stress and money woes are a leading source of stress in relationships, and leaving these issues unaddressed isn’t going to solve the problem.  

“Money problems in a relationship can be a symptom of deeper issues such as

communication breakdowns and value differences between partners,” says Carling Mashinter, MSc., RP. “Addressing financial concerns with your partner can take you on a significant healing path; a path than can lead you to an even stronger, more secure bond with one another.”  


What Makes Money a Conflict Culprit?  


When we have disagreements about finances in our relationship, often that isn’t the actual issue. Yes, financial stress contributes to some of these arguments. After all, not having enough to get by or consistently facing increased costs is stressful. But, oftentimes, there is something else at the root of the problem.  


  1. Free Spending vs Penny Pinching 

If one partner is apt to drop dollars more frivolously than another, this can create tension and animosity between partners. Not only can this be frustrating for the partner, but can be frustrating for you too!


  1. Sharing the Load 

Relationships that see one partner taking on most of the financial responsibilities may experience tension, particularly if the more passive partner takes an “ignorance is bliss” approach. Sticking their head in the sand about household spending and budget can put undue stress on the partner who shoulders the responsibility. What’s more, in relationships where finances remain separate, with individual bank accounts, lack of transparency can lead to a lack of trust in the relationship. 


  1. When Opposites (Don’t) Attract 

The adage may ring true for many parts of a relationship, but finances are one piece that benefits more when partners are aligned with each other. Financial values are established from an early age and are something we bring with us into relationships. Partners lacking shared values may struggle to get on the same page with financial goals and habits, leading to disagreements more often.  

 

How Can We Reduce Stress About Money? 


  1. Money Talks 

And so should you! Without clear and consistent communication around your relationship finances, there’s no way to know if you and your partner(s) are on the same page.  

“Respect, compassion, and curiosity are three ingredients to healthy communication – especially when chatting about a vulnerable topic. Apply these ingredients with a dose of remembering that you’re on the same team,” says Mashinter, MSc., RP. 

 

  1. Try Practicing “Loud Budgeting” 

The days of keeping money talk private appear to be going by the wayside. Gaining popularity on Tik Tok, if you haven’t heard about this self-care tactic yet, you’ve likely seen folks using it in your personal life. Quite simply, “loud budgeting” is being vocal about where you do and don’t want to spend your money. It’s about unabashed, unapologetic, and uninhibited spending choices – whether you want to shell out the dough or just don’t think something is worth your hard-earned cash. Embracing this strategy along with your partner(s) can be empowering for the individuals involved and it puts you on the same team as you make financial decisions together, focusing on what your priorities together.  

 

  1. Make it Fun! 

“Why does talking about money have to be so serious?” asks Mashinter. “Why not ask your partner out on a date to your favourite restaurant and explore one another’s perspectives over a delicious meal?”  

Practice talking about money as a connecting experience with your partner. If you‘re not sure where to start, get some guidance. Along with Sarah Gage of ‘Wealth Confidence Coaching’, Mashinter offers a Financial Wellness Webinar busting the myth of boring budgets to unlock financial freedom and mental wellbeing. One of the things Mashinter mentions in this workshop is that you can think about financial discussions as a “sexy” topic; one that will help you get to know your partner better.  


Get creative! Consider how you can have financial discussions with your sweetie on a hot date! 


If you’re interested in finding out more about the Financial Wellness Webinar or booking an appointment with any one of the therapists at Relationship Matters, you may contact us via email at admin@relationshipmatterstherapy.com, or by phone at (226) 894-4112. 

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