How Couples Can Manage Their Money and Avoid Conflicts

couple leaning on wall

Whether you are newlyweds or married for 20 years, money problems can be a significant relationship killer. Having a prenuptial agreement is not a guarantee that you won’t have financial conflicts with your spouse. Luckily, conflict resolution in relationships is not complicated if both parties are willing to iron out their differences. Here’s what you can do to eliminate the financial crisis in your marriage.

1.     Talk about Money

According to a survey by Ramsey Solutions, couples who say they are happy in their marriage are twice as likely to discuss financial matters as those in crisis. That is why you should have weekly or monthly sit-downs with your partner to talk about budgeting, paying bills, and goals.

Establish ground rules so that your discussions don’t turn into fights or arguments. Check out these suggestions to guide your porno conversations:

·         Commit to working as a team

Even if you run separate accounts, remember that you are in a union, so you should have common interests and goals. Achieving your plans is easier when you cooperate.

·         Commit to listening

Instead of focusing on explaining your point, work on listening and understanding your partner’s concerns. When you listen to each other, you will communicate better.

·         Commit to transparency

Maintaining openness with your partner can be scary because of fearing what they will think of you. However, lies and omitting vital details will only erode trust and prevent you from growing.

2.     Appreciate Your Different Personalities

man in black shirt wearing silver ring

Everyone’s money mindset varies, and opposites usually attract. The chances are that one of you is a nerd and loves working with numbers, while the other is free-spirited and doesn’t like being tied down by numbers. If you are a saver, your partner might be a spender. Although personality differences often cause conflicts, it’s not the actual cause of money problems. Recognize your partner’s differences and then give feedback, encouragement, and positive criticism.

3.     Be Open About Your Earnings

Harboring secrets is a surefire way of creating financial conflicts in your marriage. Be open about how much you make, your savings, and your debts. If you are uncomfortable communicating verbally about this, you can write them a note. Don’t forget to talk about your history with money too.

4.     Share Your Dreams and Goals

If you want to have a successful financial plan as a couple, you should open up about your hopes, goals, and dreams. While you should have individual ambitions, having a shared goal makes your life a couple more interesting. An example of a personal plan is going back to school, while a shared one is buying a home or traveling together after retirement.  

5.     Choose a Fair Payment Plan

man and woman standing in front of sink

Now that you are an open book regarding your financial status and plans, you can now share roles. Not every strategy will be a 50/50 split because you don’t all have the same income. First, make a budget and then consider how much each partner earns. You can then decide who will take care of what bill. Remember to budget for your goals.

As your lives change, so does your financial situation. Always revisit your plan and make necessary adjustments—all the best and cheers to a happy relationship.

Is Living Together Before Marriage Linked to Divorce?

So, you met the love of your life – your soul mate. You are deeply in love and thinking about cohabiting before marriage. Is this a good idea? Let’s explore some facts.

man and woman kissing inside kitchen

Several decades ago, living together before getting hitched was a taboo. Nowadays, many couples are choosing to live with their significant other before committing. Between 1965 and 1974, only 11% of women cohabited with their partners before marriage. The number has risen significantly to 69% between 2010 and 2013.  However, recent studies are out to discourage this trend of porno.

Theories Associated With Living Together Before Marriage

There are 3 major theories explaining the impact of living together before getting hitched. Here is a summary of the theories.

1.      Inertia Effect

Engaged couples should beware of the inertia effect. In this case, couples who live together before engagement have a higher risk for divorce. On the other side, cohabiting after divorce doesn’t significantly impact the chances of separation.

The theory shows that couples who live together before their engagement might have entered a commitment level before ensuring that their goals align. Therefore, this puts them at a higher risk of divorce or marital dissatisfaction.

To establish this theory, a study was conducted in the US, involving 1,050 married women and men between 18 and 34. It established that:

  • 43% of the participants who lived together before their engagement had lower marital satisfaction and were likelier to get divorced than the 16% who cohabited after getting engaged.
  • 18.7% who cohabited before engagement suggested getting separated or divorced at some point in their marriage, compared to 10.2% who didn’t live together before getting hitched.
  • 12.3% of those who cohabited after engagement suggested divorce at some point in their union.  

2.      Sliding vs. Deciding

sitting woman leaning on man's shoulder facing lake during golden hour

The theory deals with how couples commit to the relationship. Some plan on being together after evaluating their compatibility. Others “slide” into the next stage because of the inconvenience of breaking up.

A study involving 1,300 people in opposite-sex relationships in the US concluded that:

  • 70% of the couples lived together before tying the knot.
  • 40% of the partners cohabited in their past relationships.
  • Those among the 40% who married the subsequent partners who they had lived with before marriage reported low levels of marital quality

Many of the couples who had cohabited before marriage said it just happened, thus indicating a “slide” into commitment. Couples who planned on moving in together after establishing that their future goals were aligning reported higher marital satisfaction levels.

3.      The Experience Of Cohabiting Changes Things

In an older study, the researchers concluded that living together before marriage changes marriage and divorce perspectives. It might even lower esteem for marriage, thus making divorce seem acceptable.

The findings are consistent with many psychology studies showing that attitudes are directly related to behavior. In other words, you might change your beliefs to suit your behavior.

adult and girl holding forever scrabble letters during daytime

Should You Live With Your Partner Before Marriage?

The answer is yes and no. Several factors can lead to divorce. However, the findings show that couples should have an honest and transparent conversation before cohabiting. Couples who live together seem to have a better outcome when they make a clear commitment to each other. So, the decision on whether to cohabit lies with you as a couple.

You Get What You Pay For: The Reality of Cohabitation and De Facto Unions

Relationships of cohabitation have soared over the past decade, not only in the US, but around the world. Today between, 50% to 80% of couples coming for marriage in first world countries are living together before marriage (Markey 1999:3). More and more frequently, cohabitation is becoming a permanent way of carrying on a relationship, as opposed to a prior step towards getting married. Many de facto unions are formed without either of the partners seeing marriage on the horizon. Alternatives to Marriage, a US based association which advocates social recognition of de facto unions and offers tips for happy cohabiting, sympathizes with those who “would rather walk off a cliff than walk down the aisle.”

Nowadays the distinction between de facto unions and married couples is becoming more and more blurred, especially in countries where “de factos” have been given civil status. However, for as similar as the two living arrangements may seem (bed and board included), there is one difference that sets them worlds apart: commitment. Marriage has it, cohabitation does not; it’s that clear and it’s that simple.

When a man and woman marry, they make a public contract to form a new society together. They are now Mr. and Mrs. Jones, and when they fill out the forms at the doctor’s office, they will have to put their check mark in a different box when asked for their civil status. To say that marriage is an “institution” may make a person cringe (because of the negative connotation associate with this word), but that doesn’t make it any less true. Marriage is a social entity which has certain properties, commitments and responsibilities that define it as such and which, after having been freely and publicly assumed by the spouses, have a juridical value. What before was a choice has now become an obligation.

Why is this important? Why does public commitment make any difference? Isn’t it love that matters? Absolutely, but marriage, simultaneously speaking has nothing to do with love and everything to do with love, that’s why without commitment neither marriage, nor true love are possible.

Running the risk of being misinterpreted, love is not an essential characteristic of marriage, nor is it a pre-requisite. The local Justice of the Peace does not ask the bride and groom if they love each other; he asks them if they want to marry each other. A man and a woman are fully capable of assuming the rights and responsibilities proper to sex videos marriage, and the commitments these imply on a social and individual level without “love” ever entering into the picture. Unlikely, but probable; sad, but in certain cases, true. On the contrary, two people may love each other with burning passion, yet if they don’t publicly commit themselves to a life of mutual, total and exclusive union (i.e. marriage), they will never be man and wife.

But commitment for commitment’s is neither attractive nor, in most situations, advisable. The marriage commitment has everything to do with love. The decision to marry is inspired by love, accepted in love, and lived out in love. The gifts we bestow on newlyweds are but a shadow of the gift they have given to each other: the gift of self. In marriage the spouses make an exchange of persons: I belong totally to you, you belong totally to me. The two become one entity: socially, physically and juridically. Being someone’s spouse as opposed to their friend or live-in partner gives exclusive privileges because of the exclusive commitment made. The intensity and the totality of this commitment explains why married couples enjoy certain rights not shared by singles, for example: the right to adopt, the right to take medical decisions for their spouse in event of an emergency. With every right comes a responsibility and with every privilege a duty. There are those who view marriage as a “class struggle” relationship—who will dominate and who will come out on top? But those who think this way are more, often than not, single. Perhaps they even tried marriage once, twice or six times—if in each attempt they fought for power, then it’s no wonder the marriage failed and they were left with a sour image of it. Marriage isn’t about fighting to retain the upper hand; it’s about mutually giving in, not wanting to fight and not wanting to retain anything. It’s about understanding that one’s spouse, just like the children you make with him, is a gift and a responsibility. In making the commitment to marry, a man and a woman promise to love and treat each other as such, even when they might prefer to do otherwise.

But what happens in a de facto union? No formal commitment has been made, not between the partners, not before the civil authority. There are no duties, there are no responsibilities, there are no commitments, at least none that are juridically binding. It is essentially a walk-in walk-out relationship, and there is no obligation that it be otherwise. Contrary to marriage, the “two remain two”, deciding if, when, and how much of their person and their goods they are willing to share (always with the possibility of taking them back should the relationship go bad). Contrary to marriage, upon which the spouses enter with the intention of “till death do us part,” the de facto union rests on the presupposition of “till I’m tired of the situation.” How romantic.

Love demands life long commitment because love demands a total and exclusive gift of self. Love needs commitment because sooner or later the temptation arises to take back the gift. In marriage, the spouses decide to commit to each other regardless of circumstances. In de facto unions, the partners decide to let circumstances determine their commitment. Conditioned love is no love at all, and it makes for a highly unstable union. Small wonder the average cohabiting couple lasts but two years, and only 4% make it past the ten year mark.