Over the years, as I grew up, I witnessed many couples struggling to lead a happy married life because of money problems, worries and other financial issues. One of the questions that crossed my mind usually was ‘Does money makes people happy?’ With time, I assessed and concluded that the simple answer to it could be a ‘Yes’. In recent times, finances are the leading cause of stress in a relationship. If left unchecked, financial problems can ultimately destroy a marriage. Watch for these common patterns, and learn how to keep them from becoming problems in your relationship:
1. NOT REALIZING YOUR OWN BAGGAGE.
Do you go on spending sprees when you’re upset? Do you make fun of anyone who buys an extended warranty? Do you always buy name brands? Or perhaps you insist on using a spreadsheet for even the most minuscule expenditures. We all have money quirks, but the odds of our quirks being aligned with our partners’ quirks are very less. Take a step back and acknowledge the differences that you and your partner have and—even more important—understand the ways that your quirks may be related to your upbringing and difficult for someone else to live with. Only then can you work out a healthier method of dealing with them.
2. THINKING SECRETS AREN’T A BIG DEAL.
You bought more clothes than you said you would, and are now hiding them from your partner. Or you dipped into joint savings account, without telling your partner, to pay off what you lost on a bad investment. In these cases, the erosion of trust that comes from the secrecy is potentially more damaging than the original act. Don’t get caught in the slippery slope of financial infidelity. If you and your partner have agreed to keep your finances completely separate, that’s one thing. But it’s hard to have a long-term relationship without money being intertwined on some level, so your joint financial goals need to align. The more habitually you do your own thing and try to cover it up after the fact, the more you undermine whatever joint vision you are working toward as a team.
3. VALUING THINGS OVER PEOPLE.
Over the years, materialism or valuing things or money over the relationship has increased. People don’t value a person’s presence but they value their money.
I had a friend who got married a few years back. She had always told me about her dream of having a beautiful home nicely decorated with a formal dining room and a landscaped lawn for her family to live in. She said having a house like that would be the ultimate source of happiness for her as she had wanted it for so long.
For years, she kept insisting her husband to buy a home they could barely afford along with fancy furniture and a landscaped backyard (as she dreamt it). To avoid the constant conflict in their marriage, her husband gave in and borrowed money from a friend for the same. He went into debt to make the marriage work. Unfortunately, the stress and tension lead to various diseases and her partner passed away last year. Everyone must remember that things can come and go, but it’s the presence of a person that should be cherished. Many a times we don’t realize what we have until it’s taken away.
People must realize the value of a human being is way more than money and other temporary things. Imagine you are living in a villa with the best of luxuries and facilities but you live there alone. In case you fall sick, all you would need is someone to be there with you and help you recover. The luxuries and facilities won’t matter much.
So, think and make your relationship your happy place and not something from which you would need an escape!