Stop Your Divorce And Save Your Marriage Part 9: Money & Politics
Money Money Make Money
Let’s face it. Care to pick a fight with your spouse? Then just disagree about money. Talk about kicking over the hornets nest.
Few things cause greater marital strife than money, especially when times are tough. But even when the economy is great, money is still a leading source of conflict.
More marriages split up over money than almost anything else.
And it’s really “fun” when one spouse is a saver and the other is a spender.
Where It Really All Begins
When did we develop our philosophy and beliefs about money? Childhood.
Although it’s true that opposites attract, opposite values about money can nuke your marriage back into the stone age where communication consisted of groans, grunts and obscure hand gestures.
Want a glimpse of your spouse’s views on money? Then observe his/her parents and their spending habits.
Admittedly this is a generalization, but your spouse will likely mirror their parents’ behavior in many ways; keep in mind that this is NOT always the case because some children intentionally choose a different financial path than that of their parents.
Avoiding Financial Armageddon
Okay, here’s a relationship tip to help you avoid an economic holocaust:
Forge A Financial Partnership.
Having a financial partnership helps to prevent you or your spouse from feeling cheated because having to be the “responsible” spouse all of the time gets old pretty fast.
If most of your money goes to pay the bills but your spouse uses their money on fun things like shopping sprees, then you’ll likely feel cheated, taken advantage of, and struggle with feelings of resentment.
Here are a couple of options: 1) Pool all of your money to fund your budget, or 2) Decide who is responsible for which budgeted items.
Do yourself, and your marriage, a favor and forge a financial partnership to better handle money conflicts.
This takes thought and planning because in addition to your fixed expenses you will need to agree on:
- charitable donations
- funds (savings, college, emergency, health etc.)
- “play” money
One of the best resources I know for successfully handling money is Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. Visit Dave Ramsey’s website for more information: http://www.DaveRamsey.com
Or just click here to be taken straight to his Financial Peace University page:
(I don’t receive any form of compensation for endorsing Dave Ramsey or his products.)
A Word About Sex, Politics & Religion
Three other potential sources of severe marital conflict that have been known to lead to divorce are: sex, politics and religion.
Perhaps in a perfect world our perfect spouse would think, act and believe just like we do (sounds kind of boring to me).
Have you and your spouse ever voted for opposing presidential candidates? That was fun wasn’t it.
Same thing holds true for sex and religion. They can trigger heated arguments and battles.
You don’t have to let these issues become a wedge in your marriage. Sure, they’ll drive you crazy sometimes but don’t let them drive you apart.
I remember someone telling me once about a friend who loved the Boston Red Sox but who chose to marry a die-hard Yankees fan; they argued so much that it wasn’t long until they were divorced – over baseball of all things!
Life is too short to take stuff like that so seriously.
We need to lighten up and laugh more.
Rules Of Engagement
When it comes to sex, politics, and religion, play by these ground rules to make happily ever after your reality:
- Be polite
- Be respectful
- Be considerate
- Be courteous
- Be flexible
- Be nice
For instance, if you are religious but your spouse isn’t, then please don’t attempt to argue, guilt, manipulate or nag them into a relationship with God. It does not work. Never has never will.
Let your loving example and sweet spirit do the talking.
Likewise, if your spouse is religious but you aren’t, then please don’t criticize them for spending too much time or money on something that is so meaningful to them; support their involvement with their faith community – and go with them every once-in-a-while.
You Can Be Right Or You Can Be Happy
If you really love your spouse then you will be supportive.
Demonstrate that you respect their feelings and beliefs.
When possible and appropriate, make compromises; this is a sign of wisdom, maturity and selflessness.
At the end of the day, as it’s been said many times before with regards to marriage, you can either be right or be happy.
Which one do you choose?
Choosing to be happy is a surefire way to being mad about marriage once again.