5 Money Issues That Can Destroy Relationships

by | Jul 9, 2019

You could be head over heels in love with your partner, but money issues can kill the romance like no other. In fact, matters of the wallet are among the most common reasons relationships fail

Let’s look at 5 prevalent financial problems that could pop up — and what you can do about them before it’s too late. 

Not Being on the Same Page

You and your beloved may have very different views when it comes to handling finances — and that’s normal. For instance, one of you may be a laissez-faire spender and the other a risk-averse saver. Your upbringing and past experiences shape your internal money scripts and those deeply-held beliefs determine your behaviors. The issue starts when you fail to acknowledge or respect each other’s point of view. Not understanding one another will lead to conflict and possibly resentment.


The fix: Have an open dialogue and find ways to set shared goals. This compromise will allow you to still be yourselves while strengthening the relationship.

Keeping Secrets and Telling Lies


Deceiving each other about money-related concerns (think income, spending, debt, or assets) is known as financial infidelity. That’s right — when one partner intentionally keeps the other in the dark about their fiscal situation or flat out lies when asked — it’s a form of cheating. This dishonesty will strip your relationship of trust and the betrayed partner will wonder,“What else isn’t true?”


The fix: This one’s hard to come back from, so the best bet is to avoid it. When it’s too late for that, a really open and honest conversation needs to take place. If your partner deceived you, you’ll have to determine if you can move past it. If you’re the offender, you should pledge future integrity and show how you’ll be accountable. In either case, counseling may be appropriate to address underlying issues and to reestablish a trusting connection between the two of you.


Having (or Incurring) Massive Debt


A boatload of debt (or a poor credit score — the two often go hand in hand) is truly an anchor that limits possibilities. It’s one thing when it restricts options at the individual level, but when it impacts someone else’s life, it’s easy to see where the resentment comes in. If one of you is so far in the hole that it delays marriage, starting a family, or buying a home, can the other partner wait? Further, if one of you is crippled by debt and the other is debt-free, jealousy can make an appearance and do some serious damage.


The fix: If you’re truly serious and committed to one another, make a plan to tackle the debt together. Joining forces can help you both get on the desired path faster and working on the shared goal will strengthen your bond.

Making Money the #1 Priority


Financial success is great — but not if it comes at the expense of the relationship. If one person is obsessed with working and padding the bank account, the other will soon feel neglected. Over time, their passion can turn into toxic feelings, or even infidelity.


The fix: Both partners should remember what they’re working towards in the first place. Chances are, you’re both striving to create a wonderful life to enjoy together. But if you never get to see each other, what’s the point? Try to have regular check-ins to maintain work-life balance and ensure both of your needs are being met.


Being Competitive with Money

Trying to improve your standard of living isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But if you’re both constantly attempting to one up each other in the income department, healthy competition could turn into a bitter battle quickly. 


The fix: Regularly talk about what each person brings to the relationship outside of income and how much it matters to your success together.  It could be anything — parenting, cooking, repairing the home, being positive, etc. It takes so much more than money for a partnership to thrive. It’s important to remember that.

Recognizing Financial Abuse

Often, couples with money problems can resolve the issues at hand because they’re rooted in misunderstanding or other overcomable situations. However, some fiscal issues can come from a much darker place that’s marked by manipulation, power, and narcissism. When one partner uses money as a means to control the other, it’s called financial abuse. Financial abuse is serious and often accompanies physical abuse. As difficult as these situations can be, there are resources to help victims get back on their feet.

Final Thoughts


Money can help you shape a dream life with your beloved, but it can also drive a serious wedge between the both of you. By recognizing this, you can take steps to address any issues head-on and carry on your romance confidently.


Tell Charlie: How have you handled money disagreements with your partner?

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