5 Financial Signs That You Might Want to Rethink Your Relationship
Financial issues can put a big strain on your relationship, and it is important that both people be completely honest going into a relationship. It is also important that you never fully combine finances until you are married. There is too much risk involved if you split up and the law can help you work through that if you are going through a divorce, but it is too hard to do if you are just breaking off a long-term relationship. These are some warning signs that you may need to visit a relationship counselor before you combine finances to make things work. If you are already married and have these signs, you may not want to combine finances at all.
Lying About Financial Situations
One of the biggest flags is having your partner lie about financial situations. This may seem inconsequential, like fudging on the amount spent on dress or bigger like hiding the amount they make or the amount of debt that they have. Lying now sets up a precedent for later in the marriage, and it is not one that you want to have to deal with. Bad financial situations can happen when you lie to each other about spending habits, credit cards or other situations. It is important that your partner is honest or it can really hurt your relationship.
Another issue that may be enough to rethink your relationship or how you handle your money together is addictions. This may be something like a drug or gambling addiction, but it can also be a shopping addiction. These types of behaviors can really affect your finances, and it does not take long for them to destroy years of careful saving and hard work. You should definitely seek counseling together and individually if you or your partner struggles with any of these.
Yours and Mine Attitude
Some people need to split everything fifty/fifty down the line. They are very focused on how much things cost and are only ever willing to pay their exact share for the bills. This can be trying because over time all that is focused on is that you have to contribute x amount for each purpose. It can also be unfair if one spouse makes significantly more than the other, but the other person wants to divide everything exactly in half. If this seems complicated when it is just the two of you, it will only get worse when you have children. You should definitely seek counseling and look at dividing expenses based on percentages of income versus the fifty/fifty method.
Controlling Through Money
Another issue that may come up is that one spouse tries to control the other one through money and allowance. This is much more common for people who have one spouse stay at home to run the house or take care of the children. It is nice to have someone take care of the financial matters, but the decisions need to be made as a team. It can be difficult to spot this issue until you combine finances, but if it does come up, you may want to seek counseling before the situation becomes abusive or too serious. Once you are married everything should be considered ours, and one spouse should not hang money decisions over the other.
Refusing to Plan or to Budget
It is important that both spouses be willing to work together on a budget or a plan. Some people have never budgeted or put together a plan, and only start when they get married to someone that feels budgeting and planning are important. In this instance, you are looking for someone who is willing to work with you. This means that if your spouse has never budgeted, but is willing to try, you are okay. If he refuses to do it, you may need to seek counseling so that you can find a good way to communicate about your finances and to create a long-term plan together. This can make a huge difference in how successful you are at managing your money.