Money, the Relationship Wrecker

by EFER41

Posted by EFER41

What does money have to do with relationships?

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Money has everything to do with relationships. The way you and your partner handle your money together will have a huge impact on the “health” of your relationship.

If you’re like most people, you have grown to believe that relationships thrive when there is enough “love” between the two people involved. You probably thought money had little to do with how two people feel about each other.

It is true that in the initial physical attraction stage, money has very little to do with the chemical reactions the body goes through to signal that there is a possibility or an interest to engage further with a particular person.

Financial conflict is stronger, longer lasting, and predicts divorce more than any other marital issue”

The truth is as a relationship progresses, money becomes a more serious issue. When two people form a “partnership”, they start sharing their lives, their household, and sooner or later, their money. Money determines how you live, where you live, the places you visit, the experiences you have, and the quality of your life. Later when you have children, money affects the schools they go to, the vacations you take (or don’t take), and even the quality of health care you and them can access.

If you want to establish a business, your sales and the amount of money you bring in will eventually determine if you are able to stay in business or not. These are just a few examples of the areas that money touches.

Money & finances are the No. 1 thing  people

argue about and end marriages over!”

You might already know this, but money, sex, and extended family members are the three primary reasons why relationships fail. It’s in that order, too—money, sex, and extended family. Everything eventually goes back to those three things.


Many times is easier for couples to talk about sex than to talk about money. A recent survey from revealed that although 94% of people surveyed believe a person’s ability to manage finances is important in a relationship, only about half of them have the “financial talk” with a new partner within six months to a year of dating. 19% never have the chat.

Financial conflict is stronger, longer lasting and predicts divorce better than any other marital issue. It is so difficult to talk about money because the “money” issue is always a power struggle and power struggles kill relationships.


The “money” issue is so difficult because it

always turns into a power struggle.”

In many cases, after an intimate relationship progresses, the women “gives” the responsibility of money to her partner in one way or another. She may not have even noticed it. But by “giving” this role away, she relinquished two very important aspects of her life: her basic security, her basic sense of being able to provide for herself, and second, the self-esteem attached to that ability to feel “safe” in life.


In any kind of relationship, the person who

controls the money, controls the relationship”

So now that we know this, what can we do?

1) Be conscious about what is happening regarding your shared finances. What situation are you in? Have you relinquished responsibility of your money? Do you know where the money is? Do you know how much you have? Are you contributing to the “family” money in any way? In which way this relinquish of money responsibilities affected your situation?

2) Be conscious of your feelings around it. Is your partner making more money than you? How do you feel about it? Do you feel empowered to make financial decisions about your household? Do you feel like your shared money is his and his only?  Do you feel like you have to ask for permission to spend the money? Do you feel empowered about it? Disempowered about it? Are you afraid to have conversations with your partner about money? What effect is that having in your own life and on your self-esteem?

3) Explore your own beliefs about money. Do you believe money to be good? To be bad? To be an evil necessity? To be easy to obtain? To be difficult to obtain? Do you believe money should be your partner’s responsibility? Do you feel a certain sense of responsibility to bring money into your household?

4) What is your MONEY-STORY? In your family, how was money handled? What have you believed all your life regarding money? How were finances handled in your family growing up? What was expected from the male and what was expected from the female? Are you ok with that? What will you do about it?

5) Be respectful of the differences. The ways in which people handle money are very different. Do not criticize one another for how each one of you wants to handle your money. “Your” way is not the only way. For example, a “spender” is usually someone who is in favor of quality of life today. A “saver” is someone who is in favor of a quality of life in the future. It is the same thing, just viewed in a different way. Learn to accept and negotiate your differences.

6) Always be CLEAR about what you need.  It is really important to be respectful of your partner’s way of handling money. But it’s equally important to be clear on what is working for you and what is not working for you. Do not expect your partner to empower you to make financial decisions, or to  allow you to “claim” rights about your shared money. That is all up to you! That’s your job. Get empowered, be clear about what you need, and make it happen.

7) Make agreements that work for both of you and STICK to them. Much of money has to do with trust (we will review this in a later article). When you reach agreements, make sure you respect them as “holy.” Breaking this trust can be detrimental to your relationship. Money is about “trust.” You need to be able to trust one another.

8) Make a decision.  How would you like to re-write your money-story? How would you like to renegotiate the way money is handled in your household? What will you do to have a healthier relationship with money?

A relationship should never be determined by how much money you have in your bank account. However, we would be fooling ourselves if we thought money does not affect our relationships. Deep down, how much money you make and what you are able to do with it, plays a big role in the relationship with your partner. Most importantly, it plays a role in the relationship with yourself.


From my heart to yours,

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2013 Copyright and All Rights Reserved, Erika Ferenczi & Decode The


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