Money is one of the biggest sources of stress for most couples. Yet, most couples don’t ever seek any help for financial problems. Often, people say they aren’t sure who to even turn to. Most people feel they can question therapy help with financial problems.
For people who have straightforward financial questions, it likely makes sense to talk to an accountant or financial planner. They can answer questions such as “How much should I save for retirement?” or “Where should I invest my money.” However, many financial problems are much more complicated.
For financial issues where the couple disagrees with one another, therapy can help. Sometimes it is a matter of clarifying values and priorities. For example, one person may want to invest more energy and money into enjoying life today while the other person wants to save for tomorrow. Over time, living with different values and beliefs can lead to conflict.
Money can stir up a lot of emotions for people. Many people experience anxiety about bills and their bank account. Other times people experience depression and sadness when they aren’t able to afford things they want. These emotions can sometimes cause marital problems and therapy can help with those.
Sometimes people build up resentment when it comes to financial issues. A stay-at-home mother may feel like her husband has more financial freedom in the relationship since he earns the bulk of the money. A husband may feel resentful his wife spends a lot of money. A person may feel angry that his wife wants to go back to college. All of these feelings can build up and lead to serious problems if they are not dealt with.
For some marriages, money can be used for power and control as well. Financial abuse occurs when one partner is not allowed to have access to money. Perhaps a wife is given a strict allowance. Or a wife checks her husband’s receipts constantly to monitor his habits and keep track of them. When people aren’t allowed to have access to money or are punished financially, money can be used as a weapon.
If you and your spouse disagree about money, consider therapy as an option. It is likely that your spending habits may be a symptom of underlying issues. Don’t ignore the problems as financial problems will likely get worse. Therapy can help people learn how to work together when they experience financial distress. When both people work together toward a common goal, financial success is possible.