Couples Fighting over Money



If you and your partner are constantly arguing about finances, your problems could run deeper than an overdue power bill or an expensive restaurant meal. Conflicts about debt, purchases and other money problems may indicate relationship issues that need to be addressed sooner rather than later.


“For couples, the hardest thing to talk about is sex and finances, and that’s because our parents didn’t talk about it when we were growing up,” said Jordie Smith, licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT) and owner of Jordie Smith Counseling, LLC External link  in Canton, Michigan. Having conversations about money with a romantic partner is important for developing and maintaining lasting and healthy relationships, she said.  


Why is talking about money important for relationships?

  • Conversations normalize the subject. If your parents treated money like a taboo subject, you might also avoid discussing savings and debt.
  • Financial peace brings a sense of safety. Calls from bill collectors or fear of the cost of an unexpected emergency can cause anxiety and stress.

“When you are in a relationship, you want to be safe with that person,” Smith said. “When you have some outside factors that aren’t addressed, that threatens the safety.” 


Being transparent and open to discussions about spending and saving keeps relationships strong and prevents financial infidelity—when a partner hides debt or purchases. Those unpleasant surprises do not help build relationships, she said.


Online Counseling Programs has rounded up resources for couples to help them understand why money should not be a taboo topic and how to consider finances at different stages in their relationship.


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