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Marriage Advice: Work as a Team to Avoid Conflicts Over Money
By Susie and Otto Collins

"Money makes the world go round," so the saying goes. This might be true in many regards.  But when it comes to money and your love relationship or marriage, you may more accurately say, "money makes my partner and me go round and

How many times do tensions or even arguments and fights happen in your relationship all because of money.

Maybe you feel like there's just not enough money in your household budget and you worry about the way your partner spends. Or perhaps the fears your mate has about finances drive you crazy and you just wish he or she would lighten up and live a little-- after all, you both work so hard.

When it comes to money, there are so many beliefs, assumptions and approaches to take. There are bound to differences between how you and your partner think finances should be handled.

It might feel like you two are butting heads and opposing one another more than working together to reach your financial goals.

If you've ever experienced difficulties between yourself and your partner when it comes to money, you are probably well aware that tensions about finances can spill over into other areas of your relationship. This can make you feel more distant and divided.

Steve doesn't think that his partner Traci will be upset about his setting up a secondary savings account in his own name. He isn't having an affair and isn't planning to leave her-- but of course she doesn't know that. When Traci opened the letter from their bank with information about this additional savings account that is in Steve's name only, she felt as if the wind was knocked out of her.

Many questions popped into her head about why Steve would possibly do this. She wonders if he's going to move out and abandon her or if he simply doesn't trust her. Traci knows that she's made some financial mistakes in her past, but she's worked to turn her spending habits around.

She thought that Steve was her biggest emotional supporter in the successes she's had in changing, but now she wonders how genuine his support actually is.

Stay open and honest.
When it comes to money, being open and honest just about always advisable. When you look at some of the debacles in the financial world lately with companies such as AIG, it's apparent that dishonesty and secretiveness eventually comes
to light.

The ramifications are not generally prison time when you are closed or dishonest about money in your love relationship or marriage. At the same time, the erosion of
trust and wedge that is created are probably not worth the benefit you thought you were getting by being secretive in the first place.

Steve found this out the hard way. When he met Traci for dinner that night, she was so upset and hurt, she stormed out of the restaurant after confronting him with the bank's letter. Steve established the individual account because he thought that if he took financial matters into his own hands behind Traci's back, they'd finally be able to get ahead.

It's evident that this plan backfired and now Steve finds himself trying to figure out how to explain his motives to Traci.

Work as a team, not opponents.
Start within your own mind to shift your thinking. When it comes to money or anything else, consider yourself and your love a team. If you can think less in terms of "his or her way vs. mine" and more in terms of "what do we want to do next?" you are on your way.

If you choose to have separate bank accounts, you can still feel like a team when it comes to finances. There might still be joint bills that you pay or shared financial
goals you'd like to reach. Concentrate on being a team when it comes to those things.

Talk openly with one another about what your individual and shared aspirations
are when it comes to money. Support your mate with his or her own goals.

When Traci cools off and allows Steve to explain why he secretly set up this bank account, he starts off by apologizing. He reassures Traci that it is not his intention to leave her and he's not having an affair.

Instead, he explains that he was trying to improve their financial situation by setting aside some money in a savings account that she doesn't have access to.

Steve also says that he now sees what a mistake this strategy was because it was hurtful and mistrusting of Traci. He acknowledges how his actions dismiss the changes Traci has been making.

She is still unhappy that Steve set up the separate account, but Traci can also appreciate his reasons for doing so.

Together Traci and Steve come up with a new plan. They decide to add Traci's name to this new saving's account. They also agree that they will both contribute a certain amount of money to it each month and neither of them will
make a withdrawal from it until they've reached the specific goals the money is earmarked for.

This resolution feels empowering to both of them.

Money can actually be a means by which you and your mate can move closer to one another. When you feel like and act like you're on the same team, you can celebrate how much closer you are to reaching those financial goals that you've established together.



Susie and Otto Collins are married, life partners who are Relationship and Life Success Coaches, and authors of several books on relationships, including "How to Heal Your Broken Heart," "Should You Stay or Should You Go?" "No More Jealousy" "Creating Relationship Trust" "Communication Magic" and "Attracting Your Perfect Partner." In addition to having a great relationship, they regularly write, speak and conduct seminars on love, relationships and personal growth. To read more free articles like this or to sign up for their free online relationship tips newsletter visit or


Susie and Otto Collins
P.O. Box 14544
Columbus, Ohio 43214
(614) 459-8121


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