It’s no secret that the thing that causes many couples to argue—and eventually split up—is money. Financial problems have been a major cause of marital strife for countless decades, and it’s not likely to change anytime soon. You see, money and stress are tightly entwined with one another. When you don’t have enough money to pay all of the bills, your stress levels rise. There’s a tendency for specific money-related issues that cause divorce to divide you and your partner even further. If your spouse isn’t working or if they are spending frivolously, you can be sure that it’s going to weigh on you. Divorce becomes likelier and likelier.
However, it’s not just “money” that causes problems. There tend to be specific financial issues that are to blame. Let’s look at some of the biggest problems that are causing more and more divorces.
The Spouses Have Different Money Attitudes
How do you feel about money? People often have different relationships with money based on how they were raised, whether they had money growing up, and how they view the world.
You might feel that it’s important to save for a rainy day and retirement. Your spouse, who never had to worry about money, might think that spending over the budget is okay… you can just make up for it next month. There are a lot of apps out there that can help you with budgeting and might be beneficial to your situation.
As you can imagine, these types of attitudes are going to clash. The differences don’t always have to be this severe either. Even small differences in how money is handled can push a wedge between spouses. There is going to be tension.
Different Long-Term Money Goals
The same is true when the spouses have different types of financial priorities. This is similar to the above issue, but it looks at the long-term goals. If one spouse wants to buy a home, it requires a financial commitment on the part of both spouses. When the other spouse would rather take the money and spend it on traveling, the tensions are going to rise.
Credit Card Debt
When you get married, at least in Arizona, you take on any debts made after marriage. So, if your spouse decides to put $50,000 in purchases on a credit card in the span of a couple of years without the means to pay it down, you are going to be in trouble.
$50,000 is a lot of money, but even smaller amounts can be damaging to many couples. In these cases, where one spouse uses “retail therapy” or just spends to spend, there is usually one spouse that ends up trying to be the adult and paying things down. They end up paying for the frivolous spending of their spouse.
Getting In Over Your Head
Sometimes, a couple ends up getting in way over their head with their finances. When they get married and see that they now have two incomes, it can be easy to make financial mistakes that will come back to haunt them later. They might do things like upgrade their vehicles, shop more, take expensive vacations, or buy a new home that they can’t truly afford.
When both couples overspend, it is just as bad—and sometimes worse—than when just one spouse does it. They get to the point where they can’t pay down their debt. Again, this causes stress, and the spouses tend to lash out at one another. Even when they get divorced, they will still have to pay off all of this debt.
Financial Secrecy and Impulsive Purchases
One of the other things causing more and more couples to get divorced is called financial infidelity. What happens is that one of the spouses has hidden debt that they try to keep from their spouse. Maybe they make secret purchases, or they have a secret bank account. Sometimes, they might have an addiction, such as a gambling addiction, which causes them to run through money quickly.
We’ve all made impulse buys before. However, most of them tend to be small—less than a hundred dollars in most cases. Many are less than $10, such as picking up a magazine while at the grocery store. Those little impulse purchases, as long as they don’t keep adding up, aren’t a problem.
However, major purchases done on impulse can be a problem. The size of the purchase that could be considered major will vary based on your financial situation. Buying a new car and bringing it home without telling your spouse would be a problem in most marriages.
Buying a video game console without talking with your spouse could be a problem, as well. They can cost $400 or more in many cases, and that’s money that may be better spent on bills right now. Even $50 for some books to read could be too much in some marriages.
It’s not just about the amount of money. It’s about the lack of respect a person has for their spouse to make these purchases and not tell them beforehand. Sometimes, it’s because they know their spouse will have told them not to buy it. They are hoping for forgiveness rather than asking for permission.
After a while, this can weigh on a person, so it’s only natural they file for divorce from the impulse spender and secretive spender.
An Unwillingness to Change or Compromise
The couple may realize there is a problem. However, the party that is mainly at fault becomes defensive and does not want to change or compromise on their spending. They don’t feel they are doing anything wrong, or they don’t care, and they continue with their bad financial habits.
Maybe you realize that spending to go on a more expensive vacation every year or eating out all the time was costing more than you wanted to spend. However, your spouse has become accustomed to those things and doesn’t want to change. If they are unwilling to compromise for the betterment of your finances and your marriage, it might be time to file for a divorce.
Getting out of a bad financial situation as early as possible is always a good idea. If you stay with them, those financial woes are just going to grow.