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Know Your "Marriage Money Style"


“Divorce is expensive. I used to joke they were going to call it ‘all the money,’ but they changed it to ‘alimony.’ It’s ripping your heart out through your wallet.”
Robin Williams

Money is an emotionally charged topic. That’s why few of us and few couples like to talk about it. When couples come to see me and are considering a divorce, money can actually be, yes, even more than sex, what is driving the couple apart. Money can represent many things. Money is love, happiness, security, control, freedom and lots more. When couples fight over money usually deeper issues emerge. I find that these issues have long been neglected and money has become the vehicle for battle. For most of us, there’s just never enough money. We don’t realize when we enter into a romantic relationship, there often a third party. A silent partner. It’s money!

Before marriage couples discuss where they are going to live, children, careers, and what side of the bed to sleep on, but never money? Money is still a taboo topic. Some people have anxiety, guilt and even shame about the way they handle money. Do you really want to tell a potential spouse you’re an over spender? Not exactly the topic of discussion you want to have before you are walking down the aisle. Most people have complex relationships with their money. We usually learn about money from our families as we grow up and the lessons can be very different. When couples enter a marriage, and have different money styles, they can actually battle and suffer together for years. As the marriage erodes and things begin to explode, that’s when they come to see me. Usually by that time it is already too late. Divorce is on the horizon.

The United States is a nation of overspenders. We live in a market economy and we are led to believe that we are good citizens when we agree to go out and spend our money, lots of it. So much so that we as a country and as individuals are in massive debt. Because many of us feel alienated and disconnected in today’s society, even with social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, we tend to overspend to fill an emptiness within ourselves. If we are not overspending, than we are usually worrying about money or hoarding it. Money is a complex focal point in many of our thoughts.

Men and women also have different money styles. What sets women apart from men is the different situations women will find themselves in during their lifetime. Women live longer than men. They usually have been in and out of the work force. When women marry they often become part of a financial dependency that can work against them if they are not prepared. Women are primarily the ones who raise the children, and often become the single parent raising the children. Women usually care for aging family members. A woman’s healthy relationship with money is vital in handling all the responsibilities and difficulties she may face.

So what’s your money style? If you haven’t thought about it, maybe it’s time! Get in touch with your money style before you make important decisions in your life.

If I can help you and your spouse get in touch with how to manage money issues if you are facing a divorce, contact us. I will be happy to share amicable ideas on how to settle your money issues.