The way you manage your money will impact your marriage. It will either bring your marriage together or tear your marriage apart. Rarely is money's effect neutral.
In marriage, there are money land mines. These land mines are often decisions that can lead to a significant blow up in the relationship. Needless to say, each one can be avoided if you are aware of the potential dangers of each.
Here are four money land mines to avoid in your marriage:
1. Secrecy. Trust is essential to any marriage. Opening a credit card or bank account without your spouse’s knowledge is dangerous. It’s dangerous for your finances and, more importantly, your marriage. As a banker, I watched a spouse find out about a secret credit card right in front of me. The immediate fallout was ugly, sad, and totally avoidable.
2. Disregarding your financial plan. If you have agreed upon financial plan, don’t deviate from it without your spouse’s knowledge and approval. This, like secrecy, causes a break in trust and demonstrates disrespect for your spouse. Disregarding your plan places you above them and can make them feel like they are alone in their pursuit of financial health.
3. Placing your parents above your spouse. Some spouses struggle to let go of their parents' influence. They give their parents too much permission to speak into decisions that should be made by the married couple. This can happen with money decisions. Listening to and considering the desires of your parents over the desires of your spouse is asking for some volatile moments in your marriage.
4. Placing your kids above your spouse. You both love your kids. You both say you would do anything for them. But you shouldn’t. Especially when it means prioritizing your kids’ wants over your spouse’s wants. Your first commitment is always to your spouse. This prioritization will help you be a better spouse and parent. And it will help you avoid arguments that involve your children.
Run from these money landmines. For better or worse, your marriage is impacted by your financial decision-making. These unwise decisions will only serve to tear apart your marriage. Seek unity, not division. Avoid money land mines.