Three signs that money problems will break your heart

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Arguing about money is up there among the top reasons why couples contemplate separating. Two different approaches to managing finances are a sure-fire way to set up conflict in a relationship. Sometimes the resentment can fester for years until it is so unbearable it overrides the love you once had for your partner, and calling it quits feels long overdue.

Author of Your Money Personality Kathleen Gurney labels fighting over finances as “a silent killer, chipping away at your self-confidence”.

Here are three tell-tale signs that money problems could be about to break your heart:

Debt
Utah State University Associate Professor Jeffrey Dew found that marital satisfaction is associated with owning debt-free assets. Conversely, as debt increases, happiness decreases.  Prof Dew concluded that thrifty couples were the happiest.

“Research on marriage and money – which has focused on the influence that debt, assets, spending patterns and materialism have on marriages – suggests … that credit card debt plays a powerful role in eroding the quality of married life.

“Consumer debt fuels a sense of financial unease among couples, and increases the likelihood that they will fight over money matters; moreover, this financial unease casts a pall over marriages in general, raising the likelihood that couples will argue over issues other than money, and decreasing the time they spend with one another.”

Prof Dew said whether couples were rich, middle class or poor did not influence the impact that mounting debt had on a marriage. 

Spending
Perceptions that a partner was spending foolishly were found to affect the quality of a relationship, too. Several studies have shown that when one spouse believes the other doesn’t handle money well, they tend to report being less happy than those who do not hold that judgement.

Divorce was more likely to be considered by someone who believed cash slipped through their partner’s fingers too easily, according to research published in Journal of Marriage and the Family. In the article ‘A longitudinal study of marital problems and subsequent divorce’, the authors wrote that holding the belief that a partner was a spendthrift was a major predictor of whether the couple would divorce. The study showed that in relationships strained by money woes, 45 per cent of the marriages would dissolve. 

Infidelity
Keeping discretionary spending a secret from your partner puts your relationship at risk if they discover later that you have been lying.

Feeling cheated by a partner who disguises their impulsive purchases or goes back on their word to spend less has been found to elicit the same feelings of betrayal as other types of infidelity.

This is magnified if the couple have agreed to save for a goal, such as a new car or a holiday, but miss their target. When crunch time comes and there isn’t enough money to fulfil their goal because one of them has been hiding their spending, you can expect fireworks.

Some couples don’t seem to mind upping the stakes and rather than overspending will keep a stash of cash or credit that their partner doesn’t know about.

A survey of US adults by CreditCards.com found that one in 20 Americans have secret bank accounts or credit cards. 

The poll also revealed that 19 per cent of respondents admitted to spending more than $500 without telling their partners. The admissions showed that men were almost twice as likely to have done so than women.

With statistics showing that couples who argue about finances once a week were over 30 per cent more likely to divorce than those who argued less, the chances of setting your relationship up for failure by not being on the same page financially appears to be risky.

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Written by Olga Galacho

127 Comments

Total Comments: 127
  1. 0
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    The questionable study states that “men are twice as likely to spend more than $500 without telling their partners”. The likelihood is that men may INFREQUENTLY purchase an expensive item eg a computer but statistically, women are the BIG spenders on a regular basis. One only has to look at shopping centres where 90% of shops cater to womens’ needs. As the old saying has it: A successful husband is one who can earn more than his wife spends whereas a successful wife is a person who can find such a husband.

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      Gee you would be looking for a needle in a haystack to find a successful woman then.

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      What century are you guys from?
      Women earn their own money now and sometimes are better earners than their spouses.
      We have a daughter with a PhD and another with an honours degree.
      Both are self sufficient and in one case provides for others.
      I educated myself after the last child went to school, completed three degrees, and taught part time for 20 years.
      Obviously, you have been unlucky in love and now bitter.
      Shopping centres know that women shop for their partners and others. Some men like to shop but more women do so.
      Maybe educate yourselves by researching online.

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      Gee I’m glad I’m not one of those hen pecked men.

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      GrandmaKathleen, don’t waste your energy! This site harbours several very bitter men who jump at every chance to put women down. It’s a pity it’s not a site to have intelligent exchange of views but the women haters dominate every time. Clearly they made bad choices when picking a partner and they think all men feel the same and all women are the same. What can you do? Be glad you didn’t marry one I say!

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      I must be doing something right as I have still got same partner after I’ve forgotten how many years as it’s just too many to remember.

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      For every woman who claims to have paid her own way ( unlikely) there is a thousand who spent their lives filling their husbands bankcard. Grandma no doubt your husband worked full time to pay for your 3 degrees and then continued to work full time while you worked part time. Sounds like you had a nice easy life payed for by your husband. Situation normal.

    • 0
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      Haha – well spotted Tib

      And before she went on to bludge at Uni doing 3 degrees (why on earth for ??), Grandma had a cushy live sitting at home playing with the kids

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      Where’s MICK?

    • 0
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      I was thinking same Tib but I bit my tongue instead of saying it. Either she bought those 3 degrees online or it took lots of work if she actually did them the conventional way.

    • 0
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      OG if I bit my tongue every time I read some Female BS by now I would be missing a fairly large piece.

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      Wrong Tib! My husband retired at 59 and I kept working.
      My degrees were not dodgy either. You cannot teach in high schools without proper accreditation.
      Again, please use the internet to help you be better informed, as you have gaps in your understanding.
      You should have known that teachers must be qualified and succeeded in practical classroom teaching before being able to stand in front of a class.
      No mother has a cushy job at home either. Try looking after three children under school age and you will find that out.
      I suspect you like stirring and provoking responses as you guys do on many subjects.

    • 0
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      Grandma you should try using this so called education of yours to improve your reading skills. I made no mention of schools or what your accreditation is. If your reading skills are any guide I suspect you have a degree in finger painting ( arts degree). I simply said your husband picked up the bill for your degree by paying your way while you had a nice time at uni. Which must be true since you avoided my actual comment. Unless you are trying to make a straw man argument. By the way looking after small children is a privilege or at worst a bludge and if didn’t want them you shouldn’t of had them.

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      A few years back I was thinking about a change of career and I was offered a six month fast track uni course with a guaranteed job to teach in high schools. A six month course seems to me like there is not too much accreditation required to teach in high schools.

      It can’t be that hard to teach high school kids as you just need a few packets of chalk and if they fall asleep or misbehave you just chuck chalk at them and if that doesn’t work there is always the chalk duster to knock some sense into them.

    • 0
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      Tib, you want to argue and it seems pointless trying to talk to you, bitter and uneducated as you appear to be as illustrated by your spelling! It is sad that some guys on here have stooped so low.

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      Happy cyclist is right, GrandmaKathleen22. This site somehow attracts selfish, egomaniacal nasties and arrogant, ill-informed chauvinists with grudges against women. They have no idea what they are on about, but they delight in spreading ill-will and insulting others.

      I could name dozens of women who supported their husbands and families through illness, disability, unemployment, etc., worked tirelessly in family businesses, and generally contributed far more to the household income than their husbands, while spending far less. My grandmother worked from 3am until late evening washing, ironing, baking bread to sell, cutting sandwiches to sell to workers, growing vegetables and caring for and milking the family cow, making cheese, making soaps, and sewing for the kids, while my unemployed grandfather spent quite a lot on grog. Two aunts supported their families while alcoholic husbands drank three quarters of their wives’ earnings, and almost all of their own.

      Women generally do the shopping for groceries, personal needs for all family members, and often their husband’s clothing, plus gifts the couple give to their children and others.

      Tib’s comments are disgusting. And OG is just an ignorant, arrogant, self-opinionated old fool who can’t help putting everyone else down and posting wild and baseless assumptions that suggest everyone else in the world – EXCEPT HIM – is thoroughly stupid.

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      Actually, I can’t think of a single woman I know who spends more than her husband, and I know very few who earn less. My daughters all earn much more than their husbands. One supports hers almost entirely, while he ”networks” – playing golf. My son’s partner earns more than him and spends virtually nothing by comparison with his outlays on motorbikes, cars, four-wheel driving and trail-bike riding.

      A friend spends heaps on tools his wife calls ”toys”. His wife spends more freely now but made all clothing the family, curtains, bedspreads, cushion covers, etc., upholstered couches and was a whiz at cooking excellent meals with ingredients that cost next to nothing. She also worked, earning as much as he did, and helped him me owner-build and renovate houses – carrying bricks and concrete and timber and painting and cleaning all night often, then going to work next day. He says she provided the deposit on their first home and he has no idea where it came from, as his earnings were tiny and she was busy having babies, but somehow she managed to put enough aside.

      Get a life, Tib! You are showing the world why you had such bad experiences with women. Obviously you are a selfish, egotistical, nasty man who no doubt treated women appallingly. Probably abusive, in fact, given the emotionally abusive way you ”speak” to women here.

    • 0
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      Ha ha Rainey I am old but no fool. Remember the saying a fool and his money are soon lost.

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      Rainey more name calling. Typical

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      Yes I don’t like name calling either so I don’t do it myself.

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      Fellas it is hardly fair to suggest that because a male may be the main breadwinner they worked and the other had it easy. Any relationship while it lasts is a contract and most of those contracts assume some roles though these are both expanding and varying all the time.

      If you are working full time and your partner is not excepting times where work cannot be found it is a matter of agreement between you.

      In my experience be careful with money and not being so is pretty fairly split between the sexes. It would be understandable that someone kept in the dark may have a lesser care in relation to the pot available but that is related to the other parties action.

      An uncle of mine would bring home a paycheck, hand it to my aunt, be given a very small allowance in return and never know anything more of it. Another couple in the family acted exactly the opposite. The good thing is that on both sides the one handling the money was an excellent manager of it and the marriages stayed contented.
      Other couples share the decision making, others do not but share the knowledge of what is available. It takes all kinds.

      I dont think having seen the quality of those relationships that any of these ways are essentially wrong. The guiding principal behind contentedness is probably consent while being informed as much as you agree to be.

    • 0
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      Far too many women adopt the idea that what’s your is mine and what’s mine is mine too.

      Everything goes along fine while ever a man accepts that. Pity the poor man who doesn’t.

    • 0
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      OG I don’t know why these women think their abusive name calling and bullying tactic are ok. I guess they just can’t accept other people are allowed a different opinion.

    • 0
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      Tib name calling seems nothing but being spiteful to me and is usually used to try and cut people down to their level or lower. One can’t just be rich he has to be filthy rich. That sort of thing where they try and turn a good thing into a bad thing due mainly to jealousy or inadequacy on their behalf.

      I just remember the old song we used to sing as kids and have a chuckle. You know the one. Sticks and stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me etc.

    • 0
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      OG, there are many ways to hurt and insult, and you do it constantly. You denigrate, boast, gloat, insult, wish hurt on others, and condemn people unfairly, and you are boasting again. It’s extremely offensive.

      I’m sure NOTHING can hurt you, because you are so full of yourself and convinced you are perfect in every way.

      As for you, Tib, I don’t think ANYONE here can compete with your nasty attacks on anyone born female. There’s a difference between having an opinion and ranting endlessly denigrating people you know nothing about for just being born a woman. Your rants are dishonest, insulting, cruel, and offensive in the extreme. Show a little respect and you might get more in return.

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      Looks like the tall poppy syndrome is alive and well then Rainey. If someone has more than you you are not pleased for them but want to cut them down to your level instead. I find that offensive too.

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      I couldn’t care less what anyone else has, OG, and I certainly don’t want to cut anyone down to my level (though it isn’t at all bad here). What I can’t stand is egomaniacs who can’t stop gloating and insulting others. You ARE offensive in the extreme – and it has NOTHING AT ALL to do with what you have – or more likely falsely claim to have, since you contradict your earlier postings completely. It has to do with you making an obnoxious, rude, nasty posts continually and constantly seeking to put others down and imply you are some kind of God. You are disgusting in your continual rants denigrating me and LYING about my situation – which of course you have no knowledge of at all except from posts in which I have repeated said the opposite to what you dishonestly claim.

      Stop the offensive lies about me and false accusations. I could care less what a miserable old egomaniac has or claims to have. It certainly hasn’t done you any good. I’d rather be poor any day that a nasty old sod like you.

    • 0
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      The delusional, despicable motormouth Rainey is at it again. She’s stalking another male victim with her misandrous bile.

  2. 0
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    My ex thought using rags and not Tampons was a good way to save money,,Her parents thought stealing toilet items from hotels and given them out at Xmas was a good way to save money,, But my Ex was happy to hound me for CSA was a great thing,

  3. 0
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    men are twice as likely to spend $500 without telling their partners. Because men make most of the money and women would have troubled hiding a $500 spend. Women waste money $50 and $100 at a time. But they are responsible for 90% of all waste. Shop till you drop, retail therapy…female heaven. The problem is women think shopping is for entertainment, they spend everything they have without any thought for the consequences..like children.
    Huge numbers of men are dragged down by greedy , self entitled women who are only concerned about their buying thrill ….their next purchase.
    Let’s be honest they are just a burden and not worth having. Only fools marry these days.

    • 0
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      I think you’ll find, Tib, that many successful, entreprenerial women and professonal women say your last two sentences about men. Perhaps they’ve met too many mysogynists.

    • 0
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      Tib, when my husband and I were working we earnt similar pay. We worked together to reach our goals and had a savings plan. We both had discretionary money which was ours to spend as we saw fit. We also agreed that we would not make ad hoc purchases of more than $100 without discussing it first. I like clothes but kept within my clothing budget. He likes sports and they can be expensive hobbies. Now comfortably retired, the same principles apply except I manage the money because I’m better at hunting down bargains, tracking spending, maintaining a budget etc. I know both men and women who are shopaholics and your comments just show a personal bias not facts.

    • 0
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      No matter what you say shop owners know who does all the spending almost every shop in any town is aimed at female shopaholics. Triss don’t bother with the misogyanist comment for every one of those there is a hundred misandrists. Femtards is another name for them. Besides for every entrepreneurial woman there is a thousand successful males.

    • 0
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      Poor old Tib. You’re a real relic of an age which has thankfully passed. All your prejudices are so typical of a type of man who is following the dinosaurs. Let’s face it, you had a really good run but now that wife beating is illegal all the fun has gone hasn’t it?

    • 0
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      Happy cyclist no I’m the future the one where we won’t pay your way while you sit home and bludge and shop all day. Get a job , we aren’t carrying you any more. You’re lazy days are over. Ha ha

    • 0
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      1000 successful men for every female entrepreneur, Tib. Do you have documentary proof of that, any evidence based studies?

    • 0
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      Triss your right 1000 to 1 is underestimating the number of successful men but hay I didn’t want to embarrass you.

    • 0
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      Unfortunately, Tib, your comments demean and embarrass you more than they embarrass me.

    • 0
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      Nope. Sure don’t. If you want to play the misogynist card and then the feminist guilt trip, you don’t have my respect nor do I take you seriously. I will respect your comments when you have something serious to say.

    • 0
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      Triss is right, Tib. You’ve portrayed yourself in a very, very bad light and most here have formed a low opinion of you. It’s no wonder you think so poorly of women. Clearly, any good woman would give you wide berth given your nasty sexist attitude and rudeness. Try treating women with respect and you just MIGHT meet some of the millions of very good women who most men would give their eye teeth to have as wives.

    • 0
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      Tib is right, Rainey. You’ve portrayed yourself in a very, very bad light, and several here have a low opinion of you. Clearly, any good man would give you wide berth given your nasty sexist attitude and rudeness. Try treating men with respect and you just MIGHT meet some of the millions of very good men who most women would give their eye teeth to have as husbands.

    • 0
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      Wow! A PHD and the best you can do is paraphrase my words to insult me, Knows-a-lot! Really don’t know anything at all, do you? Quite pathetic!

      You are a joke. I am known and deeply loved by dozens of very good men, and I can’t think of a single one who dislikes me. And that goes for women too. And I am very happily married to a partner who has been telling everyone for 47 years how wonderful I am. (I say the same of my partner. Good people generally attract good people, and a-holes attract a-holes, which clearly happened to you and Tib to make you both so bitter and twisted.)

      The only people here who have low opinion of me are the bigoted fools who can’t comprehend common sense and logic and think that standing up for women and for healthy values is somehow sexist or rude. Actually, I’ve had several private messages from people congratulating me on my posts and pleading with me to ignore the likes of you and Tib. And the majority on this site are thoroughly disgusted with yours and Tib’s garbage.

    • 0
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      “Wow! A PHD and the best you can do is paraphrase my words to insult me, Knows-a-lot!”

      No – it wasn’t the best I could do. I did it simply to dumb things down to your low level of intelligence in the (perhaps forlorn) hope that you’d get the point.

      “Really don’t know anything at all, do you? Quite pathetic!”

      A perfect description of yourself.

      “You are a joke.”

      Yes indeed, you are. But I’m not laughing.

      ” I am known and deeply loved by dozens of very good men, and I can’t think of a single one who dislikes me.”

      You need to visit a psychiatrist who might be able to help you with your delusions.

      “And I am very happily married to a partner who has been telling everyone for 47 years how wonderful I am.”

      Wow, he’s scraped the bottom of the barrel. And if he thinks you’re wonderful then he needs to visit the shrink too. You are the absolute antithesis of wonderful.

      “a-holes attract a-holes”

      Yes, you typify that point.

      “which clearly happened to you and Tib to make you both so bitter and twisted.”

      Talking about yourself again, not Tib or I.

      “The only people here who have low opinion of me are the bigoted fools who can’t comprehend common sense and logic and think that standing up for women and for healthy values is somehow sexist or rude.”

      Dream on, you deluded fool. (PS: I topped two courses of logic at university.)

      “Actually, I’ve had several private messages from people congratulating me on my posts and pleading with me to ignore the likes of you and Tib. And the majority on this site are thoroughly disgusted with yours and Tib’s garbage. “

      Yeah, sure … in your fantasy world.

  4. 0
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    Goodness me, what’s required is a good sense of humour, really. After all, boys will be boys and grow up to be men will be men, thank fully and bless them all.

  5. 0
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    Never had an argument about money. My lady used to get a bit quietly upset about my toys I think, but after spending 6 years cruising the Pacific islands on one with me, that kind of changed. The fact that the bills were always paid, & we own everything free & clear probably helps. No credit cards, & we only buy what we can pay cash for.

    After the kids were gone she did start to develop a shoe collection to rival Imelda Marcos, but that stopped when one of the kids needed a bit of financial help. I think she still gives that one a bit more help than she tells me, but that is much better than needing another shoe cupboard.

    The secret is to combined spend a bit less than your income, & there is nothing to argue about.

  6. 0
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    When my husband and I married we had very little in the way of assets or money. We were quite prepared to scrimp and scrape to save for our future, but unfortunately my husband would never believe that I was trying hard enough, and this caused many arguments and a lot of bad feeling. I was very distressed by the fact that he thought I was wasting his money, although I couldn’t have done any more to save. When finally I faced up to him and asked whether he trusted me he said “no, because any wife would try to do her man down and take his money if she could”. Needless to say this didn’t do much for our fledgling relationship, and although I continued to do my best he continued to carp and criticize, and the damage was done. By the way, our financial situation over the years has been rock solid and we are very comfortable in retirement, so obviously I was never the danger he imagined. I have to say though, that had I not become pregnant very early on I don’t think we would have stayed married for long. I found his attitude toward myself and money extremely hurtful and disillusioning.

  7. 0
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    Hands up all those women who, when asked if a dress/shoes are new, say they have had the item for months/years and hubby just hasn’t bothered to notice it before. Keep your hand up if you learned it from your mother.

  8. 0
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    I would have thought the greatest reason for breakups is constant nagging from the missus. ALL women nag men, only the degree of nagging varies.

  9. 0
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    I should have had that secret bank account – OFFSHORE !!!

  10. 0
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    Don’t mess with Mr Misogynist. No comment

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