My wife and I teach pre-marriage and marriage seminars on handling your finances according to your marital vows. Couples who live well below their means have an excess and largess which allows them both peace of mind and also the financial resources to realize their dreams together.
Katherine Reynolds Lewis in her article in Money Magazine entitled “Is Money Pulling You Apart?” writes that the signs of financial marital trouble include:
You argue often and intensely. In an analysis of 4,500 couples, Jeffrey Dew of Utah State University found that those who disagreed about money once a week were twice as likely to divorce as those who differed less than once a month.
Debt, savings, or spending is the big issue. These topics are particularly corrosive. Dew found that a couple with $10,000 in debt and no savings is twice as likely to divorce as a couple with no debt and $10,000 in savings.
We have recommended that couples work on a budget together for Valentine’s Day since a successful marriage is much more than gazing into each other’s eyes. We recommend that young couples safeguard their finances in order to preserve financial harmony in marriage. You can even listen to a radio interview on the subject of financial harmony in marriage.
We’ve also recommended that couples renew their shared financial vision after 25 years of marriage in order to prepare for the second half of marriage. All of this focus on financial planning for marital happiness is based on the recognition that financial planning begins with spiritual values and is simply a support and extension of making our lives have significance.
If you aren’t working on how your finances will support your shared dreams, you are missing an opportunity to improve your marriage. Do something romantic together: Engage a fee-only financial planner.