Unfortunately, hearing about someone getting a divorce in the United States is something like hearing it’s going to rain; it’s unfortunate, but it’s just a fact of life. After all, approximately 50% of all marriages in the U.S. end up in divorce.
Just because Americans understand divorce is a way of life in this country, that doesn’t mean they understand the reasons behind it. Too often, people assume that a divorce is the result of a lack of love, infidelity, or family problems. The reality, however, surprises most.
What’s Love Got to Do with It?
While issues of love, trust, and all the rest certainly lead to divorce, it’s money that causes more issues than anything else. Recent statistics show that 68% of all divorces end because of money. Cheating and arguments about the family, on the other hand, end 60% and 36% of marriages, respectively.
To a certain extent, fights about money are unavoidable. Regardless of how much money a couple makes, arguments over finances are the most likely thing to drive a wedge into the relationship.
What Can You Do About It?
First, you have to realize that you’re going to fight with your spouse sometimes, whether it’s over the finances or over deciding whose turn it is to do the dishes. That being said, there isn’t any rule that says your financial troubles need to lead you to family court.
Just Talk to Each Other
Sometimes the only thing you need to do to avoid a financial issue in your marriage is to be transparent. As with other issues in a relationship, much of the sting of a financial pitfall can be avoided simply by talking with one another. Before you make a big purchase that will affect your financial situation, talk it through with your spouse. If work is cutting your hours, thereby cutting your income, don’t lie about it. Honesty and transparency will go a long way in shielding your union’s stability.
Stop Thinking of Money as “Mine” and “Yours”
Especially if one member of the family works for a paycheck while the other works to take care of the family at home, resentment and a sense of ownership or entitlement can develop around the finances. In the end, this leads to an idea of “my” money and “your” money. That may seem fair on paper, but you really need to remember why you got married to begin with. Didn’t you say your vows so you could live an equally beneficial life together?
No marriage can ever be the fantastical fairy-tale we’ve been sold in Disney films. The truth is that maintaining trust, love, and commitment takes work. Work to communicate with each other and to have a truly equal relationship in all things, financial or otherwise. If you can do that, your chances of beating the odds are much greater.