Money woes are often cited as the reason that many couples end up splitting apart. However, it isn't necessarily a lack of money that drives people to divorce. In fact, the real root of money problems in marriages can be surprisingly complex.
Here are some of the ways that money can negatively affect your marriage:
1. Your attitude toward money or financial priorities doesn't match.
Attitudes toward money can vary greatly from person to person. More than being "savers" and "spenders," some people see the acquisition of wealth as important in its own right, while others see money as a mere tool. Those differing views can also affect your financial priorities. If your spouse sees money as all-important and wants to keep banking it, you may come to resent the long-term frugality when you think it's time to lighten up and spend the fruits of your labors.
2. One or both of you are hiding money or debts.
When one spouse hides money and assets from the other, that's a major signal of distrust. Similarly, when a spouse goes on shopping sprees, racks up credit card debt or hides their student loans, that's bound to create a lot of tension (once they're discovered) and seem dishonest. A lack of trust and dishonesty are both relationship-killers and can easily create permanent rifts in a marriage.
3. You don't feel like equal partners about money.
If you and your spouse don't equally contribute to the family's fortunes, you may start to develop a relationship where one person has all the financial control. That can quickly devolve into resentment on both sides and fuel battles over who has the "right" to spend money in the household.
When money issues fragment a marriage, the odds are high that the divorce will focus heavily on the division of marital assets and debts. Make certain that you take the necessary steps to protect your interests.