Money Is More than Dollars – Emotions and Finance in Relationships

When relationships fail, about 70% of those who decide to split do so because of money issues. We intellectualize money and talk about it in terms of making sound financial decisions. The recognition of the emotions connected to money is rarely discussed even in the closest of relationships. Couples are more likely to talk about sex than talk about how money represents power, self-worth, approval, social standing, and security.

When relationships are strained, the issues around money take on a heightened importance. It’s often the weapon of choice in the battle field of who is right and who is wrong.

Money is often laden with values and proving the other person wrong has little chance of success. Our approach to money is inherited and learned and is a deep seated belief. We inherit much of what we know and feel about money from our family of origin and then we add to it as we mature and have our own money.

For example in one family, it’s a given that all advanced education costs are covered completely. In another family the rule is the child is out of the house at 18 and any advanced education is for them to get or not.

When there are these types of disparate views, couples need to have a fuller discussion about how money and financial matters affect how they feel about themselves and what it means to them in terms of values. They are more likely to find their way through money problems if they are willing to communicate and explore alternatives. Couples financial mediation is one approach to working together to find workable solutions.

Cinda Jones, CFP, CDFA
San Diego – Del Mar – Carlsbad

Read more about Cinda’s practice in California financial planning for marriage and divorce mediation or visit her divorce financial solutions website.

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