Communication about money is essential in relationships

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If you are in a relationship where the handling of money has been an issue, it can tear at the fabric of that relationship. Open and honest communication is just about the only solution I can recommend to avert disaster.

I recently spoke to a man who told me that his marriage was in serious trouble. He’s working two jobs because he and wife are severely in debt. By his telling, his wife ran up over $100,000 in credit card debt that is in her name because she’s a compulsive shopper. He feels obligated to bail his wife out when the collectors call for her.

Two things are going on here. First, this man and his wife need to have better communication. Second, this man is an enabler for his wife’s spending habits. It’s no different than buying an alcoholic a drink.

There can be all different levels of issues involving money in a couple. The thing that’s so often missing is that people need to have conversations. When people do talk, it’s usually in anger with them shouting at each other. Or most of the time, they avoid talking about the money issue completely.

The important thing is to have conversations routinely, not when something is a problem. And it’s not just one conversation, it’s a continuing series of conversations that may be necessary.

As a couple, communication is at the core of you handling money well as a team. You need to find compromises that work for both of you.

Life has its trials and tribulations. Marriage and relationships can be a fantastic journey, but they can also present a great challenge. I don’t want you to be in a position where you create roadblocks to happiness. Communication about money is so key, so important.

Editor’s note: This segement originally aired Oct. 28, 2011



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