Money: Root of many marriage problems

Couple using a box as a table © Christopher Howey |

If you have read this blog very long, you may have noticed the lack of posts about money and finances. This is not because I feel the issue is not relevant to marriage; I know that money is a major source of conflict in marriages, and often a part of the reason a couple divorces (see Money and housework – final thoughts on marriage and children study). Rather, my failure to cover this is because I am reluctant to discuss things unless I have a decent understanding of them, and have some measure of success with them in my own life and marriage.

It’s not that my finances are a disaster, but entering marriage with a lack of financial wisdom, and years of irregular income (a family owned business in a seasonal field) have made money a challenge for my bride and me. That it has not been a big problem is more due to our desire to communicate and work through things than because we know how to handle money; that, and God’s grace to us, taking care of us as we have learned to depend on Him.

It is my intention to do more posts on the intersection of marriage and money in the future. In part this is because of my growing awareness of how big an issue money is for many marriages. Additionally I will be better informed and equipped to deal with this subject as my bride and I are helping to do a Financial Peace University for a couple of churches in our little town.  I have no doubt you will hear more about this over the next months.

My advice to you, gentlemen, is to be brutally honest with yourself. Is money a problem in your life? Is it a problem in your marriage? Would your bride say it’s a problem? (You could get radical and ask her!) If it’s a problem, don’t ignore it any longer. You can learn to manage your money rather than being ruled by it – or lack of it. You can end money as a source of frustration and strife in your marriage. Like anything else, all it takes is education and the determination to do what you learn.

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4 Comments on “Money: Root of many marriage problems

  1. FPU is great! I’ve read all of Dave’s books, listened to his FPU DVD course, and agree with most everything that he says. The trick, of course, is to then put that knowledge into practice.

  2. My wife, Sherry, and I took FPU for the first time a year ago. During that 13 week session we had more POSITIVE conversations about money than we’d had during our previous 22 years of marriage. We led an FPU session just ending at Thanksgiving and are leading another one starting next week. We have seen such an improvement in our marriage by dealing with money in a godly manner. To echo Matthew above, it is not about knowledge, it is about behavior. All the best!

  3. I agree about discussion reg family finances. Good idea would be to get educated first,then ask wife reg money, b/c you may have two different base lines reg spending standards…

  4. Before my wife and I got married, we decided that we would not argue about money because there is no logic to “fighting” about something that you don’t have. However, we also decided that we would each do our part in money management according to our strengths. As a result, we never agrued over money or the lack of it. I do wish, however, that I would have been taught before marriage what I have learned since about money and the proper handling of it. We would not have had to struggle nearly as much as we did, especially in our early years of marriage. We both handled our money the way we were taught by our parents and the church. Both sources were serious lacking in proper information both practically and spiritually. Our parents did not know any differently and probably the church did not either (which in a way is said). I on the other hand, have offered our congregation many., many opoortunities to learn how to be good stewards of everything God has given to them – the problem is that many of us don’t think we need the information because we know it all – after all we are not bankrupt yet.

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