The Bottom Line on Your Fights About Money

Fighting about moneyThe Bottom Line on Your Fights About Money

Why Fighting About Money Isn’t About Money

Money is often listed as main cause for divorce. Usually couples who are fighting about money have deeper underlying issues that make financial issues a huge disconnection in the relationship.


  • All healthy relationships bicker and fight, especially around money.
  • Negative patterns happen in relationships around communication and it is important to know how to navigate through it successfully without driving a wedge in the relationship.
  • Money is usually a sensitive subject because couples have different approaches with handling money – Spender/Saver/In-betweener
  • Money – specifically how you spend exposes vulnerability.
  • It is import to understand what is UNDERNEATH the money topic.

The “Dog  House” – What Not to Do

  • Control – Demand, direct, control, mirco-manage, etc. – Take over control of finances (talk about financial abuse – resources if feeling manipulated or controlled)
  • Complain – Complain, Nag, Pick, Poke, Blame, Attack
  • Put up a wall, withdraw
  • Silently Build Resentment
  • Secretly shop or spend money
  • Prove you have self worth or feel like you have to make up in other ways

The FIX – How to Address Financial Conflict

  • Calm Yourself Down – Before jumping on the topic when upset, press the pause button, calm yourself down.
  • Get to The Root – Basically we need to get to the root of the fears. Fear not able to connect, fear not able to feel secure, fear of not being able to self sooth. Take a deep look at why you or your partner is reacting the way they are. There is fear behind it. (childhood poverty, fear of not being equal, fear of being less-than, etc). Once you understand where it comes from, the easier it is to understand why the childhood poverty has your partner buying nice things.
  • Share Your Fears – Stay away from the content of “buying the top from Target”– This will only come out critical and blaming. Instead, talk about your fears from the big picture view point. What are you most afraid of around money?
  • Give your Partner Benefit of the Doubt – Remind yourself this is your partner, not your enemy. He/she is doing the best they can.
  • Know your negative cycle – Know your negative cycle, the steps you typically take, and step out of it. It only takes one person to respond different to stop the pattern.
  • Team up – Team up and set a Financial Plan Together. You two will need to sit down and create a budget together, considering the fears, and being compassionate to one another.


4 Issues Lurking Under Your Fights About Money – Jennifer Chappell Marsh, LMFT

Tips To Handle Financial Stress As A Couple– Jennine Estes, LMFT


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