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Why stress over money ruins even affluent marriages

Concerns over money are often cited as one of the leading causes of divorce, and not just for those who don't have enough to make ends meet. Even those who make a terrific salary or own their own successful businesses can run into plenty of money-related stress that tears a relationship apart. In some cases, having more just means there are more avenues for stress and more ways for disputes to manifest.

Why does this happen?

There are many reasons, but a common factor is that the two people involved often do not view money the same way. They manage money differently. They value money, and security, differently and they're both stressed about the way their partner does things.

For example, maybe you're 45 and you've spent the last two decades building up your own company. You've put time and energy into it, and you've also put a ton of your own money down. As a result, you're very aware of where every last cent goes. You know how important every dollar is, and you keep a close eye on everything, trying to avoid frivolous spending even when you have more than enough.

Your spouse, though, married you at 35. He or she wasn't there for the building process and just thinks of the business as something that exists and generates an income. Your spouse doesn't view the company and the profits it generates the same way you do, and he or she is far more likely spend money more easily. Disputes over arise when spouses disagree over the following:

  • The purchase of expensive, designer or name brand products
  • The purchase of items such as new cars, which depreciate rapidly and offer little to no return
  • Taking out additional loans for unnecessary expenses
  • Failing to make payents on things like credit card debt, leading to late fees
  • Maintaining debt via credit cards and short-term loans, despite a relatively high income

Opposing views about money

Essentially, you and your spouse have differing views about money. While some differences are easy to reconcile, differences concerning money are not among them. Unless both parties earn enough to fully support their chosen money management style, disagreements will arise.

Money problems also have a tendency to spill over into other areas of a marriage. Every evening out or simple shopping trip can instigate an argument. It is hardly a solution to money disputes to take a vacation and get away from it all. Whether you choose to spend money or save it, one or both parties are likely to find cause for unhappiness.

That's one way that stress about money, even for the wealthy, can send a couple to divorce court. If you wind up there, you need to know your legal rights. It is important to have a thorough understanding of your finances and of the law when it comes time to divorce. An experienced attorney is a necessity when a divorce involves complex assets or business holdings.

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