Managing Marriage and Money

 Many married couples struggle with managing their finances. Some have a system to decide how to meet their obligations and goals, while others are not so lucky. As a therapist in Chevy Chase, MD, like Lindsey Hoskins & Associates can explain, many couples have difficulty finding a balance between successfully handling their marriage and their money. The following describes some common scenarios of financial strain couples face and advice on how to address each of them.


Couples who often fight about how each spends money may suffer from relationship neglect, which is more often the real source of the argument instead of finances. One spouse may spend money to get back at the other, or a spouse may use the other’s spending against them, bringing it up when it is most hurtful. Any spending in this scenario is usually beyond the couple’s budget and can cause serious financial hardship for the family. Couples who find themselves in this situation should seek the help of a counselor to address the underlying relationship issues that are causing the spending, which can help solve financial issues as well.

Love Is Expensive

Money troubles in a marriage do not always come with conflict. Some couples are so focused on each other and their relationship that they overspend on things like vacations, expensive gifts, and a home that is out of their budget. Eventually, this couple will find themselves without money and debt. Couples can dig themselves out of this situation with financial planning and get out of debt by living according to their means.

Women as Breadwinners

Women who are the primary source of income for their families may feel extra pressure to be responsible for everything. Fulfilling roles in their careers and being wives and moms is a large burden for most women, which can cause problems in their marriages and with their money. Couples in this situation need to seek help from professionals and enact equal spending rights within reason for each person involved.

Competing with the Neighbors

Another detrimental money and marriage situation is when a couple feels pressured to keep up with their peers regarding spending habits and material possessions. More and more often, people in the U.S. are becoming used to carrying debt to meet these desires. Having a large debt can cause stress and problems within a marriage. Since this type of spending usually deals more with wants than needs, couples are more likely to fight about this type of spending. Financial planning is key to overcoming this situation, but so is communication and reflection with your partner on why this type of spending got so out of control in the first place.

Consider Couples Counseling

Some of the situations above may require a little work, but a solution is often possible. Other times, a couple’s financial hardship may be significant enough to seek out a couple’s counselor. Don’t hesitate to reach out for help if you would like to speak with a counselor or if you and your partner’s financial issues are affecting your relationship.