Money can’t buy you love- but a financial imbalance can hurt your love if you don’t take action. Being in love is great, but can be difficult if one partner makes more than the other. Here’s how to deal with a financial imbalance in your relationship.
Talk About It.
Couples talk about everything except money. Make an effort to talk to your partner about how the financial imbalance can affect your relationship. If your partner feels left out or inferior because you have the money to splurge on an item and they don’t, make sure to encourage your partner to talk about their feelings. Take time to reassure your partner that money is not the most important issue in your relationship.
Don’t Make Your Partner Feel Guilty for Earning Less.
Make sure that your partner doesn’t feel like the lesser partner if they’re earning less than you. They may want to earn more, but are having difficulty because they don’t have a certain qualification, their career is in transition, or they’re just unlucky in their job search. Encourage your partner and offer positive reinforcement. Also, don’t refer to the house earnings as "my money" if you’re the breadwinner. "Use inclusive language, as you are a team!" said Dr. Rachel Needle, a clinical psychologist. "If you use terms like ‘my money,’ it can push your partner away and lead to disconnection and decreased self-esteem." To keep money from becoming a proprietary issue, have one joint bank account and two separate accounts. That way, with your own individual accounts, you don’t have to be accountable to one another when you want to make a purchase.
Have regular financial meetings.
When the bills come, you and your partner can address the bills. Have weekly meetings to ensure that you both are keeping up with the changes in your finances. This will also make clear what short and long-term goals you both have for your finances."This allows both partners to be in the know of what is brought in, being spent, plan for things you want, discuss spending, or express feelings regarding finances," says Dr. Needle.
Divide the chores 50/50.
Even though your finances may not be equal, the household chores can still be divided evenly. If your partner works part-time and you work full-time, you can divide the chores based on free time in your schedules. Create a chore wheel to make sure the chores are done equally by you and your partner.
Have Quality Time Together Without Money.
Take the pressure off potential money worries by doing something for free. Cooking together or going to a local art gallery are just some things you and your partner can do that are affordable and won’t cause a fight over money.
Money can be a major part of a relationship, but it isn’t more important than the love you have for your partner. With honesty and love, you and your partner can have a great relationship no matter what you both earn.