Money matters can make a relationship go from feeling completely comfortable to seriously unstable. Maybe one of you has a little (okay, a lot) more debt than you had disclosed before tying the knot. Maybe you’re someone who meticulously saves every month, only to have your efforts thwarted by your partner's latest Amazon splurge. Or, maybe you feel you’ve somehow been left out of the money-managing process altogether. Whatever the reason, money is often the crux of many relationship woes and, sadly, their endings. Considering that financial troubles are the top predictor of divorce — regardless of the couple’s combined income — money is undoubtedly an area that could use some extra attention in any relationship.
That said, often the biggest problem is that couples are unsure how to approach the topic. “Money is such an emotional subject,” says Robyn Crane, a money coach and wealth strategist who works with couples to determine how their finances might be jeopardizing their relationship. Crane has even developed a quiz to help couples pinpoint their financial miscommunications. “Most people don’t talk about it because they feel they shouldn’t feel this way. Then the pressure rises, and out of nowhere a fight happens, when all the other person did was buy a lollipop at the store. Don’t wait until it gets so bad that it explodes.”
Even among those couples that do regularly talk about money, solutions are tricky. According to a 2014 study by Fidelity, 51% of participants admitted to arguing either frequently or occasionally about money, and of that number, 38% said they’ve never actually solved their financial arguments in a mutually agreeable way.
Ahead, some of the common money problems couples face, along with suggestions for how to go about resolving them. Click through to find out how to get your money conversation rolling.