Fighting Over Money: my spouse lends money to friends without talking to me
Written by Brenden Kennedy

Fighting Over Money: my spouse lends money to friends without talking to me

When you get married, you share more than emotions. You also share financial responsibilities. For some couples this can lead to fighting over money. For example, if one of you lends money to a friend without talking about it first, it can lead to frustrating surprises. You may not know where the money went, or whether you will ever get it back.

Imagine you’re at the grocery store and your debit card is declined. As you dig frantically through your purse to find a credit card, you try to think of why this is happening. You know you balanced your checkbook recently, and there should have been at least enough in the account to cover your groceries. Then you remember: your spouse was telling you about his buddy’s motorcycle restoration project and how he just needs “a few hundred bucks” to get the job done.

Lending money to friends without talking to your spouse can be a red flag of looming marital problems. If the behavior continues, you may find the same argument repeating again and again. Unfortunately, fighting over money can create tension that lingers during fights and long after the talks. You need to find ways to address your money differences. If you can’t, you may decide divorce is your best option.

Differences in Spending Habits

One reality that couples must face is that they often approach money differently. One of you may focus on saving and retirement, while the other is happy spending each paycheck. Even within this, you will find nuances. Some people have trouble saying no to friends in need or want to give to charity even in lean times.

Differences will almost always exist. However, problems arise when you fail to address them together. Fighting over money can veer in many different directions. Arguments about your home, parenting and special occasions may all stem from these financial differences. The longer you let this fester, the harder it becomes to move forward.

How to Stop Fighting Over Money

The first critical step to help you stop fighting over money is to communicate. You may find that when you try to talk, you’re not really listening to each other. Fighting over money happens because you approach finances from different perspectives.

One way to get on the same page about your finances is to develop a careful budget. This will include fixed expenses for bills, variable costs for things like groceries and then everything else that you must pay for each month. The budget should also identify what income you are bringing in, what you need to save and what you can spend on discretionary expenses.

From here, you can also look into ways to bring in more money, either to save or to use as spending money. This can include cutting back on expenses or working on side projects. It not only gives you a way to match your budget but also a way to work together. Instead of fighting over money, it helps you collaborate.

Working with a financial advisor can help you break the impasse. If you are fighting over money with no end in sight, you may need a fresh perspective from a neutral party. Work with an advisor to develop strategies to address concerns and plan for the future. They can give you tips that help you move forward together.

Collaborative Divorce as an Option

Unfortunately, not every marriage can be saved. Fighting over money is a leading predictor of divorce, and sometimes working on your issues isn’t enough. A collaborative divorce process gives you the option of working with a neutral financial professional that will help you address your concerns and reach a mutually beneficial agreement.

If you and your spouse are fighting over money constantly, you have options. Collaborative divorce can give you a path forward. To learn more, contact a professional at Best Legal Choices.