Financial stress and disagreements over finances are a leading cause of divorce


Words: Elanie van Eeden

With SA Marriage Week kicking off this week (1-7 September), it is a good idea to revise your joint finances as soon as possible.

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“Marriages are under pressure and an external factor like financial problems can quickly become an internal relationship problem. With SA Marriage Week we want to equip couples with as much information as possible to keep good marriages on course and to assist marriages in distress,” says Liezel van der Merwe, managing editor of INTIEM and founder of SA Marriage Week.

Financial reconcilability requires your and your spouse’s attitude towards money related matters and your present financial position to be investigated to avoid future conflict. People enter a marriage with different perspectives with regards to financial matters and spending styles, but as a marital unit with shared future goals these perspectives should correspond. If not a couple should at least respect each other or agree on a compromise where two spouses meet each 0ther in the middle.

Money secrets are a huge threat for any marriage. Experts all agree that prospective marriage couples should be honest about their financial situation and also decide beforehand which party in the marriage will manage the wallet. Although some couples choose to keep their finances separate, provision should still be made for joint expenses like the mortgage, the children’s education and vacations. While bad debt can place a strain on a young marriage, an unforeseen financial stress situation can threaten an already established marriage.

Sometimes financial issues are just symptoms for deeper underlying relationship problems. Well known marriage counsellor and author Dr. Phil says a person should be cautious to use money as a weapon against your spouse. He believes that once a financial problem emerges, a person should ask oneself if it is a financial problem or a relationship problem.

If you and your spouse are experiencing financial stress get a financial advisor during SA Marriage Week to assist you in a consulting position when it comes to your budget and finances. If you realize that financial stress has taken a toll on your marriage, call on the help of a qualified marriage and relationship therapist.

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