" ITREALMS: How to handle finance in your relationship - ITREALMS

Thursday, November 17, 2022

How to handle finance in your relationship - ITREALMS

HeartsJourney@ITREALMS ... making leadership SENSE with digital news!

The love of money right from time has always and will always be an issue. 

Ada who is a telecoms staff, was doing quite well financially and has been taking care of the bills for a few years, while her spouse Ken an engineer survives majorly on contracts, which has not been forthcoming for years apart from little jobs family and friends give him out of pity. Ken still has a bad habit of gambling and buying things on credit which always caused issues between himself and Ada.
Heart's Journey with Ishioma Onah
Another scene is of Modupe and Alabi both well paid professionals earning good money but Alabi had several investments he has not told Modupe about and Modupe also has a habit of buying only designer clothes to wear which most times makes Alabi very upset as she has shown herself to be a heavy spender and never gets to save a penny.

Money issues can cause no end of arguments in a relationship, arguments that will never end if not addressed logically and on time, will lead to partners keeping secrets and final disintegration of the relationship. Through my experience as a professional counsellor, I've found that even the most seemingly together couples that appear to have everything working and going on well for them, some still find it difficult to talk or discuss about money. Some delete credit alerts, debits alerts, steal each other’s ATM card. 

Some acquire property secretly, buy cars or items and lie that it was purchased on loan. Some even have houses they live in and rent, not letting their partners know that they are the landlord or landlady. So sad really, but the truth is finance is powerful enough to end friendships and relationships.

Ideally, financial status should not matter when relationships are involved. You may be madly in love with someone, but please have it in mind that when you get serious, you're joining your financial statuses together, no matter how good or bad the status is. So you need to love with your eyes open and medulla oblongata intact!

So my question is are you arguing with your spouse about money? I can tell you for a fact that you are definitely not alone. When you put together partners and money side by side, you will surely have days where all hell will let loose, especially when you want to buy food for the house and someone is requesting for a pair of shoes or Gucci hand bag. Did you know money is one of the major issues people in relationships fight about? MONEY, SEX, FOOD are serious issues to people but money is the aspect we are facing today. It is so bad it can lead to break in a relationship and sometimes outright divorce.

Trying to merge your life and that of your spouse, especially in relation to money is not easy, it is a continuous work in progress as each individual has their own perspective. Here are a few mistakes couples make when it comes to their money and relationships and possible ways to avoid or handle them. The truth is talking about money with your partner is the key to handling the issues before they even come.

One of you is cheating, and spending on the affair

Problem that has risen: Any type of affair same sex or otherwise can destroy a relationship. And when the wayward partner has been running up bills no matter how small it is with some side chick or side cock, side goat or whatever they are called these days, this will only worsen the issue.

Action Plan: If you decide after all the turbulence to stick to each other, that is if you are both patient and strong enough. You will need to get counselling or have a serious heart to heart talk with each other. Phew ...this is not easy at all, but it can work, if you are committed. Nobody plans to cheat, sometimes it crawls up on you and over takes you, which is why even in relationships one needs to be emotionally intelligent so you don’t get sucked into what will hurt your spouse, guard your heart and thoughts jealously.

From a financial aspect the erring partner going forward needs to be transparent the person who betrayed their partner would have to be willing to make all financial transactions transparent, what this implies is that you will have to willingly inform you partner on all financial transactions which is income and expenditure and discuss on what you spend, thereby making you financially and emotionally accountable.

The problem of partner hiding debts

Problem that has risen: This I am so sure will not be news to you, while you may not be doing this, you will at least know one or two people doing this. Why? Because it is a common situation amongst friends, family and people in relationships. Hiding debt is not just keeping mum about the money, it also shows that there are fundamental issues of trust amongst couples who experience this.

Action plan: It may be difficult to discuss this particular one, but you have to start it anyway. So the first step is to not judge, shout or make the person feel worse. Let your statements always have “we” so that they know you are interested in helping them sort it out, as long as she or she is not a chronic debtor, in that case immediate counsel is needed. By working together to understand how it happened and how to avoid a future occurrence will help you both heal and move on. Regular expense review is important here.

If one of you loses your Job

Problem that has risen: I lost my job about 9 years ago. It was the worst feeling ever, from a point of financial capacity to a point of financial helplessness. This can destroy anyone’s self-worth/ego, affect feeling of independence and make them feel like a liability to others. Because in a lot of cases it means whoever has the job will bear so much more financial burden, which can cause a lot of harm.

Action Plan: Losing your job is not same as losing your life. GO AND GET ANOTHER JOB. Strategize on the jobs that you can apply for and get your partner to help, this also means while not working you have to DO something and try not to lazy about. make yourself useful to the republic and community. This will help both of you adjust to the present situation. You may also need to consider cutting back on some excesses.

If one spouse gets sick, and the medical bills are huge

Problem that has risen: There is nothing as bad as having a spouse who cannot adjust to the unexpected. because life is full of unexpected happenings. Adjusting may be hard, but health is something every wants, good one for that matter, no one prays or wishes for ill health. Sudden illness is a sad situation, but remains a number one priority. Which all couples need to know and understand. There are so many situations where sudden illness takes a huge toll on spouse and family, making them resentful and angry as they have to deprive themselves.

Action Plan: understand what is involved, in terms of cost, insurance, in fact everything. Seek help from others if you can. once the costs have been known, talk about them and agree, so that you know what you are budgeting for. And what you can forgo for now.

Resentment can happen, after all we are humans. If nothing is working, then go for counselling. If you can survive this trying period, you will find out that you will both be stronger together.
Lending family money, and they never pay back

Problem that has risen: Family members and money. This is another issue with trust, sometimes family members come up with business ideas and ask you to get involved, sometimes they come asking for money all the time and you keep giving, even at the detriment of your own needs and that of your spouse. A toxic relationship can erupt here, as one spouse will be forced to take sides or quarrel with family because of money not being paid back. At the end of the day it boils down to who you perceive to be right or wrong. And if you feel your spouse deserves to be paid back.

Action point: It is still possible to fix trust between everyone, though a difficult thing to accomplish, as one may need to create boundaries. You will have to accompany your spouse as a team with one voice and tell them (family) how you feel and what they need to do to rectify the situation. This will clear the air and let family know that you have a unified front and destroy any doubts anyone has been experiencing or feeling. Also any misconception on repayment needs to be a cleared and put in the open. You may not recover the loan, but at least will have been put in proper perspective.

There are many more issues related to finance in relationship apart from the few raised above. But with understanding patience, dialogue and proper communication, any couple can overcome issues like this and come out stronger. I wish you all the best.

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