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How to Stop Fighting About MoneyOne fact that holds true about the troubles most marriages face — whether it’s a couple deciding to file for divorce or to enter counseling for their issues — is that finances are a big deal. The struggle that money can cause is often named as the number one reason why most marriages come to an end.

While it’s not an easy topic to talk about, and it can lead to many arguments, it’s a discussion worth having. After all, it will come out eventually, and the longer it sits, the more likely it is to result in a knock-down, drag-out altercation. If you want to know how to stop fighting about money, here’s what you should do.

First: Don’t Approach It As An Adversarial Topic.

Married people are supposed to be partners. That means you’re supposed to show your dreams, beliefs, and concerns about pretty much any topic. When it comes to finances, find out your partner’s financial vision. Be open to his or her ideas, and also, share your own. Once you’ve approached the subject from a non-adversarial standpoint, it’s easier to have respect for each other’s wishes, and that will stop most fights before they ever start. During this time, make sure not to judge. Acknowledge the validity of your partner’s financial goals, but do so with a healthy dose of realism. Ask yourselves how you can accomplish your financial objectives without putting the overall family portfolio in jeopardy.

Secondly: Create A Budget Together. 

Sit down and take account of your incomes together. Then, add all your obligations, including taxes and savings, and use this time to continue the conversation you started in step one, if needed. It’s very important that you both are committed to the budget, and that said budget is fair to both parties. Stay at the table until you have an agreement, and you’ll greatly reduce your chances of seeing divorce papers later in the marriage.

Finally: Consider Separate Accounts.

No one’s saying to ditch the idea of a joint account. Having one account for bills and necessities is certainly a sign of trust and togetherness that will serve you well throughout the marriage. However, when it comes to spending money, separate accounts are certainly worth the effort. For starters, they symbolically help you maintain a piece of who you were before the marriage, and that’s important to any relationship’s success. You don’t want to lose yourself, even if you are doing the whole 2-become-1 thing. After all, your spouse fell in love with you, not with the idea of having a clone. Also, the joint account represents financial boundaries, which are so important to your health and stability as a couple. If you both understand that joint money is for the necessities (i.e. house payment, groceries, insurance, bills, etc.), then you won’t attempt to spend that money frivolously, and that will reduce the amount of conflict that you face as a couple.

Filing divorce forms over financial reasons is something that happens all too often in this country. But as long as you deal with each other fairly, openly, and honestly in regards to money, it will never be an issue.

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