Relationship Conflict Resolution: Part 1 – Money

Posted on Thursday, March 2nd, 2017 at 5:17 pm.

Conflict over numerous issues manifests in different ways in different relationships. And it is something that I help my marriage and family therapy patients deal with frequently.

One of the reasons that conflict resolution is a difficult issue for many couples to address is that they mistakenly believe that resolution results in a solution that makes everyone happy. That’s not always the case. When we identify the true causes of conflict, sometimes the solutions can be hard to swallow.

With that in mind, this series of three articles will address how to identify and work through conflicts in your relationship before they become unmanageable.

As always, engaging with an independent and caring mediator can often prove the best path to success. So don’t hesitate to reach out to Inner Source Psychotherapy and Consulting for help. That’s what we’re here for.

Resolving conflicts about money

  • Determine if your conflict is really about money. Setting and sticking to a budget seems like a simple thing, but for some people, it is very difficult. When this is the source of conflict, the underlying issues pertaining to unwillingness to manage basic financial needs must be addressed.
  • Be honest. Do you shop for shoes secretly and never tell your spouse? Do you spend money on outside interests that your significant other doesn’t know about? As long as you are keeping money secrets, you are going to have conflict. A good therapist can help you understand why you are keeping money secrets. Is it a trust issue? Is it about control? Or are there other circumstances driving the behavior?
  • Discuss your beliefs and family history. If your money management styles differ, it could be a tremendous source of conflict. Do you come from a family that paid cash for everything, believed in not having any debt, lived frugally, and pinched every penny for a rainy day? If you do, imagine how the money habits you’ve developed would seem to your spouse if they came from a family that lived in the moment, treated money as a tool for buying the latest and greatest toys, and worked hard to keep up with the Joneses.

Money problems don’t have to be a lifelong source of conflict in your relationship. If you are struggling, give us a call.

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