A decline in income from a layoff or other reason normally affects one’s moods and behaviors. Naturally this typically results in pressure building up on any relationship. Poor spending decisions or lack of financial planning and communication will also possibly lead to conflict.
Money is often used as power or control in a relationship. A partner may make more money than the spouse and this can become a form of control over that person. One person may control the checkbook or accounts and dole out cash to the other person inconsistently or not at all. The lesser-earning person may feel powerless or taken advantage of by the other. If money is withheld from one partner a great power imbalance can result and this will often lead to resentment, helplessness or other negative feelings. One person may spend more money than usual to get revenge on the other.
There may be unspoken agreements about money in a family or couple and expectations about what services are “traded” for the money. Compensation from the victim can be in the form of housework, child rearing, intimacy, obedience, submissiveness, or toleration of some form of addiction or abuse.
Loss of financial well-being by gambling or substance abuse are also problems that usually wreak havoc and cause stress for a couple or family; and unfortunately often go as untreated. These addictions can lead to money problems and possible illegal behaviors by a spouse or partner.
If a couple divorces, related court decisions can be unfair or skewed greatly in one person’s favor. Even if no legal restrictions are put in place, money imbalances often increase. Resentment, powerlessness, or increased financial stress can result. This ultimately affects everyone, especially if there are children involved.
Whether you’re married, separated or divorced, money problems may exist. It is important to seek help and therapy to address these issues.
Call Becker Counseling and take the first step to finding some resolutions to coping with the financial stress.