For sure the least romantic topic is money. But just like you two need pillow talk, you need money conversations. Failure to communicate about finances just might deeply affect your relationship.
Money conversations are often uncomfortable for couples because they can involve tough topics like debt, the overspending of one partner, or their inability to save. But avoiding them won’t make the problems disappear.
“The number one way to keep money from influencing relationships is communication. Transparency and candid conversations about finances can improve a couple’s relationship as it develops trust. No one is left in the dark,” says Aviva Pinto, a registered investment advisor.
Not talking can also open the door for financial infidelity, when one partner is being financially dishonest with the other, either through secret spending, hiding debt, or keeping financial secrets. Financial infidelity can have devastating consequences for relationships, as it can lead to a lack of trust and feelings of betrayal that you can’t overcome.
“I encourage couples to allocate a specific time to discuss finances on a regular basis. Having conversations when someone comes home from work can be emotionally activating for some. With planned discussions, both partners may be mentally and emotionally prepared to engage in honest conversations,” says Stephanie Wong, a licensed clinical psychologist.
Truth is, conflicts over money are normal. What’s important is how you handle them. Says Kotkin-De Carvalho, “Money conversations are ongoing, not something you focus on once in a while. Remain empathetic, practice healthy communication, and find solutions together. Keep working as a team!”