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Six Areas of Conflict in Marriage Part 1 – Financial Difficulties

By:  Donna Martin  #happytogethermarriage

Conflicts are a normal part of any marriage.  How you deal with them can make or break your marriage.  Research has shown that there are six major areas of conflict in marriage.  They are:

1.  Financial Difficulties

2.  Sexual Difficulties

3.  Problems with In-Laws

4.  Disagreements over Having Children and Child-Rearing

5.  Work and Career

6.  Housework

Over the next six weeks we will look at these areas of conflict beginning today with Financial Difficulties.

In our book, 366 Tidbits We Have Learned in 14610 Days of Marriage, tidbit #14 says, “There is never enough money to go around anyway, so why fight about it.”

No matter how much money you make, it is never enough because people seem to always want more.  The more you make the more you spend.  The more you have the more you want.  It can be a vicious cycle.   We live in a very materialistic world.  I have found that I don’t really know that I want something until I go to the mall and see all the things that I can buy.  Pressure to have what our friends and neighbors have can sometimes cause couples to spend more than they can afford.

When we first got married and still to this day, Mike makes a budget for us to live by each year.    Not being very financially savvy, I really did not understand the concept of this when at the beginning of our marriage.  I did not understand how having a budget would make a difference.  It did not magically make more money appear, and some of the items on the budget were seldom used like the amount set aside for the doctor.  We didn’t go to the doctor every month. Or the amount set aside for clothing - I did not buy clothing every month.  But as time went on I began to realize that although we might not spend that amount on those certain things each month, it was good to budget for it in case the expense occurred.  I have watched with amazement throughout our life how Mike has managed our money wisely. Although we did not make a fortune early in our marriage, because we budgeted and saved for rainy days the money we needed was usually there when an emergency arrived.  At Christmas we had money for the presents because he had set back an amount each month for Christmas gifts.  In summers we were able to take vacations because we had saved for them throughout the year.  As the kids outgrew their clothes we were able to replace them because money had been budgeted for clothing.  As the years passed I realized why it had been important to Mike for me to sit down with him and go over our budget.

Planning ahead and discussing your money situation can help prevent a lot of sorrow and pain in your marriage. 

Here are some tips to help alleviate conflicts about money.

1.  Talk with each other about your finances and make a budget together.

2.  Give to God the tithe before you pay for anything else.

3.  Be content with what you have.

4.  Learn the difference between “wants” and “needs”.

5.   Save for the future and for unexpected expenses like car repairs, sickness, and appliances that break.

6.  When you put something on your credit card make sure you can pay it off at the end of the month.

7.  Get rid of selfish desires and be willing to compromise.

8.  Look for ways to cut corners ex.  Shop at Wal-Mart instead of Whole Foods; be content to wear something other than designer clothes.

9.  Clip coupons.

10.  Have an attitude of gratitude.

The Martins currently present “Happy Together” marriages seminars for churches and organizations.  To schedule a seminar call Michael at 940-735-1515. They also publish a weekly “Happy Together” Blog about family and marriage issues.  You can order copies of their new books Dancing With Death and 366 Tidbits We Have Learned in 14,610 Days of Marriage, read, and subscribe to their “Happy Together” Blog by logging onto the Martin’s website at

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