Anger and Couple Finances: How to Avoid Financial Infidelity

Anger and Couple Finances: How to Avoid Financial Infidelity

We welcome this guest article by Dr Tina Tessina describing how conflict, resentment and anger around money issues can jeopardize a marriage or relationship. She also instructs couples on how to have discussions around money and provides resources on how to better budget to reduce financial stress and anger.

The most valuable thing in a long-term stable relationship is having a partnership, and most new couples don’t realize that money is a major factor in marital happiness. Money is one of the biggest generators of problems, arguments, and resentment in long-term relationships. Couples argue about spending, saving budgeting, and disparity in earnings. When couples have difficulty with money, it can lead to financial infidelity: out-of-control spending, lying and hiding finances; which can destroy the relationship. Overcoming money problems together and working as a team will strengthen the bond between you, and help you create a healthy, lasting partnership.

Money doesn’t have to be a wedge between you and your partner. It can be a great tool for learning more about one another and using money matters as a discussion point can help your relationship grow and thrive. Money can create misery or happiness, depending on how you manage it. Making long-term plans, helping reach goals and improving your quality of life are just some of the things you will be able to accomplish if you work together.
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  • Share your different attitudes about money. Talk about how your families dealt with money, and what you liked and didn’t like about their style. Share your observations about how various friends handle money, and share what you think. Then make the discussion more personal by talking about how you feel about money, spending, saving, and your future dreams.
  • Discuss long-term joint financial goals (i.e. a new home, baby, education, travel, household repairs or retirement). The previous step should lead you naturally into a further discussion of your long-term goals, and into a discussion of specific steps you need to follow to reach them. Steps should include saving and/or raising money to realize your goals, and a plan for how long you think it will take.
  • Put your plan to work. Once you have the steps outlined, break the first couple steps down into small increments and choose steps for which each of you will take the responsibility in the coming week.
  • Establish separate checking accounts or personal spending budgets. As part of your plans, you may want to open separate checking accounts, savings accounts for building your dreams, and agree on budgets for personal spending from your available funds. How to Budget steps are in Money, Sex and Kids: Stop Fighting about the Three Things That Can Ruin Your Marriage.
  • Discuss how the plan is going on a weekly basis. Keep this discussion going every week, and keep each other informed about how your plans are going. This is a good time to discuss the bills that need to be paid, changes in income or expenses, and what you need to do to accommodate the changes.
  • Keep talking. No matter how well or poorly your finances are going at any given time; keep your financial discussions going. The more frequently you discuss your finances, the less difficult the discussions will be, and the more likely that you’ll make good financial choices.

Can I Fall Back in Love After The Thrill Is Gone?

I am pleased to offer this guest article by colleague Dr. Steve Rockman for couples who need to re-ignite that love feeling for each other. The advice given in this article is common sense in many ways and profoundly true! Establish a “Love Bank” and start making deposits. If you want more, start giving more! Be nicer to each other and be less critical.

Having been a therapist for over thirty years, I am always pleased to find new ways of helping couples. A few years ago, I discovered a treatment approach by Willard Harley that’s short term and practical. Combined with other techniques that I use, this approach has proven effective. Furthermore, it offers hope to relationships that seem hopeless. I’ve had several successful cases where one member had fallen out of love, ready to leave the relationship. If you’re interested, read on.
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Feeling emotionally connected and emotionally close in a relationship is often a matter of learning to regularly satisfy each other’s needs. If you get “yours” you are much more likely to want to give them “theirs.” The Love Bank concept is a great way to kind of keep track of things to maintain balance.

Successful Marriage: Love ain’t enough says Dr Tony Fiore

Outside Stressors, called “thirds” can destroy your marriage no matter how much you love each other. Successful couples of course should love each other, but they also must have skills to deal with common stressors of married life. Moreover, they need additional skills to deal with each other around these stressors, says Dr. Tony Fiore, who has seen hundreds of individuals and couples in relationship trouble.

What are these “thirds” that are destructive to a relationship?
A destructive third can be anything that prevents a couple from having a close bond, having each other’s back and prioritizing their relationship. Thirds can create havoc in a marriage, yet the problem is not strictly a marriage problem per se. The real problem is inability of a couple to successfully deal with an outside stress threatening the marriage.

Common thirds that I see in Couples Counseling in Orange County are:

  • Anger or poor impulse control

  • Parenting or Children Stress

  • Substance Abuse (including excessive drinking) by one partner

Continue reading “Successful Marriage: Love ain’t enough says Dr Tony Fiore”

Outside stressors called “thirds” can destroy a relationship no matter how much partners love each other. Three of them are:


(1) Poor anger management: anger or other negativity is a significant factor in marriage failure. Take this online quiz to determine to what extent anger is an issue in your relationship – and what to do about it.

(2) Parenting stress: Successful couples find a way to prioritize their relationship and still be good parents. This often requires planning special times for the two of you – while grandma watches the kids. It may also require that you physically sleep with each other instead of with a child (yes, some parents have their partner regularly sleep in another room while their insecure child is allowed to sleep in the couple’s bed with the other parent)

(3) Substance abuse including alcohol: For expert opinions on how to handle a substance-abusing partner, click on “How to Help an Addict: Top 25 Addiction Experts Share Their Insight.”