If you ask people what the number one cause of divorce is, “financial problems” almost always appears in the top five responses. While it is true that money problems can be negative stressors, my research showed that financial problems are not good predictors of divorce.
Why? Because virtually all couples have money problems, especially in the early years of their marriage. Much of the research that concludes that financial problems are the number one reason people get divorced, relies on divorced individuals’ self-assessment of what caused their divorce. People often don’t really know the specific causes (or don’t want to give an honest response). And “money problems” have long been a “socially acceptable” reason for divorce; few people are going to admit on that survey: “I got a divorce because I was a jerk!” But, alas, I’ve gone astray.
Regardless of its role in divorce, we do know that unaddressed money issues can add additional stress to any relationship. And we know that it is difficult for most people to talk about money.
What strategies have you used to start a “peaceful” dialogue about money?