Money may make the world go ’round. It can strengthen or sever ties, but what role does it play in relationships?
Whether it’s the love of your life, your spouse or your college sweetheart, all levels of relationships may fall prey to a financial tug of war.
According to an article published February in The Wall Street Journal, money is the No. 2 reason couples separate.
Maurice Primrose III, a fourth-year business administration student from Washington, D.C., feels that finances are an important part of relationships and life.
“If finances aren’t stable during the relationship, then the relationship won’t be either, especially if you’re living together,” Primrose said. “Some people can look past it and some can’t, but most people want their significant other to be financially stable to eliminate unnecessary stress from all situations.”
From small to large money issues, such as who will pay for dinner or who will pay the mortgage, couples do not want to wait until the issues arise to develop a plan or a clear understanding of one another’s financial status and means.
Suze Orman, financial advisor and guest to the Oprah show, said in an article on oprah.com that people should discuss finances before relationships become serious. Orman added that a person’s financial habits may provide insight into other aspects of their personality such as their work ethic or values.
Lod’s Volcy, a third-year psychology student from West Palm Beach, Fla., believes financial status is an important part of a relationship, especially if the two parties are cohabitating.
“Bad habits in handling finances with a spouse can cause issues in the relationship,” Volcy said. “For example, many college sweethearts decide to live together, which creates the issue of who is responsible for paying what, and if one or both of them are financially irresponsible, that could eventually lead to conflict or separation.”
On the contrary, Dougla-Khan Stancil, a licensed mental health counselor at Sunshine Manor, doesn’t see money as a major determining factor in relationships.
“Finances should not prevent a couple from moving into a more serious relationship such as marriage,” Stancil said. “Sometimes it is even better to have a stable relationship already as your finances are growing.”
James J. Stephens, a fourth-year business administration student from Brooksville, Fla., said financial status and relationships are things that change with the times.
“In the early 20th century, people found financial convenience and benefits from a two-income household by being married,” Stephens said. “As of today, that is not the case since the income of one spouse is efficient enough to reach their means. Therefore, finances in relationships are less of a factor.”