Financial Imbalance in a Relationship: How Can You Remedy This?

March 10, 2022

In some households, a single salary-earner is enough. In others, the husband and wife both work. When both couples are working, one may earn more than the other. If they have a healthy relationship, the disparity in their income is not an issue. However, there are couples whose relationship suffers because of financial imbalance.

Couples who put more weight on the person who is  earning  more can develop serious relationship issues, which may be difficult to resolve, especially if one holds a higher position than the partner does.

Consequences of financial imbalance

If you leave a financial conflict unresolved, it can strain the relationship. You may notice various signs of financial abuse in relationships, including feelings of guilt. In addition, the partner earning less may feel guilty and deny their material needs and wants to avoid additional expenses, leading to them feeling controlled and unable to be truly happy. . On the other hand, the higher-earner may feel taken advantage of, as the partner is not contributing. They could face financial infidelity where both partners hide their spending habits from one another. Another thing they may face is an economic power struggle, with the higher-earner feeling superior to the partner.

Talking through financial imbalance with your partner

Ensure that you and your partner are willing to communicate. You can use a financial counselor to discuss the situation objectively.

Come up with a budget

When you create a budget, you and your partner need to communicate. Regardless of your income, you should agree on how to spend your money. With a firm budget, you will clear up any doubts about where the money goes. You can also determine how much discretionary income each of you can enjoy.

Agree on the fundamental financial dynamics

Review how you use your money. Do you pay bills equally? Do you pool your income? Do you maintain separate bank accounts?

You should agree on what will work best. It may not be manageable for the partner who earns less to pay the bills equally, but they can compensate by paying for a date night or an occasional fancy dinner in a nice restaurant.

Think of other ways to contribute outside of money

The partner who earns less can contribute a higher value to the relationship. For example, the one who makes less can stay at home to care for the children and the home. Think of how much you will save on childcare expenses and fees for housekeepers. In the end, you may find the more significant contributor to your finances is the person who earns less.

Enjoy your money together

When you realize that you should not allow financial imbalance to ruin your relationship, take time to enjoy your money together. How about a short vacation? Maybe you can spend a day together treating yourselves to things that you used to enjoy. Consider it a reward for the hard work you put in to build a healthier financial relationship.

You can prevent financial imbalance if you openly share your feelings with your partner. Consider discussing this aspect early on in your relationship. Continue to review your situations regularly, particularly if there are income changes.

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