Discussing financial issues is indeed one of the least romantic things you can do with your husband—next to kissing in front of the mother-in-law. It’s often a source of marital strife. Who spends more of it? Who should manage it? How do we control it? Each side will have his or her own answer and more often than not, neither side will agree.

Money also stands for a whole lot more than just pesos and cents: in many cases, money represents power (over one’s immediate needs or over each other), security (against future events or against the other’s failings), and self-worth (simple Keeping Up with the Cruzes). If only money weren’t so emotionally loaded, then it would be so easy to make reasonable decisions about it.

But much as couples loathe to talk about money, it’s a very important part of any marriage. Most decisions revolve around money. So the minute a couple decides that money isn’t worth discussing at least once a day, there’s trouble around the corner.

Money is one of those issues that are difficult to talk about, especially among couples who do not communicate well from the very beginning, particularly couples who were raised with definite roles in mind. Men are expected to be always stable, very reliable, the protector of the family. With such high expectations, this may be a source of conflict if financial difficulties arise.
What’s important is not how couples disagree over money, but how they work things out. When a couple nurtures good communication habits on a day to day basis, they’ll find it easier to stay together and face difficulties when they arrive. Let’s face it—where money talk is concerned, most couples need work.
Read on to find out what cash flow conflicts get under most couples' collars the most. Some—or all—of their complaints may just be your own.

Read these other articles for more finance advice:

(First published in Good Housekeeping Philippines, Money section as "Spending Vs. Saving" in September 2005; adapted for use in Female Network)

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