It is very sad, but also very true, that there are more ways that money can ruin relationships than most people think. Having experienced a family financial loss when I was 16 led me to develop certain money beliefs for a time that I now know aren’t true. It also caused me to separate myself from members of my family because of the issue. Later on in life, I experienced things first hand that taught me dealing with money in relationships is something we all need to be mindful of. Money isn’t evil, and we shouldn’t see it as what controls our lives, yet many of us do. We live in a society that proves money speaks. Yet, money also can hurt people. There are many ways that money can ruin relationships you might not have thought of. Consider these before you make a huge money decision within any type of relationship you have.
One of the main ways that money can ruin relationships is that it creates secrets between people, if we let it. Let’s say you go shopping and don’t want your husband to know you spent half your paycheck on those killer stilettos, department store makeup, and that new blouse that was just begging to be bought. Or, maybe you take out a credit card and don’t want to tell your mate, or even your parents. Any time you keep secrets that revolve around money, it creates an issue between you and that person, no matter how small. Overtime, the more gaps you create, even if they are harmless, will cause an emotional separation without you even realizing it.
The next way that money can ruin relationships, is it can cause people to lie to one another. It may start with something harmless like telling someone a lie about how much you make, or perhaps, lying about how much you spent on something. Maybe it’s lying about how much debt you have, credit cards you have, or covering up a lie that you have from your past about money. Any time you lie, you run a high risk of getting caught later, and lies are always worse to deal with later, rather than sooner. It’s best to just be honest, or say that you’d rather not talk about the issue at hand right now.
Money causes greed within all of us, if we let it. Let’s face it, in today’s society, it is easy to get caught up in the money trap. You can’t do much or get anywhere without money today, and this causes us to be greedy. If you’re always wanting to have the best of the best, it starts to change the way you handle relationships and time with others. For instance, in a relationship, if you value making money or earning money over spending time with someone, or over their needs, it will do a lot of harm quickly. Always put people first over the need to make more, or have more money.
If you happen to lie about a money issue, or cover up one, it creates a sense of guilt inside of you. Whether you know it or not, you’ll naturally shy away from a person you keep something from regarding money because of the guilt. This creates an obstacle between you and that person, and it is hard to rebuild a bond. Be careful when lying about money because the guilt will often eat you alive.
If you happen to get caught in a money lie, or perhaps someone discovers a secret you kept about money, it can cause a lot of mistrust, even possibly damaging the relationship for years, or even permanently. Trust is something money can never, ever buy.
Think about this: when someone lies to you, you feel deceived. Or, if someone keeps something from you, you feel deceived. While I think we all understand that money is a personal issue for everyone, and we don’t have to know everyone’s “money business”, I think we also agree that when someone lies to us about money or keeps money secrets from us and we find out later, it can make us feel deceived. This usually happens in relationships and not just common friendships where joint money issues aren’t really a problem. However, remember if you borrow money from a friend, not paying it back can make that friend feel deceived and betrayed. This is just one example of how deception with money can cause harm between two people in a relationship, but there are many more, as you can imagine.
Lastly, money can cause separation between two people eventually. Whether you want it to or not, and even if it isn’t your fault, money is powerful enough to cause a permanent distance from someone, so handle each money situation carefully any time you’re in a relationship.
I believe each of us have the right to keep our bills, debt, our salaries, and our spending habits a personal issue. Yet, when we are involved in a relationship such as a marriage, or we borrow money from someone, it’s always best to be as honest you can about certain specific money issues that affect the other person directly. Have you ever lost a relationship over money?