How Do Money And Relationships Impact You?

Updated June 17, 2024by Regain Editorial Team
Content warning: Please be advised, the below article might mention trauma-related topics that include abuse which could be triggering to the reader. If you or someone you love is experiencing abuse, contact theDomestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). Support is available 24/7. Please also see our Get Help Now page for more immediate resources.

Do you and your partner tend to fight about money? You might be surprised to learn that money issues in dating relationships are some of the most common problems that couples fight about (or maybe you’re not due to your firsthand experience with these kinds of arguments). That’s because money can be a problem whether you have too much of it, too little of it, or just enough but do not know how to manage it properly. Couples worry about how their finances will impact their lives, but most people don’t think about how relationships and money impact each other. The truth is it can cause many problems for people, no matter what kind of financial situation you are in. Let’s take a closer look at how your money can impact your relationship with your significant other.

Relationships and money for you

Couples who do not have enough money

Are financial issues causing conflict in your relationship?

Regardless of whether you support yourself, yourself and your partner, or you have managed to add kids to your current living situation, not living on enough money can be a significant source of stress for anyone. People with very little money tend to fight because they don’t know how they will spend their money so that they can properly meet all of their needs, or they don’t know where the money they need in life is going to come from. They worry about how to pay for food and water or how to pay the bills. They worry about the money it takes to live because things become so hard to pay for that they don’t even have necessities, and it causes a lot of stress, which can strain any relationship past its breaking point.

Couples who have enough money but don’t manage it well

What can be even more frustrating for some people is enough money to meet their needs but not having the right skills to properly manage their money, resulting in financial stress when the money is being misspent. The couple doesn’t have enough left over to cover their basic needs. This would be a justifiable reason to be either mad at your significant other or yourself. Still, these issues must be handled with care and strategy to avoid conflicts that don’t produce any change within the situation. Likewise, couples could have enough money and can meet their basic needs but are upset that they cannot lead the lifestyle they want or feel that they are not getting enough out of the money they have left. They could also run into a situation requiring an emergency fund, but the couple may not have developed a savings account over the time they have been together. Whatever the reason for having enough money but not being able to utilize it the right way, this is another scenario that often sparks conflict between two people in a relationship.

Couples who have too much money and don’t know how to spend it

What can be a really surprising possibility for most, however, is that there are people who have a lot of money and still fight about their financial situation as well. Having too much money can be just as stressful and difficult to deal with as not having enough because couples fight about how to spend it. Too often, one person may be spending too much of their cash while one spending is spending too little, and they end up with a power struggle as each partner seeks to get more of it to continue the life they’ve become accustomed to. For these individuals, it can be difficult to understand how to live with less money, and they still struggle to figure out how to be happy with what they have. Again, this becomes an issue in which money management is the main issue, and couples need to learn how to track better and allocate their funds to avoid returning to the argument of what they should or should not be doing with their money.

Couples who have financial secrets or envy

As two independent adults in a relationship, attempting to pool your money together may not always work out. Some couples are financially jealous of their partner and have a partner who uses their higher-income to treat their partner as though they are below them or dictate where the bulk of purchases are made and how they are spent. Other couples may have secret accounts on the side and will keep secrets or lie about their finances. As with other aspects of your relationship, you shouldn’t be hiding your money, and you shouldn’t feel jealous about your partner’s achievement. In situations like these, there are undoubtedly underlying issues that need to be evaluated and treated before the financial aspect of the problem can be targeted.

Relationships with financial abuse

When you think about the word “abuse,” what is the image that pops into your head? If you are like most people, you think about an individual who has bruises from several domestic violence cases. For the most part, this abuse is rather prominent in our society. Still, there are other forms of abuse out there, and you may be shocked to discover that financial abuse is one of the many forms that abuse can take within a relationship. The main goal of an abuser is to establish dominance over their victim, and to engage in this abuse financially rather than physically can be far more devastating and far more effective. In cases where one partner is financially abused, the partner abusing them will often have full control of their finances, meaning that they handle all of their income and purchases and rarely leave any leftover for them. They also tend to dictate whether or not that person is allowed to work, making it harder for them to have their income stream and slowly save up money and build up financial health. If they seek to prevent their partner from leaving them, the abuser may also choose to damage their financial health by signing up for credit cards and plunging their partner into crippling debt. Without credit or consistent income, the person being abused cannot go out into society and provide for themselves, making them dependent on their abusive partner.

It should be said that situations like these are nothing like the other examples provided above. If you are a victim of financial abuse or any other kind of abuse, there are resources out there that can offer you help and help you escape from this damaging relationship situation. There is always hope!

What to do with your relationship struggles

Generally, the arguments and problems that you and your partner have about money are built on something deeper. This means that it is important to dig deeper into your relationship and find the desire to want to work through whatever the deeper problems are, whether it’s trust, communication, or any other common issue that often gets in the way of those in the relationship. Working through those kinds of problems can help you and your partner become more successful financially and emotionally. It can be a great way for you two to learn better ways to deal with your money problems and manage your financial life. After all, if you feel like you’re in this together, it can be a lot easier to talk about the money problems rather than create more problems by fighting.

Whether you are a couple with too much money or perhaps feel you are not good enough, couples make it work with a large amount of money, and they make it work with no money at all. By working together and being on the same team regarding your financial goals and expectations, you’ll be able to be one of those couples who make it work as well. Don’t let money ruin what you have together. 

With this in mind, the question often becomes, what are you supposed to do next? Well, there is often one of two paths. If your partner and you are level-headed people who can often work through your conflicts, one option available is to handle it on your own. In this day and age, the internet is ripe with financial resources and dedicated websites geared towards people who are having trouble handling their money properly. Sit down with your partner and spend some time going through these resources, setting a list of personal and couple goals, and then crafting a plan that will help you reach financial freedom and success. Some people are more than capable of making this happen, and the right attitude and work ethic will achieve these goals.

However, if you are the type of couple that fights over financial issues constantly and isn’t seeming to get anywhere in the argument, you are unlikely to be able to make the above happen seamlessly. In this case, you would be best off reaching out to a professional counselor who has experience with couple’s counseling and has extensive experience dealing with couples with financial issues. Through this observer and valuable resource, you can have an extra person who will help mediate the conflicts you are dealing with, provide you with tools that will help you tackle your current financial problems, and set you up for success in the future.

Are financial issues causing conflict in your relationship?


If you and your partner seem to fight about money a lot, you’re not alone, and you shouldn’t let it become your new normal within your relationship. Instead, find a therapist who can help you dig deeper and figure out what you need to do next to overcome your problems. By talking with a therapist, like those available from Regain, you’ll be able to improve your relationship and maybe even start on a plan to fix your money troubles. Figuring out how to talk about money won’t make the problems go away, but it will make your problems seem easier if you’re on the same page and on the same team. Help is just a click away!

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