All couples argue, but what are couples fighting about the most?
According to a 2012 survey from the American Institute of CPAs, money is the most common reason married or cohabiting couples fight.
Of over 1,000 American adults polled, 27 percent of participants said that disagreements over finances were most likely to erupt into an argument — not children, chores, work or friends.
The survey also found that couples average three arguments a month about financial issues.
Researchers believe that the conflict may stem from failing to discuss money on a regular basis. Fifty-five percent of those surveyed who were married or living with a partner said that they don’t regularly set aside time to talk about financial issues.
What are these arguments about?
Here are the four most common areas of disagreement:
Unexpected expenses – About half, 49 percent, most often argue about unexpected expenses.
Insufficient savings – a third, 32 percent, argue about insufficient savings.
Money secrets – Three in 10 adults who are married or living with a partner have engaged in at least one potentially deceitful behavior related to their finances. The most common such behaviors include hiding purchases and making major purchases without consulting their significant other.
Change in financial status – More than half of those whose financial status has declined in the past year, 53 percent, report that financial matters are most likely to prompt arguments with their spouse.
Moving toward a more peaceful money collaboration
Money pushes a lot of buttons for people…I get it. Here are some resources that might help:
Signs. Sometimes when I see couples interact, I can tell there are some relationship challenges simply from these 3 clues.
Past Mistakes. Sometimes, you might feel like you aren’t on equal footing with a loved one, if you have made mistakes and feel like you need to apologize for your money past. Here’s a great post to help with that!
Common Disagreements. And here’s some help for couples who can’t agree how to spend their money (very common!).
Based on my work, here are the top 6 money disagreements I tend to witness with couples.
Relationship Support. Interested in understanding your relationship dynamic beyond money? This Time article does a great job of summarizing some of John Gottman’s work, and here’s Dr. Gottman’s site if you want to delve deeper.
Family. And since many couples are raising future financial badasses, here is an awesome article on 5 most important money lessons to teach your kids (and here is a more philosophical perspective from me).
Do you have a resource to share for couples and money? Let me know in the comments!
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