It’s easy to understand the odds of divorce are much greater when a couple has lying, cheating, or physical/mental abuse in their relationship. But many couples don’t understand how having separated finances increases the odds of divorce. I don’t know why that is so hard to imagine so I’m going to try to explain.
First of all I believe that any couple who has separated finances also has some other major lack of unity between them that could be a result of many shortfalls in the relationship. Maybe it is a serious lack of productive communication. Maybe there is a serious disconnect between sharing each others hopes, dreams, priorities, and even fears in life. The bottom line is if we’re not sharing all those things, the good and the bad, with our spouse then there is a unity problem. With that said I believe as the unity problem begins to show the splitting of the finances is one major step closer to divorce.
Here are a couple of common reasons the decision is made to split up the finances:
- One of you is terrible with money. Your spouse can’t trust you because of your perpetual mistakes and/or disregard for the importance of growing up and taking adult responsibility for managing money with a brain cell or two. To prevent being forever broke your spouse has chosen to put distance between you and their financial security.
- One or both of you are way too independent of the other. God created marriage for the two of us to become one. We share a brain. We do better when we work together. We help each other and take care of each others needs. I have news for Mr. or Mrs. Independent. Deep inside every person wants to be needed or wanted. If you’re not sharing that with your spouse then someone else eventually will and then it will be too late for you to wake up and realize independence ain’t all that.
Occasionally I run across newly married couples or engaged couples who have not taken the steps yet to combine their financial lives. To anyone in those early stages hear the warning in this question. WHY HAVEN’T YOU COMBINED YOUR FINANCES YET? Now read on because this next part will also give you perspective.
For the couples who have been married a while and thought about combining the finances but for some reason chose not to, or worse you had the money combined at one time but now you have chosen to separate it again – I have a list of questions you need to ask yourself and wrestle through WITH your spouse.
- Do you trust your spouse?
- Can you be trusted by your spouse?
- Are you being dishonest about how the money is being spent? (financial infidelity)
- Are you cheating on your spouse? (yes – like having an affair or looking at porn! Separating the finances AFTER having them combined is a HUGE warning sign that unfaithfulness exists in the relationship)
If you’re not open and transparent with each other about money, sharing the rewards and consequences as one interwoven unit, then I would have serious doubts that you’re open and honest with each other about other areas of your life.