‘You have spent how much money?’

| November 14, 2014 | 0 Comments


Chaplain (Maj.) John Grauer
Plans and Operations Chaplain
U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii


“You spent what?”

Have you ever heard that statement?

I did, early on in my marriage. It was when I tried to sneak past my wife with a new snowboard.

I thought I had gotten a great deal. I tried to tell her it was for her, but that didn’t go over any better either. It was possibly because she doesn’t snowboard, and even if she did, the board was too large for her anyway.

But it does bring up an important issue with Thanksgiving and Christmas right around the corner. One of the biggest stresses during this time of year is money.

Arguing about money is one of the top predictors of divorce, according to Sonya Britt, a Kansas State University researcher. She found that couples who argued about money early in their relationships — regardless of their income, debt or net worth — were at a greater risk for divorce.

Though money is rarely the only reason a couple divorces, it is certainly a top contender of divorce-causing problems. Money stress can drastically change the dynamics of even the strongest of marriages.

Below are three of the top ways money problems can lead to stress in your relationship.


1) Different values when it comes to spending money can cause a lot problems for couples. If you believe in the importance of paying for expensive luxury items, and your spouse believes that money should go toward college, you’re not likely to change each other’s opinions.

Your values when it comes to spending money often reflect your values in other areas of your life. This difference could be a source of constant disagreement.


2) Many married couples find issues in who has control over finances, especially when one partner is the main source of income. Some believe the earner has the right to decide how and when money is spent.

A spouse who doesn’t work outside of the house would probably feel differently since he or she manages the household and would best know what’s needed and when.


3) The way each partner views debt and paying off debt can result in strain on a marriage. If you believe in pumping every extra penny into debt and your spouse feels differently, there’s yet another source of tension.

Further, if you each entered the marriage with different amounts of debt, how much are you responsible for your spouse’s debt and how much is he or she responsible for yours?

If you can talk about debt with your spouse, you’re more likely to succeed in a marriage.


Financial Peace University (FPU) is a program offered through the Main Post Chapel. This course on money management is taught by Dave Ramsey and led by a facilitator. A facilitator goes through a video series that will walk you through the basics of budgeting, dumping debt, planning for the future and much more!

FPU will teach why it’s important for spouses to communicate and work together toward success. Also, singles will learn the importance of accountability, and parents will find out how to teach their kids about money.

As mentioned above, money is rarely the only cause of a divorce; however, the ability to be open and honest about money opens avenues to being open and honest in other areas of your life, as well.

It is a good idea for all married or just getting married couples to make sure they understand each other’s financial beliefs. Strengthen your relationship by dealing with money before it becomes an insurmountable problem.

Tags: , ,

Category: Footsteps in Faith, News, Standing Columns

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *