I am a 23-year-old female and I have been with my partner (a 25-year-old male) for three years. We have had a wonderful relationship and I know in my heart that we are going to get married. But one thing we can never agree on and always fight over is our finances. Both of us have had money troubles in the past and we have always helped each other out. But between us there is always this feeling of owing something to the other and it comes up in every argument we have. I am afraid this might affect our future. My stress gets worse when I think he might be feeling the same way. What should I do? - SK
Answer by Abhishekh Bariya, Mental Health Project Manager at Happy Minds
First, it is common to have disagreements about finances in relationships. Many couples go through this. The most important thing in such a situation is communication. Communicate with him about how you’re feeling about the distance or the barrier that is being created between you because of the financial difficulties.
Tell him honestly about how you have been feeling. If you have an insecurity or fear that this might be something that can drive you apart, tell him about it. Maybe he feels differently. Trying to understand each other’s point of view is the first step.
Try to identify when and why the subject of finances started taking a toll on your relationship. Ask your partner if he has also been feeling the same way. Then you can talk about possible reasons. As you say, you have been helping each other financially. So what instances led you to feel this way? Acknowledging it together as a couple will help both of you understand what is happening.
There is no doubt that the two of you will have to deal with financial issues in the future as well. It might get more complicated after marriage or after having children. So it helps to plan out your future in detail.
There might also be issues between you two other than finances. And if you two are unable to overcome these issues, you should see a therapist. Talking to a professional can help you get to the root of the problem. Happy Minds is one of the companies providing such services.