Can money problems kill your marriage- hell to the yeah

By the ripe old age of 23, I had effectively dated every doctor in the tri-state area. Why? Because my mother had convinced me that it was my destiny to marry a doctor– and why I believed her I’m still not completely sure- but I guess it was because I wanted to please her. My mother had married my dad at the age of 18, and I guess never felt completely at ease with the fact that neither one of them got their college degrees. SO she made it her mission to assure that each and every one of her kids would “marry” better.

Looking back now I realize  how flawed and misguided her thinking was and how I wish she would’ve pushed me to attain a higher level of education, beyond my college degree, but I guess being of a different generation, where men brought home the bacon and women cooked it up- she must have believed my best bet at securing my financial future was to marry someone with money (as opposed to encouraging me to make my own). And as a young impressionable 18 year old, I so desperately wanted her seal of approval and so I specifically sought out suitors who would measure up to her version of what an ideal husband  for me should be.

My mother convinced me marrying a medical doctor would guarantee me a life of luxury, and security, she scoffed at the D.O. (the osteopath I once dated, claiming he WASN’T a REAL M.D.)  And for several years I dated with this singular mission. But here’s the thing about marrying someone who is established and has money– after all is said and done– that money is theirs and nothing in this world is free. Doctors are also a whole different breed of man– imagine going to school for another good ten years after college, having to work for so long to achieve that title- it’s takes a certain kind of personality to sustain that kind of pressure and singular focus. Still I kept my focus and I dated many doctors who wore their MD’s like badges of honor, drove expensive cars and were incredibly enamored with themselves and their titles and sense of power. Of course, those relationships never ended  all that well. And then I met my husband, who was THE ANTI-DOCTOR. aka he’s like that Doctor in the Seinfeld episode who DOESN’T want anyone to know he’s a doctor.

Fast forward 13 years  of marriage and  here is ONE THING I KNOW FOR SURE. The success of any marriage is about communication and honesty. In my marriage my husband came into the relationship with far more than I did and I have always tried to be sensitive to that- and not assume anything-but I do have to admit that after all these years together our attitudes about money have come full circle and how our money is spent  is a decision we make as a team. But I also truly believe that the issue of money is more about  communication than the actual money itself.  Learning to have honest discussions about what you need and what your partner needs TRICKLES down into every aspect of your marriage and relationship whether it comes to finances, your kids, your house and well- you get the gist… as I allude to in this Huffpost Live chat I took part in For Debtor Or For Worse.

There have been instances where issues surrounding money have nearly broken our marriage ( as it can wreak havoc on so many relationships) but I think what has sustained us is that through these issues of financial crisis we have always remained open and honest and have kept those lines of communication burning up (often times me more than him).

As I mention in the Huff Post live chat-two people will never enter a marriage completely on equal footing in regards to finances- and throughout the course of a relationship financial circumstances will ebb and flow- the important thing is to keep talking and sharing and remembering that money  and how you handle it- and whose responsibility it is all comes down to how you talk to one another–it is NOT about the money itself–do you agree?


  1. Karen Medlin says

    I so much agree with you. I don’t think I would have entered a relationship if my future spouse was heavy in debt, it would raise the question on whether they know how to manage money or is a gambler?
    Hubby and I had agreed when we got married that we would discuss how and what we will purchase. Makes the relationship runs so much smoother, when you don’t have to worry what the other is buying without you knowing. His first marriage, the ex pretty much spent what he made each week, always worrying about bills his spouse was hiding.. I don’t think I could live like that and wake up one day with nothing. If we buy a car, we both go shopping, and we always agreed if we don’t have money in the savings for a big item like a refrigerator or dishwasher, we would wait until it was saved up. We never owned any credit cards, always believed in paying for an item in full, the only thing we fiance is when we trade in for a new vehicle. We have several different accounts set up for the household, all are both names, joint checking, savings and one put back that we put so much back for our big guy who is aspergers, so that we can buy things he may need to make his life run a little smoother, like saving for an ipad or laptop for him to take to jr. college classes to take notes in class. We keep so much back for monthly house and utility bills and savings is just for house repairs or a big item that needs to be replaced or repaired or even emergency for medical bills.

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