How money can make or break love

Financial stress and fights about money are among the three most important indicators of a struggling relationship. However, couples may not always be aware of the stress and conflict that can arise when they suddenly make too much money or get a significant pay raise. When one partner gets a boost in pay, it can stir up unresolved value issues and feelings of power and significance associated with money. Money isn’t always discussed in relationships, and when one partner begins to feel better than or more valued than the other because of the increase in their salary, an imbalance occurs between partners, causing unexpected conflict.

An increase in income can also cause discomfort for the couple with their friends and family in two major areas. Firstly, couples who are unprepared for the boost in income may feel left out from getting invitations to activities with their old friends. Secondly, friends and family may start expecting more favors from the couple, causing stress and conflict as couples try to balance their own priorities and values.

Making more money is a transition for couples, and it doesn't have to undermine their relationship if they allow time to talk about how to handle the increase in income in the long term. Financial transitions can take four to five years, and couples who set priorities based on their combined value system can cope with the discomfort of what their loved ones may say or think.

To make a smooth transition, couples can follow these tips:

1. Hold on to the things that matter most. An increase in income may mean a move, but it doesn’t have to. Keeping stabilizers in life is also an anchor for the marriage and the family.

2. Make a list of what you want to be known for. Self-awareness in the present and planning what you want to give back or be known for ten years from now helps in making plans for an increase in wealth.

3. Have at least five priorities you protect with an increase in wealth. Having a plan for funds for your children’s education, setting firm family boundaries, spending time together with close friends and family, and having financial plans for aging parents are some essential priorities to consider.

Many couples dream about winning the lottery or coming into an unexpected inheritance. Still, making more money can be a relationship stressor. The happiest time for couples is often when they are financially struggling and working together to make ends meet. Therefore, discussing the financial increase ahead of time and planning together how to save and spend it can help couples continue to feel connected and grateful without having to worry about the negative changes it may present.