Studies show that it doesn't matter how much money you make or how much your spouse is worth, financial arguments can plague both the wealthy and poor alike, and they can be one of the top causes of divorce. However, when money does get tight, financial strain can put strain on the relationship. If you are facing financial crisis, you and your spouse should take some time to make a plan to protect your marriage.

Get Outside Financial Help

Wading through debt and unpaid bills on your own can strain the relationship because each person will have added responsibility with limited expertise. Even though you may feel like your budget will allow for no extra expenditures, seeking the guidance of a financial advisor can help you to create a financial plan and stick to it as you work through the financial struggles.

Debt consolidation, declaring bankruptcy, and creating realistic payment plans may not be possible with just you and your spouse pulling the strings. Professional help can take the burden of responsibility from both you and your partner.

Improve Communication

Communication is essential during all parts of marriages, but it is especially crucial when discussing finances. Couples should be open about their financial expectations, and they should also be honest about their spending. Communicating about purchases and talking openly about family finances will help to remove misunderstandings.

Perhaps during the crucial periods when there is no financial wiggle room, couple might consider reporting to each other daily about their plans and save together for wants and needs.

Plan Lifestyle Changes

Unmet expectations are one of the main contributors to conflict in marriage. It's crucial for couples to be on the same page as decreased cash flow begins to necessitate a change in lifestyle — maybe even to point of downsizing a home or selling off possessions. These lifestyle changes should be planned together and each partner should respect how difficult it might be. Some lifestyle changes you and your partner might consider include:

  • Working out at home instead of paying for a gym membership.
  • Using cash to pay for everything, and cutting up credit cards.
  • Changing the grocery budget to include more pasta and less meat.
  • Reducing personal shopping.
  • Changing to less expensive hobbies.

Any changes will include sacrifices on behalf of each partner. After the changes are planned, you can avoid conflicts by sticking to the plan.

Seek Relationship Counseling

Finally, even if you feel like your relationship is not nearly to the point of self-destructing, you should seek relationship counseling to help you and your partner learn more about each other's strengths, weaknesses, and expectations. Your counselor can give each person some strategies to work on, including conflict resolution skills.

Also, marriage counseling can help resolve "bad blood" in a safe environment. A common concern with financial troubles is that one spouse may blame the other for the problem. Placing blame in a relationship is dangerous because it fosters resentment. May constructive emotional outlets are needed in order for good feelings to be restored.

The stress and depression that can come with financial struggles can also be addressed with professional help. Often, one spouse may feel guilty or responsible for financial problems. Some may struggle to find work, which can also be disheartening. These personal feelings are often brought out through counseling, and when they are openly discussed, each spouse can better understand the trials their partner is facing. Understanding each other is one of the best ways to prevent arguments and avoid placing blame.

Money problems do not have to translate into relationship problems for you and your spouse. Seek for professional help as you navigate monetary trouble.