How to Overcome Financial Issues in Your Marriage

Fighting about money in a relationship is one of the leading causes of divorce in the United States. It’s the biggest reason people fight in relationships – more than infidelity, children, or anything else. And unfortunately, talking about money doesn’t seem to help – but that’s because people talk about it the wrong way. Instead of having a heated argument over money where everyone gets defensive, it really helps to plan out a strategy and have an honest discussion about money. Plan on how you and your partner will spend it and save it, and try to stick to the plan by helping each other. It’s not enough that both people agree on a plan, sticking to it is harder, but is worth it.

Start with small changes that you both make, and make sure each person is accountable for them. Examples of small changes are not using credit cards as often or for certain purchases, spending less on travel, taking public transportation, etc. Once you have a few of these small successes under your belt, you’ll be able to make bigger changes that will eventually really help you both and help the relationship.

There are a lot of financial decisions that need to be made with your partner:

Credit Cards — Do you both use the same card and share the bill? Do you keep separate cards and each are responsible for their own bill? What limits are involved?

Bank Accounts — Again, do you prefer a joint bank account where you share all the bills, or will you both continue to bank separately?

Debt — The debt in a relationship can really cause a lot of damage, because a lot of the time embarrassment will cause one person to hide the amount of debt from their partner. So you trade a much smaller problem that you can face together (debt) into a breach of trust in the relationship. This is potentially extremely damaging and can lead to a break up or divorce. Debt needs to be put out in the open, and a plan to pay it off that you both make together.

Savings — Creating a savings plan and sticking to it will also really help in the relationship. While it may seem tough to get through every month with what you have, it’s important to try and save a little every month. This will really help when something unexpected comes up, and the pain of saving a little each month is much less than the pain of not having any cushion when things don’t go according to plan.

Secrets — Out of all these issues, keeping secrets from your partner can be the most damaging. Whether you are hiding a separate bank account, a gambling problem, or holding out on debt – these issues pale in comparison to the continued lying and deception that is necessary to keep these secrets. The worst mistake you can make is to keep a secret – try to put it out there, because trust is much more important than money in a relationship.

Top 10 Reasons To Avoid Gambling

10. The cause of indolence

Gambling affects your life negatively. If you are a regular, you might have missed your work occasionally because of a late night games at the casino. On the other hand, if in case, after a major loss you make an attempt to work you won’t be able to concentrate for your mind will be preoccupied with the depressing thoughts from the loss. Many of the gamblers depend on the “luck factor” and start day dreaming ultimately losing interest in their job.

9. Results in depression and anxiety

Gambling addiction can be the reason of anxiety, depression and a host of other mental problems. The pressure of gambling addiction can generate terrific emotional pain which can only get worse over time. If you are a gambler and you feel anxious or depressed, it is suggested that you seek help right away. Gambling addiction has the highest number of suicide rates. Individuals are overwhelmed by this obsession and become despondent and hopeless, believing suicide is the only way out of the pain.

8. Deteriorates your physical health

If you have been gambling on a regular basis your physical health is at stake. People who gamble impulsively start neglecting their health. Additionally, the stress of the gambling obsession can even cause stress on your heart, particularly after shocking monetary losses. The emotional fall can in fact have an effect on your physical body in negative ways. A sheer game of luck, it will only cause you pain and nothing else. Is it not one of the big reasons to avoid gambling?

7. Makes you selfish, moody and rude

I have witnessed a lot of individuals who underwent a moral transformation to the worse after they got into gambling. The habit destroys the person ethically and makes him moody and rude. The greediness keeps his mind engrossed in the imaginary money, ultimately making him selfish. Inveterate gamblers don’t think about other people. Their only aim of life is to finance their addiction and to win back their lost money.

6. Will make you lose your friends

You might be wondering how this habit of yours will make you lose friends. Well, if you are in a habit of gambling then it is more likely that if not today maybe later you’ll borrow money from them. Chances are you’ll not be able to pay them in time due to frequent losses. This will really cause strain in your relations. In addition, your addiction will make you ignore your friends as you will be preoccupied with gambling. You may then even miss social outings and some very important events.

5. Ruins your family

Gamblers are too tough to reform ultimately turning out to be a loser and having no family. Not a soul wants to be in this world with a gambler who is grumpy, unstable and squanders funds. So the outcome is the spouse filing a case of divorce or just leaving the partner. Many families have been torn apart by this disastrous obsession.

4. Induces crime

Fascination of gambling compels people to commit crimes to support their game. An impulsive gambler never leaves this addiction even when he is left with no money and instead takes on crime to finance his very basic need of gambling. Some people even turn towards domestic violence and torture their spouse on a daily basis.

3. Diverts you from your aim

When your life is all about gambling and just gambling, it then becomes your primary activity. All of your vigor, motivation, energy and inspiration are only gambling related and you tend to lose focus on the main aspects of your life. If you have any special talents or hobbies, it is most likely that these hobbies will not be given priority and you’ll choose to ignore them.

2. Puts on hold all your future goals and aspirations

When you are addicted to gambling, it is obvious to stop thinking about the future. A gambler always lives for the moment and desires only instant gratification to feel what is known as the “gamblers high”. It becomes very hard then to focus on any of the future prospects as they tend to live in a world of fantasy, placing bets and dreaming that big jackpot. Neglecting aspirations and all future goals is living a worthless life and therefore this is one of the prime reasons to avoid gambling.

1. A curse that destroys you financially

It doesn’t take a lot of time to dig up a huge financial hole if you have an impulsive gambling obsession. Gambling can take away hundreds or perhaps even thousands of dollars in no time and add up to your debts. I have seen that people take lots of years to clear the debt and in their endeavor they even become bankrupt, ultimately devastating financial as well as personal life. Money is the reason why we all live and therefore the biggest of all reasons to avoid gambling is to save money.

The Dangers Of Gambling Abuse And Addiction

So, how do you know if you or someone you love have a gambling problem?

First of all it’s important to note that compulsive gambling is a psychological condition that makes people unable to control their desire to gamble. Many crave the feeling they have when they gamble and seek this experience on a daily basis, no matter whether they’re on a winning or losing streak.

Compulsive gamblers may start betting small amounts, but sooner or later start to wager higher bets in order to get the same feelings of excitement they had when they first started playing. Compulsive gamblers often feel agitated and restless if they are unable to gamble and can feel a strong desire to gamble when other aspects of their lives are weighing them down. Compulsive gamblers may also believe that gambling is the only way to pay off debts and keep believing that it’s only a matter of time before they hit the elusive jackpot. Some compulsive gamblers may find themselves lying to friends and families and in some cases stealing money or goods to pay for their gambling habit.

Not all compulsive gamblers will exhibit each of these qualities, but if you recognise just a few of these in yourself or someone close to you then it could be time to seek help.

Compulsive gambling is treatable and there are a number of wonderful organisations set up to deal specifically with this problem.

Gamblers Anonymous is probably the most well-known and widespread and is based on a 12-step program similar to that of Alcoholics Anonymous. Members meet on a regular basis to share experiences and listen to each others stories and you will find that there are literally hundreds of Gamblers Anonymous groups situated all over the world. Go to the Gamblers Anonymous website for more information (www.gamblersanonymous.com) or check your local newspaper.

Gam-Anon is another well-respected self-help organization whose motto is “serenity, courage, wisdom. “Their website provides a solid resource into the issues surrounding compulsive gambling and meetings are held regularly. (www.gam-anon.org).

The National Council on Problem Gambling is a government sponsored organization with branches across the USA. The website also has a lot of information which you may find useful. (www.ncpgambling.org).

Other countries will also have their own groups and organizations which may be publicly or privately run. Again check your local newspaper or phone book for more information.

Remember, compulsive gambling is a mental health issue for which there is help and support. If you feel that gambling is dominating your life in a way that is harmful or unhealthy, then perhaps its time to talk to someone about it.

Protecting Against Financial Abuse

For protection we often rely on banks, locks, password codes, credit cards, hiding places and even fighting skills. Yet, like the story of the Emperor’s New Clothes, we often deny ourselves the biggest threat to our own or organization’s wealth (and sanity).

I am talking about the addictive personality.

Here are some examples that I have personally witnessed:

A relative losing her house due to her son’s drug addictions.

(My mother’s house near break-in from harboring the mentioned drug addict.)

An associate losing money from trying to support their drug and video game addict children.

A gym owner whose gambling-addicted girlfriend put his business heavily in debt.

A military party fund that went missing to an alcoholic who had volunteered to look after it.

Rent and investments that have disappeared by trusting a drug addict.

And the list goes on.

I mention this because good health includes financial health.

Now, many people argue that the stigma of addiction is what is driving addicts towards suicide and more destructive behavior. (You will see public signs all over Vancouver stating that drug addicts are also co-workers, relatives, friends and generally nice people.) Well, the point here is to protect YOU and not intellectualize why THEY hurt your financial health. It makes as about as much sense as trying to reason with a grizzly bear or a mad dog. Forget it.

Instead, take note of the following behaviors of the addicted personalities:

1. Moody.

They often fluctuated between being sweet and charming and surly and angry.

2. Bursts over-achievement

Some addictive personalities actually perform high in academics, sales and athletics. I personally knew several high-performing martial artists and soldiers who drank heavily and fell into heavy drug use. Addictive types will so great bursts of work or productivity for short periods, giving the impression that they are high performers.

They often make a big display of any minor achievement such as doing volunteering or exercising.

3. Often sick.

4. Frequently take/request time off.

5. Frequent money problems.

They frequently borrow money or ask for pay advances from work.

6. Unethical behavior

They often lie, steal, cheat and degrade others, while co-workers and family will constantly cover up for them.

7. Often smoke

Not always, but most addicts smoke.

8. Tendency towards swearing and violence

9. Gulping alcohol

This is something that I witnessed in the military. The heavy drinkers could never just sip and enjoy a drink. They had to gulp it down. One co-worker would buy six beers at a time and down them one after another before “Happy Hour” was over.

10. Blaming others

If you ever talk to an addictive person, you will hear all about how things are “everyone else’s fault” and all of the psychological and family reasons why they excessively drink, gamble or play video games.

This list is not complete and it might even make the reader squirm a bit if it sounds too personal or “close to home.” The truth is, you are often aware that something is “not quite right” about a co-worker, employee, boss or associate and that you should keep them away from your money, home or business. Sometimes you cannot if you are a co-worker, business partner or spouse. Like martial arts, fighting and military skills, you have to be able to maintain a strong defense and preparation against such people.

It all boils down to trusting your instincts in the first place.

Stay healthy.

Stay safe.