18 Oct 2014

The Success Of Your Marriage Is Hinged On The Success Of Your Finances, Not Sex!


I am not yet married but I am in a long term relationship (almost 5 years now). In my relationship, we have not really had financial issues because we met as students and have only just began working for money. But that is not to say that we have not had any financial challenges anyway, but we talk openly and freely about them in a bid to resolving them.

But it is different once you leave school and your parents stop sending you money because they believe you now have your certificate. When you get married the financial challenges just multiply, especially when the children start rolling in.
In the US, statistics show that the #1 cause of divorce is said to be break down in communication. But as Dr Flanagan puts it, poor communication is only the smoke from the real fire underneath.
An MMI survey done in USA reported that 56 percent of married couples who are unhappy blame it on financial problems. In Nigeria, (though there is no official statistics,) I am sure the percentage will be much higher.
Another survey found that money is the number one cause of arguments among U.S. couples (31 percent) followed by household chores (28 percent), in-laws (22 percent) and sex (15 percent).

1. Growing apart
2. Unable to talk to each other
3. How spouse handles money
4. Spouse’s personal problems
5. Not enough attention
6. Infidelity
7. Spouse’s personal habits
8. Sexual problems
9. Taste/preference differences
10. Alcohol/drug problems

The high poverty rate in Nigeria will practically skew the statistics if a genuine survey was to be carried out. It means that we can never know what Nigerian women really can do/undo in marriage if the law and society allowed them. No sane Nigerian woman married to Dangote or Ovia or Obasanjo or Adenuga or Arthur Eze will ever consider divorce even if she is not being satisfied in bed.


Ok that aside, how can you ensure financial success and stability in your relationship and marriage as a Nigerian not married to the money bags?


    1.       Before you say “I do”
The love and money ebook by MMI offers some practical tips for singles [contact me if you want it]: The financial success of your marriage starts before you even say “I do.” Ask questions such as
a)      How did your parents/family handle money when growing up?
b)      Are you a saver, or a spender?
c)       Should we have a joint account?
d)      Do you believe a man should pay 100% of the children’s school fees?
e)      What is your definition of a working wife/house wife? Do you mind being the bread winner as the wife, and me being the ‘house husband?
f)       Do you hope to start a business someday? What if you lose your job?
g)      What are your financial goals?
h)      What is your definition of a financial crisis? And so on….
 The answers to these and many more questions will help you decide whether you should commit to a life together, if it will work when you do, or whether you should not even bother at all. Don’t wait till you are married, ask now.

Nearly half of currently divorced or separated U.S. adults (48 percent) said they wish they had spent more time discussing finances before getting married. More than one-quarter (29 percent) of currently married U.S. adults said the same.
2.       After you say “I do”
The love and money ebook by MMI also offers practical tips for married couples:
                         I.  Set priorities and specific goals. Don’t assume you have the same goals without discussing them.
                        II. Discuss your values
                       III. Plan in five year units
                       IV. Budget together
                        V. Know where your money is going.
                       VI. Don’t assume that because you’re both working that you have a lot more to spend.
                      VII. Save regularly
                     VIII. Who handles the actual paperwork can be a matter of personal preference, although both of you should practice at it.
                       IX.  Don’t confuse the task of doing paperwork with the act of financial decision making.
                        X.  Sit down together and discuss finances at least once a month, especially how much you should save together, how much you should give family and friends, how much, when and where should you invest, etc.
Research shows that thrifty couples are the happiest and too much debt can ruin a marriage.
Financial Infidelity
Are you committing financial infidelity, lying to your better half about the way you spend money? A research done in the UK shows that couples keep a secret bank account from their spouse, with women more likely to keep money hidden from their partner. 
But  a poll in the U.S. found that 31 per cent of couples had committed what is dubbed ‘financial infidelity’ and were dishonest with each other about hiding cash, the level of their debts, or even how much they earn.
§  3 in 10 Americans commit “financial infidelity” by lying to their spouses about money. The Harris Interactive online poll of 2,019 adults showed 31 percent of American couples who have combined finances were not truthful about issues such as hiding cash or a bank account or about debt or earnings.
§  Sixteen percent of couples affected by financial infidelity said the deception led to a divorce.
§  11 percent said it caused a separation.
§  Sixty-seven percent said it led to an argument.
§  42 percent said it lessened trust in the relationship.
§  The most common lie, at 58 percent, was hiding cash.
§  Fifty-four percent of respondents admitted hiding a minor purchase, 30 percent hid a bill, 16 percent did not disclose a major purchase and 15 percent hid a bank account.
§  Eleven percent lied about debt and an equal number were untruthful about earnings.
 Take extra care to your finances today, because like the motto of this blog goes; your success curve won’t go up if your finances are going down, and that includes the success of your marriage. Let your marriage creed remain –until death do us part, and not UNTIL DEBT DO US PART.

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