I is for Income Inequality in Marriages

I is for Income Inequality in Marriages

Income inequalities in a marriage, or any relationship, can be a big point of tension. An imbalance with something as emotional and stressful as money can leave couples struggling within their relationship. Income inequality can be caused by a variety of reasons. Sometimes there is a job loss or disability, or one parent needs to stay home with the kids. Other times it simply comes down to one person being the breadwinner due to different career paths. Either way, there is no reason to end or have a strain on your relationship.

And if not resolved, issues like this can lead to divorce. But an income inequality within a marriage does not have to mean the end of the relationship. Like with most relationship issues, though, communication can be the cure-all. There are talking points to have with your significant other if you think you are experiencing income inequality within your relationship.

Acknowledge the cause of the inequality.

This can be a difficult conversation, but it is necessary to find the root of the issue. For example, was the inequality a choice or out of your control? Simply stating income inequality and why can be the first step in making sure both parties are heard.

Discuss your roles.

Is there a greater purpose for this inequality? For instance, Is one partner not working to save on childcare or further their education? Being honest and looking at how each partner fits into and contributes to the relationship can put things into perspective.

Create a financial plan forward.

Now that all your cards are on the table, it’s time to make a financial plan. Decide if you will be keeping your money together or separate. Make sure to discuss household chores too. Just because one partner is not the breadwinner doesn’t mean everything should fall on them. Create a financial and lifestyle plan that feels equitable moving forward. 

Express your feelings and say what you need.

Say what is on your mind and weighing on your heart. Now is the time to bring up how you feel about inequality. Be open and honest to keep the communication going.

As difficult as income inequality can be within a relationship, it doesn’t have to be detrimental to your relationship. Keep an open line of communication with your partner. And if you do need help navigating a financial issue within your relationship, do not hesitate to reach out to a therapist or financial advisor for advice.

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