Self Help Now: A community blog

Dr. Jacqueline B. Sallade offers ideas for maintaining your mental health.

Money Differentials Make Marriage Harder

Written by Dr. Jacqueline B. Sallade, Community blogger | Feb 22, 2013 7:22 PM

The biggest problem with money, admittedly, is when you need it and don't have it. That's a given. But, what about the people who have too much or more than they can handle and make poor decisions, losing due to bad investments, generosity to the wrong people, gambling, or extravagence? That's the problem of so many lottery winners or suddenly rich not-too-smart movie stars. Brilliant billionaires tend to be more careful.

In marriage counseling, another kind of money problem is when the partners come together with a big differential in wealth, especially second marriages at older ages with children from previous marriages. Usually, there's a prenuptual agreement, but if circumstances change, it may need revisions. Too often, the poorer partner expects too much and the richer one shares a lot but resents the heavy expectations. It's normal for people in these circumstances to leave the bulk of their wealth to children, especially not to their older spouse who may end up only losing it to medical expenses or the government. There needs to be a balance of sharing and caring on the part of the money-holder and understanding and accepting on the part of the recipient of the now-improved lifestyle. Both people need to maintain respect for themselves and each other. It can be rough but worth it.

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