Couples Follow This Process and Stop Fighting About Money

Couples, stop fighting about money! Disputes will arise in your marriage that you attribute to money. But you know it’s never about money, it’s about lifestyle choices that lead to spending. If you follow this dispute resolution process, you will identify the issues and likely will stop fighting about money.

How to Stop Fighting About Money

Relax, stop fighting about money
Relax, stop fighting about money


How do you solve conflicts in your marriage? Without a procedure to resort to when disputes arise, he or she who is strongest will win the fight. That’s why a big challenge in a marriage is to get a mutually acceptable, working, dispute resolution procedure. Ideally, you would discuss and decide this process during premarital counselling.

I am not talking about pre-set solutions to pre-set problems. I am referring to a pre-set procedure to discuss disputes a procedure rooted in transparency and integrity. A process the parties accept with its imperfections. And most of all, a procedure they have enough confidence in, to accept its results.

A Dispute Resolution Process will Cause you to Stop Fighting About Money

Before deciding on a dispute resolution procedure, husband and wife should affirm these important marriage fundamentals:

  1. First, accept disputes will arise and cause strain in the marriage
  2. Second, accept marriage is a equal partnership
  3. Third, agree each party needs humility and need to listen, learn and accept when he or she is wrong
  4. Fourth, have realistic expectations that sometimes compromise is not the best course
  5. Fifth, when you argue and fight, agree you won’t behave unhealthy, calling names and shutting down communication.

Mull over these points when a dispute arises:

  1. Talk about what needs fixing, and work to fix it with help from a counselor or trusted respected friend
  2. If you can’t agree, remember, sometimes one of you must decide.
  3. No decision is a decision.

Suppose your automobile needs changing; you (the wife) agree you need a vehicle, but your husband wants to borrow to upgrade the car, and you don’t. You know you can sell the current automobile and buy a similar one without borrowing. How do you decide? Borrowing will strain the marriage because you, the wife, disagrees. Not borrowing will strain the marriage because your husband disagrees. But husband and wife agree you need to decide.

Each party should listen, hear, and feel the other’s comments. Each circumstance is different, but each person be humble and be ready to accept he or she might not have the answer. Sometimes a trusted third party can show the couple a path neither saw.

Doing Nothing Won’t Stop Fighting About Money

Still, try not to decide by doing nothing and stash away emotional hurts that will explode later. After the decision, if one party doesn’t like it, accept the decision and don’t try to prove the other party wrong. Move ahead and accept the consequences and learn from them.

It’s essential to set aside time to deal with disputes and time to have fun; they don’t mix—this can be hard for guys like me who are fixers.

Could a procedure with those points work for you? If it doesn’t, it might get you talking and not shouting at each other. Sometimes couples agree their dispute resolution procedure is to see a named counselor, a trusted, matured couple, their pastor or another pastor. Still, I repeat, every marriage needs a pre-agreed dispute resolution procedure that’s rooted in honesty and integrity. Conflicts will arise, and without a pre-agreed procedure, you will deal with them the natural ways—fighting, withdrawing, or another unhealthy way. 

In every case, the procedure needs love, patience, gentleness, grace, mercy, humility, respect, and each party’s willingness to let go of his or her rights.

© 2017 Michel A Bell


Michel A. Bell

Michel A. Bell is a former senior business executive, author of seven books — including his first children's book published in 2022 — speaker, and adjunct professor of business administration at Briercrest College and Seminary. Michel is a Fellow of the Chartered Certified Accountants (UK), holds a Masters of Science in management degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Doctor of Business Administration honoris causa from Briercrest College and Seminary. He is founder and president of Managing God's Money™ and Stewarding God's Resources.

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