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If you and your spouse argue about money, beware. Frequent arguments about money often lead to feelings of resentment and guilt, and they may even lead to divorce. Couples who are able to amicably settle their financial differences, however, enjoy a stronger, closer relationship. But how can you foster such a relationship when one spouse makes a whole lot more money than the other? In addition to having open and honest discussions about the financial needs of each partner, couples with income inequality should find other ways to level the playing field.
Forget Splitting The Bills Evenly
If there is income inequality in your marriage, forget about splitting bills down the middle. Splitting bills evenly results in one spouse having a lot less discretionary income than the other. The spouse with less income may struggle to make their half of the bills while the other is able to spend money freely. As you can imagine, this can cause a great deal of resentment and friction in a relationship. A much better arrangement would be to have the spouse who makes more, pay more.
Dole Out Equal Amounts of Work
If one spouse works 50 hours a week while the other works 25 hours, the second spouse naturally has more time to tend to household chores and errands. If these chores are split evenly, the spouse who works more hours will likely feel overburdened with work and responsibilities. For this reason, it's a good idea to make a schedule for each spouse, including work, chores and other obligations. The hours of combined work for each spouse should be relatively equal if possible.
However, if both spouses work the same amount of hours but do not make the same amount of money, the spouse with the lower income should not have to do more work at home. Keep it about time and work, not about money.
Put It All in The Pot
Another great way to level the playing field is to put all money into an account that both spouses control equally. The account should be managed by both couples according to a pre-determined budget. Spouses who choose to combine finances should also have regular meetings to discuss their finances and financial strategies.
If there is income inequality in your marriage, you don't have to fight about it. There are several things you can do to level the playing field and make both of you feel equal in your marriage. In some cases, you may want to consider couples counseling. Contact a local counselor, such as Drake Counseling Services, for more information.