Money and Relationships

Money and Relationships Money is one of the top 5 most argued about topics at home and in the couples therapy office, leading to many breakups and divorces. The topic has lead to endless friction, conflict, contention, and resentment. Why is money such a touchy topic? Because money relates to so many elements of lifestyle and in a general sense, survival. Without money, bills cannot be paid. And if bills are not paid, cars and houses are lost, credit scores are ruined, and the ability to live is greatly diminished. Spending extends beyond bills to impulse and recreational purposes. And when total debt piles up beyond control, the pressure on the couple can be enormous. So, how can this touchy topic be addressed?

Step 1 Gain control of your finances now as a single:

The time to gain control and make headway with your finances is right now before you get into your next relationship. Don’t expect to marry someone who will clean up your messes. As the old saying goes, “if it is to be, it’s up to me”. What do you need to do to eliminate your debt, earn more money, even begin some savings? Whatever that is, do it. And if your job/career is lacking, it may be a good idea to go to college or a trade school to add the formal education or training to increase your income potential.

In addition to gaining practical control over your finances, it can also be a good idea to regularly read, listen to, or watch materials to help you learn what strong money management and financial success is all about. Here are a few references of some helpful money-oriented materials:

Book: Think and Grow Rich, by Napolean Hill
Audio: Secrets of the Millionaire Mind by T Harv Eker
Video: Financial Peace University by Dave Ramsey

Think and Grow Rich and Secrets of the Millionaire Mind will both help you develop a better money generating mindset. Financial Peace University will give you clear steps and ideas to help you budget, get out of debt, and gain control of your finances. All three resources are strongly recommended. However, if I was to recommend just 1 source, I would suggest Financial Peace University. The main point is: don’t wait. Later is never better to control your money issues. Do it now. It is going to take a while, so no time to waste.

Step 2: Relationship Discussion:

Once you are dating and considering engagement, it is then a good idea to start having some serious financial discussions. Find out as much as you can about what the other’s spending and savings habits are, their income and future earning potential, their debt, and their financial vision for the future. Ask questions. Share your own situation with the other. Take a premarital questionnaire and discuss the financial results (the RELATE questionnaire at Consider couples therapy where this issue can be openly and thoroughly addressed. Talk, share, ask, discuss, negotiate, plan, etc. Talking about finances is very important to do early on in a relationship because the longer you don’t talk about this topic, the more awkward and taboo it becomes to where eventually, the topic of money becomes something that won’t ever be talked about openly.

Final Thoughts:

Ignore money and money issues at your own risk. Instead, please follow the suggestions in this little article to gain control over your finances and learn to communicate about this touchy topic with your partner. If you can eliminate this area of your life from being a stress and point of contention, you have just made your life tremendously better and easier. You will reap the benefits personally and relationally. And someday your future spouse will thank you for the financial work you are doing now. Because "…neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord" (1 Corinthians 11:11).

Dr. G

*To submit a question for a future Q & A column or to request a possible future article subject, contact me at
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2018-08-03 Randy Gilchrist Healthy relationships, Finance

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About the author

Hello, my name is Dr. Randy Gilchrist (aka "Dr. G"). I am a licensed clinical psychologist, a licensed marriage & family therapist, and a certified hypnotherapist in private practice in Roseville, CA (, practicing since 1997. Also, I am happily married in the temple (Manti) since 1996 and have 4 sons. I am a volunteer writer and contributor to LDS Dimension. I use my training, education, and experience to share insights with LDS Dimension on all things of interest to the LDS dating community. Please read my articles and columns on this site to assist you in your online dating journey. Also, to be considered for an answer in a future Q and A column, please email me your dating/relationship oriented questions to Finally, I also offer a powerful, effective worldwide custom hypnosis recording service just for LDS Dimension members for weight loss, pornography, and many other issues of concern to those in the LDS dating community (please learn more now at; email me questions to