In Sickness and Health, For Richer or Poorer: The Extent to Commit
Love and marriage tend to be romanticized by some, disregarding essential factors such as money and health. While it’s true that your partner’s money shouldn’t be the only reason you’re marrying them, you cannot overlook it, either. After all, it’s what pays the bills and the life you’ll build.
The same can be said for health, particularly mental health. If one or both of you are suffering traumas or mood disorders, you cannot treat the other as a “rehabilitation center.”
These matters bring us to the question of how important money and health are in a marriage. If you vowed to stay with each other in sickness and in health, and for richer and for poorer, should you keep enduring even when you hit rock bottom?
Money Issues in Marriage
About a third of adults with partners report that money is a significant cause of conflict in their relationships. Also, financial problems are the leading cause of divorce.
In this era, women are taught how to make money, and some even out-earn their husbands. From the surface, this looks favorable, as both spouses can be financially independent. But it turns out that the “what’s mine, yours, and ours” method is the number one marriage-killer.
When spouses split their bills and freely spend whatever’s left of their savings, resentment can be built, as retirement plans and other long-term goals can be forgotten. It can also lead to one spouse keeping money-related secrets from the other.
Debt is another monster in marriages. Hard feelings may rouse if one spouse is buried in debt while the other is entirely debt-free. And needless to say, sharing debts is also a burden.
Contrasting spending habits also thwarts happy marriages. If you’re a saver and your spouse is a spender, you surely call them out on their hefty purchases, while they may remark that you’re a cheapskate in return.
And if one spouse earns more than the other? Power play may transpire, making the other feel insignificant.
These money issues prove that marrying poor will result in conflicts, but marrying rich doesn’t guarantee happiness, either. If both spouses cannot arrive at a common ground regarding their finances, regardless of their wealth, conflict will always arise.
Mental Health Issues in Marriage
The impact of mental health in marriages is often overlooked, partly due to the traditional practice of mental health professionals focusing on the symptoms within an individual, and not how individuals relate to one another in a relationship, such as a marriage.
Living with a mentally ill spouse can be stressful, and it could affect your mental health, too. But divorce isn’t the soundest solution. Showing your love and support should come first, then educating yourself about their condition.
Do not become an enabler or therapist. Remember, you’re not each other’s rehabilitation center. You shouldn’t be responsible for managing their illness, either. Instead, help them seek therapy.
Addressing your spouse’s mental illness is crucial because neglecting it can affect your intimacy and their behavior. They may be more prone to anger or become avoidant. These behavioral issues can lead to your marriage going stale.
Hence, apart from seeking psychiatric help, consider helpful marriage counseling as well. A marriage counselor will aid you in resolving your issues healthily, reducing heated arguments and hurtful actions.
You can also seek counseling even if you don’t have conflicts yet. Counseling isn’t necessarily the last resort, but rather a way to strengthen your bond with your spouse and to learn how to communicate better. It may help you resolve money issues as well.
To sum it all up, money and health are both highly relevant in a marriage, but problems in either can be solved without separating, as long as you know how to communicate and seek help.