QOTD: Leave and Cleave vs. Stay and Pay

MONEY DISPUTES is one of the top three reasons for divorce and the number one reason for marital stress. This is true across all socio-economic classes. You simply cannot afford to get the money area of your relationship wrong. Yet, so many people do. Social media has made it worse, since people are posting enviable images of success, all the while drowning in student loans, financial debt and other money problems related to mismanagement. Many are too ashamed to tell their loved ones that their seemingly happy world of success is actually a cropped, filtered lie. The couple in this scenario is a disaster waiting to happen unless intervention happens quickly. I have four points I’d like to make about this post.

#1. We Can Judge His Behavior But Not His Heart. This guy’s behavior is CLEARLY wrong! He should have discussed his plans and requested her permission to help his parents. More important is to learn the heart behind the behavior. Learning the heart (motives) of this man will be the deciding factor for whether the woman should stay or run. Options for motives may include: he’s purposefully deceiving his fiancé, he’s ignorant to his roles and responsibility as a husband, he is being manipulated and/or has been conditioned by his parents, he’s an opportunists and sees her income as a means to fulfill his dreams, he’s extremely grateful and loyal to a fault, he is seeking the affirmation he never got from his parents, he is selfish and entitled, etc.. Most people will immediately judge his heart by their own experiences. What if you got it all wrong? It’s up to this couple to seek counseling and seek God in prayer. Pre-marital counseling will help to uncover the root of the issue. Seeking God will help you position YOUR heart to experience love, clarity, and not operate emotionally. The time to run is not immediately after you discover this behavior. It’s at the point that he DOES NOT have an epiphany concerning his wrong doing. If after counseling he can’t humbly admit he was wrong for withholding that type of crucial information from you, follow the red flags off of the field and RUN FOREST RUN! “AGREEMENT TO CHANGE HIS BEHAVIOR” is not enough! Unless you see a remorseful “CHANGE OF HEART” you are asking for many more sucker punches of deception up the road. #2. Financial Infidelity Can Be Just As Devastating As Sexual And Emotional Infidelity. Approximately 7.2 million Americans are hiding a secret account or credit card from their mate or spouse. Couples aren't just arguing about money: they’re hiding transactions from each other as well. The woman in this scenario has obviously invested a huge portion of her heart into this relationship since she has committed to marriage. She does not appear to be petty about her money, since she’s fine making more money than her spouse. The fact that her first instinct is to run should not be judged too harshly. Hiding money or expenditures from a spouse can be devastating to your relationship. Discovering something like this is considered Financial Infidelity. That’s because it feels like betrayal. It causes your mate to wonder about your secret squirrel life and how many other secrets you are hiding. It throws a huge blanket of fear into the relationship. A breach of financial trust is one of the greatest predictors of divorce. 3. A “NEED” and a “GIFT” are Two Very Different Expenditures. Many people argue that if an aging parent is in need of help, it is wrong not to assist. That is certainly a convincible argument when you have responsible, independent, addiction free parents who have fallen on hard times, but this scenario does not indicate a need, it indicates a gift. Your gifts should be a team decision from ALL CONTRIBUTING PARTIES. Also, your gifts should be in proportion to your financial net worth. Gifts should not rape the finances from your own household. Needs and worthy emergencies may require a financial sacrifice. If your salary and savings don’t match what some NBA Players can give for gifts, then don’t duplicate the gifts of an NBA player. Rather than a new house, you may want to start with a new living room sectional. 4. Face It…You May Be Financially Incompatible. Constant lack of money is not the reason why most people get a divorce. The majority of financial stress in relationships comes from financial incompatibility. For instance, a compulsive over spender is married to a penny-pinching saver. This scenario has everything to do with financial incompatibility because their values don’t match. This guy passionately values his parent’s comfort and security. His fiancé appears to treasure the comfort and success of her immediate family and future. Discussing values is crucial before you make any level of commitment, including becoming engaged. The bible says, Your heart will always be where your treasure is. Matthew 6:21 (CEV). Your spouse will take their and possibly your money to the place their heart treasures. That place may be the casino, the mall, the bar, the in-laws, the bank, or the offering pan. Locate their heart and you’ll located their money. This couple won’t solve their problem without effective communication. How this guy deals with his indiscretion will make the difference between splitting or moving forward. The lady must ask herself why she has not vetted this guy properly before agreeing to marry him. His financial condition is Pre-Engagement 101. Maybe she needs to deal with some avoidance issues. Nevertheless, I will leave my singles with my signature solution: Look the issue straight in the eyes and ask yourself, “CAN MY LOVE COVER THIS?” Courageously and immediately, respond accordingly.

Love McPherson,

Relationship Expert

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