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Kathy Marshack News

How to Keep Money Arguments from Tearing Your Family Apart

Friday, December 26, 2014


entrepreneurial couples keep money arguments from tearing your family apartWhen was the last time you examined your attitudes about money? Do you have a plan for its wise money management? Money can be a very powerful influencer on family dynamics. Some think, “We’ll be happy when we make a 6-figure income.” Yet, when they reach that goal, it’s not enough. Even with so much in their bank account, they don’t feel wealthy. Some even feel that their money becomes a trap, because it’s causing strain in their relationships and dysfunction in the family. They just aren’t prepared to handle money and its consequences.

Like everything else in an entrepreneurial relationship, money needs to be discussed and planned for. Becoming aware of your own biases and skewed perceptions about money will help you break through unnecessary roadblocks to handling wealth. Developing a solid plan for the management of your wealth requires a thoughtful dialogue with your partner, or your dreams may be foiled. You have to determine what money means to you. Perhaps you see yourself in the following examples…

Jonathan and Brooke had a prenuptial agreement to protect the assets that Jonathan had acquired before the marriage. Years later, after Brooke had assisted Jonathan in revitalizing the business and expanding it into the international arena, the prenuptial agreement had been forgotten. At least, Brooke thought it had been forgotten—until Jonathan said he wanted to revise it. Brooke was crushed that her husband didn’t trust her and was unwilling to give her credit for her contribution to their success. He maintained that their success was due to his financial investment even though he acknowledged Brookes contributions in other areas.


Connie and Ray have known each other since their teens. Never having even finished high school, the young couple got married and launched a successful wholesale health food business. However, in their early thirties, with three children and a multimillion-dollar business that employs several family members, Connie and Ray have a serious problem with drug addiction. They had never had a model for handling wealth, and they foolishly indulged in drug use and now find that their lives are out of control.

Amy and Evan met in college, got married after graduation, and settled in the suburbs. With two school-aged children, Amy returned to full-time teaching. Evan became a successful freelance technical writer. This couple is earning more income than their parents did at the same age. Lacking any models for handling wealth, Amy is constantly worrying that there will not be enough money. She questions Evan about every penny he spends, especially when he spends money to promote his business. Having never been self-employed herself, and having never seen her parents with any money, Amy is unclear about what level of business expenditure is appropriate.

All three of these couples need to bust some of the myths that they have about money. They need to reexamine what money means to them and what they want it to mean. Money arguments cause many couples to seek psychotherapy because they want to make their marriage work. If you need help uncovering your deep-seated beliefs about money and how these are concealing deeper, hidden issues between family members, please contact my office and schedule an appointment. Remote education is also available for entrepreneurial couples who don’t live near my office.

Read more on my website: Marriage Counseling and in my book Entrepreneurial Couples - Making it Work at Work and at Home.



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