Love and Balance: How to Handle Salary Disparity in Your Relationship
Money

Love and Balance: How to Handle Salary Disparity in Your Relationship

by Megan Denneny
September 16, 2015

ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE, RIGHT? NOT QUITE. WHETHER WE LIKE IT OR NOT, MONEY FACTORS INTO MANY OF OUR ROMANTIC AND LIFE DECISIONS, BUT IT DOESN'T NEED TO RULE OUR HEARTS. HERE'S HOW TO STRIKE A BALANCE.

Finding that special someone is like hitting the jackpot. You finally met the one who also loves to stay in and binge-watch Netflix, supports your The Bachelor addiction, and accepts your constant need to make phone calls or send texts to your mom (or maybe that’s just me?). Whatever it is you have in common, it feels like the stars have aligned and nothing can ever go wrong and you’ll live happily ever after. Right?

Not exactly. Along with the joy of a relationship comes the inevitable reality of adult issues that tend to disrupt the honeymoon period. One of the biggest reasons why couples end their relationships is due to financial concerns. We all know money isn’t everything, but it's a huge part of our lives. {Click to Tweet} Money can be a sensitive topic for both parties and it tends to affect the egos and emotions of all involved, which can create a wedge in the relationship and even cause resentment.

Money can be a sensitive topic for both parties...which can create a wedge in the relationship and even cause resentment.

Luckily, there are ways to push those negative thoughts and icky feelings aside and get back on track with your loved one to continue building a happy, healthy, and balanced relationship. You'll grow richer emotionally, together, rather than constantly comparing who has more money in the bank. {Click to Tweet}

TAKE TURNS AND GO “HALFSIES”

Perhaps your significant other bought dinner out last Friday. For this week's movie night, pick up the tab, treating them to popcorn and candy. Create a balance where you both feel more comfortable. {Click to Tweet} If you’re looking to make a large purchase, find a way where you both contribute. Don’t focus so much on matching up prices exactly—the simple act of offering is enough to avoid resentment.

CONTRIBUTE TO THE RELATIONSHIP IN OTHER WAYS

At the end of the day, money isn’t the end-all be-all, but we often lose sight of that when we're busy. Cook a nice meal, leave a flirty note, or DIY something unique for your significant other. Putting effort into a simple, unexpected surprise can make your relationship feel well-rounded and special. {Click to Tweet}

CREATE A DREAM JAR

We all have those random baskets and jars lying around the house. Utilize them to create a place where you can toss spare change and random leftover money, then agree on a dream those savings will go to. Think: romantic vacation, new couch, nice dinner out. Working towards a goal together, especially one that gives you both something fun to look forward to, build trusts and respect and you both get to reap the rewards.

Working towards a goal together...can be another way to build trust and respect where you both get to reap the rewards.

WORK ON YOURSELF

If you’re on the lower income side of the relationship, work on your own personal goals. {Click to Tweet} Just because you're in the lesser paying job doesn’t mean you aren’t contributing positively to your relationship. Discover new hobbies, enhance your skills, or volunteer in the community. By improving other aspects of your life, you’ll be able to build up your confidence and prove there's much more to your relationship than money.

PARTICIPATE IN ACTIVITIES THAT DON’T REQUIRE MONEY

Duh! The best way to avoid confrontation about money is to ditch activities that revolve around it. Watch old movies at home, go for a walk in the park, or bike to the beach. Do something that encourages healthy conversation and that neither of you have to feel guilty about later on. All of these activities will bring you closer together and lighten any potential awkwardness surrounding finances.

The best way to avoid confrontation about money is to ditch activities that revolve around it.  

CREATE A PLAN TOGETHER AND STICK TO IT

Sit down and seriously plan out your aspirations. This technique is two-fold where you can talk about your finances and see if your lives currently align for the future. Do you want to see the world or do you want to invest in a new place together? Sit down monthly or bi-monthly to hash out new ideas and plan for your upcoming life together. {Click to Tweet} If you clearly align your lives, it will be easier to set expectations and leave little room for arguments later on down the road.

GET ON THE SAME PAGE

If something is bothering you, communicate with your partner about it as soon as possible. There is nothing worse than bottling up how you feel inside and allowing it to blow up in their face. Maybe they aren’t even aware that their larger salary bothers you. Maturely talk it out and utilize the tips above to continue on the road to a healthy, balanced and loving relationship.

At the end of the day, if you’re meant to be with your partner then you will both be understanding of awkward and frustrating conversations that revolve around money. Focus on the other positive aspects of your relationship and work towards that happily ever after you both deserve.

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Has money caused discomfort in your relationship? What did you do to fix the tension? Share with us below.