CASH CLASH: What’s Below The Surface?

cash clash graphic stock _SY9GOoAri copyThere is an incredible vulnerability that comes when we give another person access to our finances. The reality is they can now hurt us very badly by taking or misusing the information we have given them. This can cause a cash clash.

Prior to marriage, many of us had to answer only to ourselves. A major shift occurred as we began our married life. We are now accountable to each other. How do you react when someone limits you? This is where iron sharpens iron (see Proverbs 27:17) and the sparks begin to fly.

What I want can seem so much more reasonable than what you want. Will my contribution be valued as much as yours? What if you use ‘my money’ to purchase something I disapprove of? Will I be able to influence you? Is the money I earn my money, your money, or our money? What if I delight in spending money on us while you spend money only on yourself? Often money fights end up fueling insecurities rather than resolving them. (David and Janet Congo, contributing authors to: The Complete Marriage Book)

It’s Called The Cash Clash

How true! It’s amazing how differently we view money. People might think the arguments are about not having enough money for all of the expenses that occur. And yes, that can be a big part of it. But often it goes deeper than what you are immediately arguing about. Chris Hogan, writes about this issue in the article titled, “One Thing Couples Have to Keep Talking About: Money.” He says:

“In my years of coaching couples, I’ve discovered that money fights are rarely about green pieces of paper. Something deeper is usually boiling beneath the surface, so give yourselves enough time to listen to each other — without interruption.

“…After awhile, you just might find that budgeting is less about dollar signs and bottom lines, and more about reconnecting and making sure you and your husband or wife are on the same page. That’s when you know you’re set up to keep moving together in the right direction.”

The Cash Clash Goal

Our goal in marriage should be to continually “keep moving together in the right direction.” It is normal that we would clash about many different things, including money. We come from different back grounds before marrying. As a result, we bring into the marriage different ideas about the true value of money and how it should be handled.

Here’s something else that David and Janet Congo wrote that we’ve found to be true is that:

“Money may be an inanimate object. But we attach great emotional significance to it. One of the prerequisites for partnering in the matter of money is an understanding of the meaning of money to each of us.”

Because money means different things to each of us, it’s easy to find yourself clashing about “cash” issues. In order to truly be marital partners in every area of your lives together, you need to examine what is below the surface. Determine what it means to each of you and then how to bridge the gaps between you.

To “look below the surface” of your money issues, we will provide a link for the web site for the ministry of Focus on the Family. They have an article posted that deals with this very issue.

To read this article plus several more they provide on this subject as well, please click onto the link below:


— ALSO —

There’s a bit more below the surface than different meanings to what money means to both spouses. There’s actually a scientific reason behind all of it, as well. Dr Caroline Leaf explains a part of this in the article linked to below. One thing she points out is that:

“The reason for these differences has to do with the design of the male and female brains, which is based on complementary opposites and equal intelligence.”

Here’s the article, posted on the web site. You may find it helps you better understand why you and your spouse approach money matters so differently:


If you have additional tips you can share, please “Join the Discussion” by adding your comments below.

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4 responses to “CASH CLASH: What’s Below The Surface?

  1. (USA)  Over the past 10 years my husband has gotten us (or tried to get us) into risky investments. I have stopped most of the damage, but he keeps after me. Now he wants to buy a livestock farm and other land. But in these bad economic times and with what we have all lost already, I simply cannot undertake that risk. He will not stop coming at me about this. His intentions are good… But he is the type of person to see what he wishes for, and not what the actual risk and reality is. He says he’s sick of being afraid.

    I’ll try to get us to financial and/or marriage counseling over this. Other suggestions? Thanks for any thoughts that you have.

    1. (USA)  Catherine, I divorced my husband because of infidelity and failing finances. He convinced me that our love was strong enough to endure anything. We remarried 5 years ago with a plan to stabilize our finances and I committed to help him 2 yrs with the son he made the 6 months we were divorced. We have been married a total of 36 yrs.

      He has never been skilled in money management –he just wants what he wants when he wants it –no budget. But he never paid his bills on time so we had to use my credit …always. Three years into marriage an accident brought a 5 figure check from MY insurance policy. When I told him the money was for us to pay out bills and tighten our belt, he told me that the accident happened to HIM, and proceeded to spent lavishly. We had 3 mortgages, 2 truck notes, 17,000 in credit card debt. To add insult to injury, he hung out in the streets on the weekends until 5:30 am (in a small town) & continued to pay child support while he left me and his child at home. It was not until I lost my job that I could see why I never had any money.

      I learned that I am codependent. Because of this I have allowed all kind of abuse. When it is not physical abuse, people that feel strongly about the marriage bond. They cannot see it. If you want to save your marriage, home etc. Keep a tight watch on the monies. As a fail safe start putting aside funds in an emergency account so you don’t have to live with family like me.

      The house, money, 401K, everything I had in my name is gone. He tried to forge my name so he could cash in his 401K without my knowledge –I found the papers, not even looking for them. I learned many things about him I did not know.

      If you begin to WATCH and pray, Jesus will help you see a side of him that you are either not aware of or you were in denial like me because of my commitment to an unconditional love. Make sure you are grounded in the spirit of Christ. I could not accept belief for many of these things, even holding the evidence in my hand. My prayers go with you. God’s speed.

  2. (USA)  Hi Catherine! I know first hand how this situation can be frustrating and scary at the same time. I will advise you to pray for your husband and for you as well that God will show you what to do and how to do it, that HE guides your husband’s choices. You can’t make him stop, Only God knows how to deal with him. Put your financial health in God’s hand HE is the provider. Remember He will never forsake you!!

  3. (US)  I have been asking this question for a few years; no one can give a good answer. The situation is, I am a Christian married to a man 14 yrs younger. This is a third marriage for me, second for him. I am the main earner in the family. I earn 3 times more than him. I was also given an inhertitance when my father died which I would like to pass on to my only son. He has no children. I am giving him 50 percent. We have spent the rest getting out of debt. Is this Ok?

    My husband wants to control all the money and give as he judges. He is a good man, not a spendthrift. He also wants full access to all my accounts –he monitors what is in them anyway. But I am willing it to my son. I am so nervous about all this but I do love my husband and it is a constant source of conflict. Why can’t he just trust me and leave me alone to do what I want with money? I consider it to be mine. Am I wrong in thinking this way?