You Have a Single-Income Household
Why you fight: The person who earns the money expects to be in control of the spending, while the non-earning partner in the relationship believes the decisions should be made jointly. And this dynamic is creating stress, conflict, and an imbalance of power.
How to stop: This issue really boils down to control, and marriage is a partnership: Using money to control your spouse—even subconsciously—can seriously damage your relationship. Start by broaching the subject at a calm time, not when you’re arguing about money, and explain your feelings. One technique that can help is setting a specific dollar amount for each partner’s discretionary spending, or agreeing that you’ll discuss any purchase over a certain limit before buying it.
The bottom line: This can be a long-term issue. If one of you breaks the new rules you set, talk about why you did so, and make adjustments. If you still find yourselves at a stalemate, consider enlisting the help of a marriage counselor. An impartial third party can help each of you understand the other’s point of view.