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How Money Destroys Families & Ruins Relationships

Why is it that money destroys families? They say money is the root of all evil. But is it really the root, or a fertilizer that allows the evil to grow and spread?

These are just my thoughts on the subject. Too many times, I’ve seen and heard stories of money ruining relationships. I feel that it’s time to stop blaming money and recognize the character flaws in our families, friends, and ourselves.

Stick drawing of people arguing over money. Title: Money destroys families

How Money Affects Family Relationships

Mixing family and money can be a tricky situation. However, money doesn’t break up a family, the people in it do. The people are making choices around the topic of money that causes issues.

Self-interest is one of the biggest reasons that families fight over money. One common situation that happens is when a family member passes away and the remaining ones start to fight over the inheritance.

One person will want everything split evenly. Others may think they deserve it because they make the least money and the others have enough. Yet still, there may be one who feels they deserve the money for taking care of the family member before they passed.

This is just one way that our behavior and choices cause money to ruin relationships and destroy families. It never ends well when people prioritize the love of money over the love of people.

What Can Destroy A Family

We can say that greed over money is the main thing that ruins relationships and destroys families, but I believe that money affects relationships because of all the 7 deadly sins: Lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy, and pride.

  • Lust: A strong desire for money and willingness to sacrifice anything or anyone.
  • Gluttony: An overindulgence to buy everything and may try to make others feel less than for not having the same. Ex. Excessive amounts of clothes that are not even worn.
  • Greed: A selfish desire to hoard money and unwillingness to share.
  • Sloth: A reluctance to work for money and depend on others instead. They may try to make wealthier family members feel bad for not taking care of them.
  • Wrath: Anger towards others for having what you don’t.
  • Envy: A longing for having the money and possessions someone else does that builds resentfulness towards them.
  • Pride: A deep gratification over one’s money and possessions. These people like to show off their wealth but will hide the truth when they aren’t doing well and lie about their ability to help others. 

When people display these 7 deadly sins of money, that is how “money” destroys families.

How do you resolve a family conflict over money?

There will always be conflicts in life, everyone is different and we do not think the same. However, conflicts over money do not have to break up families. 

Open and honest communication is the best way to resolve conflicts with money. If we treat one another with the kindness and consideration that we would like to receive in return, there would be less fighting and relationship destruction.

Why do couples fight about money?

Couples arguing over money is another way that it ruins relationships.

Couples usually fight over money due to:

  • Different spending priorities: Ex. One likes to spend money on items such as clothes while the other thinks it’s a waste of money and prefers to spend money on entertainment.
  • Levels of frugality: Ex. When one person prefers saving money and shopping around, it can be frustrating to the other who just spends without thinking much about the cost (and vice versa).
  • Differing savings goals: Ex. One partner wants to save towards retirement plans and different goals while the other doesn’t find it necessary.
  • Financial dishonesty: Ex. Lying about money such as debts, excessive spending, gambling, etc.

Again, the only way to work on these issues is through communication. It is important to understand the other’s point of view and work out a compromise; then stick to it!

For example, in my relationship, we came together and worked out a monthly budget. Then, we agreed on an “allowance” for each other where we couldn’t get upset over what the other bought.

It’s important to figure out what works best in your relationship. Consider seeking the outside help of a licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT) as well for help with communication and understanding one another.