How to Avoid Conflict Over Money and Domestic Duties

We equate surprise and spontaneity with romance and passion: Surprise your partner with flowers, a candlelight supper, or, if you’re Christian Grey, a helicopter flight.

Living haphazardly can, however, be a formula for catastrophe beyond the early honeymoon phase of a serious relationship, which, let’s face it, typically only lasts a few months.

Among the most frequent causes of conflict among couples I counsel are financial issues and domestic responsibilities. Typically, the cause is a lack of forward planning done in concert.

As unromantic as it may sound, managing routine daily responsibilities like cooking, cleaning, and paying bills takes up most of a long-term, committed relationship.

For a household to function well, these things need organization. The organization also requires forethought.

Examples of typical arguments

One frequent occurrence I observe is people arriving late from work, having no plans for the evening, feeling stressed and worn out, and then ordering takeout or delivery. As a result of their continued overspending on food, they eventually run out of money to use for other expenses.

Another is that instead of sitting down and talking about how much they need to budget for certain things, one partner stews while the other spends more money than they believe is appropriate on meals, clothes, furnishings, leisure activities, etc.

Bickering over chores around the house, such as laundry, dishes, cooking, cleaning, etc., is yet another tale I frequently hear. Once more, the question of who will do what and when has never even been formally discussed. Everybody simply “hopes” the other will step up.

Tips to prevent disputes over money and household responsibilities

Be honest about your financial situation, including your assets, obligations, spending, and other factors.

Consult a financial planner to receive expert guidance on setting up goals, budgets, and financial organization.

Maintain a spending log and receipts.

Decide who will be in charge of paying what bills and expenses and making sure they do so on time.

Create a weekly schedule outlining household duties and who is in charge of them. Collaboration should be used for this. Put it somewhere that both spouses can see it, like Google Calendar or a kitchen whiteboard.

Recognize that everyone may have a different way of doing something (like loading the dishwasher) and that your method may not be the only or even the best method.

Weekly meal planning is advised. To cut down on food waste and save time, go grocery shopping once a week based on your meal plans. When it’s possible, plan your meals in advance on the weekends.

Expecting your companion to be able to read your mind is unrealistic. You want them to take action, right? Instead of just being upset that they didn’t do it, have a discussion. You definitely need to ask frequently.

Keep in mind that marriage and partnerships require compromise; nonetheless, you should not ‘keep score’ as these relationships are not contractual agreements.

Of course, preparation and organization do not ensure a happy marriage. Not only must the preparation take place, but both parties also need to keep their word.

The conflict will persist if one party persistently violates the existing understanding.

Compare your efforts and priorities.

I frequently witness relationships in which one partner places a much greater value on cleanliness and orderliness than the other. The individual who prioritizes these things differently feels the other person is just overly preoccupied with details.

However, it frequently involves much more.

To feel tranquil, the other person requires a neat surroundings. What they are actually expressing when they have expressed their distress to their partner on multiple occasions.

I need you to take these steps (accommodate my requests) in order for me to feel secure and cherished.

I implore the other person to understand that the goal is to communicate love and devotion in a way that their partner wants and needs it to be expressed, not to do the dishes or anything else.

It’s about making an effort in your marriage or relationship, and both of those things need an effort!

You shouldn’t stop surprising your partner with gifts and romantic gestures, but before you do, make sure the bills are paid, the sheets are made up, the shopping is finished, and you have a plan for dinner.