In her article “Seven Things I Wish I’d Known about Military Marriage,” military wife Jacey Eckhart topped the list with, “I wish I paid a whole lot more attention to money.” Couples often do not realize the role money plays in a relationship. The way we spend and account for money can be how we spell TRUST.
Jokes about “retail therapy” can bring a smile, but the result of emotional spending can be anything but funny. Budgeting for an occasional splurge is fun and, I would argue, even healthy. But when spending money becomes a necessary part of celebrating or forgetting the highs and lows of life, a flag should go up.
“Arguments about money are by far the top predictor of divorce. It’s not children, sex, in-laws, or anything else. It’s money—for both men and women.” This statement from researcher Sonya Britt gives insight into why finances are a topic included in official deployment and redeployment briefings. Another study, “Examining the Relationship between Financial Issues and Divorce”, substantiates Britt’s statement. That research also confirms that arguments about money tend to be more intense and last longer than other types of marital disagreements.
Ezra offers a practical lesson on money management for married couples. Notice in chapter 8 of Ezra, before he set out to return home and after he arrived home, he directed the travelers to do an accounting of their financial assets. The plan to rebuild the temple would carry with it a cost, and Ezra was careful to guard the funds entrusted to him.
Dear one, do not discount the importance of making a financial plan for your marriage, especially during deployment. Rebuilding always has a cost, whether monetary or emotional. The attitude you and your husband have toward money can be the key to a successful and peaceful reintegration.