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Marriage Counselor or Financial Coach: Which One Do You Need?

When you stand at the altar, hand in hand, you’re saying “I do” to everything—the good, the bad and the ugly that will certainly come your way.

And you can bet that money problems are going to come your way.

It’s just a fact. How you manage money can make or break your marriage.

And since money and marriage are so intertwined, when these conversations (or ahem, arguments) happen, it’s hard to tell whether the issue is money or marriage.

So, we asked our highly-trained Ramsey financial coaches, and they gave us the lowdown on which situations they should handle and which situations should have you booking an appointment with a counselor.

Situation: You’re dealing with financial infidelity.
Need: Marriage Counselor

If you’re in a situation that involves financial infidelity—for example, your spouse opened a checking account without your knowledge and used that money to buy a lot of expensive stuff—then you need a marriage counselor. There’s a certain kind of dishonesty involved with financial infidelity. It’s a huge breach of trust and can ultimately destroy both your marriage and your money.

Situation: Your spouse won’t budget with you.
Need: Financial Coach

If you can’t get on the same page about money, then a financial coach is the right fit. But here’s the thing—if your spouse flat out isn’t listening and doesn’t want to be more responsible, you can’t drag them kicking and screaming into a coach’s office. Try to find common ground, be understanding, and explain why you want to tackle your budget together as a team.

Situation: You’re considering bankruptcy.
Need: Financial Coach

You absolutely need a financial coach if you’re considering bankruptcy. The problem here is that a lot of people don’t think about the long-term effects bankruptcy will have on them—like having to state you’ve filed for bankruptcy on any future applications. It’s a stain that doesn’t go away. A financial coach will help you understand all the consequences of bankruptcy and guide you to your solution.

Situation: Your spouse has a gambling problem.
Need: Marriage Counselor

At first, you may think this would call for a financial counselor because it’s an issue about money. But it’s also an addiction—and that’s a much bigger problem. In that case, let’s get the gambling problem sorted out first, then we can focus on the financial problems it caused.

Situation: You’re getting married next month.
Need: Marriage Counselor and Financial Coach

Everyone says that couples need a marriage counselor before they get married to help them prepare for life together. And that’s absolutely true. But you need a financial coach too. In fact, one of the leading causes of divorce in America is money fights. With a financial coach, you’ll dig much deeper into the money pitfalls that might pop up later on in your marriage.

Situation: Your spouse is a “hider.”
Need: Financial Coach

What exactly is a hider? This is someone who hides smaller purchases or even cash. With hiders, there’s a trust issue. If it hasn’t reached the point of “financial infidelity,” then we’d advise you to go with a financial coach first. But if there’s a bigger issue involved in the hiding, then your coach might recommend you to a marriage counselor.

Situation: You’re both broke, and you need money.
Need: Financial Coach

If you’ve got too much month left at the end of your money, you need a financial coach. Coaches deal with this issue all the time, and they’d be glad to help you figure it out. You’ll likely start by making a budget that works and looking for ways to bring in more income.

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The Dr. John Delony Show helps people through real-life marriage challenges. Listen now!

If money problems have you fighting with your spouse, stressed out in your marriage, or just plain at the end of your rope, it’s time to reach out to someone. Let a professional guide you and your spouse through these issues.  

If a coach fits your needs, Ramsey’s financial coaches will help you create a personalized plan for your money to get you from where you are to where you want to be. Talk with a coach today, and take control of your money together. You’ve got this.

Ramsey Solutions

About the author

Ramsey Solutions

Ramsey Solutions has been committed to helping people regain control of their money, build wealth, grow their leadership skills, and enhance their lives through personal development since 1992. Millions of people have used our financial advice through 22 books (including 12 national bestsellers) published by Ramsey Press, as well as two syndicated radio shows and 10 podcasts, which have over 17 million weekly listeners.