Easier for couples to forgive cheating over money woes
TORONTO—A new survey suggests Canadian couples may be more willing to forgive a cheating spouse than to overlook money problems.
According to the poll by the Bank of Montreal, 68 percent of those surveyed say fighting over money would be their top reason for divorce, followed by infidelity (60 percent) and disagreements about family (36 percent).
Forty-one percent of men say they handle the finances in their relationship while only 15 percent say it’s their partner who is in charge of their money.
That compared with 32 percent of women who considered themselves the one calling the financial shots in their relationship, compared with 19 percent who said that was their partner’s job.
Chris Buttigieg, BMO’s senior manager of wealth planning strategy, said the survey showed a “clear disconnect” between how couples view their spending and savings habits, and how they view their partner’s role.
“If both partners in a relationship feel they’re calling the shots and they have different views, then there’s going to be conflict at some point down the road,” he noted.
“It’s critical to communicate, be open to compromise, and be prepared to talk frankly about financial issues, including your plans for retirement and how they’ll be funded,” Buttigieg added.
The poll also found that 37 percent of men surveyed said their partner spends too much money and should be saving more.
Twenty-three percent blame themselves for not being thrifty in their spending habits.
Meanwhile, 36 percent of women who were surveyed said it was their male partners who overspend while a quarter admitted it was themselves who needed to rein in their money habits.
“Money has the potential to be a source of tension and conflict for any couple, regardless of the amount they have,” said Buttigieg.
“While being open and honest with each other on financial matters is a good first step in building a happy fiscal union, it’s also important to work together to develop a financial plan which takes into consideration your individual and joint goals, and helps set the two of you up for a lifetime of financial—and marital—success,” he added.
The survey was conducted by Pollara with an online sample of 1,001 Canadians aged 18 and older, between Jan. 24 and 28.