Did you know that money is one of the topics couples fight about most often during the newlywed years and is a contributing factor in many divorces (Amato & Rogers)? A hot new book, "The 5 Money Personalities: Speaking The Same Love And Money Language", by the "Money Couple", Bethany and Scott Palmer, says that modern marriages are plagued by "financial infidelity", meaning there is a lack of transparency about money issues in the union. The authors say that Americans men and women are distinguished by which of the spectrum of five "money personalities" they possess, from being a tightwad saver to a reckless spendthrift. They make the important argument that before committing to one another to love, honor and obey for life, dating couples should understand the money perception differences in their future spouse. The authors stress that couples must learn to speak the same "money language" to avoid future misunderstandings and irreconcilable money differences that will ultimately doom the relationship.
We commend the authors for their timely and perceptive book. Unfortunately, this is the era of the instant relationship, where a romance begins with superficial commonalities and raw physical attraction and is fueled on the illusion that each lover shares so many of their partners' background, interests, tastes and goals. There is tremendous pressure to keep the momentum of the relationship going toward irreversible commitment and not reveal true feelings, tastes, money personality and goals. The partners will think they can deal with non-romantic subjects like money later, but by then they may be hopelessly mismatched financially.