He Won’t Discuss Money, And Here’s Why

The other day, I was having a conversation with a friend about how his parents were going through a rough patch—let’s call them Mr. and Mrs. Smith. As it turns out, Mr. Smith lost his bedroom privileges because he was never willing to discuss money.

At least, that’s what I got from the story.

According to my friend, Mr. Smith was going through a tough financial crisis. He had made a bad investment, lost money, and kept silent about it until Mrs. Smith found out from someone else. Dramatic, I know!

The thing is, Smith Junior was siding with Dad, saying that the lie did not warrant Mom’s reaction. He further cemented his choice by claiming that it was not a discussion they needed to have. As you can imagine, I was moments from burning the bridges of his friendship until Smith Junior said something interesting.

“It’s a guy thing, we can’t talk about money with our wives.” 

I paused, considering if it was true. The evidence was there—I grew up with a father who rarely discussed money with my mom, let alone his kids. I’ve had many boyfriends lie to me about their financial situations. Friends have shared similar, if not the same, experiences as mine with male partners. 

I found myself asking, ‘do men have a problem discussing money with their partners?’ Is it something to do with their partners? Perhaps, but let me not get ahead of myself. Like most things, there’s never one answer—so read on before you’re another Mrs. Smith. 

Is Refusing to Discuss Money A Red Flag?

If you were to research some of the financial red flags in relationships, you’d discover that refusing to ever discuss money is high on the list—for obvious reasons, too. Relationships can become fragile when one partner doesn’t want to share financial details. It plants doubt in the other person’s mind.

You’re sitting at the dinner table, and you casually bring up the topic of savings or maybe even a budget for a vacation. He immediately shuts down the conversation with something like ‘I’ll pay for it’ or ‘It’s a big step to mix finances.’ It feels like a door slamming shut, leaving you standing outside, wondering why.

That initial doubt starts small, like a tiny seed. But seeds grow. You begin to wonder why he won’t discuss money. Is it something really bad, like debt? Or worse, does he not want your finances to be together because he doesn’t trust you?

These thoughts will swirl around in your head, making you feel uneasy. As the doubt grows, you may wonder if he has any other secrets. It can trigger a breakdown in trust. Trust is like the foundation of a house—once it’s cracked, the whole structure becomes unstable.

You will feel tempted to snoop, checking his emails or bank statements when he’s not around, just to find some answers. But snooping can backfire. If he finds out, your trust is further damaged, maybe even beyond repair.

Suddenly, what started as a simple question about money turned into a big problem. Everything is undone. So, is refusing to discuss money a red flag? Absolutely. It signals a lack of openness and honesty, which are crucial for a healthy relationship. But is there another way to handle it?

In the end, refusing to discuss money is a huge red flag, but it doesn’t have to mean the end. It’s a signal that something needs to change, and it’s possible to turn things around.

6 Reasons He Won’t Discuss Money with You

Worried About Restrictions

You probably have a spender on your hands. He enjoys spending money with only his restrictions, without answering to anyone. The idea of joint accounts, budgets, or discussing finances scares him. He sees these as potential constraints placed by you, imagining that he’ll need your approval for every little purchase.

It makes him feel like a child being monitored. It’s necessary to reassure him that financial discussions won’t become an unfair dynamic where he’s restricted. Show him the importance of budgeting but emphasize that both parties should feel heard regarding their needs and wants.

Past Debt

Sometimes, the most obvious answer is the right one: he might have debt. Whether it’s credit cards or student loans, he’s afraid of your reaction. He fears you might judge him or think less of him.

Or perhaps he wants to handle it himself to feel like he’s being responsible. It’s a common feeling, especially for men.

Remember, there’s no rule that you must be debt-free to be in a relationship. Show your partner that you’re open and non-judgmental. Encourage him to bring his financial issues to the table, and let him know you’re there to support him.

He’s Avoiding One More Fight

Maybe you haven’t noticed, but he feels like you’ve been fighting a lot lately. And if there’s one topic that couples often argue about, it’s money. To avoid triggering another argument, he refuses to discuss money.

What he doesn’t realize is that not talking about money can cause even more tension and fights. It is one of those challenging discussions you need to bring up.

It might be difficult initially, but it’s worth it. Open communication about money can prevent misunderstandings and build a stronger, more trusting relationship.

Salary Differences

Is there a power struggle due to salary differences? If you make more money than him, you might feel like you should make most, if not all, financial decisions. He can sense this, and it makes him feel emasculated.

Additionally, he might feel guilty for not contributing enough, which can push him to avoid discussing money altogether. The solution here is to emphasize partnership over power.

Reassure him that financial decisions should be a team effort and that his input is valuable. Focus on each other’s strengths and work towards financial goals together, ensuring that both voices are heard equally.

It’s A Commitment Thing

Your finances may be in good shape, but he doesn’t want to discuss money because it feels too much like planning for the future.

Talking about joint savings, reducing debt together, and making big purchases after discussing can all be scary for someone afraid of commitment. It’s a sign that he might be uncomfortable with long-term planning.

Look for other signs that he’s scared of commitment and gently raise your suspicions. Then, have an open and honest conversation about your future and financial planning to address his fears and find a resolution.

He’s Been Burned Before

You’re not the first partner he’s been close with, and if he’s been burned before, especially when it comes to money, he might be wary. Maybe he had a joint account that a past partner didn’t respect or took on her debt and regretted it.

Or perhaps he’s seen family or friends break up over money issues and wants to avoid the same fate. To address this, reassure him that your financial relationship will be different.

Discuss money openly and respectfully, set clear boundaries, and work towards mutual financial goals without judgment to show understanding and build trust.

Money Discussions: Uncomfortable but Necessary

In any strong relationship, teamwork and trust are essential. When you and your partner discuss money, you’re not just planning for your financial future—you’re building confidence in each other.

Think of it like planning a trip together; you both have ideas and needs, and it’s about finding the best route that works for both of you. Open conversations about finances can prevent misunderstandings and build a solid foundation.

Remember, it’s not about who makes more or who spends less—it’s about making decisions together. Embrace the journey as a team, and you’ll find that discussing money strengthens your bond and brings you closer.

About Author
About Author

Waithira Njagi is a seasoned wellness and relationship content writer with nearly a decade of experience. Her passion for helping others navigate the complexities of personal growth and connection shines through in her engaging and insightful writing.
With a knack for distilling complex topics into easily digestible pieces, Waithira's work is geared toward readers seeking guidance and inspiration on their journey to holistic well-being.
When she's not crafting engaging articles, you can find Waithira curled up with a stack of romance novels– always rooting for love to win– or enjoying quality time with her beloved family. Her dedication to spreading love and positivity is evident in everything she creates.

Waithira is here to remind you that life, much like their stories, is a tapestry of connections - to loved ones, and the endless adventures found in books.


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