Forgiving and forgetting is so last season.
A study presented at the American Psychological Association's annual conference on August 2 says that arguing through marital problems can be healthier than forgiving a spouse in some cases.
For couples who don't regularly engage in "hostile behaviors" -- defined by the study as sarcasm, insulting, swearing, etc. -- forgiveness is beneficial to the pair's well-being. But if the couple often fights, it may be more beneficial to metaphorically "duke it out" than forgive and forget.
The study's author, James McNulty, a psychology professor at the University of Tennessee, suggests that being forgiven by a spouse -- or being the forgiving spouse -- can lead to some unintentional negative side effects.
"Believing a partner is forgiving leads agreeable people to be less likely to offend that partner and disagreeable people to be more likely to offend that partner," McNulty told the New York Daily News.
McNulty also indicated that becoming angry with a partner tells them that their behavior is "undesirable" whereas forgiving them right away says their behavior will be tolerated. Temporary anger may prevent the same behavior from occurring in the future.
Click through the slideshow below to learn seven ways to avoid money problems, which are the number one reason for divorce.
Disclose Financial Records
Before corporations merge they go through a period when both sides get a close look at each other's financial records. Take the same approach before you get hitched. Swap statements for your bank accounts, credit cards, student loans, retirement accounts and so on. Also share credit reports and FICO scores. "Not only can you start to put together a balance sheet of what the two of you own and what your debts are, you can start to discuss 'do we want to combine our checking account?'" says Salvini.
Discuss Financial Goals
A huge part of getting in sync with your spouse begins with discussing major life goals and the necessary financial commitments. Discuss short-term goals, such as paying off credit card debt, and then craft a budget that sets you clearly on a path toward your goals.
Budget Your Spending
Failing to create and stick to a mutually agreed upon budget can lead to marital strife. It doesn't have to be complicated, though. Start off by listing monthly income. Be sure to add in interest earned on money-market accounts and dividends from any investments. Then add up expenses, everything from car payments, rent, to groceries, gym membership and utilities. If you're making more than you spend each month, you can begin planning how to set aside money for long-term financial goals. If not, time to consider ways to cut spending.
Treat Your Money As 'Our Money'
Many newlyweds continue to see the money they earn individually as their own, much like if they might merely be roommates. They keep separate bank accounts and pitch in, perhaps equally, or not, to paying bills. But that can lead to problems, especially if one spouse earns a lot more than the other, says Anthony Chambers, a clinical psychologist at the Family Institute at Northwestern University. If both spouses work, he suggests they arrange for their paychecks to be deposited directly into a joint account that's used to pay all shared expenses. If they feel they need to have some of their own play money in a separate account, that's fine. But Chambers says the funds should come from the joint account so both spouses know where the money is going.
Keep Credit Cards Separate
It's not necessary to make your spouse a joint accountholder on your credit cards, especially if he or she has a poor credit history, which can drag down your own credit rating. Instead, make your spouse an authorized user of your credit cards. This will avoid any potential impact to your credit rating. As a safeguard, authorized users are also able to check account balances and track spending on the card.
Don't Split Costs 50-50
In marriage as in most other scenarios, money is power. Although splitting household costs down the middle may work early on in a relationship, it can breed resentment in a marriage when one spouse makes a lot more money than the other. It also can foster a sense that the person who pays more should have more say in financial matters. "Very few things in marriage are exactly 50-50," says Chambers. "And that can really start to bring up all of these other issues of fairness." Still, even if costs aren't split down the middle, it's important that each spouse hold equal say in making money decisions.
Talk About Spending
Even after you've reviewed all the financial paperwork, sometimes it's even more important to find out how your spending habits match up. Often those habits are developed early and are entrenched. One person might have grown up in a family that counted every penny. Another might part far more easily with money because shopping became a hobby. Beyond how much someone likes to spend there are potential conflicts over what we see as a must-have. Even small differences can become wedge issues later on. "The central task of marriage is the management of differences," says Chambers. "So you want to be able to know early on what those differences are."