5 Steps on How to Win Your Husband Back From Money Problems

Jan 19, 2024
A woman in a tank top anxiously looking at her husband, who is putting his hand to his head

 Every week I talk with wives who are confused, frustrated, and scared about their marriages. Their husbands have become disengaged, angry, and resentful. 

It is completely understandable to feel this mix of emotions. Navigating marriage and money is not so easy. We want it to be easy, but after more than ten years of working as a couples therapist and financial planner, I can honestly say that it isn’t easy — at least, not initially 

Winning your husband back is not an idea, event, or grand gesture. It is a journey and process of self-growth and development.

You are not going to directly change him, no matter how much you might like to. The more you try to control and change your husband, the more likely he is to shut down further or become more angry. 

I cannot promise that your husband will come back to you, but what I can tell you is that you will end up a happier and more fulfilled person if you focus on your own journey of healing and self-growth. 


Step 1 - Do your own inner work related to money

Many husbands pride themselves on being providers for their families. They have strong feelings about earning money and how money is spent and saved.

I am not saying that their feelings are right and yours are wrong. There is always room for both partners to grow in self-awareness about how they relate to and use money. 

At the same time, it is important to pay attention to and consider where your husband is coming from about your spending habits. I have heard many women say, “But it’s for the kids/family!” to justify whatever amount of money they want to spend independent of whether the family can afford the purchase. 

Recently, I was working with a couple where the wife bought a $2,000 trampoline for their daughter's birthday without talking to her husband. This is one of many purchases that are above their spending limits and sinking them further into debt. 

As I watched the husband share this story, it was like adding another rock to the metaphorical bag he was carrying for the family. 

You may also be resentful and frustrated with how your husband is spending money. The truth is when either partner spends money without consideration for the family finances, it only spins the flywheel of resentment faster. Rather than pointing fingers at whose spending is worse, it’s important to dig to find the root of the problem.

I invite you to become curious about why you are spending money on your family.

  • Is it because of unfulfilled childhood needs?
  • Is it because you are bored, angry, or resentful in your relationship?
  • Is it due to grief over a loss in your life?
  • Is it because you feel entitled to have what you want for yourself or the kids?

Doing your own inner work is a developed skill. Even learning what it means to do inner work is a process that many of us need to go through. 

We need to learn new inner work exercises. Just like we go to a yoga class or work with a physical trainer to learn new exercises to strengthen and condition our body, the same is true of our inner world which is made up of our thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and sense of self. 


Step 2 - Learning how to navigate negative emotions related to money

Many people get the impression that they need to change the way that they think about money to improve the way that they navigate money. 

This is a partial truth. We do need to continually learn how money works and how to manage it. Every season of life presents us with new money challenges to overcome and navigate through. 

What I have found over and over again is that it’s not a lack of knowledge regarding what to do with money that trips people up; it’s navigating their emotions that come up around a wide range of money situations. 

I know that you likely see some emotions as negative. I would like you to consider that there are no negative emotions, but there are emotions that are uncomfortable to experience. Here is where it gets a bit tricky, but stick with me. 

For some people, emotions like fear, shame, anger, or jealousy come up around money. While many would classify these as negative or bad emotions, they are not. Every emotion is a signal about what we are experiencing and the needs that we have. Every emotion is a source of information. It may be uncomfortable to experience these emotions, and we may not know how to work through them, but that does not make them bad or negative. 

On the other hand, emotions like joy, excitement, love, and confidence can also be hard to experience around money. Perhaps you would like to feel these emotions related to money, but it may be hard for you to do so. While these emotions are typically associated with being good and positive, they can also be challenging to experience.

The truth is that both you and your husband have your own unique emotional money constellation that drives different patterns of thoughts and behaviors related to money. 

One of the best ways to honor both your and your husband's experiences with money is to meet them with empathy. When we are seen accurately for the emotions that we are experiencing around money, it is like sending a message to our brain that it is safe to be ourselves and become more reflective about what we are doing. 

I have seen many wives and husbands spending money to create a feeling of love when what they really need is to spend time connecting relationally to create that feeling of love.   

Step 3 - Understand that low self-esteem is often at the root of money issues


It took me a long time to make this connection in my own life. I didn’t want to see my own insecurities. This may be true of your husband. They live by a code of invulnerability. Or perhaps your husband is so absorbed in low self-esteem it is hard for him to see that he has any value. 

The journey of restoring healthy self-esteem is not done in a day, week, or month. Oh, how I wish it was! It can not be bought on a bookshelf or taken in a pill. It is something that has to be connected to from within, discovered, and developed.

Our money issues will not be resolved fully until we address our insecurities. Sadly, this is why we see wealthy people who still feel insecure. They bought the lie that if they had enough money, they would feel secure. Once they reach one level of income and wealth and they realize they still don’t feel safe and secure, they double down and go for more. 

I saw this play out when I spoke with Michael Baldwin, a formerly widely successful executive, on the Healthy Love and Money podcast who thought more and more status and success would bring him happiness, but it did not.  

He had spent years in therapy but had never been asked about his childhood trauma. It wasn’t until he engaged in EMDR therapy that the reality of his childhood trauma started to emerge and he began to work through his low self-esteem issues. 

The research is very clear about the impacts of unresolved childhood trauma on the development of self-esteem. This can be seen on either end of the continuum of self-perception: either a low view of our personal worth and value or an overinflated sense of personal worth and value relative to others. 

On either end of this spectrum, we use money directly or indirectly as a reflection of our view of ourselves and others. Rejecting taking responsibility for our lives and financial decisions is one end of the continuum, and on the other trying to acquire more money and status to demonstrate our worth. 

Please keep in mind this does not mean that I think all wealthy people are insecure and just trying to accumulate more wealth to feel secure and powerful. This is where my mind has gone at times, which led me to reject wanting to pursue higher levels of income and wealth. 

My question for you is how are you navigating your husband's insecurities? You cannot control how your husband responds to you, but you can influence it by the way you show up in the relationship. Ideally, you are working on developing your own ways of relating in the marriage securely. 


Step 4 - Take online courses to develop communication skills about money

Dealing with money is a highly relational experience. The way we use and interact with money is reflective of our relationship with ourselves and others. The more we become aware of how we experience money, the wider the range of ways we can navigate the different money situations that come up in our lives. 

That’s why taking online courses can be so helpful. I created The Couples Guide to Financial Intimacy to provide couples with a wide range of exercises to help them widen and strengthen the way they relate to themselves, each other, and money. 


Working on our money relationship is like a combination of yoga classes and personal training. When we are working on our relationship with money, we are stretching and expanding the range of motion we can take in our financial lives. At the same time, we are strengthening all the different parts of our money body. 


Becoming masterful in the way you interact with money and each other is going to take some time. However, I have seen time and time again that when couples learn how to be with themselves and their partner when it comes to navigating their financial life, the situation goes from a painful song played out of tune to a beautiful symphony where the couple is the conductor and all the instruments of their financial life harmonize together. 

The two of you can become the composers of your financial lives. 


Step 5 - The ultimate goal is a healthy relationship

Taking balanced responsibility for the role we play in our intimate relationships is a great act of psychological development and maturity. Being married is one of our greatest opportunities to mature as people. 

We can never see ourselves clearly. We need the reflection of others to help us see ourselves more clearly. When there is healthy, loving mirroring, we have the opportunity to grow and mature. 

Navigating money together will be part of our entire relationship. The two of you have a choice to make about how effective you want to be together in your financial life. The purpose of your life together is not to make money but rather to use money to create a meaningful life together. You two get to continually define and redefine what it means to purposefully use money in your life. 

This spans from the everyday ordinary experiences to the life goals you want to achieve and everything in between. 

(This is not an invitation to stay in an abusive relationship that is not growing or changing. Yes, intimate relationships can become healthier over time, but it is not worth it to stay in an abusive relationship if you have read countless articles like this one and nothing (or very little) has changed.)


Encouragement and hope

I invite you to continue on your journey of learning what it means to have a healthy relationship with money. 

Ask self-reflective questions. Become curious about how your relationship with money impacts you and how your own experiences have shaped your expectations around money. 

Many of us give criticism, judgment, denial, and minimization to both our own patterns with money and those of our partners, which often drives the wedge between you and your husband further. 

Becoming self-reflective and self-compassionate about both your relationship with money and his will increase your odds of winning your husband back financially. 

Want more guidance and support? Schedule a free 30-minute consultation to learn how Therapy-Informed Financial Planning can help the two of you. 


With Regards,

Ed Coambs


Curious About Your Attachment Style? 

Take the Attachment Style Quiz now and learn how it impacts your relationships, finances, and life!