Tread carefully when it comes to money and love
Money makes the world go around, and so does love! But when you combine these forces, you create a maze that you must tread carefully. If you don’t, you’ll find yourself either at the end of a relationship or at the very least in a strained one. Money can be a wonderful thing, it can help you with a stable life. It can make sure you are clothed, fed, that you have nice things that you can accumulate. It can buy you experiences. Money can also cause an intense adjustment problem. It can cause lack of communication. Whether it’s too much or too little, it’s an adjustment to stay with money.
A different kind of possession
The sense of ownership that people feel towards the money they make or inherit is differently coloured. The sense of entitlement is different. Of course money is a social construct and an inanimate object, but when conversations turn to ‘Your money!’ or ‘My money!’ it tends to put a strain on the relationship.
Merging of the assets
In most marriages, legally your assets are merged. Divorce laws on an average state that the money that the couple earned together, and which was multiplied during the course of the marriage needs to be divided equally. Merging financial assets can be great for tax reasons and other legalities but it can activate certain power struggles in a relationship which can turn bitter. This is not to say that assets shouldn’t be merged. They can be merged but the conversations surrounding it should be a mature, clear and honest one.
How people view money and spend it is highly subjective. Living within your means is considered prudent but since the invention of the credit card, debt has become a reality for economies across the world. When one partner is into being cautious with money and the other happens to be a big spender, conflicts arise. This also happens when one of the partners is too prudent, to the point that they act like a miser. No one wants the debt to be accumulated, being too stringent with money can make even an act as mundane as buying groceries a point of contention. Enjoying your hard earned money, and not overspending is something that can be achieved when both partners communicate. As in food and yoga, so in money and life, balance is everything.
Things over emotions
Consumerism may have been responsible for the golden age in history, but we are slowly beginning to wake up to its negative impact on the environment, the society and even on relationships. As we try to buy the new, shiny, expensive gadgets frequently, not only are we creating more waste which cannot be biodegraded, we might also be covering up our emotions. Next time you go to the mall on the weekend look around you, same couples with corporate jobs stroll into the mall together, walk around buying things they may not use and go back, all of it in silence. They speak of course but they don’t talk. They drive there, fill up the boot of the car with stuff, drive back home. It’s almost mechanical. The time off on the weekend which could have been spent talking is now eaten up by buying things.
A reversal of fortune whether it is winning a lottery or losing all your money is never easy. They might look like two polar opposite things but they are fundamentally extreme changes which affect relationships similarly. People change and their priorities change when sudden money comes in. Financial hardship, on the other hand, puts people through an instant stress test and not all of them pass. Whether you end up blaming each other for the financial loss or lose common ground because both of you changed owing to the riches, sudden financial change certainly affects a relationship.
Money related changes can be an issue that couples fight over all the time, to the point where some couples break up. Planning your finances together and communicating clearly, without ego and power games is key when dealing with money as a couple.