Money Matters in Relationships
From An Anonymous “Woman On The Fence”
Have you ever wondered what goes on behind other peoples’ closed doors? Certainly, we all speculate on the nature of someone else’s marriage or relationship. It’s human nature to look at others and try to get a sense of what their world is like. We’re all guilty of it to some degree from time to time. For the most part we wonder whether or not they’re suitable and/or compatible partners, whether they share a mutual love, whether it’s the real deal or whether or not they entered into the union with an agenda. Regardless, I often wonder about something else entirely. Finances. Yes, the verbal or not so verbal financial arrangement between husbands and wives vis a vis their daily lives.
Now, for the everyday middle class working couple who shares a joint account & equally pays for a variety of expenses, I suppose the currency contract is less of an issue, but even there I’m not so sure. Marriage of course, like anything else, breaks down into areas or sections. And I have often been curious about the economic exchange that takes place between couples for both working and non working women.
For those that aren’t currently employed, do you get a salary? Forgive me – an allowance? A stipend for the week? Does he leave it on the kitchen counter? The night table the morning AFTER? Once a week? Whenever you ask? Or do you withdraw it yourself whenever you want, as much as you want? Although that one has to be accompanied by at the very least, a heated discussion from time to time. Regardless of the distribution of funds I further wonder about the strings attached. Do they come with built in control techniques? Are you influenced in terms of how/when you spend and process it?
My curiosity isn’t limited to those in the non working environment. I often speculate as to how my working peers communicate and execute cash flow issues with minimal complications. Do they have joint accounts that they both pay bills from? Or separate accounts whereby each one pays a variety of bills? And when one is involved in the latter set up as I am, how do they navigate the murky “who pays what” waters? Sound complicated? It is… all the time in my experience.
Now I know this is always a difficult discussion and I’d almost sooner jump off a bridge than have this dreadful conversation. Every so often I take a long deep breath, roll my eyes and venture into the room where my significant other awaits with the hope that perhaps this time we won’t argue, but rather resolve everything easily and peacefully. This little widget in the marriage is a tough nut to crack. And I can tell you, I haven’t cracked it yet.
Amongst ourselves as women, we rarely discuss it. And I’m not referring to the minutia in terms of the details but rather the overall, the macro. It’s as if we don’t want anyone, not even our closest friends to know the varying aspects regarding our marital revenue & expenses system. Regardless, I know that I continue to grapple with this and am a work in progress in terms of trying to figure out what the secret is to seamless, happy monetary chat.
But I continue to speculate about others…I wonder what Tiger’s wife Elin Nordegren does…well she has other problems I suppose.
An Anonymous Woman On The Fence
So ladies, I am sure many of you women have the same financial questions. Feel free to post anonymously, but can you share how you handle finances in your relationship with your partner? Knowledge is power.