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Money and Marriage, a Difficult Combination

Statistics indicate that money and partner are a sensitive issue. Money and its handling is one of the most frequent causes of divorce and one of the most common conflicts after this. The best thing is to be frank and direct from the beginning.

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There is a point where butterflies in the stomach do not count much in love anymore. It is the moment when the most earthly issues begin to take on importance and idealism is replaced by a more practical spirit. The economic aspect, for example, comes to light. This is when money and couples begin to form a binomial of care, which, if not handled with intelligence and tact, can be a source of conflicts that take root.

Money is much more than a material resource for human beings. Each of us gives a conscious and unconscious meaning to it. This depends on how some childhood stages have been resolved, the education received, the experiences that have been had with the money and the environment in which it is lived.

Sooner or later, money and a couple are two realities that are found. Sometimes, from the beginning. There are few people for whom the economic situation of the other is an important variable to choose as a couple. Nor are there few relationships that end up being contaminated and destroyed by a lack of agreement or understanding.

“Blessed is he who has talent and money, because he will use the latter well.”

-Menander of Athens-

Money and couple: the initial subtlety

On money issues, there is always something hypocritical, as Sigmund Freud pointed out. The father of psychoanalysis assured that, just as in sexual matters, monetary issues are also full of taboos, half-words and prejudices. This is seen with special force in the initial stages of a relationship.

The usual thing is that at the beginning of a love relationship money is too prosaic a subject to include it in the list of topics on which agreements are reached. On the other hand, the intensity of one’s love motivates the delivery, thus avoiding disagreements. Both want to pay, give the other.

In this first stage, anyway, there are some patterns that will mark the binomial money and couple. Almost always one of the two is more generous with resources, while the other is more receptive. There will be implicit agreements about the behavior versus the expenses. On the other hand, the explicit debate usually comes when coexistence begins.

Money, power and asymmetry

In general, people look for couples with a similar economic level. It is not always like that, but it is what prevails. Despite this, it is difficult for the two members of the couple to have the same income, the same spending patterns and the same expectations. In this aspect there are usually several asymmetries, which are manageable when the contrast is not very large.

One of the problems appears when there are economic differences in the couple and also money is important in the distribution of power. In this way, there are many couples in which one takes all or most of the support in terms of economic, generating the other a debt that must be paid in another way. Thus, with money you can get, for example, that your tastes or preferences prevail in debates over which there is no agreement.

Nor is it uncommon that there is competition between the members of the couple. This happens especially if both are professionally successful and have good resources. Otherwise, when deprivation is the predominant note, the other may become the sparring to vent frustration.

A subject of free agreements

In the study Young couples and divorce, of González and Espinosa, published in the psychology magazine Iztacala, it is pointed out that money is the area with the greatest probability of generating conflict in an average couple. They indicate that it is the factor with the greatest number and intensity of disagreements, before, during and after a divorce. Researchers say that the topic is often contaminated with feelings of anguish, anger, resentment, envy, jealousy and many more.

Without realizing it, many couples end up using the money for purposes that do not correspond. To control the other, for example. Or to compensate for emotional damage, such as infidelity, indifference or abuse. That is why the issue of money and partner is one of those that require intelligent agreements that condition as little as possible the agreements that are reached in other areas. The healthiest way to handle it is by addressing it directly and reviewing with the frequency agreed upon.

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