Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Money - to Share or not to Share

One of the features of the “modern relationship” is financial separation, although the couple is married, each of them is gaining and spending his own money separately, without consulting the other, without sharing the money or managing it together. One of the reasons of financial separation could be the emancipation of women: they are no longer the ones who need financial support and the men lost their “responsible for resources” status, being no longer the ones who brought food to the table and protected the family; it is a declaration of independence for her, it is the way she tells him ”I am with you for who you are inside” and at the same time “I can leave you anytime I want because I don’t need you to support me”. The balance of power in couples is finally stable.
This could turn out to be tricky for some men, who although embrace a modern life style, have more traditional values, and the decisions taken by the women without consulting them could signify castration at a certain level and could result in a feeling of insecurity. He no longer controls resources; he doesn’t have the strong points he used to have, in opposition to the woman: she has the spiritual role in the family…she is even improving in that area because nowadays our society strongly promotes personal development and the development of communication skills. Feminine culture is the one that embraced the most and the quickest this social trend, in comparison to the men. The woman is learning to be more and more assertive, more and more socially efficient, to express her emotions and be open to new experiences. Society promotes open discussions on intimate subjects: we talk about how we feel in difficult situations, about our sexual experiences, but it seems to be taboo to ask your partner what he spends his salary on.

Still, taking into consideration marriage as an institution, when the two decide to tie the knot, once you remove the huge party, the expensive clothes and the emotional relatives, what you get are two people that signed a lifelong contract that makes them co-managers. An institution is supposed to have a single budget, which, after negotiations and common decisions, is divided according to the institution’s needs, and every manager is responsible for his part of the budget. If each manager had a separate budget to begin with there would be two institutions working together.
One of the arguments of the couples that are financially separate is the fact that money is the source of most fights and this is the way to have a long, peaceful life together. Still, if the two are not able to share money, that (to put is very simply) is paper that allows you to get material things, how are they going to share the more important and profound elements of a couple’s life? What happens when the two have very different incomes? This could mean that they cannot share the pleasant things that only one of them can afford, or the fact that when one partner no longer has an income he will become very stressed and insecure, so that one of the family’s fundamental roles is lost – the support role.

Not sharing resources makes today’s sentimental life a lot simpler and safer because family life lasts a lot less than it used to decades ago and couples split up and build up more often, so the resources that remain at the same person don’t diminish, no matter how many relationships that person is involved in.

It is quite clear that the pieces of paper we use to obtain material things are a symbol of security and control that people cannot risk losing by sharing them with the partner. I come to the conclusion that contemporary society that is the creator of modern relationships is a paradox: it is the same society that encourages charity, which tells us to donate money for the less fortunate, to share our food with the ones that don’t have any, it is the same society that, every time we open up a magazine and see the picture of a half naked and starving child, makes us feel selfish because we keep just for ourselves the luxury of running water. 

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1 comment:

psychologycollegefinder said...

Money needs to share because in my country there is a myth that we can get double if we share clinical psychology degree requirements

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