The level of worth attached to life is a function of the quality of your upbringing. The quality of your life is a function of your value system. It took me about one year to fully understand the place of money in marriage. I came from a humble background with a mindset that appreciates quantity over quality. I grew up with a scarcity mindset due to the deplorable state of the economy, and the fact that my parents did not have enough money to give us more than the basic needs of our life. My wife on the other hand grew with a mindset that values quality over quantity. She would rather get one item that will last a considerable length of time than get quantity with no lasting value. When we got married in 2002, it was a big issue to reach a compromise. For me, I see how many things a certain amount of money can buy more than how long an item will last. These different mindsets which influence our perspectives created gap, and eventually resulted to arguments at different occasions. Money plays a critical role in marriage. It can create serious problem if its scarcity or excess of it is not managed well. The following are possible implications of money matters in a marriage relationship.
1. It puts a strain on the relationship; there is pressure when scarcity of finance is experienced. It poses psychological strain on the relationship. This is because you are put in a seeming embarrassing situation, where some basic needs of life are not met. The experience is usually not the same as when you were single, where you can bear certain harsh conditions alone. Once married, it becomes a joint concern, which is usually not a good experience especially for the woman.
2. It has the potential to create dis-unity between husband and wife; when the potential strain is allowed to escalate, it becomes difficult to manage. Depending on the level of maturity of the couple, it can create arguments and misunderstanding, which if not manage well can negatively impact on the relationship.
3. It punctures trust; when such strains continue without having a good handle on it, the friction generated can degenerate into conflict, which in turn has the potential to puncture trust. When trust is missing in a relationship, the relationship is destined for the rocks if something is not done quickly to restore that trust. Trust is the foundation on which marriages and human relationships are built. Taking trust out is synonymous to removing the foundation of a building and still thinking that the house is secured.
4. There is misjudgment; two people with varying perspectives to money in a home are the ingredients for a problem. The interpretation of one person will be different from the other. One will see waste, while the other will see value for money. I remember judging quality material or item as a waste when in my opinion then, you could use the same amount to purchase two or three alternative items. I later realized that my growing up years contributed a great deal to this mindset. I had a relatively rough background compared to my wife; while she sees value in quality, I see value in quantity. It wasn’t long for me to discover that people that go for cheap products/services end up spending much more than those that place priority on quality. These differences have the potential to destroy a marriage if maturity and understanding is not applied. Other angles to be considered in this series are; money matters and In-Laws, Money matters and children, money matters and home upkeep. The following post on money matters will focus on the situation where the wife earn more than the husband.
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