Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Money and Control

All marriages are a dance of the right balance of freedom and control. That dance applies to money in marriage as well. A phenomenon that I have often seen in marriage is that when one spouse holds the reins tightly, the other spouse may exert their autonomy by spending.  This predictably will result in the more conservative spouse pulling in the reins, verbally of course, resulting in frustration on the part of the spouse who is more liberal in their spending habits. This is what's called a control struggle. I should also mention that over spending on one spouse's part will elicit rein tightening on the others.  This works both ways.

That's why a negotiated and agreed upon cap on your spending can save you a lot of hassle.  If you find yourself in this kind of money dance where one spouse becomes the money cop and the other spouse the money bad guy, start talking about your issue in a non- reactive, non-judgmental way to avoid further polarization.

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