Money is a funny thing. Money in relationships is even funnier…
We have given this incredible sense of value to little pieces of paper in our pocket – and to numbers on a screen. It makes us feel good to have, to spend, and fearful if we don’t have much of it.
In relationships (generally speaking) one partner earns more than the other.
This is not always the case, but for the most part, this is the truth. This can (and often does) lead to feelings of imbalance or inadequacy. If you are someone who has a large earning potential, that is deemed a valuable thing that you do. Being able to earn lots of money is considered a precious ability, but for those of us who don’t have a crazy earning potential and are in relationships – does that mean we’re are less valuable than those that have it? No!
Rachel and I are a great example. She has her Masters Degree, and I never managed to graduate from a college. Traditional education and I really don’t get along. As a result of her education, she used to have EXPONENTIALLY more earning potential than I do (before we started on this entrepreneurial journey together). We first noticed that scenario when I was still bartending, and she started making in 3-4 hours what I would in an 8-10 hour shift. That was hard to deal with at first! We had long since shared bank accounts and all of our finances, but for some reason, I still saw most of the money being deposited as “her” money – and would feel awkward about spending it!
I give that example to show how easy it is to feel these feelings of disproportionate earning. We got past all that eventually, but it took time and effort!
Here are the three most common arguments that I have heard when it comes to one partner making more than the other:
You spent my money!
One partner is accusing the other of spending money out of joint account that was “theirs.” Not cool.
You don’t contribute enough!
Even though they make the lion’s share of the money, one partner somehow shames the other for not making enough. If this is happening, there is a clear miscommunication going on.
I don’t want to spend money that I didn’t earn. I’ll feel guilty.
Money guilt is powerful and if one of you deposits way more into your joint account – it can feel really offputting to use “joint income” when you haven’t “joint deposited”. How you and your partner work with this scenario can be tricky because it’s usually up to the partner who makes less to come to terms with their own money guilt before the two of you proceed.
Have an open and honest conversation (you can use our WWC Communication Scripts to help you!) about how money comes and goes in your relationship and get on the same page. That way, when you want to invest or even just buy something, you know exactly how to have that conversation.
All of these are really common in today’s world – so don’t feel bad if one or two of the list above applies to your relationship. The most important thing to remember is that a partnership requires balance! Money isn’t everything, every relationship is different, and every relationship WORKS differently. So if some of what is listed above feel close to home for you, then I strongly suggest that you sit down with your partner to address it, as “money arguments” are one of the top six reasons relationships end.The most important thing to remember is that a partnership requires balance! - @thewrightkyle Click To Tweet
Create Time & Space
If you are unsure of where to start a conversation like this, (trust me – I know it isn’t easy!) start by trying to take some time and space. Create space for you to figure out how you’re feeling first. And then, ask your partner to have a civil and patient conversation. If having a conversation about money is out of the question – consider the tools we teach to strengthen the foundation of your relationship in our signature program, Revive Your Relationship™. This program will give you the tools you need to facilitate the work you need to do to get your relationship where you want it to be.
How does money play into your relationship? Come tell us and discuss this blog, along with many other things in our therapeutic and educational community – held on Facebook! You can click here to request access! If you really want to get a head start on bringing your relationship to where it needs to be, click the image below to get your hands on our WWC Communication Scripts! ⬇️