Money Represents Power and Success
There are a variety of reasons for arguments about money. In our culture money represents power and success. Not having money is viewed as a weakness or as powerlessness. The way we use money tells a great deal about us as individuals. Some of us are impulsive spenders or even extravagant spenders in today’s credit card economy. Some of us are extremely frugal, unwilling to part with our money and always concerned about getting the lowest possible price for every thing we buy. Some of us focus on saving money, never feeling secure unless we have money in the bank.
Money Represents Security
Most of us appreciate money for the security it provides; for the food, shelter, clothing and necessities it enables us to have. We also enjoy the extra things money will buy— nice clothing, fun vacations, dinner out. Some enjoy using money to give generously to others in need or to a favorite church or charity.
Money is an important issue for couples to think about and to talk over between them. Figure out what your differing styles are, what money means to each of you. Pay attention also to how money was handled in your families of origin as this will affect the way in which you view and use money. This will help you develop a plan for your money that will suit both of you.
Money Represents Control
Couples some times think they’re arguing over money when actually they’re arguing over control. Who makes the decisions about how money is spent? Questions about a partner’s purchases may be an attempt to control or an indication of a double standard if the prying partner is free to spend money without question. Money can also be used to get revenge or to sabotage an agreed upon budget. This happens when there is an unresolved issue between a couple. If an issue seems impossible to solve, one partner may use money to express his or her anger about that issue.
Money can also be used to buy love from a partner. In fact, we often expect nice gifts as evidence that we are loved. This can be over done especially if it is a substitute for showing affection or for being intimate with each other.
Money Represents Autonomy
It’s essential for couples to share financial information with each other. In today’s world, both men and women need to know all the facts about their finances. This information needs to be shared even if it is a source of conflict.
Each couple needs to figure out their own unique way of handling money. Some couples pool or merge all their money together. Some couples have his and her separate accounts. Some couples have three accounts, his, hers and ours. There are many variations on the ways we handle money. The important thing is for couples to pay attention to each others needs for control, autonomy and security.
Christians will view money as a gift from God, to be used as he guides, spending and saving carefully and giving generously.
“See that you also excel in the grace of giving.” 1 Cor. 8:7 NIV