Traditionally it was the man who had the economic support of the family. In the last ten years, women have displaced men in managerial and operational positions such as financial institutions, in the service sector, in the commercial sector.
Especially in young marriages, women tend to have more job stability, which means they have to assume functions that they did not have before. Apart from being a mother, taking responsibility in the organization of your home, you have to assume a large part of the family's financial support, because accentuated by the current economic crisis, the man does not have the same job stability.
One of the causes of what is happening today, in relation to the greater field of work of women are the following:
- In the financial sector it has been proven that women are first more organized, have more commitment to work and less bribery.
- In the service sector we see that apart from the reasons stated above, women have a greater capacity in interpersonal relationships and of course in customer service. Considering her femininity.
- In the commercial sector, for example: department store chains, we see the large number of women working and their dedication and dedication to work must be valued.
- Women today have many microenterprises (clothing, food, artisanal)
All these factors must be taken into account to be able to analyze how money influences the relationship. People must know this reality that is presented to us and taking into account this problem to be able to unite as a couple without this generating conflicts.
At present the economic crisis has caused many marriages to dissolve. According to some statistics, the economic problem in the relationship is the most frequent cause of separation.
We all know that money is gained through money. If one member of the couple earns more than the other and uses it as a means of power, to dominate, mistreat or subdue, humiliate the other person, a conflict is formed. In a healthy couple, money should not be an element for the fight by power but instead a means to meet the needs of the family.
Negative consequences of money in the couple
- Work can become such a rewarding element that the time that is dedicated to produce it makes the family dysfunctional, converts the home into a hotel type (family breakdown)
- It can destroy at a given moment the image that a spouse has of himself or the other, for example in our culture the man who does not damage his image, but if the woman is the non-productive, nothing happens.
- There are people who believe that money is affection and forget to give love, dialogue, understanding to their spouse and children. Even fulfilling this role of satisfying basic needs, they fail to fill the other gaps
- There are people with great economic power. There are two ways to give money, one is with love and the other with sadism. The latter give but after they have suffered, mistreated, cursed, etc., this is a pathological way of giving.
- We find bad management in money management, where it is not distributed according to the main needs of the family. Which brings serious consequences for the survival of this. People who do not have the capacity to plan, organize, save. They invest money in vices such as alcohol, drugs, etc.
- We also find in certain serious pathologies such as the manic episode, hypomanic episode, excessive implications in pleasant activities that have a high potential to produce serious consequences (e.g., Engage in uncontrollable purchases or crazy economic investments), which brings consequences of great gravity for the family.
- We find people who abuse their partner in a matter of money (e.g., exploiting them, manipulating with money, having money to bear the expenses and are selfish keeping them for them and giving nothing or almost nothing to the family)
Contributing money for the livelihood of the home and sharing responsibilities when there are two who contribute demonstrates the degree of love of the couple. Giving is synonymous with love.
When there is difficulty getting money
There are many individuals who are limited to produce money, either because of a mental or physical illness. If this damages the marital relationship, you must seek advice. Since you cannot judge or issue a concept a priori.
How does money influence the relationship?
Money is definitely an important, but not the only, factor in the relationship. Through money and proper management of it, people as a couple manage to meet basic needs such as food, housing, education, recreation etc.
Men and women in the development of their relationship need to be productive people through their activity at work. Honest and remunerated work, gratifies the person and stimulates them to grow spiritually and materially. Of course, the lack of money in the home can lead the couple to difficult situations, to the point that it can cause the dissolution of the bond. In fact, the situation of economic crisis that we live in the country, has caused the rupture of many marriages due to the vacancy of one or both members of the couple. There is a minimum margin of physical and spiritual needs that people have to satisfy, for a dignified life as a couple, That popular saying that only love is enough for the happiness of a couple, is really an idealization or a simplification of the complex that It is a permanent relationship between two people ... It should be added that money is one of the factors that can contribute to the development of a good relationship, together with other very important factors such as knowledge, respect and mutual commitment.
How important is it that one earns more than the other?
There really should not be any problem in this aspect, in how much both people see it as a contribution of each one for the sustenance of the home, without quantifying how much more or less it contributes to the satisfaction of the material and physical needs of the home, and without the greater or lesser contribution in money or goods generates a position of power within the decisions of the couple. In modern society, women have increased their participation in the labor market, which constitutes a greater participation in the livelihood of the home. Traditionally, the woman was more dedicated to the work of the house, the care of the children and it was considered that her contribution arrived there. Today the situation has changed radically and there are cases in which the woman takes the baton of the economic support of the home, which can cause an alleged loss of the protagonism of the man, who has always been seen as the producer or the provider of the needs Household materials
What consequences does it have for men to earn less than women, and what are the consequences for the family nucleus?
Eventually it should not be of great importance, if the couple as a whole sees it from the positive point of view, as stated in one of the previous answers. The condition of equality between men and women should allow both men and women to be more or less productive according to their own abilities and strengths. The truth is that society has traditionally seen man as the person with the responsibility of the economic part within the home, and the fact that today he had to give up that responsibility in part, can cause some consequence. There will be cases in which the couple can assimilate this new situation in a comprehensive way. In other cases, man can experience that loss of importance in the economic, as a feeling of failure and frustration that can lead to a gradual loss of self-esteem, with very negative results for him and the couple. It would depend a lot in this case on the woman's attitude, how and to what extent she can understand and help her to overcome this situation. There may be extreme cases in which the man adopts a conformist position and decides that it is the woman who is responsible for the economic support of the household. In summary, the circumstance that the man has less importance in the home than the woman from the economic point of view depends on the attitude that as a couple they adopt, to solve the problem in the most appropriate way.
Why does the issue of money become a conflict in the home and sometimes one of the two gets to hide the real amount of their income?
In many cases, money is a conflict factor in homes. We already talked about the lack of money if it leads to complicated situations that can lead to serious problems in the couple's relationship. Perhaps for this reason many people see it as a balancing factor in the progress of good relationships at home. There are also socio-cultural factors that value money as an aspect that is too important in the consumer society in which we live. We are constantly being stimulated through the media to buy all kinds of consumer goods that apparently give us security, social position, beauty, public recognition, etc. This frame of reference is the environment where couples develop. An overvaluation of money such that not having it in sufficient or adequate amount makes us believe that none of the above-mentioned objectives can be achieved. Money is seen as a power factor, which allows the achievement of all the objectives that a couple sets out. A woman reproaches her husband because he cannot spend or buy what his friend spends or buys, or else, the man who thinks that if his wife did not spend so much, she could buy this or that thing that would suit her very well. Naturally, emotional life is affected because gradually it is displaced by other types of complexities where the economic factor is becoming increasingly important.
There may be cases where the couple in that permanent dispute for the control of money and struggles for how to spend it, can hide the amount available, precisely because of the lack of confidence generated by the attitude of one or both members of the couple in their driving.
Why does money affect the couple's affective system so much?
- Because money drives power in the relationship.
- It is a means for the survival of the human being, if there is no money you cannot live in a dignified way, in addition money provides tranquility, stability, strength.
- Achieving money to meet basic needs increases self-esteem.
- This imbalance would lead the couple to affect them in their relationship. And it is precisely there where dialogue, communication, respect, affection and not being defeated and try to find it by all necessary means are needed.
What does living together as a couple entail and what should couples who go through this imbalance in the couple's relationship do?
Living together as a couple implies responsibility, commitment, respect, love, dialogue.
People who go through an economic imbalance must first of all try to communicate and put all their effort into overcoming the crisis. In case of not being able to seek professional help with a psychologist alone, but as this has costs try to do it through the family welfare institute, that is to say institutions where the consultation has a minimal cost.
Llilian David Chartuni
Pontifical Psychologist Javeriana University
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