Love is a naturally free-flowing expression of deep affection – as long as you keep money out of it. You know how hard it is to keep love alive. All of those steps and starts of a relationship are crazy making. When you add money issues, smooth seas can whip into an angry tsunami. Which begs the question: When money gets in the way of love, what can you do about it?
When problems first arise, you must ask, “What is my relationship to money?” Money can carry a lot of meaning for most people and it tends to be an edgy subject. Not having enough creates worries. For some people, having too much is worse. What does money mean to you?
You know that money can’t buy love. It’s merely a tool for trading. Your hard work will earn a paycheck to put a warm roof over your head. Money is an important aspect of our lives, one we must honor with a healthy balance between need and desire. Money has a place in our pocket but not in our hearts.
In “A Moveable Feast,” one of the world’s great romantic novels, Ernest Hemingway writes of a struggling writer and his young wife living in Paris in the Twenties. They are madly in love and horribly broke. Despite their hardship, they are having fun, learning life and starting a family. Together, they are a team on equal economic footing. They face their challenges together. Together they survive. These experiences are the foundation of their relationship. True partnership is about love.
In every relationship, there is a balance of roles and powers. One of you may be more assertive than the other. Or more giving. Or more affectionate. This gentle balancing act we call love is like a see-saw.
Financial difficulties are never tender. Doubt, fear and anxiety can easily upset the balance of your harmonious relationship. You begin to trust each other less. Disappointment may curdle the cream of your affection. Fear poisons our faith in each other and in the abundance of the universe and the Earth’s ability to provide.
Money is a go-to excuse for emotional struggles. Financial difficulties will flare our tempers and put us on the defensive. But money arguments may cover up deeper problems and feelings of shame or inadequacy. A financial fight is often hiding and confusing other issues.
In these days of financial chaos and joblessness, there are several steps a strong couple can take to survive the economy and protect their loving bond.
A meditative mind can find clarity in clutter. Use your strength and objectivity to stand back and take a long view of your lives. Do not think of tomorrow. Look much further ahead. Remind each other of your goals and desires.
Your perspective will redefine your current hardship as a temporary setback. Your objectivity will allow you to discover a solution to your problems. Quietly, look inward.
Live and Love in the Present Moment
Together, speak honestly of the worries and rejoice in the power of living in the moment. Consciously identify the good things. Be grateful. Seek humor. Laughter will turn darkness into light. Touch each other, now and often.
Renew the vows of your relationship weekly, or even daily. If you are married, use your wedding vows. If you are dating, let your significant other how much you are learning and liking about him or her. Repeated as an affirmation, you will find your strength and priority. Are you stronger together than apart?
Most often, money corrodes, rusting the steel of a union. Shakespeare wrote of it frequently. Money is a challenge to the strongest of relationships. Money is power and this can easily create an imbalance in the dynamic of a partnership.
The timing of a tsunami or a financial crisis is everything. A new couple, young in a relationship, may have more difficulty surviving a tragedy than two partners with time and a history. The challenge can be a beautiful thing. Dating is like shopping, trying a partner on for size. How your sweetie reacts to money can be a very important insight into their character and your future. Pay attention. Does he spend foolishly? Does he honor his hard work and save? Is he solvent? One’s personal responsibility usually shows up in their wallet.
Today, financial worries are the norm, not the exception. Everyone is burdened. Jobs and retirement savings are in short supply. The world is uneasy. You need a new mantra: “Everything will be alright.” You must seek the high road and examine your values so you can define what is really important.
In conclusion, we must admit that money itself is not evil. And, after all, why shouldn’t your soulmate be wealthy?