Why we're (not) talk about money?
There are many couples that do not talk about money, and if you did start talking, it all ends in a quarrel. Why is this happening? Because the conversation about money often hide deeper problems. This does not mean that there are no real difficulties with money.
Sometimes the money really is not enough, or the partners do not agree on their spending.
Sometimes so much money that their very number, too, turns into a family problem.
But the real money problems are discussed and solved. And do not cause strong feelings. If the partners have repeatedly raised voices discussing the family income and expenditure, and can not agree (or do not even know what, in fact, want to negotiate), it means that the money mask some other, non-domestic and psychological problems. The same conclusion can be drawn if the partners do not discuss this topic.
At the workshop "Money in the relationship of man and woman" 1 together with the participants, we have identified several main reasons that hinder open discussion of money matters.
- Social, family, gender myths and setting. That is one set of ideas of family members or the public about themselves and what they have in common, as well as important statements about the world). For example, such "talking about money ashamed immodest ...", "Money - the dirt", "Decent people do not talk about money", "A man should be generous." These myths have historical roots: the attempt to build a socialist society in which money is "gradually wither away," post-revolutionary struggle against philistinism and even Christian thought: "You have your children to instill contempt for money, wealth, fame, high social status. It is necessary to inculcate in them a love of purity, holiness, godliness. "
- The lack of conversation skills about money. This comment is superfluous.
- The reluctance to offend the partner. This kind of care is common in couples where the partners are markedly different incomes. "My husband earns less than me. If I start talking about money, maybe he will take it as a reproach to the insolvency, including men. " It can be part of such a myth as "A man should support his family."
- Unwillingness to know the unpleasant truth. "He does not want to take care of me," "She's interested in my money, not in myself."
- Unclear status of partners. Behind this is about an idea: "If we start to discuss the money, you have to figure out who we are to each other: lovers, friends, casual acquaintances" In women, this motif is more common than in men, "I think we love and we go to a shared future, and for him it is only a continuation of holiday romance. "
- Avoiding responsibility. "I do not want to find out anything, negotiate and enter into commitments. Let everything goes as is. If my mood change, my conscience will be clear, I'm not promising anything. "
If the theme of "money" is hiding some difficulty and at the same time we will be able to solve the financial issue, the problem will manifest itself into something else. We will begin to argue about the repairs, vacations, education of children ... Then why money is so often emotionally charged? I propose a hypothesis:
First, the money with us all the time, we come in contact with them on a daily basis;
secondly, they are "conditional objective" factor. it is a subjective sensation (hard to describe what it means to "not" why I think that the "wrong"), about the money, you can always say something very specific - if "you're not looking at me", "You spent all the next processor, and I have nothing to wear "; Third, talk about the money, despite its strength, or even because of it, you can quickly lose the accumulated irritation and do not go to a dangerous topic, "What happens to our feelings for each other?".
Talk about the money you need at every stage of the life of the couple. I can imagine a couple that decides on the first date: "Who pays, I, or you, or half? As it suits you best? "It's a sign of calm attitude to the subject of money.
Talking about money is necessary at every stage of life couples
And further clarify any better than the lack of clarity, even if as a result of discussions on financial matters suddenly it turns out that one aspires to marriage, and for another it is a short novel. Clarity allows you to develop relationships - or makes it possible to stop them with a full understanding of what and why we are doing.
Optionally, set a goal to reach consensus or agreement. Even just a discussion of family myths associated with money, helps each partner to better understand each other. At the workshop it became clear that the participants are relieved, even just by describing their beliefs about money. After all, myths are often inherited by us unconsciously. Pronouncing them, we allow ourselves to them deliberately overstated useful whether they are for us, whether they are realistic?
A significant part of the myth and the associated difficulties in men and women is the same, for example: "I'm afraid I seem stingy" and "I'm afraid I seem mercenary." And when we talk about them with each other, there is a hope that we are not so different, that our partners will be able to understand us.
At the workshop we talked about what would happen if the couple still will not discuss money problems. Participants' responses were as follows: "Amassed a pile of irritation, negativity".
"Tension will break in an unpleasant form, when there will be no power to hold back."
"At first, you can still ask each other: why have you done so and not otherwise? But if you do not, it is no longer cost without shouting in two months. "
"The money will be spent unwisely."
Talking about money, as well as on any topic that affects the complex feelings, it makes sense only if it passes benevolently, in a safe environment.
It is desirable that the two partners used the "I-message"
That is said only on themselves, but about the current situation and avoid generalizations. They are easily recognizable by the word "all," "always," "every time".
The usual form of "I-messages":
"When you're doing (Description of partners without mentioning their assumptions about the reasons therefor and the motives of), I feel (message about their own feelings). Please do (description of the desired action). "
About "I-messages" written much, and they really help in improving relations.
It is important that both partners were willing to hear the other, to understand what he has reasons to act the way he does. Perhaps his behavior should own logic that we are not caught. Talk is useful in that it removes the illusion and the conclusions that we sometimes make too hastily, without checking the background. When we are silent, we begin to guess, to think out, to represent. And then we respond to their own ideas and get offended, upset, angry.
For example: "He does not give me flowers, so he stopped loving me." Think about it, maybe he thinks that would be useful for families to spend money on something more practical. Maybe valued thrift in his parental home, and his behavior - caring. It is also possible that after the explanation ( "I like the color, for me they symbolize tenderness"), he wants to change their habits.
Checked in practice
"What really prevents me from living happy and free?"
This question is asked myself 33-year-old Maria, analyzing their relationship with money and with a partner. Here, for what other conclusion was our heroine during classes at the studio.
"First offered leading to sketch ideas about money, - says Maria. - I always thought that the money for me - a universal resource that can be exchanged as vital and less necessary but pleasant. The matter becomes more complicated when money becomes a witness and accomplice relations in the pair.
For example, discussing the summer vacation, everyone already has in mind your budget and the minimum requirements. This scheme is adopted "by default", and then unfold the heated debate on the forthcoming holiday without the consent of the initial assumptions. And if in some cases come to the rescue stereotypes (for example, in a restaurant pays a man), who is to pay for food in the supermarket, then we'll eat together? To pay for gasoline in the car, which we both drive? When there is no clear agreement, there is unease. To learn how to overcome the awkwardness, or at least to understand what causes it, I went to the studio.
I realized that when we partner with are silent about the money, in fact, we are afraid to clarify the status of our relationship. We're not married, but who are we to each other? What measure of responsibility for each other are willing to take? I still emerging women's issues: can / if he wants to provide me, if I get pregnant? If I'm on to something crying, if I pet him? And suddenly gets used? These questions are not about the money, and it is unlikely I would dare to say them out loud in the discussion group. Theme of money sound like something safe to start, but gradually we taxied to the most sensitive. Apparently, "anyone that hurts", then pops up, so that the workshop can be seen as an additional diagnosis: what really prevents me to live happily and freely, in a word, as I want it? And no matter how corny it sounds, happiness really is not about money. Although an open conversation about money can contribute to happiness, regardless of the size of the family budget. "
Workshop "Money in the relationship of men and women" was held during the Moscow psychodrama conference in 2016. It was conducted by psychologists Stanislav Efremov and Daniel Hope. Their new workshop called "The figure of power between men and women."