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Name: Opus
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Monday, January 31, 2005

Money & Marriage

Going back to a previous post The love business I read a follow-up article in the G2 section of the Guardian on Friday and I was interested to see that quite a few readers had emailed in with their comments.

One couple actually work out all their monthly expenses in advance and then split the total by the proportion of what they earn. I guess this is fair if as in this couples case the guy says that he considers his girlfriend to have chosen to earn less in a job she loves. It probably wouldn’t be so fair if the girlfriend was earning less because she chose to have some work/life balance and only worked part-time in order to also look after children.

A 30 year old English guy in a relationship with an Asian woman and currently living in Asia, says that it is normal for the woman to expect the man to be provider upon marrying. He goes on to say that men in Taiwan are pressured in to achieving status, this includes having a wife to give face to his public image, even if at home the wife rules.

Another woman started out her comment with “Brilliant article on partnerships and money. It made me weep for the women who bear the merchant banker's or the consultant's children.”

Her opinion was that other mammals put the needs of their children first, they do everything they can to ensure that their offspring grow up to be healthy, effective adults. But we humans get pre-occupied with anything and everything to do with status, children come somewhere down the ladder.

She finishes with “What would it take to convince the merchant banker and the consultant and the "sought-after designer" of Jenni Russell's article that caring for the next generation is work; the most important work anyone can ever do?”

Lastly a guy who has been married for 30 years says he has always let his wife manage their finances. He has never had to think about paying a utility bill, car tax, or insurance. He and his wife do occasionally discuss the overall financial picture, but anything else financial is only discussed when necessary.

His wife has never sought his permission to buy anything, including houses. He feels that managing the finances and the trust this bestows, helped encourage his wife to set up a business.

His approach is trust, equality of regard and mutual respect.

It is quite clear from reading the initial article and then reading these comments that we do think about the money/equality issue in relationships. My question is where does the money issue really come from what causes it to be there in the first place? I know the answer is not a simple one, and I know for sure that I don’t know the answer, but I will meditate and throw out some suggestions in a future post.

In the meantime, suggestions welcome.

posted by Opus at 18:39

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