March 3, 2006
March 3, 2006

$ and Love

I hear this exchange of dialogue:
“I think you work long hours to escape my company.”
“I have to work to pay the bills”
“When are we going to get our mounting credit card debt paid off?”
“Why do you spend so much money?”
“You don’t love me. You ignore me.”
“How can I please you? It’s useless.”

There seems to be no connection in many people’s mentality between the need for extra income (which entails time related hours of work) and the lack of having quality and quantity time available. (Quality time diminishes because of exhaustion and sometimes resentment that the extra efforts to provide is not appreciated.)

Anger over who makes the most money, who spends the most money, who doesn’t make enough money and who is going to be responsible for paying down the bills has become a major topic in today’s world.

Did you pick your mate because of how much money s/he made? I’m reasonably certain that the economic issue was furthest from your mind when you “fell in love”. Usually men maintain the traditional role of being the main provider. Males perceive this as their way to express their love. In today’s society the pressure to obtain: a house, furnishings, and extras goes way beyond our forefathers who often built a one room home/barn and then expanded it until the barn was large enough to start an actual home. Current prices that easily go into the hundreds of thousands with house taxes in the thousands creates stress to pay the ever mounting bills. The partners combine salaries to cover the expenses which never seem to cover them all. Overtime by one or both spouses causes a separation, not just of time, but it also creates an almost single perspective unilaterally instead of cooperatively. One marries to be together forever and life’s demands create an ever expanding chasm.

Currently there are other situations, that disintegrate the union. Wives who feel resentful that their income is higher than their husbands. Men who do not adhere to the traditional idea that they should be the breadwinner when their wives disagree. Men who cannot (for various reasons) find a career with a respectable income.

Or the reverse, either partner losing him/herself in work rather than face the seemingly impossible job of repairing the rift. In some cases major differences due to no communication across the gaping seam creates “legally linked strangers” who believe the option is to divorce.

Our society believes that possessions will make us happy so extraordinary effort is put forth to realize the American goals (house, cars, computers, toys, etc. etc.). Divorce splits up the assets and often bankrupts both parties. Years of efforts lie in shambles and there isn’t even a Katrina to blame for it.

Love is given such a high priority that the couple don’t plan from a reality base. Planning, saving a reasonable amount of money on a regular basis, making certain that there is time to “grow your love” will not bring instantaneous results, but results will come in time.

You would never put a plant in the soil and then dump a truckload of soil over it. Yet, love is the plant and the truckload of work dumped over it suffocates and kills it just as any organism would die from overload.

Illusions are fun, but one can’t live in a bubble. Marriage exists in the factual world and as such needs tending to keep it alive and functioning. Save for large purchases, and instead of using a credit card for small purchases, use cash. If there is no extra money, don’t buy.

Credit cards enable impulse buying. Think about how long one would have to work to pay for that purchase. Don’t be fooled that an item is only $2.00. Fifty of those minimal purchases results in $100. I still pick up a penny from the street that no one else seems to value, but 100 of them make a $1.00. Money has lost its value until there is none available. The race for prestigious living loses sight of the important values of maintaining a loving family.