Why are so many fights about money?

02 May 2015 12:30 PM

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A close friend of mine recently got a Thermomix for her birthday which brought me back to this this 1960’s advertisement. Thankfully, we have moved on to such an extent that we can actually laugh at how insanely sexist it is.

But moving on has brought its own complexities.

With lines blurred as to whom in the relationship is responsible for what – conflict looms. While, only a small minefield in the early stages of a relationship (probably masked by the googly eyes of love), kids bring on explosions which are a little more extreme in nature. This is a natural outcome when one party accepts tasks for zero compensation in a world defined by money.

Before we get into Thermomix mode and jump into an immediate solution – let’s look at the core problem. Why are so many fights about money?

In my 15 years of experience (yes, I did get married extremely young), I would say that the major causes of conflict are spending and control.

Usually one partner is perceived as being the big spender or extravagant by the other. (Personally, I have gone through this many times but I won’t divulge which one of us is the accuser and which is the accused.)

Another is what the money is spent on. As I have probably alerted to in previous newsletters, I have no problem splashing out on a gorgeous pair of heels but will wince at the thought of a small taxi fare (my husband is completely the opposite).

Control is the other big issue. ‘He/she who has the gold makes the rules’. Usually the one who earns a larger portion of the income controls access to the funds.

The modern family typically operates on multiple dimensions – he works less/ she works more/ he takes care of kids/ she takes care of household – the possibilities are endless. While balance and equally is hopefully sought it is rarely achieved.

So how do we avoid conflict about money in a world where there is no clear rules and constant competition for access and control.

Of course I don’t have the answer, but I do have a few small tips to deal with things more constructively.

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