Relationships and Money:
How come my partner and I always fight about money?

Relationships and money are not necessarily best friends. Money is one of the most powerful forces in Western countries. It is equated to prosperity and unfortunately to freedom and happiness. Because of its perceived power, it often complicates things in relationships. It is often given as a cause of divorce, with problems such as who makes more, who spends more, etc.

Yet money by itself has no meaning. It has been said that money is like a ship, indifferent to who is at the wheel. So why are relationships and money the basis of so much trouble?

The most important aspect to consider is how we feel about money and what symbol it holds for us.

Does it mean survival? I have a roof above my head and food in my plate so I can stay alive.

Does it mean love? If I get expensive presents from my partner, I must be loved. Or, if I have money, I will never lack love.

Does it mean control and power? I can control the destiny of those who have no money.

Does it mean self-worth? If I have no money, I am nobody.

Does it mean evil? People who have money probably have done bad things, and I don't want to be one of them.

Does it mean dignity, an easy life, corruption, or whatever symbol I attach to it?

Once we see what money is for us in particular, we can actually separate how we feel about money from the relationship itself. However, it is always easier to blame the problem on money - or lack thereof - than to admit the feeling behind it.

Remember that rich people still can have depression, divorce, suicide, terminal illnesses, etc. And those who suddenly win a million dollars are not inevitably happier - or even richer - a few years later. Actually, many instant winners of large sums admit that money ruined their lives by creating responsibilities, worries, fears and expectations they didn't have when they were poorer.

So the next time you fight about money, stop and think about what you are really fighting about and see if you can find a different way to fill your own needs and to deal with your partner's needs.

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