It's Not About The Money

6 years ago

I once attended a workshop about money and the meaning of life. One of the exercises our group did was chew a brand new $100 bill. Most of us gagged.

The purpose of the exercise was to demonstrate that money – the thing itself – is neutral. Pieces of paper, diamonds, chunks of gold to which we assign a cultural worth have no direct value in nourishing us, keeping us warm, or sheltering us.  In this exercise, money even turned out to be disgusting.

I returned from that workshop with a deeper understanding that money is a vehicle of exchange for a wide variety of other things. It’s a mirror against which we see ourselves compared to others. It’s a metaphor we use to assign value to a person or thing. It helps shape our identity, expanding or restricting our access to our dreams and ambitions.

Perhaps most important when it comes to marriage, money is leverage – the ability to shape our life based on “want to” choices rather than “have to” ones.

It’s this leverage aspect of money that is often a trap in marriage.

The reality is, whoever controls the money calls the shots. That’s why it’s so important for you to participate and understand the money in your marriage. If you’re not involved, if you don’t understand your marital finances, if you’re too busy, or not interested, you're being naive. You are in effect, at the wrong end of the lever.

You'll find much more information about how this leverage works in "Don't Worry about a Thing, Dear": Why Women Need Financial Intimacy. Women who read it say they wish they had known all this before the married.



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