Money is Power in a Marriage

Money is Power in a Marriage

Money is power in a relationship. And the person who earns the most money, generally holds the balance of that power. Another reality is, the partner who elects to stay out of the workforce to be home with the children is usually the woman of the pair. This may be a generalization, but demographics bear me out on that one. I see lots of young women getting into the marriage and baby years, and they are not having those preliminary negotiations with their partners. It is alarming that many of them don’t consider that the money earner has the unspoken advantage. Their mothers knew it in the 60’s and 70’s and it is what made them break out of the home to embrace careers. We owe a debt to the women who were brave a long time before the current generation made our way through the maze of careers. They are the people who paved the road for our current vast selection of life choices. In the 1950’s to 1970’s they were simply expected to stay home. They didn’t even have to push out children, they could stay at home and do wife things (whatever those are). More importantly they were generally not welcomed in the workplace anyway. I watch Mad Men and it reminds me of working in a financial industry that looked a lot like that for real. I remember learning the hard way that the old boys club was really old, and very boy.  There isn’t a right or wrong choice to work or stay home when we raise a family. Our parents’ generation gave us the luxury of choice. But every time I hear women discuss the issue, they do so from the narrow-minded perspective of the here and now. Working or not we should really think ahead a little. We need to talk about the repercussions of the choice ten or twenty years down the line. Another challenge is that modern gals who have the bigger money job often don’t understand how to wield it properly and still do most of the chores and kid stuff anyway. Or if they stay home, they choose to be the lower earner, but then neglect to prepare for how much it tips the balance in their relationships. During the many discussions that bubble up around the issue of work outside the home, childcare, stay at home Motherhood, homeschooling and all the options, there is a huge gap that isn’t often acknowledged as important. Nobody talks about income. It is like this big scary drooler in the corner that we ignore and try not to notice. Before I talk about why money is important, I want to pull out and look at the...