Money reveals one’s true colours

Broke couple

Finances are one of the areas that cause serious conflict in marriage. 

Photo credit: Shutterstock

What you need to know:

  • It is prudent to seek the partner's opinion before ‘investing’ in family resources.
  • You should be afraid of your spouse if their core identity is banked on money.

“Healthy fear is good.” *Mitchelle Njeri told me in response to an article I wrote about the damaging consequences of one living in fear of a spouse.

“My husband fears annoying me.”

She added that he also fears touching her handbag or phone.

“That sounds like respect,” I said, to which she argued that fear is good in relationships, even between a child and parent.

“Well, he doesn’t argue about my money,” she concluded.

Wise men choose their battles, which can seem like a brother is afraid of his wife if he does not pick a fight with her, or when he declines the opportunity to invest in a multilevel marketing venture without consulting his wife.

“I’m scared of Jane. She will have my skin if I put such money into the scheme without consulting her.”

This is respect, since his wife is his life partner, it only makes sense that he would not wish to offend her by breaching trust.

It is also prudent to seek the partner's opinion before ‘investing’ in family resources. We had a similar conversation years ago with my brother when I had put a substantial amount of money into a scheme after a hyped pitching.

Loads of money

“Don’t be stingy. Share this secret of wealth creation with your family and friends.”

But my brother was not interested unless his wife was open to it.

“You are scared of your wife at the expense of losing out on a lifetime chance to make loads of money?”

“Yes. I am more scared of my wife than the prospect of poverty.”

Though said in jest, I could see that he was serious, and when she said no to the scheme, nothing I said after that would make him budge.

This was wise. This was a healthy fear. I never made a coin from that ‘investment’ and in fact, I lost all the money that I had put in.

We know that finances are one of the areas that cause serious conflict in marriage. But money is never the problem, character is. Money only reveals the true colours of a spouse. You will know if they lack integrity by how they handle money. They will borrow and not repay.

They will choose get-rich-quick schemes which, involve a high deal of deceit and shady dealings, over honest work that can only promise long-term gains.

Most importantly, they will place value on people based on money or perceived monetary status.

Paralyzing debts

Does the person appear wealthy? Then they will choose to respect them. But they will be mean and condescending to someone else who appears less financially endowed.

The only time you should be afraid of your spouse is when their core identity is banked on money. You will be dealing with a very shallow and unhappy person, because the more they chase money and value it more than people, the faster and farther away money rans.

When your spouse invests without consulting you, many times that ends up becoming a pipe dream. When you find out, all hell breaks loose. This is when fear is necessary for survival if you are the villain who took away the family's savings and drained it all into a pyramid scheme. This happened to me, years ago.

At first, I was so angry at him that words failed me. That is dangerous when a woman cannot find the appropriate words out of her daily 10,000-word allowance. It is then you should be very afraid.

On the first evening of my discovery, he pretended to stay up watching a movie. In his thinking, I would sleep it out and my anger would have subsided by the morning. Only, when he silently crawled into bed past midnight, I sat up, seething. He almost jumped out of bed.

Money will build or break your marriage, yet it is not at fault. Money is like water or fire. It can give you life and warmth, or it will consume you to oblivion. You must be brutally honest with each other about finances.

Are we bankrupt broke? Tell me and we can figure it out together. Do you have paralyzing debts right left and centre? Let us reason together how to manage them, one debt, one bill at a time. Do you have a windfall coming?

Let us budget together. Even the government shares the annual budget, how can you not share the same with your life partner?