Posted by Sherry Roit on Monday, February 15, 2016 Under: opinion piece
Money. Still the number one relationship killer. I have a tip.
Keep a minimum of three bank accounts. (Or don't ever get a joint account in the first place.)
You pay into the joint account for shared expenses (rent, utilities and so on) and then you have your own money. You then agree, and must STICK by this agreement, that what the other person does with their personal account, is not your concern. No matter how frivolous it seems. Do I really need to say that no advice in the world will work if you don't abide by the ground rules? Yes, I do need to say it. Keep your word, don't be a hypocrite.
Anyway. There are only two exceptions to this rule: You think they are doing something fishy/illegal (but have some proof, not just paranoia) and/or they are short on their end of the joint account. I say sure, you're free to complain if your partner buys a crazy expensive car but didn't pay rent. Duh. Deal breaker.
No comment. No take backs. That creates distrust and resentment.
Having your own account takes away those arguments. Having your own money means you still feel like a grown up, independent person, and you don't have to ask permission for every little thing, and don't need to feel guilty.
The next tip?
Give each other space. You hear people say their partner changed after marriage, for example. Or that everything changed. I say not really. Your EXPECTATIONS changed. I say, if you fall in love with the person as they are (as you should) and not for what you think you can turn them into, or what you think they WILL be one day, then you wouldn't say things changed. What does this have to do with space?
Part of what made that person attractive to you, is the sum of their experiences. This includes hobbies you might not have shared. Friends they had before meeting you. Those things they could talk to you about that seemed interesting. Then, for various reasons, which include, but are not limited to, the pressure of society on what constitutes "normal" (pause for breath) -- after you get together, suddenly they're not supposed to do those things.
Bzzt. Wrong answer. I've had guys say to me that a reason they don't want to get married is a loss of freedom. Women hear this and think men mean that they want to be available to other women. Not so, not always. For these guys, it really just means some personal freedom. Like hanging out with their pals once in a while. Or just being alone. Some women are okay with that, you say, except the guys told me that sure, sure, "they said I could out, then complained when I did."
That whole NO TAKING IT BACK thing I mentioned above. You don't say sure, go out, have a good time, then when your partner does, go all moody bitch about it. Nope, nope, nope. You want to know why some people spend so much time at work? TO GET AWAY FROM HOME. It's not necessarily that they don't like you anymore, or love you, they just need some away time. They're human.
Come on. I don't care how much you love someone, you cannot spend 24-7 with them. Most of us can't, anyway. Go out once in a while, it's okay. Have a day alone, or with friends, or go explore that hobby you love that your partner just doesn't get. Be a WHOLE PERSON like you were before you got hitched. The only exceptions to this, the only time you get to be moody about it, is if they are spending more time away from you than with you. Might have a problem, Houston.
You need something to talk about with each other. You need to feel whole and vibrant. Give yourselves a chance to miss each other once in a while. It's romantic. ;-)
If anyone out there is saying "What if they want an account to cover up cheating," or, "well if they go out, what if they're cheating?" Well, my darlings, I say you have other issues. Trust issues. Self-esteem issues. You need to figure that out before you get to bank accounts and marriage and such. Seriously. You have to give that person some trust. Until they give you a solid reason NOT to. Being suspicious all the time makes everyone involved unhappy, and it won't stop anything from happening IF something is going to happen, anyway.
Cross that bridge, and all that.
Above all, communicate. Honestly. Which means listening honestly. You each need to feel you have a safe place to talk. If you're just going to shit all over your partner every time they try to talk to you, why would they WANT to talk to you? Sometimes it's difficult, but be calm. Be willing to listen, and be willing to try to understand whatever it is as much as you can. Then people will open up. Again, it's trust. Trusting each other to listen. To be fair. It's also about another really, really, REALLY important thing.
Respect each other, y'all.
Happy Valentine's day. Time for The Walking Dead.
In : opinion piece
Tags: advice relationships
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