There’s a standing joke between my husband and I that he married me for my money – I know it’s not true because he was well aware that I didn’t have anything worth marrying for!
Despite the fact that many joke about it, a lot of people’s care instructions feature financial security and it’s actually no joke.
I’m the first to admit that it was well up there on my “care label”! In my early 20s, I shamelessly refused a second date with a young man simply because he didn’t have a job. I will hasten to add here that I did it as nicely as I could, and gave him other reasons for my refusal of course – I’m not a complete cow! Nevertheless, I quickly ruled him out as a potential partner because I wasn’t convinced of his ability to “provide” for any future family we had – even though I was providing for myself extremely well at the time and we’d only had one date!
For women, and more and more men these days, the ability of a partner to provide a financially secure future is paramount to the success of their relationship. Luckily I suppose, financially secure means different things to different people so we’re not all out for the millionaires!
I didn’t get a millionaire (it was important to me but not so prominent on my care label that I needed one), but I did eventually meet my husband – a man with the kind of CANDo attitude that I felt was indispensable to be able to meet my need to provide for any future family to a reasonable level – in addition to being able to satisfy all my other care instructions. And this is the crux – a reasonable level of financial security.
A reasonable level of financial security will wax and wane dependent on other “care label” instructions. It’s very personal. It’s also depends on where you are in your relationship. Do you have children? What are your expectations considering your background? It can’t be hidden out of sight. For a relationships to be healthy, it’s a topic that needs to be discussed. Many couples sweep it under the table for fear of being seen as materialistic, grabbing or critical of a spouse’s ability to provide. It’s not – or a least shouldn’t be – any of these things. If a couple is honest about their expectations with regard to financial security, means can be found to ensure that both partners are content.
If the primary breadwinner isn’t earning enough, rather than taking a second job and knackering the work horse before it’s time, there may be alternatives. Could the other partner work for a short while supporting time for further study to provide greater career opportunities for the primary breadwinner? Is what’s being earned really the issue? It may be that it’s the outgoings that need to be trimmed with a stricter household budget rather than working harder to increase the incomings. The important thing is to:
1) Accept financial security as a reasonable instruction to have on your care label or that of your partner – it’s no different to the animal kingdom where females seek the strongest male to provide good genes and protection or, a male lion seeks lionesses that work together to provide sufficient food.
2) TALK about it. Make sure your expectations are reasonable and achievable and then work together to get it right with a budget. Come up with a plan that doesn’t mean working yourselves to death for things you can really do without. Work for what you need. Then look at ways to get what you want through short term second jobs to increase the future potential earnings of the other, etc.
Recognise financial security on your “care labels” and then work together.
Have you got a CANDo type of story about how you’ve met the financial security care instruction on your care label or that of your partner? Why not share it on a CANDo email?