Dealing With Financial Inequality In Marriage: 5 Issues That Can Come Up & The Primary Solution4:57 PM
Just like many families worldwide, Filipino families with spouses who are both working are not free from the complications that financial inequality bring. Maybe the husband earns an average of P30,000 a month while the wife makes half of that amount, or the other way around. Regardless of the situation, if such matters are allowed to run loose, they could be the root of constant disagreements and petty fights between spouses. Not a few have gone the way of annulment due to this kind of problem. This can be avoided when both parties are aware of common issues and decide to keep their lines of communication open.
Feeling of Superiority
The spouse who brings in more money may feel more powerful. In an argument, for instance, one spouse may end up shooting an “I bring in P30,000 a month while you sit there and do nothing!”, or “You can’t even generate an amount that can feed the family for a day!” insult. As much as the offended party wants to deny it, he or she will feel inferior since what was thrown is a factual statement.
Do not lie to your spouse about finances. Instead, tell them exactly about your spending habits and any possible money necessities. Avoid hiding anything, even if you may feel embarrassed about it. For instance, if you are trying to keep up with requirements of a BPI car loan, a BDO housing loan, or any other loan, inform your spouse so he or she can help you out.
Anger and frustration can be caused by financial inequality in a marriage too. Since spouses do not carry the same load in terms of financial responsibility, one may feel that the arrangement is unjust. If they strive to work and they cannot even enjoy a portion of their salary, they may secretly hold it against the other.
Overspending can be an issue if either the husband or the wife invests in an item that one of them disapproves of. Most spouses who bring more money home tend to feel that they are more entitled to spend than their partners who earn less. This often gives rise to control issues where the one who earns more gets to have the final say for any household expense or purchase. This is especially critical if the higher-earning spouse overspends on non-essentials or luxuries for personal use just because.
Spouses who earn less may end up feeling guilty. They could feel that they are not contributing enough to give them the right to spend. Bearing this feeling of guilt even when the higher-earning spouse does not intentionally cause it will always be a negative factor in a marriage. There are even times that the guilty spouse end up blaming the unsuspecting partner when the only reason is that he or she feels undeserving of spending a huge sum because of the inability to contribute as much.
Keeping the Lines of Communication Open
Financial inequality in Filipino marriages is a problem that can be resolved with effective communication. The key is to be honest about how each of you feels. If you think that something is unfair, you have to express the sentiment. Should there be any issue, try to work on a solution as a pair. Remember that you have a partner, which means you are not on your own. If you discuss things with your spouse, no issue can come between your togetherness.
Couples who say that money issues will never be the cause of their separation may have spoken too soon. Financial inequality in a marriage can rock the very core of its foundation when challenged repeatedly. The one thing that can doom even the strongest of marriage is not talking about "small" issues that affect the confidence of one or both.
That said, marriage is a team effort. Earning more is not a license to dictate while earning less is not a reason to avoid responsibility. Couples can make their marriage work by constant communication whether it be for minor or major decisions. If it something that will affect the well-being of the marriage and the family such as finances, the more reason to talk and decide carefully.
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