Who controls your relationship?

by Kristina Tahnyak on May 14, 2014 · 7 comments

Dogs kissing

Good morning Dinks.  Let me ask you a question, who controls your relationship?  I would love to say that relationships are a 50/50 exchange of power, money and support.  But as I get older I am learning that relationships are a lot of things, but being equal is not always one of them.

Being in a relationship is different for everyone.  Back in the day people got married because that’s what they were supposed to do.  Back then people graduated high school, got married as teenagers or in their 20s, had kids and retired from their first job.  That’s just what they did.  That generation may end in divorce because as people grow up they change; the new version of you may no longer be compatible with your spouse.

Nowadays people wait to get married.  We are getting married later on in life (in our 30s and 40s) after we’ve graduated from college and established in our careers.  I would like to think that couples who wait to get married live happily ever after because once you have grown into the person you want to be you can make your relationship work with someone else.

Who makes the decisions?

I recently watched a move called Love Lace starring Amanda Seyfried.  It tells the story of a famous 70s porn star and how she was abused – mentally, emotionally, physically and financially.  Her husband made all the business deals, controlled her money and became violent whenever she disagreed with him.

When Seyfried’s character turned to her parents for support her mother turned her away.  Her mother reminded her that she was married now and her husband knows what’s best for her.  Could you imagine living in a relationship where you had no say in any matters?

Who controls the money?

I know that some people think it’s just easier for one person to control the money in a relationship, but I don’t agree with it.  My Dad lives his life like this and it really drives me crazy.  My Dad gives his wife a lump sum of money every month and he doesn’t ask questions.  He doesn’t know how much their cable bill costs and he doesn’t know the monthly cost for car insurance.

I understand a relationship has to have trust, but when it comes to money you can never be too careful.  I always tell my Dad that he could be paying 70% of the expenses and his wife (who is extremely weird about money) could be completely ripping him off and he would have no idea.

Who leads your social life?

Sometimes when people get into a relationship they completely eliminate their friends.  This personally drives me crazy, but I do understand it.  New love can be exciting and wanting to spend every moment of every day with your loved one is a feeling like no other.  I had a friend who did this and after some time when she reached out to me I was definitely willing to forgive her.  However some of our other friends were not so kind and their friendships will never be the same. It’s too bad for your friends, but they just have to understand that sometimes couples just want to hang out by themselves.

Photo from Flickr

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Brock @cleverdude May 14, 2014 at 8:06 am

Relationships are a partnership….each person should have a say in the decisions. That’s how my wife and I run our ship – the question is, what do we do when we disagree? This is where we rely on compromise. One of us will inevitably back down – usually in exchange for a future “win” when the next conflict arises. :)

2 Kathy May 14, 2014 at 8:31 am

Our decisions are definitely a collaborative effort. We never argue about money but instead we behave as (hopefully) adults who care about the other’s opinion and have discussions about the situation and come to an agreement. I guess if one person “wins”, most of the time it would be my husband. Not because he controls the money, but because overall, the outcome of the discussion just isn’t that big a deal for me. Plus, I know if I wanted to really stand firm and demand my way, he would certainly give in. It just never gets to that point.

3 Kristina May 18, 2014 at 7:26 pm

I definitely think that couples should consult each other with decisions and over time they each get to know one another’s tastes. I have complete confidence in my boyfriends decisions when it comes to technology and I can also predict what he is going to do, so there is really no need for me to put in my two cents because he’s going to do what he wants and that’s usually what’s best for both of us.

4 Jen @Sprout Wealth May 21, 2014 at 11:17 pm

Now that I am older (and hopefully wiser), I have a better understanding of relationships especially between husbands and wives. The realization came too late though because the 22-year marriage ended 10 years ago because the ex-hubby was very controlling – beyond the meaning of the word! I thought I could go on, enduring all the difficulties associated with the marriage but I came to a point (which took a long while, really) that I cannot take it anymore.

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