Money mat­ters

Though we all need it, it can also be a cause for ma­jor prob­lems in our lives. Here’s how money can make or break re­la­tion­ships

HT City - - LIFESTYLE -

Collin Ro­drigues

Ar­guably, money is some­thing that is the most im­por­tant as­pect of our lives. But, money can also be the bane of our lives in many ways, thereby af­fect­ing our re­la­tion­ships and friend­ships. Here’s how...

BOR­ROW­ING FROM FRIEND OR FAM­ILY

Of­ten, when in need of money, peo­ple look up to their friends or fam­ily for help. But, some­times, money that is bor­rowed is not re­turned on time. This is when rifts start sur­fac­ing in the bond be­tween two or more peo­ple. Psy­chi­a­trist Git­tan­jali Sax­ena says that in such a sce­nario, bonds can get shat­tered. She says, “The act of lend­ing money is a ges­ture of kind­ness and good faith. Yet, this very act can be taken for granted. Many a time, since emo­tions are in­volved, nei­ther party sets up dead­lines or a re­pay­ment setup. Some­times, the per­son who has loaned the money feels too em­bar­rassed to ask for it, thereby re­sult­ing in a com­mu­ni­ca­tion prob­lem. One of the worst things you can do when you owe some­one money is to avoid that per­son, es­pe­cially when you’d call them or see them of­ten.” She adds, “Bor­row­ing money from a friend or a fam­ily mem­ber changes the dy­nam­ics and power bal­ance in the bond be­tween two peo­ple. If you have not re­paid it on time, you should make it clear that you’re com­mit­ted to re­pay­ing what you owe and that you are try­ing to work out a new re­pay­ment sched­ule. If you care about the re­la­tion­ship, you should be more ded­i­cated to pay­ing back to your loved one sooner than you would do to a bank. Do re­mem­ber, peo­ple have the right to be up­set; you can’t ex­pect le­nient be­hav­iour or for­give­ness of your debt. Give them room to feel their emo­tions, even if you think you’d act dif­fer­ently in that po­si­tion.”

WHEN A PART­NER DOESN’T EARN

Money plays an im­por­tant role in per­sonal re­la­tion­ships as well. Neeta V Shetty, psy­chother­a­pist says, “The part­ner who is not earn­ing may start feel­ing in­se­cure, fear­ful and anx­ious. It may af­fect his/her self-es­teem and self-con­fi­dence as well as in­stil feel­ings of guilt and help­less­ness.” But the part­ner who is not earn­ing can al­ways bal­ance the sit­u­a­tion, es­pe­cially, if he/she is mar­ried. Shetty says, “As the non-work­ing part­ner, you can try and sup­port your part­ner in ways such as par­ent­ing, do­ing house­hold chores, run­ning er­rands and be­ing emo­tion­ally sup­port­ive.”

For in­stance, Shreya and Pawan Grover (names changed) were bank­ing pro­fes­sion­als. But Shreya was laid off a few years back. Ini­tially, the cou­ple went through a dif­fi­cult phase. Re­la­tion­ship ex­pert Vishnu Modi, who knows the cou­ple says, “Shreya lost her job a year af­ter their baby was born. Post this, she took up other home re­spon­si­bil­i­ties and par­ent­ing. This helped sooth tem­pers in their re­la­tion­ship. In fact, even af­ter so many years now, she has not taken up a job and is con­tin­u­ing with her par­ent­ing du­ties.”

AN EARN­ING PART­NER CAN HELP

In the case of Shreya, her hus­band Pawan ironed out things in the re­la­tion­ship. Ac­cord­ing to Shetty, an earn­ing part­ner in such a re­la­tion­ship should treat the non-earn­ing part­ner with re­spect, dig­nity and equal­ity. She says, “He/she should try and ap­pre­ci­ate the non­earn­ing part­ner for other roles they play in their lives. Try to not be dom­i­nant and ar­gu­men­ta­tive in fi­nan­cial de­ci­sions. Never bring the earn­ings and fi­nan­cial sta­tus of the non-work­ing part­ner in ar­gu­ments and fights.”

WHEN THE HUS­BAND DOESN’T EARN

In the In­dian con­text, when a man doesn’t earn, it can al­ways be a tricky sit­u­a­tion. Es­pe­cially, when you are mar­ried be­cause he is sup­posed to be the bread­win­ner. Aman Bhon­sle, psy­choso­cial an­a­lyst and re­la­tion­ship coun­sel­lor, says that this sit­u­a­tion can af­fect a re­la­tion­ship if the man sub­scribes to ‘slightly’ old­school In­dian val­ues or if the woman feels that her man should be earn­ing. He says, “Such a mar­riage can lead to awk­ward­ness in so­cial groups where peo­ple share sim­i­lar val­ues. The wife may say that my hus­band doesn’t do any­thing and hus­band says, ‘I just sit at home’. The dy­nam­ics are af­fected by how the egos of the two peo­ple are in gen­eral. Some peo­ple may have a lot of ar­gu­ments, be­have ag­gres­sively, stop hav­ing friends, as there is al­ways a big scene in front of friends. It also starts af­fect­ing fam­i­lies.”

But the wife, or rather the earn­ing part­ner can al­ways help. Bhon­sle says, “The wife should se­ri­ously con­sider reval­u­at­ing how she wants to ne­go­ti­ate this re­la­tion­ship. She can also find a neu­tral third party, who can find out if the val­ues they fol­low are help­ing or harm­ing them.”

PHOTO: IMAGESBAZAAR

The dy­nam­ics are af­fected by how the egos of the two peo­ple are in gen­eral

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