Art of Superwoman hosted a webinar this past weekend, tackling issues linked with money and relationships that a lot of couples grapple within their unions, especially during the pandemic.
Money is the leading issue that couples clash over and evidence highlights that money is the leading cause for divorce, after cheating.
Clinical Psychologist, Viwe Dweba and Independent Financial Educator, Eunice Sibiya joined Olwethu and Neo Leshabane in conversation about how to handle money conversations in relationships, where full disclosure and vulnerability is concerned.
The general consensus was that we have a lot of adjusting, adapting and realistic work to do around finances and relationships. We are not okay. Our relationships with ourselves and money go so much deeper.
Here’s Are 10 Financial Lessons To Note For Your Relationship
- Equip Yourselves With Financial Literacy
Financial literacy is just as important as love in a relationship, it needs to be reignited every now and again because our finances keep evolving. Make sure that your finances as a couple are in-line with where you are in life and where you want to go.
- Be Realistic And Have Honest Conversations About Your Financial Standing.
Have the difficult conversations about what needs to be cut off financially for the long term benefits. This may require you to tweak some aspects of your lifestyle. In an interview on The Sit Down with Olwethu, Eunice emphasised the importance of us normalising and not shaming downsizing where we need to. We should in fact in our close communities of friends and family celebrate those tough decisions and support those among us that need to downsize. Knowing your standing and acting on it is a big step.
- Self Worth
“Who am I to me?”
Many of us care about what people think of us. We care how people perceive us. An important question we all need to ask ourselves is “Who am I to me? Who am I to the outside world?”
Personal responses to these questions really do shape our money behaviours.
- Teach Your Children The Value Of Money.
Money has become part of their journey too. Start talking about the value of money and equip them with tools to handle their pocket money from very early on.
- Face Your Fears And Communicate Your Feelings
Money requires communication from you as a couple. We often have the misconception that things will fall into place when we get married – this is not the case. Money is a big issue, you must talk about your feelings around it, and what your fears are.
A big thing that stood out was the need for us to re-evaluate our relationships.
In the subject of men opening up about their own feelings around money, a quote from Journal of International Women’s Studies Vol. 18, No. 4 August 2017 came up:
“During interviews with fifteen men and their female partners, who were members of two programs concerned with victims and perpetrators of intimate violence, Boonzaier (2005) stated that it became apparent that it was challenging for the men to relinquish the role of breadwinner in the home and that this led them to feel emasculated. This may be seen in Boonzaier (2005, p. 102) assertion that “Men attempted to maintain these forms of identity through the exertion of power in the relationship, through violence as well as sexual coercion and marital infidelity”. The men’s justifications of their behaviour, coupled with the declining marital rates among women in South Africa (Posel & Casale, 2003) are of significant importance for female breadwinners in South Africa.“
A discussion around men, their emotions and their socialisation came up – Men’s expression of emotion, of pain, of fear of sadness, is punished. It is punished by society and punished by other men and punished by other women who are raised by other men in a patriarchal society. Men end up fearing their very nature. It is natural to feel emotions. All of us have feelings, and feelings tell us something. It is dangerous for men and especially dangerous for the partners of men when men are not taught to listen to their feelings and fail to express their feelings in a way that is not violent.
- Remember That You Are a Team
Your partner is exactly that – your partner. In any partnership, there must be delegation of some sort. It is important to support and be accountable to each other.
We need to abolish this notion that “We are one”. We are not one. We are two individuals with our own separate dreams and aspirations who come together as a team. Finances should be seen in the same light. Don’t leave behind your individuality as you step into a relationship.
- Reserve And Preserve
The pandemic has taught us that nothing lasts forever, so make sure you have finances on reserve where you can. Another reality the pandemic has taught us is that one stream of income is not enough. We need to explore more streams of income where possible.
- Realize Your Power As A Breadwinner
The term breadwinner has historically been used to preserve patriarchy. This has led to women struggling with the notion that they are breadwinners, and this idea of waiting for a man to sweep them off their feet. Women also tend to struggle with this notion because “Who will take care of me if I am taking care of things.”
We are realising that we have the ability and capabilities to earn our own income when we equip ourselves with the knowledge on what to look for in a business opportunity, insurance packages, and other ways to grow our finances as individuals primarily and then as a couple.
- The Importance of Regular Check Ins in a Relationship
When we get into long term commitments, i.e. get married, we make all these long term vows. People change. Change is a constant. And we look at marriage and long term commitments with such rigidity at times without looking at the changes and our own needs changing. This is not selfish. This does not change how awesome I or my partner is, we just need to introduce some kind of fluidity into our lives and how we relate, reevaluate and grow.
- Acknowledge Your Growth
Acknowledge your growth and where you are right now, versus where you were 10 years ago.
Who you are today at the age of __ is not the same person you were at the age of ___. Your decision making has changed, your priorities have changed.
That is perfectly normal. You have experienced things and things have changed around you.
If you need to speak to a therapist or financial advisor to filter through the place you are at right now, do it! You will feel a huge weight off your shoulder. But don’t beat yourself up for changing. It’s part of life! It’s who we are as humans.
Catch the full conversation here: