Its all about money, honey

If you really think about it, it all boils down to money. Twenty- seven-year-old Sheena Jog, a product designer based in Delhi, says at least two of the last three fights she had with her husband were over their “hard-earned” money.

The couple argued over what the money was being spent on. The third fight was also tangentially about money. “He wanted to buy the iPad but I would rather go on holiday this summer,” she says.

This is clearly a 21st-century problem. Historically, Indian women didn’t have money of their own and certainly not money that they earned. In our patriarchal society, money has always been ‘used’ by men to wield power over women. In almost every Indian family, there is some great-aunt or grandmother still alive with stories about her dependence on men for money. But Sheena Jog is part of a new breed of women — financially independent and conscious of her rights.

This seemingly progressive development has built-in problems. When a woman asserts her financial rights, it creates rifts between couples. Sometimes, the arguments escalate to the point of divorce. Mumbai-based clinical psychologist and psychotherapist Varkha Chulani says money has become one of the major causes of couple trouble, “so much so, that in pre-marital counseling, discussions about attitudes towards money have become really important.” Chulani adds that “the issue of ‘my money’ and ‘your money’ leads to a lot of distrust, which is a complete no-no for a happy relationship.”

Chulani says that marital discord over money can intensify if people marry later in life. “By a certain age, people develop set attitudes about money and these are really hard to change even for the person you love. I think that a couple needs to have some understanding about how they wish to spend their money.” Financial consultant Neha Shukla points to practical ways, other than counseling, for couples to work out their finances. “The first thing a working couple should do after getting married is get a joint account. Not only does this make things easier in terms of paperwork, it also lends transparency to a relationship that needs it.”  But individual accounts are not a no-no, but it’s best for couples to discuss money issues related to each one’s family, especially parents, before the wedding.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. m s dinakar
    Oct 07, 2010 @ 13:54:27

    Well … if you are wondering why there is so much fuss over the concept of money … you got to realize that MONEY is the only invention of humankind that does not have corresponding principle in Nature … unfortuantely … whoever thought about money as a unit of exchange was at that time ignorant of its implications to ecology … all the damages that have arisen in world is due to that misconstrued worth of money in our lives … money has been responsible for all the dumb theories of economics … for once … brilliant minds have wasted their lives working out monetary models to solve our economic problems ! … alas ! … in reality … our problems have got nothing to do money per se … its about inter-connected resources with natural feedback loops being depleted … greed … lack of conscience … parochial attitude of a unwillingness to share … Nature per se is abundant enough to feed every individual and organism on Earth … its our selfish and myopic attitude resulting in pathetic models underscored by the “value” of money that is responsible for all the troubles … but then where do we begin to set things right ? … we got to begin with children and with paradigms … if there is one single idiotic eco-cidal invention on Earth … then it is MONEY! … ironically … we give Nobel Prizes for Economics developed on ecocidal paradigm! … Money cannot solve any of the humankind’s problems on our Earth! … eom.

    Reply

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