Money. It’s a taboo subject right? How much you have, how much you spend, how much you earn. They’re all questions that are met with a British stiff upper lip and a spluttering. I mean, how very dare you?!
But what about money when you’re in the first flushes of romance? The first date scenario, the getting serious and moving in together, marriage, children, the whole shebang. What about money then? And more interestingly how does money impact your relationship?
Shepherds Friendly teamed up with Dr Becky Spelman to see just that. And it got me thinking back to the start of our relationship, and the role that money played with us.
A little over ten years ago
I first set eyes on my husband, I could say that it was love at first sight but I’d be lying. In fact, I’m not sure we really even liked each other that much to begin with. All the tea in China, all the money in the world, nothing would have made me go on a date with the posh boy that walked into the office. Likewise, he wasn’t exactly chomping at the bit to take out the grumpy girl in the office.
Fast forward a few months, days spent sat opposite one another in the office. Fighting over who’s turn it was to do the tea round, sharing multiple packs of chewits across a table and fetching toast from the sandwich shop next door in the morning and things began to look a little different.
Drunken nights out. Lots, and lots, of laughter. First cuddles, first kisses, first dates.
And the question who should pay?!
My husband is quite the traditionalist, but both being pretty poor graduates with a love of living the good life and putting it on a credit card, both on the same money. I’m pretty sure that we split the bill.
Maybe he bought the cinema tickets and I bought the popcorn. He bought the dinner and I bought the wine. We went rounds when we ended up in the pub watching football – I always had the makings of the best wife.
And it pretty much continued along that vein.
Sharing the bill, being open about money. How much we earned, or didn’t. What we were spending it on. The big credit card cutting up ceremony of 2011 where I finally bid goodbye to my little pink card.
Fast forward through the years
We moved on. Moved forward. Together.
Job promotions, city moves, emigrations.
Getting married, having children.
Then the big thing, when I gave up my job, my financial independence, becoming an expat wife. Financially dependent on someone else.
And through it all realising that it’s not about the money, or lack of, that makes a relationship. But the openness, honesty and sharing. No secrets swept under the carpet, financial worries shared and in effect halved.
And that is how money has impacted my relationship; it’s not become a barrier between us, a stick to beat or a worrisome secret.
It’s remained just that. Cash.