|The Accolade - Edmund Blair Leighton - Public Domain|
Since part of August's focus in my online group concerns the always touchy subject of Family Finances, I read with particular interest this article from The Journal of Financial Planning.
The researchers found the following concerns for husbands who were experiencing financial distress in their marriages: "perceptions of a spendy wife, having financial worries, reporting a lower income, having three or more children, and having a wife who thinks he is too spendy" (from the executive summary). I believe the most interesting word in that summary to be "perceptions." I noted that only one of those concerns is concrete: having at least three children. Everything else was abstract or, at least, an unclear comparative. Apparently, the stressor wasn't so much that the wife was a spender but that the husband perceived her as such. I thought immediately of a wife's thriftiness and how much that might help a husband to perceive his wife as thrifty rather than as "spendy" (definition: extravagant). Perhaps a wife might help her husband's perceptions by telling him how much she had saved or by showing him her coupon collection or some other evidence of her thrift.
By way of comparison, the researchers found the following concerns for wives in financially distressed marriages: "having a husband who thinks she is too spendy, feeling a lack of communication with her husband, having financial worries, having a husband with low income, and having perceptions of a spendy husband" (from the executive summary). "Having a husband with low income" might be independently verifiable and, therefore, concrete (i.e., a family with an income below the poverty line would have a verifiable low income). The remainder of the factors, again, were abstract.
Since I am not married right now, for me, the "take home" from the article was to check my financial distress for a concrete cause rather than a perception that may or may not have a basis in fact. As the saying goes, "your mileage may vary."
I hope that my woman-to-woman ideas have helped.