We are all generally aware of how money controls our planet. We have not been a hunting and gathering or barter world in centuries. What we may not be as aware of is how money controls our relationships. Let’s examine a few examples and feel free to brainstorm with your friends and family.
Let’s start with dating relationships. You decide to ask someone out and inevitably the question of who’s going to pay will arise. Just the question of payment indicates money’s control. There are few date activities that don’t require money but they do require creativity and willingness to try them. And let’s back up a second. The person you asked out for a date is probably in your same socio-economic class. Wealthy people date poor people in small numbers. So money has already controlled who you ask and what you’re going to do. Then as you’re dating and getting to know each other; interests and activities become known. If you are participating in yachting, you probably have more than enough money. If you are going for walks and watching birds, you probably don’t.
Then we move to committed relationships. When you take an honest look back at your last several arguments, chances are high that you were arguing about money. Either you argued that your partner as spending frivolously when you can barely make ends meet. Or you argue about not spending enough time together. You aren’t spending enough time together because you are both working tons of overtime just to survive and maybe be able to go out once in awhile. The blame game and hurt feelings result when it really isn’t anyone’s fault. It’s money controlling us.
Money control exerts its power into family relationships as well. Typically when a person is in financial distress, the first people they ask for help are family members. This can have an impact on trust. If you pay it back at the agreed time, you earn trust. If you don’t, you have betrayed trust. So, money is now controlling emotions and integrity. Also it affects how we can raise our children. Money controls safe or unsafe housing, education, medical care and healthy eating. It controls the time and energy we have to spend with our children. If we are either working or too tired from working, the parent/child relationship suffers.
Money is going to continue to rule our lives. We can’t change that and it leaves us feeling frustrated and powerless. We can change our responses in our relationships regarding money. We can start by knowing there is no shame in being poor. There are actually cities now that make it illegal to give food to homeless people. That is shaming and wrong on many levels. We can be respectful to ourselves and others by not casting blame and realizing the global economic system is set up to keep a few people extremely wealthy and the rest of us, some level of poor. We can stay close to our loved ones and simply do the best with what we have. Difficult, yes. Impossible, no.