Later On

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Couples and money

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Very interesting post at More Intelligent Life: Couples and Money.

There comes a moment during a couple counselling session with Donna Laikind when the clients tend to swallow hard and wish they were somewhere else. It is the moment when she touches on the most intimate aspects of their shared life. She goes further, she readily admits, than most have bargained for. “My questions are so probing, and touch on areas of their life that are so private,” she says, “that it’s often a real shock to them that I’m daring to ask them.”

You could be forgiven for thinking that she is talking about sex. But, according to Laikind—a therapist in private practice in Manhattan and Connecticut, and a member of the faculty of NYU medical school—the questions she focuses on at this point cut deeper and are even more exposing than sexual ones could be. They’re about money: and they pull no punches. “I ask them, how much do you earn? How do you organise your money? Who makes decisions about how the money is spent in your house? I even ask them to tell me about all their bank accounts—every single one.”

Are they surprised? “You bet they are. Some of these questions are things a couple have never discussed before. You get people who don’t know how much their partner earns. You get people who admit they have accounts their partner doesn’t know about.” And most importantly, she says, you get a lot of inside-track information about what’s really going on in this relationship. Laikind believes a couple’s financial arrangements are a window into their world–perhaps the best there is. How they organise their finances, whether they fight over money, how they prioritise spending, and whether they have any financial secrets from one another, are all indicators of the health of the relationship, and the balance of power within it.

But if money is a metaphor, it’s a lot more besides. …

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

9 September 2008 at 9:45 am

Posted in Daily life

Tagged with ,

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