Streams

What We Talk About When We Talk About Love...and Money

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Dealing with money in relationships is often stressful. For the new episode out today, Anna Sale, host of WNYC's podcast Death Sex & Moneytalked to several couples trying to balance their checkbooks with their love life -- from a couple that thought they had money all figured out until they had a daughter and one partner stayed home; to an engaged couple that broke it off after they couldn't agree to the terms of a pre-nup.

Guests:

Anna Sale

Comments [8]

Eugenia Renskoff from NYC

Hi, Given the fact that many people work at jobs they hate, why not leave them money enough so that his kids won't have to do that? His wife, I think, commented that she choose a lucrative career she did not like. Does the father want that for his kids? If he works so hard making money, why not leave them what they'll need and give to charity or whatever? I would hate for any kid of mine to be in want or for him/her to go to a job they dislike. Keep it in the family.

Jul. 31 2014 03:52 PM
Julian from The Fair Borough of Kings

Did I miss it, or did BL and the distinguished guest discuss the Jewish practice of a Ketubah? That's a prenup if there ever were one, and they can get VERY detailed.

My wife is the breadwinner by a large margin. Before I proposed, I discussed money with her at length. I told her about my spending habits, (I was and remain debt-free) political and social causes I support with money and time (some of which are controversial). I showed her my financials, including tax returns and my pension files.

I broached the subject very directly one Spring: "Honey, when you come over, I want to talk about money with you and show you my records." I did this as matter-of-factly as it sounds. My mom had told me when I was growing up that couples break up over kids (having or not, how to raise them) and money. (She left out sex because she thought too young at the time.) I knew we were going to become life partners for life, and I didn't want to leave her in the dark.

As another commenter mentioned, a marriage IS a corporation. We don't like to talk about it much like this, and I'm NOT SAYING that's all it is. However, as a nation I think we approach the "institution" with distorted lenses. (As a nation we also watch "The Bachelorette", professional wrestling and reality TV. I'm just saying.)

I'd be completely willing to sign a "post-nup", which in fact might become a necessity. (It would simplify matters for estate planning, especially on her large and very extended family side.)

Contracts are NOT offensive. They are just one instrument people use to simplify things that are otherwise too complex to think about and act upon without a formal structure. There are other ways to do it, but we live in a society that adjudicates in civil courts when things go wrong. And, given current trends, that's roughly half of the time in marriage. The pre-nup lays things down in black and white and forces hard conversations and reflection. In some cases they even cause couples to break up--and that's a GOOD thing! (If you realised your partner had such radically different notions about family, love, sex, money, inherited property and other assets--wouldn't you use that to reflect on your relationship's future?)

Finally, "romance" is just one limited aspect of a many-faceted jewel. It's time to stop using Hollywood's romcom machine to set our expectations, and while we're at it, we oughtta turn off "the Bachelorette", too.

Jul. 30 2014 12:17 PM
Chriss from Montclair, NJ

I LOVE Anna's podcast!!!!!!!

Jul. 30 2014 11:58 AM
mr nyc

Marriages are business arrangements. That's not all they are but it's immature not to recognize this.

Jul. 30 2014 11:55 AM

Remy - What will he do with the money if the kids don't inherit? Other good works? Okay, I guess. Buy a yacht? What's the difference?

Jul. 30 2014 11:52 AM
fuva from harlemworld

The problem with the pre-nup guy was the FB message. But it likely wasn't the first important message he cowardly transmitted in this way, and she likely was forewarned.

Jul. 30 2014 11:47 AM
Tony from Canarsie

"Coupling relationship"? Brian, I don't think "coupling" means what you think it means. ;-)

Jul. 30 2014 11:46 AM
Truth & Beauty from Brooklyn

Pre-nups, as offensive as they might seem, turn out to protect BOTH parties. The idea, though, is that if one party presents the other with a pre-nup, the second party has it reviewed and revised - if necessary - by his/her own attorney. The outcome, however, can be very satisfying because it removes all doubts and allows the parties to go on about their business without worrying about future money matters.

Jul. 30 2014 11:46 AM

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