If there are two things you should worry about by the time you’re a functional member of society, it is the Earth and money. The Earth probably won’t be in great shape – I imagine it’ll be dirty (i.e., polluted), overweight (i.e., overpopulated) and underfed. And you should worry about money because I’m donating it all when your mother and I are done, so you better learn how to hustle or work a job.
Money can be a divisive topic among couples. From my oversimplified perspective, there are usually three scenarios. First, both partners don’t make much, in which case they both better start grinding.
Second, when both partners could be bread winners, which was the case when your mother was working in corporate law (yeah, I know, I can’t believe it either because she can come across so diminutive in a cute way, but I’m sure you’ll see her fire and first class logic very soon). But she pursued a less lucrative career, so we didn’t stay on this path very long. It’s a tad unfortunate because I always thought I had a good solution for family finances in this scenario. I would’ve proposed a relatively high fixed percentage contribution from any income into a joint account with a redistributed monthly allowance to each person. The income that wasn’t contributed would then go into a personal account, which would’ve gone towards funding my Patagonia jacket and Threadless t-shirt collection.
And the third scenario is when one is the monetary bread winner and the other is working on a non-income producing project/business (which includes child rearing). This is me and your mom. To be perfectly honest, I’m not sure how I would’ve coped going from independent to dependent. That in- prefix is significant. There are also elements of pride and sexist gender values involved, which I will say nothing more than they exist. Your mom said she felt lost and confused during the first year and a half when it came to spending money. She didn’t feel as comfortable frivolously spending money she didn’t directly earn, which is understandable. Thankfully, your mom’s back to buying cake plates and vintage Thermos canisters again because it makes the house more fun and gives me something to complain about. And to be frank, I’m a lucky guy because your mother doesn’t like stuff in general (aside from her kitchen appliances! When we moved to London, half of our boxes were kitchen appliances!) and is a champion of good value and Slickdeals (i.e., she’s a miser), so it was never a big issue for us.
Regardless, this last scenario is also as tough as the bread winner makes it – if I gave her a hard time or made digs at her for something, which I am guilty of, then that affects the other one’s psyche. It’s a delicate situation that commands the utmost respect because it’s very easily the case that compromises have been made and the bread eater is aware that he or she is eating rather than winning (making?) bread.
Then again, there are always the gold diggers, but you will want to stay away from those because looks don’t last forever although if you have to marry someone and look at them for a long time, it is a good idea to find someone you enjoy looking at. Just be careful!