Fights about finances are pointless, but learning to find new things to talk about could be invaluable.
My husband and I have been married for almost five years, and conversation is starting to get a bit lacklustre. I think we’re both tired of hearing each other complain about co-workers and the same old banter. Do you have any suggestions for spicing up our talks?
If all you talk about is work, I guess it’s because all you think about is work, which is incredibly sad and drone-like. You really need to get engaged with something else. Join a tennis club, volunteer at a food bank, start an aquarium. You could plan a trip or take a needlepoint class together. Or, you could just read a newspaper and talk about that, for heaven's sake. Use your imaginations, you sad drone people.
How about taking a cue from Oprah and reading a book together? Once you’ve managed a few pages, you’ll be bursting with stuff to talk about. You’ll discuss character and theme and symbol and tone. You’ll feel thoughtful and excited. You’ll notice that your husband is paying attention to your ideas and not just your ass, and you will find that quietly erotic. When you grow confident enough to exchange theories about how poor Walter is going to survive his visit to the vet, you will swell with the self-important flush that is the exclusive prerogative of the thoughtful reader. And you will have had an evening off, which will make talking about co-workers seem super interesting the next day.
We’re always scrapping about money. Will things ever get better as our relationship evolves?
That depends. If you are a jerk about it, no, things will not improve, and, after a while, your partner will get bored of you, and shortly after that, you will join the ranks of The People Who Are Making Financial Fresh Starts In Their 40s. So maybe you should try not being such a dick for a change. What is money for? It is for spending. It is for spending on food and drinks and clothes and trips and books and electronics. If you have a pile of money and all you do is sit on it, you are a dumb. Go buy a chair if you need something to sit on.
If you are like most people your age, your largest expense is the place you live. If you are a smart person, you will realize that clever use of your spending power can make that housing expense go away. Pay down your mortgage early and you will find you can survive on one-and-a-half incomes.
All that was a long way of saying this: Fights about money always have two sides. Here are some simple rules for resolving those fights: 1) Money is for spending and only for spending. It makes a terrible chair. 2) Spending money on interest is for morons. 3) Owning your pad outright equals not having to work so hard anymore. 4) The longer you wait to take that big trip, the less fun it will be.
Old people are cranky travellers.