Money conflicts are a common topic in anger management. It polarizes all the other issues that are connected with the relationship, and the individual’s connection with money. The fights occur because each side have different values around money and the relevance it has around power and control. Money represents oxygen and without it we fear our survival. Many of our clients have trust issues and they are concerned the universe won’t provide, therefore the will never be enough so they need more and more money. They find themselves in partnerships with people who don’t share their view. Their partner’s may be wise or unwise spenders but the impact it has on the man with money fears is to cause constant conflict. Every dollar she spends is seen as an attack on his safety.
Traditional breadwinning gave the man a lot of power which we see he still exercises particularly with those from traditional cultures. “I pay the mortgage” implies it is ‘his’ house not ‘our’ house. So without money there is not the automatic control available. This leads to fear which leads to anger which leads to fighting. The woman is left under the constant threat if she doesn’t comply she will starve.
Where does the man begin to unravel this mess? It means looking at his relationship with money, it means looking at what his intimate relationship means to him. Many people find out after a divorce they still have as many money worries as before. Basically it requires intelligent conversation with himself and between himself and his partner, and how their respective attitudes impinge on each other.
That’s easier said than done, but what’s the alternative?