It’s Easier to Have Sex than Talk

Come sit a spell
Come sit a spell

Did you ever see something on the internet and say, “I’ll go back and read that later?” I do that a lot only to discover I can no longer find what I want to read. It happened again yesterday. There was an article that said, “We’re willing to get naked and have sex with somebody but we’re too embarrassed to talk about money. ” Have you ever been in that situation?

I think if my ex and I had talked about out attitudes towards finances, we probably never would have married. If we had never married I would not have the son I have today so I don’t regret not discussing this topic to begin with. As a result, I had to find out the hard way what he thought about his wants versus our (my son and myself) needs.

Why is having sex with someone you hardly know so much easier? When does such a conversation about money become appropriate? You certainly can’t go to a bar and end up talking about how much money you possess before having a one night stand.Can you just feel the out of control hormones raging when one of you say, “Do you invest in an IRA?” Or how about, “What is the balance of your credit card account?” That might cause things to go south in a hurry. Yet these very issues often pop up their ugly heads after the ceremony.

I should have been aware enough to realize the financial condition my beloved was in. His divorce was final I believe April 16 (no longer sure of the date), and I met him April 25. Duh! Divorce is havoc to most any man’s bank account. I really am not a woman full of pride. My ex had had time to buy a new mobile home in a  decent mobile home park (even if it was down the road from a nudist colony.) With some of the apartments I had been invited to the previous six years before I met him, a nice mobile home made no difference to me. He was newly divorced. Why go out and buy a new home?  

He had a job. I thought he had a car. It took a while to find out the car was a company car. He had a son he had to provide support for. He had bills. It’s amazing the things you find out if you know someone long enough.

At what point in the relationship should the money question be raised? Marriage counselors recommend that a couple has similiar attitudes about how much to spend and how much to save. They should know before the “I dos” what kind of financial road lies ahead. I did not know my husband was a compulsive spender who thought of no one but himself. That might have been important for me to know.

It is not uncommon for people to have one night stands, although with the STD situation some people are becoming a little more restrained about that. People get into a sexual relationship “with no strings attached” quite frequently calling it “friends with benefits”. But when the hormones are raging, who thinks about money? If, after a couple has become intimate, the man raises the subject, the woman might hear alarm bells and think “con man” or gigolo. What would he want to know about my money? The same is true of a guy being asked by a woman. “Why is she asking these questions? Is she a gold-digger? Does she expect to be paid for her services? ” So the great majority of couples marry without the slightest idea of the other’s financial status.   There is an ad for Free Credit Report .com  where the young man sings that he didn’t know his wife had defaulted on some old credit cards, so now he’s bemoaning the fact he can’t get credit and must live in his in-laws’ basement. Some men and women start manipulating the finances of the other even before the vows take place which happened to a son of a relative of mine, leaving him very much in debt before she was caught.

At the wedding

At the wedding

I am all in favor of state mandated pre-marital counseling. My ex and I met with the minister one time before the service. It was more of a “keep Christ in your marriage” kind of talk than anything really helpful. There are many sites available on the internet that list some pretty important questions that many couples don’t wish to discuss because it isn’t romantic. It ISN’T romantic but it is darn sure important to the future success of marriages. It’s even LESS romantic after the ceremony when one or the other becomes controller of the purse strings. Where’s the romance then? Something has to be done. The divorce statistics in America are appaling.


couples arguing

 After the Ceremony

  The divorce rate in America for first marriage, vs second or third marriage
50% percent of first marriages, 67% of second and 74% of third marriages end in divorce, according to Jennifer Baker of the Forest Institute of Professional Psychology in Springfield, Missouri.”

According to enrichment journal on the divorce rate in America:
The divorce rate in America for first marriage is 41%
The divorce rate in America for second marriage is 60%
The divorce rate in America for third marriage is 73%

Take your pick of statistics. Both sources are not very promising of a happy marriage.  This article is about “Why Money is the Leading Cause of Divorce”.  There are a multitude of reasons for a divorce, but money and financial concerns and crises are right up there on top. Resentment can certainly cause a downhill spiral when the two individuals aren’t “on the same page” when it comes to money.

My ex remarried in 1986 within weeks of our divorce. They flew to Vegas. She was a bartender with expensive tastes. I had my doubts that his third marriage would succeed. But they are approaching their 25th wedding anniversary and, although I know very little about their lives, I do know they are still together. My son came home from visiting them on a few occasions when they first started living together and said, “She doesn’t treat Dad very well.” When I asked what he was talking about, I was told she cursed at him, locked him out of the house, cut up his credit cards, and put him on an allowance. I think she even got him to stop drinking so much. She was not going to be like me just being the bookkeeper while he did all the spending.

I could never have handled him like that. In my naivite, I didn’t know husbands had to be deliberately handled some times. I was much too passive and let him treat me like a door mat. She stood up to him. She kept him from self-destructing. I’m sure she thought he was bringing much more into the marriage than he did. I’m not sure she slept in my bed inside our house while I was gone, but I wouldn’t have put it past him.  I believe she figured house divided by two equals nice nest egg. He had the clothes on his back, minus the mobile home. My son reports they seem to get along together. He didn’t end up in the gutter. They welcome our son into their home when he returns to the US. All turned out well for him. But I still wonder once in a while what my life would have been like if we had had premarital counseling and I knew in advance what I was getting into.  Next time I’ll read the article when I first see it. Namaste. Hope you enjoyed the porch. It’s going to be close to 100 degrees again today. Glad we got our visit in before it got too hot. Namaste. Attic Annie


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