Money Mindset: Is Money a Love Language?

Many couples have heard of the five love languages coined by Gary Chapman, outlining the five ways in which people in a romantic relationship express and feel love for each other: Acts of Service, Physical Touch, Gifts, Quality Time and Words of Affirmation.

But is Money also a love language?

In our relationship, I (Mrs Sydney) have always earned more than Mr Sydney. The gap has widened over the years, mainly due to me having very specialist skills. It has never been an issue for me – mainly because I earn more than enough to pay our bills comfortably and I feel I am treated well – though I have had some negative remarks from my family who are quite traditional.

However when I look at my friends and media, I get the feeling that being comfortable with earning more than my husband isn’t all that common.

In many cultures, it is expected that a man will provide for the family. Many women will only agree to date or marry a partner who earns at least as much as them. There is also often conflict when a woman earns more than a man, with feelings of resentment on both ends.

In particular, on Youtube I have been watching the I Will Teach You to be Rich podcast by Ramit Sethi where he interviews couples who are having financial disagreements. One episode in particular illustrated this idea that how much a person earns and contributes financially reflects how much someone feels that they are loved. The episode I watched was about an engaged couple where the woman earned more than the man and she resented that she had to lend him money to go on a holiday to meet her family. The man wasn’t earning much because he was still a medical resident in training and they would often split bills. She was unhappy because she didn’t feel cared for as having money spent on her was her way of feeling loved.

On the other end of the spectrum, I’ve heard stories of men who resent their wives for earning more. The men feel less powerful, less valuable for not being the provider and end up projecting their insecurities onto their partner, by nitpicking her for prioritising her career over maintaining the house and for not looking after herself.

It’s important to acknowledge that money is so tied into our identities. One of the things Mr Sydney and I are so fortunate to have are shared values around money. Both of us see money as a tool rather than a end goal and we both prioritise health over wealth. We both aren’t extravagant in our spending but also don’t mind spending on things that make us happy. We have never argued about money.

If you are starting an early retirement journey with a partner, husband, wife, boyfriend or girlfriend, for it to work, you must get clarity on whether money is your love language.

Do you need your partner to pay for things in order to feel loved?

Would it bother you if you do/don’t earn more than your partner?

Understanding how you feel will allow you to communicate your needs to your partner and agree on how you will approach your early retirement journey. These reactions are seemingly irrational, but unfortunately if not dealt with, can cause real conflict that can set both your relationship and financial journey behind. As both Jeff Bezos and Mr Money Moustache would know, divorce is one of the costliest things to happen.

Let me know in the comments what you think about this topic? Is money your love language?

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *