How To Soothe His Ego While Holding onto Your Purse Strings
Ah, the holidays.
Shopping, gift-giving, parties, cocktails, family get-togethers. All of that fun and frolic doesn’t come cheaply and this time of year can be a bit of a drain on the wallet.
Luckily, you’ve worked hard to get to where you are in your career. Now you have the extra money to treat those special people in your life and have a little fun while you’re at it. But is this causing friction between you and your man?
We asked Jennifer Stokes, bestselling author of Imagine Finding the G spot (oooh – where did your mind go to??) for advice on what an ‘alpha girl’ is to do when the number of zeroes on her paycheque outnumber that of her man. In the interview with our Editor-In-Chief, Fiona Fine, Jennifer explains to us how to negotiate this tricky situation.
“There is nothing more demasculinizing to a man than you making more money than him. It is like taking his balls and putting them in your briefcase and going to work with them.”
Maybe a bit, but men themselves are often at a loss as to why they feel this way. They love strong women who are bold, confident and sassy, but at the same time, they do not like to be made to feel that you as that woman, can get along without them financially or otherwise.
So, here are some tips for all of you strong, successful, super-achieving women out there on how to stroke his ego and smooth any ruffled feathers:
- Find that one thing he is really good at and where you may not excel. Play it up. Is he a great cook? Is he super handy? Even if you’re no slouch in those areas yourself, make him feel invaluable. Gush a little and downplay your abilities just this once. You’ll be glad you did as he will want to prove himself even more.
- Remember what it was like when you struggled with money yourself. Most of us have been there. Think of how you wanted to be treated when it was you and apply this to your man.
- If he is the more responsible one in terms of paying bills on time and looking after the finances, let him. There is usually one ‘banker’ in any couple and if you know it’s not a skill you possess, there is no reason why he can’t look after your joint account, even though he is not the primary earner in the relationship. Note though, the bills must be paid from a joint account that you can access at any time, and you MUST still look at them so that you will always know what is going on. Sticking your head in the sand just to appease the situation won’t work well if it blows up.
“You can’t change the past but you can start paying the attention for the future.”
Of course, there is a chance that no amount of ego stroking on your part is going to help the situation. Nobody goes into a relationship expecting divorce but if the worst happens, it is important to know exactly where your finances stand.
Jenn Stokes maintains that joint accounts should exist for paying the household bills such as mortgage, cars, and utilities, but that women must have a separate savings account called an ‘imagine account’ where they can put their investments, as well as a credit card in their name alone. This is the emergency fund, the mad money, even potentially ‘the getting through a divorce’ money.
One last piece of advice if you are faced with some stressful times?
Know your banker.
Ignorance is not an excuse when it comes to your money. In the case of a potential split you need to know exactly what is happening in all of your joint accounts and to make sure bills are still being paid. You may need to freeze accounts or credit cards or lines of credit. Having a relationship with the bank and a knowledge of all your accounts will save some potentially big problems down the road if a disaster happens.
In the end, it’s all about control and knowledge, something that every ‘woman who runs it‘ should understand. You are making your own money, and even if you think he needs a little ego stroking, it does not mean you should ever give up controlling your own finances. To get where you are in life, you have worked long and hard, so even if you have to play it down around your lesser-earning man, take pride in your achievements and find a way live it up this holiday season and celebrate your accomplishments.
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