Out of all the areas of the Emotional Needs Questionnaire, this one is the screwiest one for me. I sort of see where Harley is going with this, but it doesn’t work too well in a situation where one person makes most of the money, like I do.
Harley defines Financial Support as: the provision of financial resources to house, feed and clothe your family at a standard of living acceptable to you, but avoiding travel and working hours that are unacceptable to you.
So what is my need for financial support? By Harley’s definition, I don’t need any and should circle zero. However, when actually following the budget and sticking to a jointly agreed-upon plan is considered, I do have a moderate need that way.
Harley then asks, “How much money would you like your spouse to earn to support you (and your children)?” As the sole and main breadwinner, this question is totally alien to me! Maybe she does need to get off her dead ass and start supporting me! Ha! No, I would like my wife to support me by helping us to live on less than what I make and not drive us deeper into debt. I’d like her to compromise on her more expensive tastes for the long-term security of the family and our children’s futures.
So how I feel about the lack of support isn’t so cut and dried. I don’t expect her to be earning as much as supporting my earning and our budget. I circled “I am neither happy nor unhappy when my spouse earns less than the amount specified since I never specified an amount. But it will be quite interesting to see how she answers this on her questionnaire.
I’m not sure she has done it or if she will. I’ll ask her once and if she hasn’t, I won’t bug her. It just gets added to the stuff I’ve tried that she has not participated with.
In light of my own definition of financial support, I scored Arwyn at a -1 by virtue of her spendy ways and her driving us into debt at every turn. She goes through phases where she spends less, but then makes up for it by going on a spending spree later on.
I didn’t even bother with the last question about how much she would earn and whether or not I like the way she earns it. It just flat out doesn’t apply to me in this case.
I have to admit that I feel put off by this sense of entitlement exhibited by the presence of this question. I mean you have a guy who is willing to totally support you and then you want to complain that it’s not enough? I think any woman (or man) who is able-bodied and not satisfied with how much their spouse makes should fill out some employment applications! Having some mutually agreed upon financial goals is a good thing, but it takes both people working on it. Even if the wife doesn’t work, she can contribute mightily towards meeting financial goals.
This is one big reason why I admire Katie so much. She isn’t working outside the house, but she is busy, busy, busy! She’s providing comfort for the family in relatively thrifty ways by making Halloween costumes, making Christmas presents and finding ways to save money. Her contribution to the financial welfare of the family is tangible beyond income because she harnesses her creativity, energy and intelligence in ways that maximize every dollar that is earned by her husband. Plus she’s not opposed to making a buck or two of her own with her online store.
But being financially taken care of seems like a very odd emotional need in this day and age of equal rights and opportunity. That oddness is only matched by the emotional need that ends up above this one.