Emotional Needs: Financial Support

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.

 

Moving on…

 

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.

 

D.

 

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6 Responses to Emotional Needs: Financial Support

  1. Desmond Jones says:

    I agree, Digger; this doesn’t really seem like a relevant question to ask of the sole breadwinner. Molly and I have always had a pretty distinct ‘division of labor’ in the economic realm; we’ve always counted it as valuable for her to be home with the children, so, since we started having kids, she hasn’t worked outside the home, to speak of.

    But I will say that, analogously to the silly song alluded to in the previous post, it really helps if you can take a poor girl for your wife. Molly was one of ten kids, and her dad was a janitor, so she grew up without most of the ‘perks’ that those of us growing up middle-class had. So, she is pretty thrifty by nature, and still can’t quite believe that I’m OK with her spending money to get something good, as opposed to something cheap that won’t last. And with eight kids, you can believe that thrift is worth its weight in gold (is that a totally screwed-up metaphor?)

  2. Fiona says:

    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.

    You’re setting up a straw-man argument, here. Or at least, missing a key piece.

    This is assuming that taking another job is a valid possiblity within the context of the relationship. My husband is DIAMETRICALLY OPPOSED to my taking any other position than the one I currently have. But, I am dissatisfied with the current household income.

    So taking responsibility for satisfying my own needs in this area (which I am very willing to do) will upset the balance (STRONGLY) in other areas.

  3. FTN says:

    Those questions do seem rather unbalanced. It seems as though there should also be some related questions about how your spouse spends, saves, and budgets money. I would consider that to be “financial support” just as much as how much the spouse makes as an income.

  4. Digger Jones says:

    Ack! You got it too right, Desmond! I married a pretty girl who was used to having whatever she wanted from her daddy! I will grant that she’s gotten better over the year, though.

    Fiona, I think it relates more to the financial goals of the family more than the actual income. you’re dissatisfied with the income because you have needs that aren’t being met. But how do your percieved needs fit in to the overall plan? To be sure, your husband needs to sit down WITH you and work out something that can meet mutual goals. Perhaps saving in one area allows enough slack for you to do something else. But you’re not pulling together! Making more money isn’t the key. The key is spending less than you make.

    end of seminar!

    Except that I agree with FTN totally.

    D.

  5. Katie says:

    Hey thanks! Want me to give your wife some pointers? LOL

    This has been an interesting series to read through (and man, not used to you posting so often). Even with as varied as the questions have been, it’s hard to fit every life and family into neat little forms and answers.

  6. xi summit says:

    He’s got a good idea here, but bad execution. As said, this sounds very dependent-based rather than being balanced. Seems like his intended audience is different than most of us?

    Queenie and I both grew up in subsistence homes. Made just enough to get by, no money for frills or vacations or whatever. My response is to be careful and frugal. Hers is to try and get all those cools things the cool kids had growing up. I make a decent dime but we never have money to do anything because it’s all gone before I bring it home. To be fair, we actually did OK until she had a terrible accident. Since then she just can’t (won’t?) control her urges.

    It’s one of a couple reasons why we never went the Desmond route but instead stopped at 2 brats ….

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