Throughout my writing career, when it came to relationships, I believed in KJ’s Rule of Three: Your God, your children and your finances. If a couple doesn’t come to an understanding of how they’re gonna handle those three things, they’re gonna have problems that at times, may be insurmountable (I didn’t mention fidelity because that should be a given). At any rate, with things being the way they are in the country these days, the financial end of a lot of relationships is being tested.
As a man, if you’re married or even in a serious relationship, you’re being looked at as the provider for your family. This means bringing home the bacon. Whether a woman understands this or not, being a provider is an essential part of a real man’s makeup. Nevermind the sex we always find ourselves caught up on. If we can’t provide for our woman and our family, we feel much worse that we do if we can’t “perform”. And while it’s great to have a woman tell you it’ll be alright, that sentiment isn’t as easily accessible when you feel you aren’t doing your duty as a man.
There’s always been a connection between financial security and relationship happiness. As the President spoke about putting the country back to work on Thursday, I thought of the many men that have been affected by a struggling economy in this country. Here in Detroit, where our bread and butter for so long has been the auto industry, we continue to struggle. The auto industry has made somewhat of a comeback, but as a whole, this city has a long, long way to go.
Now, in all honesty, there are some men out there that are looking for a woman to take care of them and that’s all. They’re out of work by choice. This piece is not addressing that situation. There are also women out there that are gold diggers and wouldn’t date a man with a 9 to 5 that could have her “financial secure”. They’d rather exist in this faux “ballin” society that we’ve created. This piece isn’t for them either. Those of us that exist in between, in that 9 to 5 area, can appreciate how fragile this economy is. We can also appreciate the amount of strain a loss of a job can put on a relationship.
With the economy being what it is, unemployment is no respecter of sex. Women are struggling to find work as well. But it’s different for a man. Now, I’d never diminish a woman’s worth by suggesting that it doesn’t matter if she’s out of work. However, this is a much different mental challenge for a man in a relationship. And in order to face that challenge, the support of a good woman is invaluable.
This is especially true in a marriage when “for better or worse” is no longer a wedding vow and has become a temporary way of life. A man has to know that his woman believes in him and what he’s doing to try and get back on track. This can be difficult when he’s been laid off or fired and he has no idea when he’ll be back at work.
The truth is, relationship support has never been simply a financial thing, and this economy is highlighting that fact. Emotional support is what keeps you together during times like these. This is why your relationship must be built on a solid foundation of love for one another, trust in one another and support of one another.
It’s not that finance doesn’t matter at all, but when you build your love on something as fragile as money, there’s always the chance of it falling apart. We all enjoy the finer things in life, but in a relationship, nothing can be finer than those basics of love, trust and support. This economy is tough on everyone, but knowing how to do those three things will give you the survival skills necessary to make it through anything.