Get off the Phone or Make More Money?

couple stands in airport checking mobile phone
by Vance Larson

Oh yeah. It’s on! You’ve been in a relationship for some time now and you just can’t stop arguing. Mad and frustrated, you cannot believe that you’re in yet another fight. Well, chances are you are fighting about one of two things. Money or intimacy.

Let me start by saying that I have not done any research on this subject in quite some time. I am merely going off the latest trends that I have been seeing with my clients. The old school thought was that money was the biggest problem couples fought about. While that is still pretty prevalent, I am quickly seeing lack of intimacy surpassing money.

I never really understood why money was the biggest sticking point for an argument when it came to couples. After all, we don’t (well most of us don’t) build our relationship foundation on money. Yes it is important for survival and comfort, but it is not what sustains a relationship. If that were the case, your relationship would be with money, and not so much the person you’ve coupled up with. The foundations for most healthy relationships is intimacy and trust.

I have written about the loss of intimacy via cell phone a number of times. And while most of us are attached to our phones 24/7, the healthiest of couples know how to be present and create intimacy without cell phone interruption. I am all for taking the “couple selfie” or responding to a quick text. However, keep it to a minimum. And whenever possible, don’t touch the phone at all. Intimacy is created or lost in the moment.

Money can add value to your relationship. But to suggest that it is more important than intimacy is just off base. In 33 years of mental health work, would you believe that I have never had a man or woman say to me “You know we have a strong relationship and all, but if he just gave me more money than time, I would be much happier”. I am sure it happens. But, I have yet to run into that scenario.

I believe when two people are connected, money or no money they will survive. It may not be fun and it may not be pretty. But intimacy that speaks in terms of a lifelong commitment is sexy. It’s powerful. It endures and dominates all other issues that lay before it.

So yes, raise your hand if you wished your partner made more money. Okay. Now raise your hand if you would be willing to trade some of that money if you knew that your partner would pay attention to you, check in with you and hold you above anything else. Bueller? Bueller? Get my point? (I crack myself up.)

The truth for so many is that intimacy, on all levels (spiritual, physical and emotional) transcends most problems, fears and concerns. Because when you know that you have someone by your side during the most difficult days of your life, all that pressure seems to decrease. This intimacy is the greatest source of power and comfort and helps us become the greatest version of ourselves. And money? Well, money just can’t do that.

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