A few weeks ago, I was the hapless victim of a radio programme exploring the fiery rows between couples over money. The programme naturally had a ‘relationship expert’ in tow (no doubt with a couple of divorces under her belt just to give her that edge of authority) to ‘help’ overcome disputes over who spends what in a relationship.
Well, a woman phoned in, beside herself with anxiety and about to suffer a nervous breakdown it seemed, because her old man apparently spent too much money on various techy gadgets. They were all over the house, this poor soul moaned. Her world was falling apart, what was she to do?
The ‘expert’, being under starters orders ‘an all, started umming amd ahhing with an empathy that would have shamed Mother Teresa on a good day, before delivering her expert verdict.
“I’m so sorry to hear that,” she oozed with sickening niceness (a Guardian reader too, no doubt about it). “A tactful approach is needed here,
I think. Why not try suggesting to your husband that maybe some decluttering of the house might be in order and that perhaps he doesn’t actually need all these things. You know, don’t upset him by being too blunt, you don’t want to be seen as being too controlling. Just try and be a bit subtle about it. Marriage is all about understanding and respecting one another, you see.”
Controlling? God help us. What planet are these people on? If I was blowing too much money the missus would barge into my study, bank statement in hand and exploding with the words, “Right chum, that’s it! Anymore spending and it’s the spare room for the next month!!
Subtlety? Understanding? Forget it.
That’s real marriage for you……with a bit of love thrown in along the way, of course. Hold on, a chunk of love ‘would be more appropriate!”