Some of us think we are in a Relationship when it is really an Arrangement.
I was presented with a scenario on The Female Solution radio show. One partner has all the money, (let’s call him/her the financial controller). The other partner is on the receiving end of the money, but at a price. Not only does the partner pay out the dollars, but he/she controls the relationship. It is to the extreme, where the financial controller monitors their partner’s spending habits, check in on phone calls, and phone logs, peeping phone contacts, inquiring who their partner is socializing with, and retrieving phone and banking passwords. In an article called, Are you in a controlling relationship? How to spot the signs of manipulation— it says, “In a relationship, abuse may start simply by your other half checking on your phone calls, or by taking charge of all financial matters, where the partner needs to ask permission to buy anything. …. taking away your independence.” http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/womens-life/10124801/Nigella-Lawson-Are-you-in-a-controlling-relationship-How-to-spot-the-signs-of-manipulation.html
The partner who is being controlled reluctantly allows it. He/she is not comfortable with the situation, even has doubts, but due to financial restraints submit to the intrusive requests. The financial controller knows this, and is using financial power to prey on the weakness of their partner, knowing he/she will obey, and not leave, because of the money.
This is not a Relationship. This is an Arrangement. Resembling a Relationship and being in a Relationship are two different things.
A Relationship is based on freedom of self, affection, reciprocity, commonalities, shared belief systems, emotional intimacy, sexual togetherness, a sharing of financial acumen, and a host of other great things that builds a partnership. Where one is stronger in one area than the other, the other partner leverages his/her value by being strong in another area. Either way, both partners are bringing value to the relationship.
A Relationship is not a take take take situation. It is not a monitoring of your activities, and an invasion of privacy. It is not based on uncertainty, distrust, manipulation, and abuse. It is not primarily about being financially cared for. There is no place to micro manage the life of anyone.
An arrangement is a situation that may resemble a Relationship by two people being together, but it lacks the depth and essence of what a Relationship is.
Since this is an arrangement, why not make the arrangement official? Have the discussion.
We are living in a time where cost effectiveness is crucial. Why not make an agreement that you and the financial controller agrees to maintain the situation as is, while you work to establish yourself to financial independence? The financial controller agrees to provide guidance and opportunities to make this happen. You can go out together, have some good times together, but understand it is not a Relationship. You need the money, and your partner needs something to control. This could work!
Who knows? If the arrangement works well, and you both grow into emotional maturity, a Relationship could be forged.
Let’s consider some of the differences of an arrangement versus a Relationship. In an arrangement one is the financial controller and provides whatever is wanted or needed, but for a price. He/she must control whatever they deem fit. In a relationship, there may be a difference of earned revenue, or maybe one is the provider but there is a give and take of both partners. No mandated control.
In an arrangement any “feigned” affection is focused on what the controller does, and what he/she provides materially. In a Relationship, the emotional connection is primarily first (the non material aspects) of how we connect, and how we feel about each other.
An arrangement is centrally focused on the tangibles. The Relationship is focused on the non tangibles, with finance being an important component, but not the primary component.
Arrangements where the man is the financial controller and the woman is the recipient, the woman will feel a disconnect in the areas of closeness and emotional intimacy. It is difficult to be authentic with emotion and intimacy when the motive is control.
Arrangements where the woman holds the purse strings, and the man is cared for, the man risks emasculation and being mentally neutered. He may be nurtured (maybe), but his masculinity is at risk. Men are generally socialized to be primary providers.
Are you in a Relationship or are you in an Arrangement?