Love Equals Money ?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

No doubt this will make me unpopular. Certainly I've been unpopular before.


I'm hearing a lot these days about folks out of work and about the impact of such losses on family, on love. I'm feeling the quiet out there and also the quiet within, where work at my own marketing communications firm has slowed considerably and projects that were once sure things have been thrown off of their tracks. I get worry. I get wondering what tomorrow will bring. I get sitting down at 4 AM with the finances and the taxes and the bills and jiggering things around to make the many pieces fit. Simpler meals, more carefully made. Shoes worn until the soles are left behind on the pave. A house that feels emptier as less comes in—but also roomier, perhaps, also more accommodating.

But what I don't get (and here's where you start to hate me) is the level of animosity I'm finding, in some places, toward those who have lost their jobs. Spouses furious with spouses. Disappointments stomped out in public. Quotes like this one, found today in a Newsweek story titled, "Men Will Be Men:" When money goes, love flies out the window. Spoken by an interviewed man clearly living a whole lot of char and hurt.

Does it have to be this way? Must love be contingent on funds? Can't love also be the time that is spent just being together, finding a way? We're not going to get these days back. Not ever. Can we really put love on hold until the coins start clattering in?


Amy said...

Love that goes away when the money goes isn't really love, is it?

Lenore Appelhans said...

Just yesterday I was reading an article about women who were leaving their boyfriends who lost their banker jobs because they couldn't afford to wine and dine them anymore. !!!

Beth Kephart said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Beth Kephart said...

Lenore: I read that story! Yow. As if the only thing we hope for from men is cash.

Tessa said...

Gosh, it's a sad fact that money seems to makes the world - and love - go round. Should be quite the opposite - although I suppose most people would think that to be utterly naive!

woman who roars said...

I've seen some of this in my neighborhood. Some couples are drawn closer together by adversity and other turn on each other.

Quite frankly, I've been surprised by who's done what.

A friend of mine was married seven years ago, and I had the honor of reading this passage at the service ~ it seems esp. apt in these times:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Basically, I'm with you Amy - if the balance of love reflects the bank balance....that's not love, its convenience.

LisaSam said...

I think it is sad, Beth. I think these hard times are revealing that many couples have lived in denial, outspending what they earn, lying to themselves and others and now that the money (and credit) is tighter they must look at what they have done. That is very hard. But I think it can be a step toward simplicity and togetherness if all parties unite.

lib said...

Love defined by "things" is not love....truly.
Love defined by "wining and dining" is not love...truly.
Love defined by the checkbook is not love...truly.
Love defined by vows spoken and lived is love...truly.
Love defined by understanding words, holding a strong hand that once worked tirelessly during the day, now in need of a gentle touch is love...truly.
Love defined by having less that is new, cherishing that which is a bit old is love...truly.
Love defined by God is love...truly.

Beth Kephart said...

Every blog, I firmly believe, finds its right readers, and in all of you I have surely found mine. I'd spent yesterday overhearing and overseeing some rather keen unpleasantness and I was so riled up with it by the end of the day that I dared to post this post when in fact I wasn't even feeling articulate enough to say what I wanted to say.

So I thank all of you for saying it all even better...and for your goodness out in the world.

Anna Lefler said...

This is an important concept and I, too, am seeing it all around me these days.

I was talking to an acquaintance the other day about an old boyfriend and it came to light that he had little to offer financially at the time - that's what his life was at the moment (as was mine).

"Then why were you with him" she asked?

I didn't even know how to reply to that.

I love that you put this post out there, Beth.



Vivian Mahoney said...

Great post, Beth. I'm a firm believer that adversity will truly show what relationships are made of. It not only takes love but a whole lot of strength in oneself and each other to ride the wave.

With that said, I saw this video, and loved it. So true.

scarlethue said...

Saw on tv one time a story of a woman who's husband got laid off his long-time financial job. Her reaction: open up a bottle of wine and celebrate the change. Her thoughts were that her reaction to it would influence his reaction and therefore also influence the tone of his job search. He was SO grateful to her, and his new job turned out to be his dream job. I've always wondered if I'd have that kind of strength, to not panic in a situation like that.

Of course, panicking is different from breaking up with, leaving, etc. I don't know how one leaps to that conclusion.

Beth Kephart said...

Anna, Vivian, Scarlet Hue: Each with stories that brightened my day. Anna — I so knew that was the who of you. Vivian—what a gem YouTube! Everybody watch it, if you can (you should post it on your own great blog, too). ScarletHue: That's my kind of tale.

scarlethue said...

Thanks. I try to be honest all the time, even if it tends to get me in trouble. :) Come back and visit anytime! I plan on visiting you too.

Becca said...

Wow, that's horribly sad. And of course it places a huge strain on a relationship, emotionally and practically.

But I think Amy's comment is really on target - relationships based on a certain type of lifestyle aren't true love relationships at all.

Kristi said...

Sounds like we are all in agreement here - Love isn't really love if a low bank account makes you walk away.

I agree that when things get tough - those in love pull together to get through (for better or worse - richer or poorer - right?)

I couldn't imagine just giving up on my husband if he lost his job! I can't live w/o him - work or no work!

Sherry said...

Guess Americans do need something like this to help us to learn what really makes the world go round. Sad realization, but hopefully, in the long run, we'll be all the better for it.

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