Q: I was in a relationship for five years and my girlfriend broke up with me as soon as she met this wealthy guy. I was really in love with her and wanted to get married but she left me because the guy had more money than me. I feel cheated and heartbroken. Why are women so money-minded? I feel l will not be able to trust a woman ever again. Please help.
Ans: Money can be a deal-breaker for many people, especially for those who have been socialised into believing that a man’s role is to financially provide in the relationship. It impacts both men and women, with men going through really hard times when they don’t do well financially or professionally. Did you have a conversation with your girlfriend about this when you were together? Money matters and lifestyle are part of our belief system and goals. It is advisable to talk about them when you first meet, although goals might change along the way.
Many people are ashamed to admit that money matters to them, especially within relationships. We are so used to hear that love is the only thing that matters but realistically speaking people have different needs and priorities. Which also happens to change at different points in life. It is sad and painful to hear but, love is not enough. It is really important to understand what each individual’s needs and priorities are when planning a long-term relationship.
Money means safety for many and that’s why it is crucial to understand how the other person articulates safety needs in the relationship. Maybe you have felt financially secure all your life, but she hadn’t. Maybe she left you not because of money but other unmet needs she had. Maybe her needs changed. Were you supposed to fulfil all her needs? No. You did what was within your capacity. Did she meet your emotional needs? Probably not. Maybe it was beyond her capacity. Heartbreak is painful but a life lived in resentment is much more harmful.
The writer is an Intimacy & Relationship Coach, Founder of The Intimacy Curator, an organisation promoting self-discovery through emotional and sexual wellbeing (www.theintimacycurator.com). (Have a query? Send it on firstname.lastname@example.org)