When money is the third wheel in your relationship

This week money and how it impacts a relationship is in the spotlight on Family Matters.

Clinical psychologist, Khosi Jiyane says money on its own is the material currency to exchange goods and services. She goes on to explain that money takes on a social identity when the exchange happens between human beings.

Jiyane says we have to acknowledge that in a heteronormative society, there exists a general script and expectations that men are providers and protectors.

My husband and I decided to further our studies. He went to pursue his Postgraduate MBA but when it was my turn to go study, it became a struggle.

Enhle, caller

In these situations, the one thing we need the most is the thing that we tend to lose the most, is communication, explains Jiyane. She says communication is key and is often assumed but rarely practiced when needed. Jiyane says couples tend to talk - but don't talk about the right things.

We go and train and do an MBA and become fantastic at everything except talking to each other.

Khosi Jiyane, clinical psychologist

For the one who loses the income, it becomes a loss of power and loss of face and worthlessness, which tends to provoke a defensive posture, which plays out in self-destructive behaviour as well as channelling frustrations towards the other person.

Khosi Jiyane, clinical psychologist

Jiyane adds that If, as a couple and a family, their relationship was strong when there was an income, the loss of income becomes a time of cashing-in on that investment. The relationship becomes a source of strength, where one partner becomes a pillar of strength for the other and even an opportunity to express gratitude for the other’s love and support.

Jiyane goes on to say that this also enables them to rally around each other and doing what it takes to minimise the impact on quality of life.

Listen to the rest of the discussion in the audio below:


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