Money came into your relationship rather suddenly, didn't
Chris and I both grew up middle class and never expected
to experience anything other than that in our lifetimes.
When the high-tech company Chris worked for went public,
a lot of money dropped into our laps.
Did that change your relationship in any way?
I don't know that our relationship itself changed much at
all. Author Jack Canfield once said that money doesn't really
change things, it just magnifies them.
If you were materialistic before, now you can buy even more.
If you were generous before, now you can be
generous. That's been true for us. I don't think we have
changed how we relate to each other but what we
together has changed. Traveling, gardening, entertaining,
activism-we always did these things, but now we do them
on a much grander scale.
Other than that, I think the biggest change has been that
Chris was able to "retire" at a young age. We had both worked
for decades in community and nonprofit work. We went from
working long hours without a lot of pay to not having to
work at all. Chris chose to leave her paid work while I
chose to stay at my job as an elementary teacher.
dynamics of having Chris at home while I go out to work
are different than when we were both working six days a
week. Chris puts in a total of about 40 hours each week
for a nonprofit board and managing our house remodeling
and other home projects. Because it is unpaid work, I think
it's harder for her to feel acknowledged for it in the relationship.
change is that I had been raised with a strong ethic of
financial independence, so at first it was hard for me to
accept a lifestyle that was more than my salary alone could
support. It took a lot of heartfelt discussions about values
to reach some agreements about how we would share this money.
We subscribed to
More Than Money
the back issues, and spent a few months avidly reading.
For years now, we have been participating in an ongoing
More Than Money discussion group. All of that has helped
us construct new identities for ourselves around money.
See "The Conscious Use of Money: A Conversation with Jack
More Than Money
Issue 29, 2002, "Money Changes Everything-Or Does It?" pp.
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