When Couples Are Not Financial Equals (Part Two)

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Last week, I described three common dynamics in couples where one partner is much wealthier than the other. Those are the “funder and beneficiary” where the wealthy partner pays for everything, the “proportional spenders” who contribute based on their income, and the “equal dividers” who split expenses down the middle.

Let’s explore what may be going on emotionally for the partners in these relationships.

Funder and beneficiary

The wealthy funder often has a love language of giving and may have money scripts that giving makes them more attractive. There is often a wounded part of themselves hungry for belonging that attempts to satisfy that need by attracting a partner through showing love materialistically.

The non-wealthy beneficiary may have a focus on the financial benefits of dating the wealthy partner. They are often more compliant and tolerant in the relationship in exchange for the monetary benefits, and they may be unwilling to “rock the boat” if the partnership doesn’t progress to a long-term commitment. The beneficiary typically also has a vulnerable part of themselves desperate for belonging and has come to believe that material gifts and support are outward evidence of someone’s affection. A reduction in material expression from the Funder can trigger the more vulnerable part of them that feels unwanted.