I am a 31 year Indian old man. I am quite successful, have an awesome wife and haven’t started a family yet. My problem is that I am incredibly conservative with everything, from what my wife wears, to what she says, where she goes and even how much she spends. In fact, I find it hard to spend money even though we can afford to live well as I grew up in a middle class family back home. Can you help me loosen up a bit as this miserliness annoys my wife and affects our marriage negatively?
Dear Concerned Husband,
You’re not only a concerned husband but a brave one at that: you’re the first male reader to send a question to the Life Coach. Rejoice! You’re half way through to resolving your situation. Admitting an unsatisfactory situation is the first step to remedying it. It isn’t just about bravery but also about personal awareness. You’re perceptive enough to realise that your “miserliness” is causing you both unnecessary unhappiness; now all you need is to enlist the same awareness in aligning you actions with your desired new goal.
I don’t think that you are conservative, but rather fixed or set in your ways that stems from lack of self-confidence and self-trust. Flexibility is the key to dealing with any changes that arise in life. It opens up a magnitude of choices allowing you to modulate your behaviour. Trust yourself to make the right choice. Without exercising a little flexibility and spontaneity, life & relationships become stale; and we lose the true meaning of being alive. Work on modifying your decisions to include the welfare and desires of your loving “awesome” wife too; you’d be nurturing that relationship as opposed to suffocating it. This is what would make a welcoming nest for any future off springs- not the size of your bank account!
Moreover, beliefs attract experiences. What beliefs do you have about life or money? Sometimes, our distorted views or beliefs cause us unduly anguish. If you were to change your beliefs, so would your experiences. What were your parents’ views about money and life while you were growing up? Was money never quite enough? Was there room for celebrating life and creating happy memories? How did your father treat your mother, did he set a good example of trusting and honouring his wife’s decisions and actions; or was he controlling (notice I did not say conservative)? All of this would have been fertile ground for shaping the beliefs which you hold today. If your parents have set a positive example, then follow their suit; if not then that’s precisely what you should work on avoiding!
I hope that you share the view that a wife (or a spouse) is a partner and not a possession. Since she’s awesome, by your own admission; allow her room (flexibility) to honour and express her individuality in what she chooses to wear and say. Furthermore, instead of thinking about money being spent, start thinking about how you would celebrate the life that you have; how you can nurture her and create happy memories together. It isn’t about possessions or the price of things but about expressing the joy of feeling blessed for being able to celebrate your union and the life that you share together. Awesome as she is, I’m certain that your wife is capable of striking a balance when helping you plan for the future you both wish for.
Final thought, none of us are getting out of here alive. Give yourself permission to live a little and to enjoy doing so!