Distributing the wealth

Let’s talk about money and family.
I know that sometimes Westerners and nonwesterners view money and duties to family a bit different.
Here are some questions that couples need to ask when they are in an intercultural relationship:
1. how many accounts – mine, yours, ours?? If there is an “ours,” do both of you have the same access to the account? What happens if he wants to spend money? What is the process for you if you want to spend money? If there is a “his” account, does he feel comfortable with you inquiring about the account? With an interfaith/intercultural relationship, it is important to note how the money will be spent. Some men feel that the money that they make is for themselves, bills and household items. The money that a woman makes is entirely hers and should be spent at her leisure and not spent on household items such as cleaning supplies and food. this is quite a liberal attitude. Will he look in your account? Will he get angry if you ask him about transactions in either his own or the shared accounts? Does he feel emmasculated if you add some of your own money to the “shared account?”
2. How should the money be spent? What happens if a family member needs/wants some money? Will he discuss it with you? Will you discuss it with him? What happens if one of you disagree with the other? In cultures that are not western, it is common for the son to send back money for his family. they have supported him and now his job is to help them. Yes, it is true that the family in the other country has misconceptions about life in the USA. They think that we are living the american dream and any information to the contrary is to play down our wealth. So, what if the family wants/needs money? It is best to let your husband handle this. I realize that this is easier said than done: especially if your husband is a taxi driver instead of a prominent lawyer or executive. But, if you question his decision, you question his loyalty. There might be times when you wonder if it is sound financial advice. Family loyalty, respect and such are more important. If he wants to set some boundaries, he will need to do this himself. I am using “him,” because most women are not asked to send home money unless they are in a very lucrative position.I am not sure about professional women. I am sure about men who come to America. So, I use the construction of a male because it is much more common. As a western woman, all you can do is to support your husband. Sending money home is not open for discussion or debate. It is what it is. And, you would not want to nag him into not sending. first, even if he understands your feelings and thinks that you are right in your points; he will feel like a disloyal and disrespectful son. It will bring on large pangs of guilt. He will want to pacify his family. And, honestly, he will feel that you are quite selfish for not understanding that his family has (by in large) a much simpler lifestyle than you and he have in the west. Furthermore, there was probably someone who helped support him to come to America and probably even sponsored him when he was in the USA with no money. He realizes that he is interdependent — we all are. This is a collective approach and not an individualistic one. Many of us in the USA are individualists at heart so this might be difficult to understand. Besides, American family members ask for small amounts of money all of the time. And, many times, the money is given.
For me:
I don’t mind him sending money to his family. I would rather send some on a regular basis, so I know how to budget: … … $100 every month or something.
I am not materialistic and although I want to travel, I also understand helping family. In fact, my own family (my children) might need a bit of help from time to time. Having a disability, I realize that we are all interdependent and should use any of our many gifts to help those in need; especially our loved ones. I think what bothers me the most is that:
1. family believes that we have lots of extra money to give
2. Even if he wanted to deny them, even if he thought that we couldn’t afford it, even if he felt as if his family was exploiting him; he couldn’t/wouldn’t say “no,” or even “wait.”
This devotion to family is a double-edged sword.
But, honestly, I am resigned to it and if I want to work to make a bit more money for ourselves, I can.
I would rather him be generous than stingy. I admire and support his family loyalty and his generosity. Also, I am not materialistic, myself. I don’t need lots of clothes. I don’t shop on a regular basis. My house is (and will be when I move) void of many trinkets and dudas that just sit around collecting dust. Sure, I enjoy music, a good meal out and would enjoy traveling. But, I am not the jewlry/makeup kind of woman and I don’t spend much on frivolace things.

Oh, and I am willing to share my money with his family, if necessary. He and I already talk about finances, and we have committed to do so after the marriage. I can look into our account whenever I want. Our accounts and our spending will be accessible to each other. He knows that when I ask about finances, I am not doing so because I believe that he is incompetent or unable to handle the finances. Certainly, I do trust him. Sometimes, I just might want to know if we can afford a specific item or have some similar queary. If he asks me about my purchases, I also know that it is not because he does not trust me to make good decisions. In fact, I believe that I have shown a pattern of good decisions and he is glad that I don’t shop excessively. In any case, it took some talking to thresh out this subject, but it has now happened. On I do realize where the proof lies: on to the pudding!

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