I had an interesting though this morning.
Is knowing about something the same as controlling something.
I guess its why you want to know is the deciding factor. I had a situation early this morning when I asked my wife, how much money she had in her account. The reason I asked is because I have to do all the family book-keeping and I wanted to aggregate how much we had in total (which is less than £120), so that I could plan a budget over the next few days.
That does sound quite straight forward, but its one of those contentious issues with spouses. I have some money, she has some money, how do we manage that money for the greater good of the family.
This is a tricky situation for all families, money is one of the major causes of divorce. I guess it all boils down to mindset. If your a person who is a bit selfish, then the money you have is your money and it is for you to do with as you wish.
That’s all fine and dandy if you are single with no dependants and this is the bit in families where the issue comes from.
If you can’t recognise that you have other people dependent on you, then you have a major problem. Somehow, in people’s upbringings there is a gap where parents don’t teach children to understand who is dependent.
From an old school traditional perspective the “man” is the breadwinner (actually that’s not true at all – if you look at history from a gender sociological perspective, women have provided just as much as men, if not more). If I refactor that statement, In a family someone is the primary “breadwinner” and someone is the “caregiver”, each has a distinct complicated busy job to do. Somehow, somewhere that simple ideology can get lost.
Anyway, enough of that, this mornings question got me to thinking. Is it controlling asking for a piece of information so that it can be acted upon. The key part of that sentence is “acted upon”. If the action on getting that information is to abuse and control someone, then yes it becomes controlling. If the action is to understand something and then behave accordingly for the good of the group, then that’s not controlling (unless that is you own understanding of “good of the group” is in your own best interests – then it’s back to controlling).
My poor old wife has undergone a lot of controlling relationships before we got together and often mistakes the “greater good of the unit” to being that of controlling and stopping her doing what she wants. Again, the problem goes back to “What she wants”, because she is an alcoholic what she wants is to spend on alcohol rather than putting that money into the pot for the dependents. So yes, a simple question about money, become fraught with control issues. She knows that her addiction is wrong, and struggles with it.
It’s all very complicated, and I hate being in the position we are in, because it does start to look like I’m trying to control, yet I have no desire to control someone and all I want to do is know something so I can modify my own behaviour for the good of the family.
Part of the reason I’, saying all this is because I would like to get myself a new pair of shoes, yet I can’t until I know that there is enough money so that it won’t be detrimental to the rest of the family.
You know what – I wish I’d never done an A-level in sociology and another in economics, because it really messes with your head.