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June 3, 2014

More than Stereotypes

“There is only one thing to do for a man who is married to a woman who enjoys spending money, and that is to enjoy earning it.” (Ed Howe)
A ScreamFree Take on More Than Stereotypes:

Obviously, some folks think that quote’s funny. Comedians and even some marriage experts make their careers out of exploiting gender-based stereotypes. And I get that stereotypes don’t just appear out of thin air. They reveal some very common arrangements within society. 
However, are we really locked into these roles? Can women ever be financially disciplined, or are they bound to be compulsive shoppers? Can men ever address financial concerns with their wives, or must they simply shut up and bury themselves in their work?I think we’ve come too far in appreciating both genders’ multifaceted capabilities to lazily retreat to Mad Men-era stereotypes. You are always more than what popular sentiment says you are — as a woman, or as a man. The real challenge is to address your patterns without bringing gender into it. If you’re trapped in bad financial dynamics, don’t explain it away as just how it is between men and women. Confront your own behavior (like overspending). Calmly address your spouse’s behavior (like overworking).And then ask yourself which gender you assumed I was talking about as the overspender and the overworker.
-Hal Runkel, LMFT, Author of ScreamFree Parenting & ScreamFree Marriage

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