We tend to think of the ‘Golden Handcuffs’ only in terms of a work scenario. Where the financial rewards paid are over the odds to stay in our current work situation. Typically, this is where key employees are incentivised to remain after there has been significant resources invested in them – and to prevent them disappearing to the opposition.
In many cases, the employees aren’t really happy and may want to move on but the financial allurement is just too much.
So, can the Golden Handcuffs also apply to relationships? The answer is a very definite yes!
You would have heard stories where one partner showers the other one with gifts and a lavish lifestyle. Ever wonder if they are really happy, or whether they are just there for the money?
For many couples, yes, they are happy.
If you think in terms of the Five Love Languages, then Acts of Service and Receiving Gifts are two of those languages. And if you aren’t putting yourself into financial strife by indulging the one you love with gifts, then I say go for it!
The flip side of this has two variations. One partner stays in the relationship because of the money & gifts. This is about insecurity; low self-esteem and the fear of what life would be like without the money.
The other variation is where money & gifts are used to keep a partner in the relationship. This is all about status and power of the giver – and their insecurity and low self-esteem.
Both of these situations aren’t about love at all.
You see, even comfort zones can be uncomfortable and breaking out of those comfort zones can be hard. Particularly if you have been in them for a long time and you have become complacent, even very comfortable (in the literal sense).
Deep down, you will know if it is the Golden Handcuffs that are binding you to your relationship. You feel a sense of dissatisfaction with your relationship. It may feel superficial and you will question if you are ‘in love’ with the person you are with or, whether it is the lifestyle that comes with the relationship.
You may even feel embarrassed when the next flashy gift arrives in the driveway.
How do you break the Golden Handcuffs?
The first step is to recognise what your relationship has become. This is a big step. Then you (and no one else) need to decide what you want to do about it.
You can choose to stay and continue with the lifestyle you have, or you can choose to do something about it; either leave the relationship or work towards changing the balance of emotional power.
None of these are easy options.
They all require a lot of courage, very deep soul searching and serious planning (if you decide to take the leave the relationship option). And if you want to change the balance of power in your relationship, a commitment from your partner that that is what they want as well.
The only way things will change is if you change. Whatever you decide to do, take one step at a time. Change is a process, not an event.
If you want to make changes in your financial future, then talk to us. We can help you break the Golden Handcuffs if you really want to. Drop us an email or click on this link to find a day and time that suits you to have a chat with us – it’s completely free!