When I refer to no one outside the marriage fully understanding, I refer to parents, best friends, children, siblings, co-workers, lovers, etc. Only the couple understands the nuances of the marriage economy and how it is structured.
Ever wonder how it is that so many people cheat but never leave their spouse? It's the economy of marriage. The cheater is in that marriage for a solid reason that is working for them. The cheater is going to stay in that marriage as long the economies of that marriage are still functional. Doesn't matter how sweet the cash on the side is. The economy of that marriage often prevails.
Ever wonder why someone stays in a marriage that is not working from the outside looking in? The economy of that marriage is still working internally for that couple. Bill and Hilary. Why hasn't she left him? The economy of their marriage is working for them. Wolf of Wall Street. DiCaprio's second wife could manipulate him because she knew the power she had over him.
It's like any economy. It could be robust and lush with cash. Side deals may be going on. Some marriages are like savings accounts where you keep putting in but never take out. Or you have that goodwill saved up so when the rainy day hits, you have reserves to pull you through.
Most marriages start out with a big cash inflow into the economy. That's the joys of dating and new love. Then the icky life stuff happens. It leaves some marriages living paycheck to paycheck (week to week), some marriages are overdrawn but they keep plugging at it.
Some marriages do go bankrupt. Sometimes, like a financial bankruptcy, it could give the couple a fresh, new start. Or, it could ruin the marriage completely. An affair or crisis, like infertility, can either make or break the bank. If it makes it, there was probably some shuffling and reorganization of assets going on.
And there are those marriages that run on credit with HIGH interest. You know the ones. One spouse seems to be running the show and you have no idea why. Perhaps the one spouse has something on the other and uses it for control.
Whatever the economy of a marriage, outsiders are seldom, if ever privy to the source of the economy. Every relationship has an economy. What are some of the sources marriage economies?
I could go on and on but you get it. In each marriage there is some sort of economy that keeps that couple together. Or tears them apart eventually.
Think about it. What is the economy of your relationship?
Photo credit: http://m.csmonitor.com/The-Culture/Family/2008/1117/p17s01-lifp.html