$30 Changed My Marriage

My shopping spree turned into more than I bargained for.

Kyle and I had been married a few weeks when I ventured out for a day of shopping. Grabbing my purse, I shouted, "I'm going to the mall. Be back in a bit." 

Before I got outside, Kyle appeared behind me with a big smile. "Have fun. I love you." Just seeing him made me realize how much I already loved being married. It was so great to have someone smile and see you off every time you left the house.

I returned his smile and was headed out the door again when I heard him say, "You can spend 30 dollars."

Not really thinking, I muttered a quick "Thanks." Then it hit me. Hold on. Did he just say I could spend 30 dollars? On what? Lunch? Turning, I smiled lovingly. "Um, I can spend 30 dollars? What does that mean?"

"It means you can spend 30 dollars. On whatever you want." He glowed with the pride of someone handing me a limitless credit card to fulfill my wildest shopping desires.

"I just worked up the budget, and you've got 30 bucks all to yourself."

Was he serious? Only 30 dollars to go shopping? My mind scanned the list of items I was hoping to buy: new jeans, casual skirt, couple of tops, tall black boots, fancy dress for nice date nights, casual dress for less nice date nights, silver hoop earrings, and new pajamas. And that was just the stuff I needed.

Before I was married, I could buy whatever I wanted whenever I wanted. I didn't have to run it by anyone, and

I certainly never had a spending allowance. Just thinking about it was making me upset.

"Is everything okay?" he asked, obviously noticing my frustration.

With clenched jaw, I shrugged and mumbled, "I'm fine. See you later," and hurried out the door.

I spent the afternoon moping through the mall, angry and annoyed. Finally I decided to leave empty-handed, knowing deep down that Kyle would wonder why I hadn't bought anything, presenting me a prime opportunity to let him know what I thought of his lousy budget.

I came through the door extra pouty, but Kyle was nowhere in sight. Letting out a sigh, I slumped into a chair at the kitchen table. As I replayed the conversation I'd planned, I noticed a stack of papers. The top one was neatly titled "Monthly Budget."

Skimming past the necessary bills and monthly expenses, my eyes landed on a section titled "Extra Spending Money." Only one item was listed: "Nancy—$30." 

That 30 dollars was the only extra spending money we had for the month, and Kyle was giving it all to me. All of a sudden, I felt terrible for my childish behavior. I'd spent the whole day sulking, imagining how I'd give Kyle a piece of my mind, and all along he was being selfless and generous.

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Marriage; Money; Service
Today's Christian Woman, Winter, 2007
Posted September 12, 2008

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