Volume 20, Issue 76 (4-2020)                   refahj 2020, 20(76): 39-86 | Back to browse issues page

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Salimi Bajestani H, rahimi R, Farahbakhsh K, Asgari M. Financial Conflicts and Compatibility in Dual-Career Couples: A Phenomenological Study. refahj. 2020; 20 (76) :39-86
URL: http://refahj.uswr.ac.ir/article-1-3490-en.html
Abstract:   (1118 Views)
Extended Abstract
Introduction: The notion of the traditional family (the man working outside the home and the housewife working indoors) is fading away, so that there are families where both men and women are working as full-time employees (Musavi, Samavatyan, & Nouri, 2018). The lifestyle of a dual-career couple refers to a situation in which the couple plays different roles, with the couple engaging in parallel duties at work and housework (Shweta, 2017). Dual-career couple case can be referred to as a relatively new field of research that emerged in the late 1960s. Such families were exceptions in the 1960s, but were steadily increasing in the 1970s and early 1980s. The formation of dual-career couples was primarily due to their financial needs and motivation to earn more money (Sultan, Tabassum, & Abdullah, 2014). Many studies have shown that one of the most important factors affecting marriage is income. If the income is from both couples, it will make life easier; however, sometimes it would lead to marital problems (Tavassoli & Taheri, 2014). Financial conflicts are more common than other types of specific conflicts among dual-career couples (Balali, Bakhtiari Safar, Mohammadi, & Mohagegi, 2017). Financial matters are not simply just talking and arguing about money and budget. The present study seeks to identify the lived experiences of dual-career couples with financial issues and marital conflicts using a qualitative study.
Method: This research was done by qualitative approach and by the method of interpretive phenomenology. The study population was all Dual-career couples in Nourabad city in 2018. In this group, purposeful sampling strategy and snowball method were used to select the samples. The study population consisted of conflicted dual-career couples, all dual-career couples with marital conflict who had referred to the Ofogh Family Counseling Clinic during the four-month period (November to February 2018). Purposeful and accessible sampling in conflicting couples was also conducted. In this study, semi-structured in-depth interviews were used to collect data. In addition to using the interview method, other methods of collecting information in phenomenology such as field notes and observation were also used. The interviews ranged from 47 to 75 minutes, depending on the mood, tolerance, and interest of the participants. In order to gain access to the perceptions and experiences of the interviewees’ lives, a three-pronged approach to phenomenological interviewing (Seidman, 2006) was modeled in formulating a semi-structured in-depth paired interview question. To analyze the data from the semi-structured interviews, the team-based Diekelmann, Allen, and Tanner’s (1989) method was used in conventional interpretive phenomenology. The validity and reliability of the research data were also analyzed by the four Guba and Lincoln’s (1989) validity indices; reliability, validity, reliability and adequacy, and generalizability and transferability.
Findings: The findings of this qualitative study showed that the criterion for measuring a successful relationship financially is not the lack of conflict, but the perception of couples and the way they deal with those challenges and financial conflicts and a return to normal practice. After analyzing the interviews with 12 couples with marital conflicts and 12 couples with marital satisfaction and after coding and classifying the initial concepts, two main themes and 11 sub-themes were extracted from their lived experience on financial issues. The main theme derived from the analysis of the statements of conflicting working couples was financial conflict. The data analysis process in this core theme led to the identification of six sub-themes including financial preference, inappropriate financial relationships, absence of financial commitment, weakness in financial skills, individual financial management, and financial violence. The lived experiences of dual-career couples also indicated that they also coped with financial problems, but their attitudes and financial problems differed from those of conflicting couples. Analyzing the expressions of married career couples with marital satisfaction also led to the identification of the second main theme of financial sustainability. The five sub-themes derived from the analysis of this core theme were the lack of financial preference, optimal financial relationships, financial commitment, shared financial life, and even financial skills.
Discussion: An important indicator that makes this qualitative research unique was the interview with the coiples with satisfaction and the conflicting couples, which made it possible to compare the two groups interms of financial matters.The first sub-themes about financial issues in both groups of couples with marital satisfaction and conflict were respectively the lack of financial preference and financial preference. The difference in the meaning of money in the minds of couples and different priorities regarding financial matters was one of the boundaries of dual-career couples’ satisfaction with conflicting couples.
The second common theme in the statements of dual-career couples was the theme of financial relationships. In this lifestyle, as both spouses have an income and gain more power by injecting money into the family, marital conflict will be inevitable if they cannot equate their financial relationships. One of the most important issues that led to financial conflicts in the dual-career couples’ relationships was the difference in the money allocation that caused severe conflicts and even violence between couples. Dual-career couples with marital satisfaction, empathetic understanding, financial trust, mutual support and appreciation, financial encouragement, and generally constructive relationships between spouses on financial issues also play a critical role in their financial adjustment.
The third sub-theme derived from the analysis of couples’ statements on financial issues, commitment, and the lack of financial commitment. There are often two aspects to commitment in marriage that are sometimes referred to as “selflessness” and “coercion and restraint”. The aspect of selfless sacrifice of dual-career couples expresses in particular the concepts of financial responsibility and non-reliance on each other, in which every couple financially supports their spouse without any financial support. The aspect of coercion and limitation in financial commitment is also what keeps spouses in financial straits living together. If a couple wants to stay together for a long time, they have to work on or adapt to the unpleasant aspects of financial situation.
The fourth common sub-theme extracted was financial management. In a family of dual-career couples, given that the woman also injects income and money from her employment into the family, she expects to play a full or at least part of financial management, and when this is not the case, it causes marital conflicts between the couples. Data analysis in this context showed that most of the conflicting couples were managing the financial issues in two (single) forms of money for the woman and money for the man. Working couples who deal with financial problems as a team. This team-based financial management increases the marital satisfaction of the working couple.
The last common sub-theme was the presence or absence of financial management skills. Basic financial skills such as mutual awareness of each other’s financial perspectives, financial targeting, and joint financial planning were effective in reducing couples financial distress and marital conflicts related to financial issues. Lack of financial management skills in conflicting career couples causes confusion in the couple’s financial relationships and leads them to chronic couple conflicts. Some of these skills are passed down from childhood through the family of origin, while others require training.
Financial violence was a by-product of the couple’s statements that marital conflict is about financial conflict. This type of violence results in limiting your partner’s access to financial resources or information on how to earn and spend on family finances. Given the employment and earnings of couples in this study, they are more likely to experience economic violence than traditional couples, and 23 of the couples report this type of violence.
Ethical Considerations
Authors’ contributions
All authors contributed in designing, running, and writing all parts of the research.
In the present study, did not have any sponsors.
Conflicts of interest
This article does not conflict with other articles of my.
Follow the ethics of research
The ethical considerations required in this study included obtaining informed consent from career couples and obtaining written consent, confidentiality (using pseudonyms such as couples 1, 2, etc. throughout the study) and the right to opt out.
We appreciate all the career couples who participated in this qualitative study.
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Type of Study: orginal |
Received: 2019/09/20 | Accepted: 2020/06/2 | Published: 2020/10/6

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