Freelance writer Marissa Belger married for love, relishing the warmth of her husband's clan and overlooking his lowly income—until he lost his job. In The Secret Currency of Love, a compilation of essays excerpted in Salon, Belger describes how her relationship to money surprised her. Adapting to poverty was fun at first, she writes, but as the job hunt left her husband weary and she wept over bills, Belger found that "love wasn't enough."
"When Paul pulled me close, I had visions of a future filled with late charges and coupon snipping, and I became distant and cold," writes Belger. Instead of leaving him, she left freelancing, got a job, and wore the title of primary breadwinner "proudly." Her husband followed suit with a new job, and the combined efforts "triggered a spark of love for my new husband that I had been convinced I'd never feel again."