With the global financial crisis at our door, the time has come for us to focus on our relationships more than ever.
Have you heard the saying that love goes out the door when money disappears? I often hear from clients when relationships hit a bumpy road with money, and couples need help navigating through it. Research shows that one in four marriages break up because of money problems.
What happens when financial stress affects your relationship?Stress and Anxiety increases and tolerance levels decrease: This is the leading cause of unnecessary arguments.Guilt: when one partner feels responsible for the financial situation, they start feeling guilty and ashamed. Simultaneously if either partner feels they should be capable of solving the problem but aren’t able to do so, they can feel worthless.Avoidance: Some couples avoid the situation altogether and find themselves deeper in debt by carrying on as usual.Dishonest behaviour: Hiding the reality of the situation from your partner to protect them or not worry them can backfire when the truth comes to light, and your partner feels betrayed.No intimacy: When couples are stressed, it is prevalent that intimacy in the relationship can be affected. Making more debt: Making more debt by taking out loans and overdriving is only a temporary solution.
Research shows that one in four marriages break up because of money problems. So what can we do to ensure we do not become a part of this unsettling statistic? Here are my five top suggestions that will help you do this.
- Communication: Often, couples feel that only one party is responsible for financial management. This only works sometimes. Open communication about the relationship’s economic well-being can decrease stress and anxiety for both parties. When both parties have input on the budget, it is often easier to manage spending habits.
- Planning: Planning for difficult times and unfortunate circumstances can help couples to feel secure when these situations arise.
- Honesty: It is never a good idea to hide the truth about anything in a relationship. Be honest. Even though your partner might not have the answers to the situation, sharing your worries can help you feel supported, and when brainstorming together, you are more likely to find solutions.
- Spending: Realistic spending is essential—practice self-control. Sometimes people can feel soothed by being able to shop for things online or in the store when they are stressed. If this is you, avoid going shopping on your own. Make essential lists, and do not deviate.
- Don’t blame: In situations when your relationship is under financial pressure, it is not helpful to blame either party—standing together to resolve the problem and avoid it from reoccurring. Talking to a financial advisor or a relationship therapist to help you find alternatives is far more constructive.
- Make time for fun: The best way to release stress is to make love to your partner. When we are intimate, our body releases endorphins and oxytocin, which are happy hormones that automatically help us feel more relaxed. Make more time for fun in your relationship, and find a reason to laugh together. You do not have to feel guilty when you find tiny pockets of happiness in all the chaos.
So in the difficult times, when we might face new hardships in our relationships, it is more important than ever to appreciate our lives, our partners and the things we take for granted. Focus on the “WE” and “US” and less on the “ME” and “YOU”.If you want to discuss how I can help your relationship flourish, please contact me or join my private Facebook group here.