Is Financial Stress Messing Up Your Marriage?
By Marriage Rescue Associates
Financial stress is overtaking many marriages today. It can be the straw that breaks the camel’s back when there are other issues in a marriage. Financial worries invite couples to play the “blame game”. No one is taking their own portion of responsibility, each just blames the other.
Whether it is a job loss, overspending, unexpected bills or a myriad of other challenges, this is a time to come together. It is not a time to point fingers. It is more important to plan together how to overcome the situation than to concentrate on whose fault it is.
There are times when both spouses share in the responsibility and times when one has had a greater influence in the degrading of financial stability. In either case, it is important for the two of you to be part of the solution.
In most marriages one of the spouses is a spender and one is a saver. This is quite typical. Often the reason for the differences is previous life experiences. But when you are already in financial crisis, it is imperative to join forces in order to get your feet back on the ground.
If it took a long time to get into the “financial mess” it may not be a quick turnaround. The time to achieve financial health will be shortened when you work together rather than focusing on the problem itself.
One of the things couples do is to hide from the total truth. It is important to lay out the entire financial situation. Starting with regular bills and obligations and working your way through the occasional expenditure. Also it is important to plan for the unexpected. The only way to be in charge of your finances is manage them rather than having them manage you.
Many couples find that by contacting their creditors they can make arrangements to pay off bills at a slower pace, or sometimes the creditors are willing to settle for a smaller amount.
There are many ways to move forward, but one that we like is to pay off the smaller bills first so that you can experience a sense of accomplishment. Like all of you financial decisions it is important to enthusiastically agree on your methodology.
There are only two ways to move from financial despair to financial security and it is best if you combine the two.
The first is to increase your income. Some people find their options limited and others have a variety of choices. In either case, you need to do whatever is available. It may be for each of you to work more than one job for a period of time.
If there are children in the home, it may require some creativity. One answer could be to do web based work. There are many options but it does require effort to find the right fit. When the economy heats up again, it will be easier to find additional employment.
The other method is to spend less. Decrease your spending wherever you can. For folks that have kids, it is important to look at what you are spending on their activities. We do not endorse regular multiple activities for each child. It takes away from family time and minimizes their ability to entertain themselves. We do not always do our children a favor by allowing them to participate in everything.
The most important ingredient is to make these decisions together.
About Marriage Rescue Associates | Christian Marriage Counseling
With over 23 years of experience, Marriage Rescue Associates have discovered many effective methods for helping couples restore their family and marriages. As Christian Marriage Counselors, Marriage Rescue Associates can help construct solutions to rekindle love and rebuild trust that has been torn down by endless conflict, indifference, and unmet needs.
To learn more about Marriage Rescue Associates, visit us online at www.marriagerescue.org