- Family and Parenting
Tips to Tackle Financial Problems That Are Threatening Your Marriage
It appears that disruption in life is all-pervasive because history is replete with various types of disruptions. Great empires have come crumbling down. Similarly, we have also seen big industries vanishing into oblivion. The practical philosophy we should learn from this is that we must not take our life for granted.
Financial problems are one of the main "disruptors" of life. They can cause immense hardships. Especially, those that are caused due to loss of job, etc. may make you wonder how your financial future will be. If you have a family, the situation will impact your family members as well. There are chances of your marriage breaking up also. But there is good news because there are ways to tackle these problems so you can save your marriage also. Let us see how you can do it.
1. The foremost point is that you must not hide things from your family members and more importantly, from your spouse. In fact, you must discuss the real situation with him or her without delaying because financial problems can snow-ball very quickly and turn into uncontrollable avalanches.
2. Though feelings of depression, panic, guilt, helplessness and fear may start haunting you, you must not forget the fact that you and you alone are responsible for the situation and there is no point in blaming others and more particularly, your spouse.
As Stephanie Coontz says in "Husbands, Wives and Hard Times -- History May Not Be a Guide" on NYTImes.com, "A critical point is whether couples can remember and express the things they admire about each other. People under stress often cease to notice and acknowledge the helpful things their partners or children do, responding only to the irritating ones. This undermines the 'economy of gratitude' that sustains mutual trust and obligations in a healthy family, creating the psychological equivalent of a credit crunch."
Jenn Berman, who is a marriage and family therapist, also says, "Our relationship dynamics and resentments get played out with money. It's not uncommon to see a person get mad at his or her spouse, and then go out and buy something as revenge."
3. The discussion you have with your spouse should also focus on the steps you are contemplating to take for solving your financial problems. Remember that keeping quiet with the hope that things will improve on their own is not the right strategy.
4. Do an honest assessment and list out the fixed expenses as well as the flexible expenses of your family. This will help you identify those expenses that you can reduce. Examples are opting for an affordable telephone plan, dispensing with satellite or cable television, deciding not to eat out, etc.
5. Since reducing your expenditure on vegetables or fruits may negatively impact the health of your family members, try to grow a fruit and vegetable garden by wisely utilizing the space available in your house.
6. Go for some specialized training so chances of landing in better jobs increase. Do not hesitate to do odd jobs or take up a temporary job till you get a good job. You can plan to start your own business also. But whatever may be the business you decide to start, start small and be disciplined.
7. Stop relying on credit cards, Similarly, do not touch whatever savings you have made till now unless it is an emergency or unless the expenses are absolutely necessary.
8. Never hesitate to seek help. Do not allow your ego or pride to prevent you from getting financial assistance from the sources known to you. If you have debts, talk to your creditors, explain your situation and seek time.
9. Dr. Jonathan Rich, who is a psychologist and who has authored "The Couple's Guide to Love and Money" advises, "Trying to prove your spouse wrong is the wrong way to go. Aim instead to create a plan that works for both of you." This means you must honestly share all your concerns as well as expectations with your spouse. This will help in making financial decisions together. Be open and tell your spouse that you are ready and willing to be flexible. Know from him or her how far he or she can be flexible also.
10. You can think of relocating, opting for a smaller accommodation, etc. also so you can cut your expenses to a significant extent.
11. You can learn new skills for changing your career or take up jobs you may not normally like to do, etc.
12. Remember the discussions you have with your spouse should not turn out to be win-lose situations. If you allow your ego to play, you may hasten separation from your family.
13. Do not allow desperation to over-power you. There are people who take to habits like drinking, smoking, etc. out of desperation. These habits will worsen your situation.
14. Despite all your problems, you and your family members must not neglect your and their health. Of course, instead of spending on gym subscriptions, you can do your exercises at home. Likewise, eating healthy foods, having regular sleep, and having fun with your spouse and children with the help of activities that come free of cost are also important. Remember the age-old saying, "You can't pour from an empty cup."
15. Never give up. Your focus should be to save your marriage despite your financial situation. In fact, the situation warrants more cooperation, support and understanding between you and your spouse. So, do not postpone discussions with your spouse because your aim is to not only to bring your situation under control but to save your marriage as well.