It is difficult enough to keep a marriage together when money is tight, but when economic times turn really bad, when one or both spouses face the prospect of losing a job, or have to live under the risk of an impending foreclosure, then keeping the marriage together can seem like an impossible task. A broken economy can in fact result in a broken marriage.
The major mistake most married couples make is allowing financial trouble to become the centerpiece of their marriage. Yet this is exactly what happens when the weight of financial trouble enters the picture.
One option is to find a local nonprofit credit counseling service. Ask them to provide you with an objective and candid assessment of your family’s financial condition. Often credit counselors can provide both a debt management plan and way to negotiate with your creditors. Most experienced credit counselors can negotiate very favorable repayment terms on most major credit cards.
Debt, depression and marriage can be a lethal combination – especially if you’re hoping to hold on to your marriage. Add aggressive collection tactics to the mix, and your life is about to turn downright miserable. It is common practice these days for collection agencies to harass and manipulate people into paying more on their credit cards by inferring that you broke the law or have acted dishonestly. The embarrassment of receiving such calls can and does take an emotional toll on a couple.
A study released last year shows a positive correlation between financial trouble and the types of depression that normally precede suicide. It is widely believed that at least half of all suicides in the United States result in part, from financial trouble.
While many couples are able to pull themselves out of financial trouble, others have a harder time. Spouses who have a history of emotional illness or drug dependency are also more inclined to return to these behaviors.
Money trouble can also affect a couple’s physical health depending on how well or how badly they have been managing their stress. Overeating or under eating is not the way to deal with financial stress.
Even in the best of financial times, developing a nurturing and happy marriage can be a real challenge. Here are few tips in keeping your marriage together during troubled times.
First, consider attending marriage counseling. An experienced family and marriage counselor can help you focus on strengthening the marriage while you and your spouse tackle ways of getting out of financial trouble.
Remember to stay calm and keep communicating with your spouse. It is easy to take your anger and frustrations out on each other. Rather take that energy and focus it on creating an action plan that’s workable for both of you.
Never retreat into yourself – rather stay active, positive and engaged in your relationship. In troubled times, the first activity that couples typically stop doing is regular exercise. Don’t make that mistake. This is when you and your spouse need to let out the stress the most. Try to encourage your partner to exercise along with you. Swimming laps is a great way of working out the stress and fatigue caused by unrelenting financial pressure.
Finally, remember to be thankful for what you do have in your married life. It is so easy to focus only on the negative. Experts in the field of neuroscience have demonstrated that how we look at our lives is the way we end up living our lives. In short, we live what we expect to see occur. So try to keep a positive and healthy outlook in your marriage and in your finances.