Psychologists will tell you that more relationships break up over financial problems and arguments than do over infidelity.
It seems that many couples can, and do, survive cheating partners but the big 'M,' Money, can be a relationship deal breaker.
We are currently seeing financial instability worldwide. Very few couples haven't been, (or may soon be), facing a money crunch due to layoffs and lack of jobs. The strain that a lack of income has on a couple is tremendous. No money equals stress, anger, and feelings of desperation. Unfortunately we tend to take all of this out on our partners.
Can your relationship survive bad financial times? The answer to that question depends on what type of relationship you had in "good" times. How you coped with less stressful situations is a key factor in how you will cope with major ones.
"Couples who fight over who forgot to pick up the dry cleaning or where to go for dinner are couples who will have a very hard time during a money crunch," says A. Barrons, a debt counselor in New York. "In my business, I have seen the couples who are basically on good terms with each other when there is no financial problem survive loss of income with their relationship intact."
While it is always best to know what your relationship can handle before a money crisis occurs, it is still not too late to learn some basic financial survivor skills to help you both cope.
Do not play the blame game. Losing a job is not something you plan to do. No matter how upset you are, it helps no one, not you nor your partner, to assign blame. It happened, you are both victims of the recession, but you are not enemies. Decide to "win the war" together.
Sit down and talk. This is such a common sense thing to do and yet it bears repeating-communicate! Now more than ever you need to map out a strategy for getting through this problem. Discuss what you can and can't do, what you want to do, and how you are going to do it. Brainstorm together.
Make a commitment to each other. It's tough, it may get a lot tougher, but you need to make a commitment to each other that you will survive together. Knowing that you are in a committed relationship, no matter what, helps both of you more than you know.
Write "essentials only" list. This is difficult, I know, but what can you do without? This is called needs vs wants and in this situation, the needs must come first. You need shelter including gas and electric, you need food, you need clothes, you need transportation, you may need child care. These are life's essentials and cannot be compromised. Anything else are things you want.
Exhaust all resources. Don't give up hope of getting another job. Call anyone you think can help you. Companies you're worked for in the past, friends from high school or college, relatives, etc. Be bold. You can't be shy, this is your survival. Negotiate.
Plan for the future. Daydreaming is good and many solid goals began as daydreams. Understand that, as terrible as it is, this is a temporary situation. This is your life now but most likely will not continue to be your life in the future. Plan for that light at the end of the tunnel. Storms, no matter how bad, don't last forever. See this time as an opportunity for you to plan for change.
© 2012 copyright Kristen Houghton all rights reserved.
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Like this article? Kristen Houghton writes a weekly article exclusively for twoday magazine. Check out some of her recent work below:
Books by Kristen Houghton:
No Woman Diets Alone - There's Always a Man Behind Her Eating a Doughnut
And Then I'll Be Happy! Stop Sabotaging Your Happiness and Put Your Own Life First
Remember, Hetty? (A Short Story)
Her NEW book, Nourishing Thoughts: The Little Book of Sayings for a Healthy, Happy Life launched May 30, 2012...get your ebook copy today!