According to a study by SunTrust, finances are the number one reason to cause stress in a marriage. Another study by the Institute for Divorce Financial Analysis makes money issues the third leading cause (22%) of all divorces. Disappointment, frustration, and surprise fill up your life. Nerves wear thin, and your perspective becomes utterly chaotic. If one doesn’t tread with caution, losses may be more than just financial stress.
The following tips can help you fight and wade through the financial stress in a marriage, solidly and successfully.
1. Talk openly, communicate and set goals
Financial stress brings a lot of unanswered questions along with pressures, like, “What will happen now?” or “How will we survive this?” etc. Such is the time to move forward together as a married couple. Talk to each other honestly and openly. Don’t keep any secrets. Set a direction that you mutually support and then just follow your set path with full confidence in each other.
2. Prioritize together
Prioritize the things that you value the most. To successfully combat financial stress the couple has to agree on the prioritized list mutually which they have made and then follow it diligently with full support and cooperation.
3. Stop keeping secrets
Again, coming back to keeping secrets, financial stress can never be handled alone. It’s a ‘together’ thing which needs to be dealt with candid openness and honesty. Believing in your partner and reaching mutual solutions together is the key to fight any financial crisis you might be facing.
4. Acknowledge and accept emotions
Bitterness, guilt, and frustration, usually associated with financial stress, will have an impact on your relationship with your spouse, children and even your faith. Understanding these emotions and dealing with them together can help a marriage stay away from disaster. Flow with these emotions, embrace them, understand their depth but use their force to fight the stress together instead of each other.
5. Avoid the blame game
When times are tough, don’t play the blame game. Once a situation is handled, there will be ample time for reflection and debriefing. For now, don’t add strain to your already stressed marriage by pointing fingers.
6. Learn to compromise
In marriage, it is likely there’s always going to be a spender and a saver. To deal with financial stress proper teamwork, planning, and dedication are required so the couple can compromise and set a path for themselves which has their mutual content. Disagreement and stubbornness from either side can further escalate the monetary stress burdening the marriage.
7. Do not be shy to accept help
Burden due to financial stress can be a tremendous one for any marriage and accepting help might be difficult for a lot of couples. Why? The simple answer is “Pride.” So, keep that ego away if you want to work through this. One must consider enlisting help from appropriate sources. If a friend or family member can help you get back on track, accept their generosity. Don’t let your stubbornness ruin your relationship.
8. Minimize pressure
Financial stress can consume a marriage. So, focus your energy on other chores. Remove yourself from worry and strain so that you can manage your stress-related burden, positively and efficiently. What’s done is done. It’s better to look to the future and plan accordingly instead of spending every second remembering where it all went wrong.
9. Turn to your faith
For some couples, having strong faith can be a rock-solid pillar in times of crisis. When financial stress is weighing you down, religion, belief, and devotional work can be instrumental in getting couples through such desperate times.
10. Count your blessings
Money-related stress tests the basic foundations of a marriage. A lot of couples stop looking at the blessings around them, focusing solely on the problems and the awful experiences they have. This makes their spouses also feel angry and depressed. Take a deep breath and solely focus on the love you share with each other as a family.
11. Do Not ignore the “B” word
“B” for budget – the one most important thing to practice during financial stress. After specific goals have been set and a shared economic vision materialized, as a team, create a budget that will work for your household. For a successful budget, both spouses should agree on it and then commit to it.
Evaluate the lifestyle implications of your new financial plan, clarify the choices and sacrifices, being made by both of you as a couple, express your concerns and hesitations and produce a budget that will work to make your situation better.
12. Stay in control
Financial stress will surely tempt you to throw up your hands in defeat. But remember, a cool head and mutual support system, believing in each other and stubbornly following your anti-financial stress plan, will give you that ultimate control over this dire situation and help you pass this crisis with success.
13. Do not be afraid to dream
No matter how burdened financial stress makes a marriage feel, always keep your dreams alive for a better future together. Such a storm shall too come to pass.
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