The economic recession that we’re in is causing stress for everyone and that stress has the potential to put a big strain on relationships. Smart couples are tackling the problem by working together to come up with creative ways to keep their relationship strong despite their financial stress. Unfortunately, many other couples are stuck in a negative pattern of fighting over how to deal with the recession and sabotaging each other in ways that create additional money problems for themselves. Many married couples are feeling more like divorcing than ever before and yet they also feel like they can’t do so because divorce fees are an unnecessary expense in today’s economy.
The recession has forced all of us to change the way that we think about our jobs and the way that we spend our money. Even those people who are not facing unemployment or home loss are finding that they don’t feel free to spend their money as liberally as in the past. Individuals across the world are struggling to adapt to using less money than they are used to spending, a struggle made difficult by the financial habits that we’ve developed over time. The situation is exacerbated for couples who not only have to make individual changes but who also have to work together to adapt to different ways of spending. This requires communicating more about money than in the past and the difficulty of doing so is heightened by the tough emotions and fears that exist because of being in a recession.
Many couples are in trouble because of the fact that they don’t know how to communicate about money and about the changes that must be made during a recession. Both individuals may be scared about the changes and neither wants to set the other off by discussing what’s going on. At the same time, each may be silently blaming the other for not handling the financial situation better. Each stews in anger about how the other is spending and yet fails to constructively discuss ways to change the situation. What ends up happening in most households is that there are a number of fights that may or may not be about money but are never about the underlying fears and big changes that have to be made right now. This fighting causes couples to lie to each other more about money, sabotaging the potential for adapting to the recession. The solution that often comes to mind is divorce but divorce is expensive so couples end up feeling trapped in relationships that they think they want out of.
Smart couples are recognizing that the problem is probably not the relationship but rather the recession and they are teaming up together to get through these tough times. They are working together to live a frugal life, agreeing to individually do small things like using discount codes when shopping or turning the heat off in the home to save on electric bills. They are also using the recession as an opportunity for finding money-saving activities that bring them closer together. For example, they carpool to save on gas money and celebrate the fact that they have this extra time together each day. How couples are dealing with the recession depends on their attitudes about this time. All couples may be impacted by the financial aspect of the situation but their emotional response to it is what determines whether or not the relationship will still be intact once the recession has finally come to an end.
Guest post by Kathryn Vercillo, a writer for Promotionalcodes.org.uk which gives away free discount codes and voucher codes. She writes about personal finance, living frugally and saving money at the Money Saving Blog.