Managing Financial Stress in a Relationship
A strong relationship needs many factors to work together in order for each person to feel secure. Personal stability directly influences relational stability, so your own mental health can negatively influence your partner and vice versa. When coping with financial stress in a relationship, it’s crucial to identify the ways your money troubles are affecting you as individuals and a couple.
Both of you must be committed to resolving your issues together. With the right strategies and mindset, you can come to rely on each other during times of stress rather than falling into arguments and becoming distant.
How Money Problems Affect Your Relationship
It’s difficult enough for one person to struggle financially. When a couple shares financial hardship, it can be detrimental to their intimacy and connection if money becomes more important than supporting and loving one another. Teamwork might seem like a benefit, but feelings of shame, disappointment and even resentment toward one another can build if emotions aren’t handled properly.
After the honeymoon phase winds down, couples are prone to experiencing a period of adjustment and difficulties. All of the problems in the “real world” begin to affect their relationship as well, and money is one of the biggest sources of stress in relationships and marriages. One of the best things to do if finances are driving a wedge between you and your partner is to address your issues and build healthy communication strategies as soon as possible.
Resolving Money Problems in a Relationship
By being open to discuss both your troubles and emotions, you’ll be able to rely on your partner for support and see them as a confidant. Setting goals can help you find common ground to work together rather than constantly falling victim to greater stress and anxiety.
When you identify goals, it becomes easier to work with rather than against each other. Money problems can make anyone feel alone, so it’s helpful to externalize the issue and find small ways to build a sense of shared progress. Start small, and celebrate each milestone. Saving $50 or $100 between the two of you in a month is an achievement.
Prioritize Each Other
Make sure that you don’t neglect the bond you have because you are too focused on money. Although it’s an all-consuming source of stress, taking breaks from your worries is also better for your mental health. It doesn’t cost anything to have a meaningful conversation or spend some time cuddling on the couch. Date nights can still happen when you’re facing financial troubles; cook a meal together at home or play a board game. Anything that brings you two together and helps you connect outside of your current obstacles is a plus.
Talk to a Therapist
In couples counseling, we help people tackle financial hardship together by setting goals, prioritizing, practicing gratitude and finding conflict resolution strategies that match their personal communication style.
If you are interested in learning more about how therapy could help you improve your mental health and relationship, please contact Foundations Family Counseling. We are happy to discuss your situation and explain how psychotherapy may be able to help.