How do you keep your marriage together when you have financial problems?
Marriages require a solid foundation based on trust and open healthy communication. Flexibility is required, as well. I treat many couples in which the husband lost his job and can’t find work so the couple decide to change their roles. He stays home with the kids while his wife goes to work to bring home a paycheck.
Should you practice gratitude?
It helps to practice gratitude and generosity. The more grateful and giving we are the more positive our attitudes and the more good things come back to us tenfold.
How do you set aside your worries and still make time for romance?
It’s easier said than done to set aside our worries when there are real stressors including money in our lives. People are anxious, worried, and tense. It’s hard to feel romantic and sexual when you are under strain. Take turns giving and receiving a relaxing message with your partner. Turn on Marvin Gaye, or Sade music, lower the lights, and pour a glass of wine. Find ways to relax together, talk together, and these will lead you toward a warm, closer connection.
Should you turn to others for support and not just your partner?
Absolutely, you should turn to others for support. A trusted friend, counselor, family member, priest or rabbi are often available to talk with. There are certain areas that your partner may feel too vulnerable to talk about. Get support. You may need guidance or advice from a clean-slate who is outside the line of stress. Do everything you can to nourish and nurture yourself so that you have more to give to your partner, children and family.
Any other thoughts?
My Top Tips are:
* Be kind to your partner. How we treat our significant other sets the model for how they will treat us.
* Create an open discussion. Talking is the glue that holds relationships together.
* Balance love/nurture with setting/holding boundaries.
* Build self-esteem by using words that support and motivate, rather than criticize.
* Equip yourself with coping skills to deal with disappointment. We cannot protect or prevent life’s disappointments. The best we can do is equip ourselves to deal with inevitable life letdowns.
* Never engage in negotiations, bargaining, or deal-making, especially when resolving conflicts. Rather, talk about what you feel and want in the moment. This is empathy. I define “empathy” as the computer chip within our personality (character) that allows us to imagine the impact of our own behavior on others. So, this not only includes knowing how the other person feels, but also imagining and anticipating their reactions to your own behavior. People who lack this quality have a Narcissistic trait. When this dynamic is expansive in the person’s overall relating to others the person may have a Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
When two partners in a marriage negotiate, bargain, and make deals it’s usually with their “own” thoughts and needs front and center. When they talk about their own needs and wants it is more honest and straightforward. When your partner expresses his needs and wants it helps if you reflect out loud what you hear him saying. He should do the same for you. This creates a feeling of mutual validation. Sometimes, a solution is not found immediately. It’s okay to agree to disagree by accepting that we each have our own separate and different opinion.