KEEP THE LOVE ALIVE IN TOUGH ECONOMIC TIMES
Val Baldwin, CPC
Live Your Ultimate Life
How is your relationship doing during these difficult economic times? It is perfectly normal to be concerned, scared, and even terrified to lose your job, home, retirement fund, etc. But the one thing you also don’t want to lose is your partner. Times like these require emotional resilience and strong coping skills to keep the love alive in your marriage. Here are some recommendations to maintain a healthy, strong, partnership.
- Let your spouse know how you’re doing. If you’re feeling especially irritable and worried, you are more likely to get angry, so give them a heads-up so that they don’t take it as personally if you do. If you do get angry, sincerely apologize and let them know that it wasn’t their fault.
- Recognize your annoyance with your spouse may stem from your anxiety and stress, rather than their behavior. So if you feel yourself getting annoyed, give yourself a time-out and remove yourself from the room to cool down before you say something that creates a conflict or hurts feelings.
- It is important for you both to work together on solutions. You are likely to feel resentment if you feel you are carrying the burden alone. Uncover positive actions by writing the problem as a question on a piece of paper and together brainstorm solutions. For example, the question could be, “How can we cut costs from our monthly expenses?” or “How can we create more income to have what we need and desire?” or “What ways can we still have fun and enjoy the simple, inexpensive things in life”. Taking action together feels more empowering than lack of action and creates stronger unity, even if the results are not immediate.
- Avoid worrying and focusing only on the problem. What you focus on is what you will intensify in your life so focus on the positive solutions and the good things in your life. Start a ritual that every night before you go to bed, tell each other what 3 things you are grateful for along with saying “I love you”. This will bring you closer and reduce your fear because research proves that your sub-conscious mind can’t process gratitude and fear at the same time.
- Stay involved in activities that make you happy. It may be tempting to shut down and retreat in the face of financial worries, however, staying involved in what makes you both happy, whether these are activities you do alone or together, is not only better for your mood, it also helps you to think more clearly and be a better partner to your spouse.
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