There’s no doubt about it, times are tough. Instead of letting the recession take a toll on your relationship, the trick is to utilize these economically challenging times to remember qualities that can strengthen your most endearing relationships. Be honest about what you are upset/stressed about, but don’t play the “blame game.”
Five Relationship Building Tips:
COMMUNICATE. Be open and communicate what is going on financially with each person. Discuss how much each person is making, what your budget is and where you will cut costs to make up for a lower income or just to increase savings. Never assume how things should work financially. People often make assumptions in relationships based on their own family dynamics, which can cause trouble if you are not on the same page. Always talk about it.
BE THOUGHTFUL. Some advice: “My boyfriend is a financial planner and I recently learned to check the stock market at the end of the day. Most importantly, it means a lot to him that I pay attention to the things that are important to him and second, it gives me a heads up on what kind of mood he’ll be in when he gets home!” The important thing is to be sensitive to each other’s reactions to money and individual stresses about the financial situation.
ACT AS A TEAM. Do not blame one person or another for making less money or losing their job. Combine your resources and figure out what works best for both of you. It’s also important to set goals together. If you are the major bread winner, make sure your partner doesn’t feel guilty by reassuring him/her that you are a team. If you make less, help the other person not to feel resentful by making extra contributions in other aspects of your relationship and daily lives. Remember roles can switch in a heartbeat.
SEX HELPS. At the end of a long day, sex helps. (Even an afternoon delight-if you can squeeze it in.) It’s been proven that good sex releases “happy hormones.” Therefore, it is a great way for a couple to come together and focus on each other rather than life’s challenges.
NEVER TALK ECONOMICS IN THE BEDROOM. If you want to experience performance anxiety, just plain anxiety or get into a fight, go ahead and talk money in bed. My advice: Never.!!! Save such conversations for a designated time, with a glass of wine or a cup of tea. But never confuse a discussion about stressful economics with a joyful outcome about thee and me.