Sex & Money In Relationships: What Happens When Money Is Tight? (Part II)

This blog post was written by Recovery Help Now’s, Cindy Nigro, MFTi.

Chronic unemployment is putting many couples’ marital vows to the test — particularly the part that refers to “for richer, for poorer.”  With far less money coming in each month, many families have been forced to cut back, borrow money from family and friends, and maybe even drain their savings.  And then there is the toll that joblessness is taking on relationships.

If you and your partner are struggling because of unemployment or financial uncertainty, you are not alone.   Financial stress doesn’t have to tear your relationship apart. Here are some tips and strategies that will help you work together through tough times.

Share Responsibility:  Create a budget that will help prepare for the longer term, strip down expenses to the essentials and re-evaluate what’s really important to the family.  Be sure to go through the exercise together to avoid resentment, blame, and communication breakdowns.  Working together will also help you identify areas where you disagree, which may help avoid arguments later.

Argue Productively:  You’re probably going to argue, so you might as well make it a productive exercise.  Try to resolve the issue so the argument doesn’t repeat itself.  The fight should end with a something to do, or a preventive plan for the future.

Set Communication Routines:  When resentment or other negative feelings fester, even greeting your partner can become a chore. But establishing a communication routine can help you remain connected, even if you aren’t feeling particularly sentimental. That means saying good morning and good night, greeting each other when you enter and leave the house, and sharing a compliment a day. It could be as simple as, ’Thanks for picking up dinner.”

Date Nights: Try to come up with creative things to do that cost little or no money.  And remember the importance of affection and non-verbal communication.   Hand holding, hugging, and kissing will help you remain connected and are all free.

Read Part 1: What Happens When Sex Declines?




Elana Clark-Faler
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