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7 Secrets to Keep Marriage Strong During Tough Times
By Lornie Kass
There are a host of different reasons why a relationship starts to breakdown. Job
insecurity and having not enough money to meet daily living expenses are among the
most common causes.
Sad to say, being retrenched from work is a real threat to marriage. Relationships
can crumble under severe emotional and financial tension. It can be difficult to
keep a relationship going when days are rosy, let alone surviving through hard times
like today’s global recession. Here are a few practical steps you can adopt to avoid
unforeseen conflicts and misunderstandings, and stay strong in a relationship.
Making Marriage Work
1. When confronted with challenges, a whirlpool of emotions will emerge – denial,
resentment, fear, anger, disappointment, or even humiliation. Your best approach
is to remain calm no matter what the storm. A calmed mind allows you to put things
into prospective and have better control over how to handle a major crisis like job
While it is perfectly okay to sit at home and brood over whatever bad situations
or problems that you are facing righ now, keep in mind that letting yourself dwell
in negativity is not going to do you any good. Self pity will only get you into a
downward spiral of low self esteem and impact your confidence. This can lead to you
feeling trapped in a dark bottomless pit of hopelessness and despair, and makes it
a lot harder for you to get back on your feet again.
Therefore, try to think and maintain positive thoughts about the future, despite
all the odds. It may be easier said than done, but this simple technique is a very
powerful mental tool to create the right mindset to turn adversity into advantage.
How you respond and deal with the situation will influence how quickly you move through
negative emotions. The worst thing you can do to yourself is to give up completely
without even trying.
2. Discuss the situation without arguing and find practical solutions to your issues.
Communication is the golden key to any successful relationship so you have to be
very honest with your spouse about your current financial position. Talk about where
the money is coming from and where it goes, and do whatever is necessary to stretch
your dollars. Accept and be realistic about the future, and expect things to take
some time to return to normal.
When good times recede, and things are not the same as before, it’s very important
that you learn to readjust expectations. If you spend a sizeable chunk of your disposable
income on non-essential items – luxury products and services – such as expensive
meals, watches and vacations, then you should seriously reduce and control your spending
or find ways to bring in more money.
If you and your spouse cannot agree with something, don’t fight over it especially
when the children are around. Instead, listen carefully and try to see things from
one another’s point of view. Try to make some sort of compromises in a healthy way,
with some mutual give-and-take until you both reach an amicable agreement.
3. Make sound financial provisions, and check eligibility for unemployment benefits
if you are registered. Don’t be afraid to ask for financial assistance, and rope
in united strength from family and friends whenever possible. Being laid off at work
during tough times is not something to be ashamed of.
It is also a good idea to seek help from professional counselors or your church,
if you find it terribly difficult to talk things calmly with your spouse. A little
help from a marriage therapist can go a long way in easing the marital stress in
4. The psychological impact of retrenchment can often be severe for a man. A man
who has lost his job feels defeated and show his loss of self esteem through bouts
of anger. Hence be more tolerant of your partner’s occasional flare ups, and don’t
More importantly, try your level best to maintain a stoic front at home. Strong emotional
support is critical in helping struggling couples overcome a financial storm.
5. Understand that retrenchment is a result of an economic downturn and it’s rarely
personal so don’t let it adversely affect your morale and self confidence. When one
door closes, another may open for you.
Sometimes, transitions maybe blessings in disguise as they make you refocus on what
is truly important in your life. It may also actually help you discover your skills
as well as strengths and change career direction.
6. Explore what interests you, and figure out what you really would like to do. Make
good use of the time you have during this career break and do the things you wouldn’t
be able to do if you were stuck in an office all day. This not only helps you restore
postive moods but also bring peace to your troubled spirit.
For example, playing basketball with the kids, work on your home improvement woodwork
projects with your partner, or simply find things to laugh about.
7. Keep yourself busy and stay physically active. Try to exercise on a regular basis.
Exercise releases endorphins, which will keep your mind energetic and help you cope
with high levels of stress.
Remeber, a strong relationship or marriage is something no credit crunch will ever
take away. Money comes and goes but family is forever.