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Keeping Your Marriage Strong in Tough Times

Marriage Tips to Survive Fragile Financial Times

Divorce rates tend to increase when the economy is poor, which isn't all that surprising — money is the leading cause of stress in relationships .

Awareness is the first step to avoiding marital problems during tough economic times. The next step is to learn how to deal with the inevitable stress that arises. Here are some of my top tips and pieces of advice to help you keep your marriage strong, regardless of your financial situation.

Communicate, communicate, communicate

This particular piece of advice is given over and over again, but there's good reason for that. We humans are often ill-equipped to deal with conflict, and we don't always know how to communicate respectfully, lovingly, and empathetically.

Effective communication requires the ability to talk about issues while also listening to how your partner feels. When we're feeling upset or stressed it can be difficult to speak from a place of understanding. Often, both partners are reluctant to admit vulnerability. We all want to feel in control, especially of our finances. Honest communication means bulldozing those walls we've put up and becoming comfortable admitting that, sometimes, we don't have it all under control (and that's okay!).

Communication is also like any other skill — you need to practice. If you're struggling to communicate and feel like you aren't getting anywhere, you may even want to consider couple's communication counseling .

Reduce stress around money

Allow me to quote myself for a moment : "Stress leads to anxiety, depression, and sometimes to bad choices like alcoholism. Reducing stress is the key to a healthy, long-term marriage."

But how do you actually reduce stress around something so, well, stressful ?

Start with a plan for managing your finances, just like a business would. You'll need to become comfortable communicating with your spouse for this to work, but the results will be more than worthwhile. Here are some things you can try:

  • Create a budget together. Online tools like can be very helpful for this.

  • Consider reforming your spending habits and frame those spending decisions as a conscious choice rather than an imposition or sacrifice.

  • Practice gratitude when you do spend money. Science has proven that practicing gratitude is a simple and effective way to transform your mood, and it can also dramatically increase the joy and satisfaction you and your spouse feel when spending money together.

Whatever you do, avoid playing the blame game

Blaming your partner for financial issues might feel cathartic in the moment. It's also a highly ineffective conflict resolution tactic. Placing blame on the other person does nothing to actually solve your economic woes, even if you truly feel that your spouse is the guilty party.

It all comes back to communication. You need to work together to create an environment where both of you feel comfortable sharing how you feel. Then, actively work on keeping those lines of communication open each and every day.

Our caring therapists can work with you and your partner to help you attain your strongest relationship, contact us today!