It might seem that there’s no connection between an unprecedented potential US financial default and your marriage, but money is one of the leading causes of divorce according to the American Psychological Association. As we near the potential June 1 deadline to avert a default, it’s time for couples to focus on minimizing the emotional fallout. Here are 3 ways to protect your marriage in hard financial times.
First, a little context. In some marriages, one spouse handles all the finances. Lois and I firmly disagree with that mentality. We talk about our finances probably 4-5 times per day. She’s aware of all our bank accounts, assets and liabilities. This way, we’re both equipped with the knowledge needed to make the best decisions.
Reinforce a team mentality
Hard times often make us focus on ourself. It’s an intrinsic psychological form of self-preservation. You may feel you need to spend those dollars to make yourself feel better about something while your spouse may want to put the money in the bank.
No matter who gets their way, both of you will suffer if the marriage suffers. So, adopt a positive mentality that focuses on doing what’s best for the marriage and not for yourself.
Pay down credit cards/unlocked interest rates
As interest rates will probably soar in the event of a debt default, credit card debt may soon cost you more than you’re willing to pay. Make a plan with your spouse to pay down fluctuating interest rates. Together, you’ll achieve more.
Communicate, communicate, communicate
Even if you don’t like talking about money, remember, a marriage isn’t about you—it’s about both of you. So work out a plan with your spouse to cut down excess spending, build savings, and pay down debt.
If you’re both working, this becomes even more critical to avoid one spouse feeling like they don’t have a say in what’s happening in the marriage. On that note, be sure to show appreciation to your spouse. Thank him/her for their time, insight, and help in navigating these challenging times.
This article offers solid tips on how to communicate with your spouse.
Above all, pray for God’s wisdom to navigate financial hurdles and make the right decisions.
What other steps are you taking to protect your marriage/finances? Write in the comments and let us know!
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