How to Keep Your Relationship Healthy in the Face of Financial Burdens

financial-burdens

Guest post by Angelita Williams

This year on Valentine’s Day, I did something for my fiancé that I’ve never done before, and won’t ever do again — nothing.  I learned a valuable lesson, which I want to share with anyone who is in a relationship, struggling with money.

 

I’m typically romantic to a fault, going overboard at every occasion, and I often spend too much trying to lavish my significant other with gifts.

 

However, this year, with the wedding just around the corner, we’ve both been stressing to the point of frenzy about money.  Every cent seems borrowed; even our tax refunds, which were considerable this year, were claimed by some bill or wedding detail.

 

So I decided to start looking for a second job.  We both work full-time, and before I started my search I talked with my fiancé to make sure we’d both be ok with seeing a little less of each other if and when I got another job.  Though neither of us were excited at the prospect, we both knew that, in the long run, it would be best.

 

Soon, however, the job search and the possibility of making even just a little more money consumed me.  All my time was devoted to parsing down and perfecting my resume, writing unimpeachable cover letters, and finding more job opportunities.

 

After work I would drive around stopping in at establishments unannounced to fill out applications and talk to managers.  By the time I decided to pause my obsession long enough to sleep, my fiancé had long since been in bed.

 

I hadn’t even found a job and we hadn’t seen each other in almost two weeks.  Finally, February the 14th came along.  I walked in our front door after work, already heading straight for my computer to start looking for job openings, and I saw it: a vibrant display of gifts arranged neatly on the kitchen counter, waiting for me.

 

At that moment I realized I had completely neglected Valentine’s Day.  I guiltily opened my fiancé’s gifts, unable to make eye contact.  We went to bed without saying a word to each other, and the silence carried on for days.

 

Finally I broke down.  I apologized, even though I felt it was futile, and tried to explain myself.  My fiancé was understanding but, rightfully, concerned.  Was money that important?  Did we really need it that badly? Was a second job worth sacrificing our relationship over?

 

The situation was complicated because we did need the money, but obviously my focus and obsession was more detrimental than beneficial.

 

With the economy still weak, it isn’t uncommon for couples to be working two jobs each, and I was no exception.  Your relationship can and will suffer if you don’t manage your time well.  Luckily my fiancé and I were able to move past my blunders, but there was a time when I thought I had hammered the last nail in my own coffin.

 

As useful and necessary as money is for getting married and starting a family, it pales in comparison to the power of love.  If you are in a situation where getting a second job might have to be a reality, talk with your partner or spouse first (that was the only thing I did right).

 

After that, make sure to always leave an hour or two a day, or a whole day on the weekend — whatever it takes — to spend with your significant other.  Constantly tell him or her how much you love them and appreciate them.  Never let them feel that the job search is more important than they are.

 

Young couples are probably more prone to this than older couples, but even married couples who have been together for decades might fall prey to the money trap.  No matter what your situation in life or how long you’ve been together, remember that money may come and go, but a relationship will last as long as you put forth the effort.

 

 

By-line:

This guest post is contributed by Angelita Williams, who writes on the topics of online courses.  She welcomes your comments at her email: angelita.williams7 @gmail.com.

 

Tags: , , , ,

Category: Relationships