There are few stressors that can wreak havoc on your relationship like financial ones.
In a healthy relationship, there needs to be an agreement about who makes the money.
Feeling shortchanged (no pun intended) because your spouse isn’t helping to bring in money for your bills?
Here are some ideas about how to navigate this challenge.
Our Current Culture and Unique Roadblocks
There was a time when a single-spouse income could provide pretty well for a family.
More than ever before, that time is over.
These days, families are maxed out. Many don’t know of any other way to provide for their expenses other than with two incomes.
Further complicating matters, spouses with young children often question if it’s even worth having a second income given daycare costs.
On one hand, that second job seems like a necessity. On the other, it doesn’t look like the second job will make much of financial difference.
Further adding to the stress is a continuing divide between the rich and poor. We now are the fourth-worst country on a long list of developed nations regarding that divide.
There are plenty of jobs but few good ones–Ones that actually pay your bills.
So, given these challenges, it’s not surprising that this is a hotter topic than ever.
Why Is Your Spouse Not Contributing Financially?
If you can come close to answering that question, you’ll have a better idea of what to do.
Here are some potential reasons your spouse isn’t helping with the bills:
- They are depressed or experience other mental health challenges.
- They’re so discouraged about the job market that they’ve given up.
- There is an underlying physical health challenge.
- There hasn’t been adequate communication for them to know they’re expected to help.
- They’re already maxed out with taking care of kids, cooking meals, running errands and keeping the house (which is vital hard work though it doesn’t pay the bills).
- Your spouse is battling an addiction.
- Your spouse is able-bodied but still refuses to work.
- Several other possibilities or combinations of the above-stated reasons.
What to Do Now
The number-one thing to do is communicate your frustrations in a healthy way even though you’re upset.
It may be that you can downsize and find some other ways to cut spending that would be equal enough to the extra money you think you need.
Yes, downsizing sounds scary. Ironically, many report that the experience isn’t what they expected. They anticipated slavery but, instead, found freedom.
There’s a saying that most in the western world can learn a lot from:
“The more you own, the more it owns you.”
Living above your means truly becomes slavery. Life consists of constantly making money so you have enough to spend on the “high life”. It isn’t focused on what’s way more valuable than money—people.
Every situation is a little different as is the solution.
Seriously consider discussing your challenges with a therapist to help you and your spouse work through them.
You do not need to feel alone in this struggle. You do not need to feel ashamed.
These days, many families are feeling the financial crunch like never before. If it is time for you to schedule your couples counseling appointment online using our online scheduling tool, call us at (949) 393-8662, or text us.