Financial Problems and their Impact on Marriage
Not since the great depression have so many people been dealing with financial hardship. The Covid pandemic, inflation, the high cost of buying a house, high mortgage rates, high rental prices, the high cost of gasoline, and the list goes on. It is not surprising that we also see increases in the rates of depression. Studies have also linked depression and anxiety with financial burdens.
It’s a Vicious Cycle
Solving any problem requires clear thinking and an ability to take action. When financial burdens cause a person to become anxious and depressed, they live in an emotional state that makes it almost impossible to solve their financial problems.
For instance, when people feel depressed, they commonly feel overwhelmed and out of control. They want to avoid problems because they can’t bear the weight of it all. Depression and anxiety can also make it hard for people to get proper sleep, and the lack of sleep further aggravates stress and bad mood.
Harvard Business Review recently cited:
“Health care and health behaviors factor into peoples’ lives in different ways, but it’s clear that financial stress and emotional states have a direct impact on people’s health. If a person is constantly feeling stressed about finances and struggling to pay for necessities, they’re likely to have less energy to focus on making healthy lifestyle choices or accessing preventive medicine, thus creating a domino effect on other important aspects of their lives.”
For those living from one paycheck to the next, inflation can cause even greater financial stress, as their income cannot keep up with the increasing costs. Mental health concerns can arise as people worry about their job security and future economic prospects.
The economic downturn is putting stress on marriages at every income level. Whether it’s a job eliminated in an automobile plant or stock losses in the retirement portfolio, unwelcome lifestyle changes have become necessary for many people. Major economic worries affect both individual well-being and the couple’s relationship. The anxiety connected with unpaid bills, credit card debt, and the possibility of job and home loss brings out the worst in people. Anger about money spills over into other areas. Communication breaks down in marriages and families. Differences in handling money surface, and spouses blame each other, which erodes affection.
Severe money problems can cause panic and apprehension and bring many couples to the brink of divorce. But other couples are growing through the difficulty, using their unique skills as a team to overcome adversity.
How a couple handles money is connected to everything else, such as communication, affection, sex, and health. The rising unemployment rate, the deteriorating housing market, and problems with getting credit loans are serious issues. Yes, these problems present the opportunity for couples = to face adversity together and build a stronger marriage.
Secrecy erodes the foundation of a marriage and leads to divorce. A severe problem is secretly buying expensive items is symptomatic of a troubled marriage. In these cases, divorce occurs because trust, which is fundamental to an intimate relationship, is destroyed.
Not being transparent with finances is one of the biggest marriage killers. Spouses must discuss their money before purchasing expensive items. When spouses talk together, it strengthens their marriage.