How financial stress threatens a marriage?
- Jennifer Baxt, LMFT, LMHC
Despite the common misconception among many single people, marriage is not easy. It takes a lot of work because life takes a lot of work. Life can be difficult and complicated enough for a single person, so when another person is involved it can become more complicated. Money is one of the many reasons that a marriage can break up, especially if times of financial distress has continued over a lengthy period of time. In fact, financial stress appears to be the cause of about 80 percent of all divorces. This goes to show just how stressful financial trouble can be for a couple who are both affected by it.
The vows taken today are often recited more because they are what couples are supposed to recite when going through the process of getting married. Very few actually take the time to review the vows and take their meaning to heart. This is why many difficulties that arise at a later time may be enough for the husband, wife or both to call it quits and to start living their separate lives. Money is what allows people to get their necessities, so a lack of money to the point of poverty and the inability to acquire the necessities and comforts of life can often make a married couple stressed and very unhappy with each other. Of course, it is not just simply the lack of money, it is how there came to be the lack of money. There are couples where one or both of them will spend more than they are earning each month. Poor management of the income is often the biggest reason for the financial trouble a couple is experiencing.
As is the case for any couple who are suffering overwhelming stress that is making the couple seriously think about divorce, contacting a family therapist or a couples counselor might not be a bad idea. The therapist or counselor can talk with the couple and help them work out what exactly is causing their want for separation. If it appears that financial stress is possibly the biggest reason, the counselor or therapist can put the couple in touch with someone who can help them right their troubles. Then, the couples therapist can speak with the couple and help them reconcile and maybe even calm the couple down enough to think more clearly about what a divorce would really mean for them and any children that are involved.
Divorce is not something that should never be entered into lightly. It means an end to that relationship and the breakup of a family, which can be greatly traumatizing to the children of that marriage. When a couple believe that the only way out of their troubles is to get a divorce, consulting a marriage therapist to get some impartial advice might help save the marriage as well as find a way to deal with the issues causing the stress. If divorce is still what the parents choose to do, then family counseling for both the parents and the children might be a good idea so that everyone can get through the divorce without unnecessary stress.