How to Cope With Financial Stress Among Couples

Financial Stress among couples. To Cope with financial stress. Front view of a stressed young couple facing financial problems, sitting on couch and looking at bills
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Give your stress wings and let it fly away.

Financial stress is inevitable for most couples. To prevent that, couples usually have three options.

Life happens. Research has found that financial stress can have detrimental relational effects. To prevent that, couples usually have three options if they are to restore and maintain relational equilibrium, they can:

  • Reduce the stressors
  • Change their meanings of the situation
  • Increase their capabilities

Couples can use healthy communication to alleviate the relational impact of financial stress.

There is a study that’s focused on the third option by examining how to effectively communicate with each other in light of financial difficulties. Psychologists explored healthy couple communication as a potential mechanism couples (and those that work with couples at WitsMo) can use to alleviate the relational impact of financial stress. It was found that the negative impact of husbands’ financial anxiety on their marital quality is less severe when couples have positive communication patterns. Additionally, the negative impact of wives’ financial anxiety on the marital quality is less severe with healthy couple communication. Although financial stress may be inevitable for many, low marital quality does not have to be.

To prevent that, couples usually have three options if they are to restore and maintain relational equilibrium: they can reduce the stressors, change their meanings of the situation, or increase their capabilities.

Financial conflict is a better predictor of divorce than any other source of conflict.

Financial difficulties play an important role in both the duration and quality of marriages. It was found that financial conflict was a better predictor of divorce than any other source of conflict. Similarly, financial strain is associated with increased disagreements and decreased time together as a couple. Almost every marriage will experience some form of financial conflict, strain, or stress, much of which is unavoidable, e.g., the sudden loss of a job, serious illnesses, or economic declines. It is important to understand mechanisms by which couples can effectively cope with financial stress.

Financial strain is associated with increased disagreements and decreased time together as a couple.

Financial Therapy for couples can help improve healthy communication and relieve negative relational effects of financial stress.

Prevent Financial Stress. Couples Financial Therapy. Interracial couple with laptop. sitting at the table.

The importance of accessing to financial therapists, financial planners, or marriage & family therapists has been studied and validated by researchers. WitsMo‘s Financial Therapy virtual sessions can help improve your couple communication and relieve some of the negative relational effects of financial stress. Financial therapists can also help couples develop healthy general communication skills rather than focusing only on finance-specific communication. Alternatively, financial therapists may incorporate or consider Marriage & Relationship Education programs which have been found to improve couple communication.

Working on communication skills separate from and in addition to working through financial issues may prove to be more effective at protecting relationships from the deleterious effects of financial stress.

Finally, financial therapists strive to tailor solutions and coping mechanisms to the individual rather than to the couple as a single unit. And this approach may achieve better results.

Next. Read about Everything You Need to Know About Your Workaholic Father.

Reference: Kelley, H. H., Lebaron, A. B., & Hill, E. J. (2018). Financial Stress and Marital Quality: The Moderating Influence of Couple Communication. Journal of Financial Therapy,9(2)

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