Ask the therapist: Do financial woes affect marriage?

Published: Fri 22 Jan 2021, 12:07 AM

It’s been a while since my husband hasn’t had a job. I’m the sole breadwinner in the family. While I don’t doubt he’s putting in considerable efforts into getting a new job, the financial strain our current situation is putting on our relationship is damaging. I tend to blame him, even deride him, for not managing to get a job yet. But I speak mostly out of frustration. What can I do to cope with our present circumstances? — Karuna

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Dear Karuna, I can see how carrying the weight of financial responsibility must be overwhelming and causing a great deal of stress in your family. I am glad you recognise that he is doing what he can to get a new job and that your negativity towards him comes out of frustration. Your husband is trying to get a job during a time of uncertainties, lay-offs, and pay cuts. Please keep in mind that he has no control over the current economic challenges. However, thanks to the extensive immunisation drives, we can look forward to recovering from the economic damage Covid has caused.

I suggest you pay closer attention to your self-care. I would like you to find a way to manage your stress better, to feel more calm, and at peace. Try to emotionally connect with your husband, so the two of you can offer each other support. I can only imagine how stressful it is for your husband to remain unemployed and receive his wife’s disapproval.

Overcoming this adversity together will strengthen your bond. To further strengthen your relationship, it would be helpful for you and your husband to begin each day with a few words of gratitude for what you do have and share.

Dr Annette Schonder is an integrated psychotherapist with

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