I know this does not apply to everyone, but it is on my heart right now for someone out there. I hope that if you know of a couple who struggles in this area you may be able to pass on this information.
As is the case in so many areas, it is not major changes that need to be made but tiny adjustments to the way we think and communicate that pay huge dividends.
So, regular readers, please bear with me if you do not relate to this struggle. There are many who do...Perhaps Valentine's Day will be more special for one couple somewhere because communication is opened up in a new way...hurts are mended and love is restored.
There are some general dynamics that affect most of us in our marriages, as it relates to our finances. It helps to understand the cause of the disconnect we sometimes feel.
The first one that comes to mind is that the husband usually carries his ability to provide for his family as his primary role and burden.
This is built into him and is very important. It is vital that the wife recognizes this and builds him up in this role.
If we, as wives, are constantly worrying and complaining about our financial situation our husbands will often take this as a sign of failure. He wants to be successful in caring for his family. He needs for you to be proud and supportive of him.
Sometimes he is working a job he has absolutely no passion for because he wants to be a good provider. Having us whine and complain may have the effect of making him feel beaten down.
As wives, we can sometimes see a solution, but how we present it is important. Sometimes we knock the very person down that we are attempting to help in our rush to “Fix” the problem. This is where talking and listening come into play.
Plan a time out with your spouse…or better yet…get the kids out of the house and sit down with coffee and a good dessert to devise a plan that both of you can be excited about. Note: IF things have progressed to a major communication breakdown, this is not the time for making a financial plan...wait for tomorrow's post.
As his wife, begin telling your husband how much you appreciate all that he does for the family. Mean it!
He gets up and goes to work... maybe you do too... but we women are wired differently and do not take the responsibility as our identity like our husbands do.
It is who they are. From the time they are looking for their first job and then getting married they are looking for that employment that will enable them to “take care of” someone else.
Problems grow larger if the job found is not something that he is passionate about. Resentments can grow. He feels he is not appreciated in his work and comes home grumpy. We don’t understand and resent his mood and suddenly we have ourselves a cycle.
Now, there is a general sense of being unappreciated at work and at home…he has no place to really be himself…so he finds a hobby that gets him out of the situation, out of the home that should be a respite.
You are now in a position of being like two magnets pushing away from each other. Communication slows or stops…you live in the same house but things are just not the same as they once were.
Does this sound familiar?
Tomorrow I’ll deal with some practical ways to help you express your concerns in a way that does not isolate your husband.