Don’t Let Lean Times Be Mean Times

Dr. Pat LoveSurely there’s not a person reading this who has not be challenged by the current economic environment. If you are fortunate enough to be financially fit to weather this imperfect storm, then you probably know someone not quite as lucky or well-prepared. When friends and family suffer, we suffer too. Financial hardship comes with its own brand of stress because it affects every aspect of our life, beginning with survival, and when survival is involved, there are no small issues. An unpaid bill becomes competition for your next meal; a child’s rudimentary school expense becomes a budget breaker. All this added strain can cause distance and disappointment in relationships. A man might feel like a failure because he doesn’t have immediate remedies for daily financial needs; a woman might fear not only for her own welfare but for her loved ones. Without awareness and forethought, shame and fear can drive a wedge in your relationship. Men may shut down or get angry; women may complain, longing for reassurance that’s difficult to guarantee.

The good news is: relationships are one of the strongest buffers against tough times. If you let the challenges bring you closer by putting two shoulders behind the same wheel, weathering this storm will make your commitment more seaworthy and your love more trustworthy. To use this opportunity to your advantage:

1. Make a plan together
2. Set aside time to assess and reassess your progress
3. Celebrate even small successes
4. Don’t forget to use children, family and friends as support
5. Share your love, because unlike money, the more you give away, the more you have

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