14 May 2012

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Don’t let finances ruin your relationship

When we are under stress about our finances, we tend to take it out on the people closest to us: our partner, spouse, friends, siblings or even co-workers can get the not-so-bright side of our personality when we feel we are under pressure. While we are under pressure because of our finances and trying to reduce our living expenses, we don’t want to lose or hurt the people closest to us in the process. Terez Williamson, a relationship blogger, wrote an e-book about saving your relationship by living a simpler live. We might think that downscaling can put extra pressure on interpersonal relationships, but Williamson sees it as an opportunity and stepping stone to better relationships.

He focuses on romantic relationships and especially those that have lost their romance because of the pressures of our modern lives. People ask where the passion in their relationship went. The simple answer would be that we don’t prioritize the other person or our relationships enough and that work, financial troubles, kids, and the other million things we need to see to take centre stage and we move our partner to the outskirts of our lives, taking them for granted. Williamson says that then you risk the inevitable: living together like siblings, so used to each other and probably always quarrelling.

As we discussed in the previous posts on freeing yourself from debt and living a simpler life, there are numerous benefits to living with less. The main one would be focussing on the important things in life as opposed to being consumed by everything going on in and around us. Why would it be any different for your relationship? The first thing people might worry about is that their partner will not respond well to their new way of living. In reality, as soon as they see the benefits: paying of your debts, less to clean and maintain, more time for each other and less stress, they will thank you for selling and donating all the things you did not need.

Put up this picture to inspire you to make time for what is important in your life

These “things” that drive a rift between people can also be technology and therefore a digital diet is another big step to having a simpler life with more time for each other. When we spend every free moment in front of the TV, the computer or on our cell phones, we lose sight of what is real and truly important in life: our loved ones.  Williamson says switching off your phone when you are eating out with your partner is the first step to saving your relationship from being like siblings.

It’s not just entertainment that we can make simpler and more real, but our whole lifestyle. When all of our time and energy is directed towards making more money and sustaining a high cost of living, we have nothing left for enjoying the relationships that we have. 

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