7 Solutions That Can Save a Relationship
Rocky road? Get your love life back on track.
Relationship Problem: Money
Money problems can start even before the wedding vows are exchanged. They can stem, for example, from the expenses of courtship or from the high cost of a wedding. The National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) recommends that couples who have money woes take a deep breath and have a serious conversation about finances.
- Be honest about your current financial situation. If things have gone south, continuing the same lifestyle is simply unrealistic.
- Don't approach the subject in the heat of battle. Instead, set aside a time that is convenient and non-threatening for both of you.
- Acknowledge that one partner may be a saver and one a spender, understand there are benefits to both, and agree to learn from each other's tendencies.
- Don't hide income or debt. Bring financial documents, including a recent credit report, pay stubs, bank statements, insurance policies, debts, and investments to the table.
- Don't blame.
- Construct a joint budget that includes savings.
- Decide which person will be responsible for paying the monthly bills.
- Allow each person to have independence by setting aside money to be spent at his or her discretion.
- Decide upon short-term and long-term goals. It's OK to have individual goals, but you should have family goals too.
- Talk about caring for your parents as they age and how to appropriately plan for their financial needs if needed.
Relationship Problem: Struggles Over Home Chores
Most partners work outside the home and often at more than one job. So it's important to fairly divide the labor at home, says Paulette Kouffman-Sherman, author of Dating from the Inside Out: How to Use the Law of Attraction in Matters of the Heart.
- Be organized and clear about your respective jobs in the home, Kouffman-Sherman says. "Write all the jobs down and agree on who does what." Be fair: Make sure each partner's tasks are equitable so no resentment builds.
- Be open to other solutions, Koufmann-Sherman says. If you both hate housework, maybe you can spring for a cleaning service. If one of you likes housework, the other partner can do the laundry and the yard. You can be creative and take preferences into account -- as long as it feels fair to both of you.
Relationship Problem: Not Making Your Relationship a Priority
If you want to keep your love life going, making your relationship a focal point should not end when you say "I do." Karen Sherman, author of Marriage Magic! Find It, Keep It, and Make It Last says, "Relationships lose their luster. So make yours a priority."
- Do the things you used to do when you were first dating: Make gestures of appreciation, compliment each other, contact each other through the day, and show interest in each other.
- Plan date nights. Schedule time together on the calendar just as you would any other important event in your life.
- Respect one another. Say "thank you," and "I appreciate ...." It lets your partner know that he or she matters.