Mend a broken relationship: Money problems

What happened?

He’s lost his job, money’s tight and the rows are escalating. You’re still working part time but he wants you to account for every penny you spend, and he goes mad if you buy anything ‘unnecessary’ especially for the kids. But you don’t think they should suffer just because he’s not working. Besides, you’re the one who’s bringing in the money, why shouldn’t you decide how it’s spent?

How you’re feeling

Resentful, angry and worried about the future. Although you would never admit it, you’re also feeling disappointed in him for losing his job and letting you down.

How he’s feeling

Terrified, ashamed and angry that he can’t support his family. Although he’d never admit it, he’s also resentful that you still have a job when he doesn’t.

How to solve it

‘Money rows are rarely about money,’ says Relate’s Paula Hall. ‘They’re about power, control, priorities and self worth.’ Stop fighting and hurting each other, and start talking openly about your shared anxieties. ‘You both realise that you need to be careful with money right now, you both just need to compromise on what you consider “essentials.”‘

Once you’ve done that, you can make practical decisions and life will become much easier. ‘But don’t lose hope,’ advises Paula Hall. ‘Try to see this this as a temporary situation which hasn’t yet got an end date.’

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