Financial Stress and Premarital Couples

An Australian study has shown that there is a strong link between experience of financial hardship and personal psychological distress (Creed, P.A., & Miller, J. Psychological distress in the labour market: Shame or deprivation? Australian Journal of Psychology, 2006, 58, 31-39). One point made by the authors is that financial distress reduces a person’s capacity to plan and interferes with planning for a meaningful future. It is this that primarily reduces psychological wellbeing.

The golden rule of budgeting: Spend less than you earn and save and invest the rest

Money is a powerful word that conjures up a number of emotions, among them lust, envy, fear, anger, hope, scorn and disgust. Little wonder then, that the most common source of disagreement in families in Australia is money. According to a 2012 study (Hawkins et al) 40% claimed that the way their spouse handles money, was the reason for divorce (third to growing apart 55% and not able to talk together 53%.

4 Tips for Managing Relationship Conflict (Tip 4: Practice, practice, practice)

They say practice makes perfect, but when it comes to our relationships, we are likely to make mistakes. The key is building awareness and developing skills and practicing those skills: awareness of the ineffective ways we resort to when there is conflict and understanding the physical signs that give us an indication that things are getting heated. Then developing skills to engage more effectively and to practice them over and over to ensure we relate better. Be intentional about how you handle conflict.

4 Tips for Managing Relationship Conflict (Tip 3: Validate what your partner says)

Having an argument does not mean that your relationship is in trouble. Disagreements and differences are an inevitable part of life and what matters is how we discuss and solve them. Seek to understand the feelings behind the emotion and seek to understand your partners view. Validate and show empathy as opposed to reacting or responding negatively. This also gives you time to think and process what is being said and ensures your response is more considered. You and your partner may not agree but you'll have approached the issue constructively.

4 Tips for Managing Relationship Conflict (Tip 2: Speak non-defensively)

Having an argument does not mean that your relationship is in trouble. By listening and speaking in a non-defensive fashion and avoiding criticism you can help foster healthy discussion. Disagreements and differences are an inevitable part of our relationships but by speaking non-defensively, this positive posture will benefit your relationship. The following four strategies from relationship guru John Gottman will help you break patterns of negativity and take a positive approach to solving problems:

4 Tips for Managing Relationship Conflict

Welcome the PREPARE/ENRICH Australia blog, proudly supporting couples, facilitators and trainers in its mission 'to build strong marriages and healthy relationships'.

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