This week I am responding to our reader Chris Leiss, who is asking for support around his
marriage which has been greatly impacted by financial stress.
This is his request:
“I have been married for 24 years and am still madly in love. But
circumstances have put tremendous stress on our relationship. I have
been in and out of work and the financial stress has escalated in to
others areas beyond my belief. Please pray for my marriage to stay
intact, to grow and to get stronger quickly. I need help, divine help
may be all that can save this situation”. ~ Chris in Texas
First of all, thank you for reaching out for help and support. It’s
definitely a sign of strength and commitment. Relative to your marriage, in most cases I have found that
money issues in relationships are often a symptom of another
problem that is not being managed or perhaps, even fully recognized.
For example, if your wife has been feeling scared and worn down by life
and financial circumstances and doesn’t feel you are doing enough or
the right actions to get a job, then the real issue to contend with may
be disappointment and/or trust. By no means, am I saying this is the
issue with you, but this is a common dynamic that I see in relationships.
So while your financial stress and job issues are part of the problem,
I would advise you to dig a little deeper and find out what else your
wife may be feeling and begin to address those issues quickly. Also,
while you are looking for a job, is it possible that you could also
find some part-time work doing something else that you are good at? What
other skills and abilities do you have that might be an overlooked
Make a list of everything you know how to
do and see if you can offer some of these skills for pay. In fact, one
of my clients who recently had difficulty finding a job, discovered he really
enjoyed working in his garden and was quite good at landscaping. He started
his own gardening and landscape maintenance business just by putting up
flyers and an ad on Craigslist. He’s still looking for a job in his
field, but for now, he’s making some money doing something he
enjoys. I call this “in the meantime work” and people often overlook
this as an option. Sometimes it even turns into a new career path!
I also recommend that you find a way to get some couples counseling or
money coaching. Many therapists and coaches will work on a sliding
scale and they could help you to navigate this crisis more easily.
Your marriage needs help…do whatever it takes to get it.
You might also read my blog on “Tips for Couples in Financial Crisis” and see if it offers any additional ideas to support you during this
Join the Prayer Circle that is supporting Chris and pray for Chris and his wife to recover from this difficult time.
Here’s a prayer for Chris and his wife.
Please help me and my beloved to move past
our personal and financial challenges.
Show us the way to forgiveness,
help us to release the past
and awaken to the gift of today which brings
new hope and opportunity to begin again.
Help us to recover from our financial struggles,
to become free from debt and learn
from our past experiences.
Please strengthen our faith in you and our relationship,
heal our wounds and return us to the heart of our love.
We surrender this you and know that it is done.
And so it is.