Yourtango logo

The Couple’s Guide to Facing a Money Crisis

  • By Daniel Linder, MFT, Ronda Wada, Ph.D. Sherrie Campbell, YourTango
  • January 31, 2014

couple money crisis

Recovering from an untimely or unexpected financial crisis is a process that involves both a plan and an attitude shift. Sure, bad things can happen unexpectedly, but the way out of them is smart thinking and a strategy. If you find yourself facing an unexpected emergency, here's how to get out of it with ease and grace:

1. Face it head-on. While it is, to some degree, human nature to put off things that are unpleasant, ultimately that way of thinking just won't get you anywhere. The fact is that the situation will likely only grow if it's left ignored. Be realistic about where you are and resolve to do whatever it takes to correct the situation. Talk openly and honestly about what has happened and how it's affected you and your relationship.

2. Remember that you're in this together. During the course of life, conflicts and stress arise that can bring out your differences. A couple's ability to resolve such crises intact depends not just on how much you love each other, but more on how you respond to the unexpected. Try to remember that respect, kindness, honor and trust are the foundations of a healthy union, and try to maintain your commitment to your spouse as you dive into the issues.

3. Do what you can. Something like job loss can quickly snowball into panic. The situation may seem insurmountable when you think of having to handle it all at once. But ask yourself this: how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. Stay active but only concern yourself with one action at a time.

4. Be open. We lean toward the most obvious options. What are the other possibilities? Could you barter? Make special payment arrangements? Or defer the bill until you get another job? You'll never know unless you ask!

5. Identify those who can help you. If you have lost a job or are in debt, what can you do to change your circumstances? First, delegate out. A wise man has many delegates. Gather resources that feel right to you and utilize them. Whether that is debt consolidation, taking out a loan to keep your business operating, or just plain old cutting back, call those in who can support you.

1 2