Marriage, Family, and the Impact of Economic Stress
By Klaus Klein MA, Registered Clinical Counsellor
You may not be in control of your job or the economic downturn,
but you and your spouse can always find positive and resourceful
ways to handle the impact of economic stress on your marriage and
your family. How you handle this stress can actually bring you closer
to each other. It does not have to cause distance and continual
Slow Yourself Down
Watch for signs that the stress has gotten to the point where your emotions feel like they are in chaos and your head is 'spinning'.
Breath Before Reacting
Consciously take some breaths to calm yourself before you react in a negative way towards the people most dear to you.
Focus On How You Are Experiencing Yourself
Allow yourself to become aware of your emotions - don’t judge, just acknowledge and accept that emotions come and go and that they are yours to deal with.
Become Aware Of Your Thoughts About Yourself
Realize what you're creating and repeating in your head and how this affects your actions. Getting caught in a negative "spinning cycle" can keep you from taking positive action. There can always be at least one positive aspect about yourself you can appreciate and focus on. For some it may be "I know I will never give up." Or "no matter what happens I will protect and cherish the relationships I have with my spouse and family." Reminding yourself of these positive aspects of yourself and your life can begin the switch from hopelessness and despair to taking positive action regardless how small.
Look At Your Internal Assets
What do you bring to the relationship and to your children? It could be a commitment not to give up on them, it could be the courage to share your fears, disappointments, and hopes about yourself with your partner instead of trying to hide and deny them. It could be the strength not to give in to despair, but to focus on being creative in a financial crisis along with your spouse and family.
Make A Commitment To Your Family
Decide how you are going to be with family members during times
of crisis or stress. Keep in mind that your marriage is not your pay
check or house. You may loose money but that does not mean loosing
the internal assets that you have with your spouse or partner that
make a marriage.
Klaus Klein, MA, RCC
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