6 Tips for Helping Your Spouse Through Financial Difficulties


Credit card debt, steep mortgage loans, and large medical bills are financial difficulties that cause stress for married and common-law couples. These tips for helping your spouse through money problems can help strengthen your marriage – even in the worst of times.

Surprisingly, an overly supportive husband or wife can have a detrimental effect on a marriage or common-law relationship! A series of University of Iowa studies shows that too much support – or the wrong kind of support – can wreak havoc on a marriage.

These marriage tips are based on current research about husbands, wives, communication, and support. For more money tips for couples, click Love Marriage & Money: Understanding and Achieving Financial Compatibility Before–and After–You Say “I Do.” And, read on for six ways to cope with money problems in marriage.





Helping Your Spouse Through Financial Difficulties

“The idea that simply being more supportive is better for your marriage is a myth,” says Erika Lawrence, associate professor of psychology in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. “Often husbands and wives think, ‘If my partner really knows me and loves me, he or she will know I’m upset and will know how to help me.’ However, that’s not the best way to approach your marriage. Your partner shouldn’t have to be a mind reader. Couples will be happier if they learn how to say, ‘This is how I’m feeling, and this is how you can help me.'”

Lawrence and colleagues discovered that receiving more support than desired is a greater risk factor for marital decline than not being there for a spouse. “If you don’t get enough support, you can make up for that with family and friends — especially women, who tend to have multiple sources of support,” she said. “When you receive too much support, there’s no way to adjust for that.”

These tips will help you give and receive the right amount of support in your relationship…

6 Tips for Supporting Your Husband or Wife

1. Learn about the different types of support in marriage. In Lawrence’s study, four kinds of support were identified: physical comfort and emotional support (listening and empathizing, taking your spouse’s hand, giving your spouse a hug), esteem support (expressing confidence in your partner, providing encouragement), informational support (giving advice, gathering information), and tangible support (taking on responsibilities so your spouse can deal with a problem, helping to brainstorm solutions to a problem).

2. Figure out the type of support your spouse needs. Just like there are different ways of giving and receiving love in relationships, there are different ways of giving and receiving support in marriage. For instance, your husband may feel most supported when you find and share information about saving money on medical care costs. In contrast, you might feel supported when your spouse does extra chores around the house. To cope with money problems in marriage, ask your spouse how he or she gives and receives support. Don’t guess!

3. Avoid giving too much “informational support.” The results of the University of Iowa study showed that too much informational support – usually in the form of unwanted advice-giving – is the most detrimental. Lawrence says husbands and wives can’t go wrong with esteem support. So, encourage your spouse by expressing confidence that you will overcome your money problems together.

***



Sign up for my free weekly "She Blossoms" newsletter

One Blossom Tip a week. Short and sweet. You'll love it.

* indicates required



The rest of this article has been moved to my new site, “Quips and Tips for Love Relationships.”  

Go to 6 Ways to Support Your Spouse to continue reading.

***

 

If you have any tips on helping your spouse through financial difficulties, feel free to comment below — or join the discussion on “Quips and Tips for Love Relationships.”







Laurie's "She Blossoms" Books

growing forward book laurie pawlik she blossoms
Growing Forward When You Can't Go Back offers hope, encouragement, and strength for women walking through loss. My Blossom Tips are fresh and practical - they stem from my own experiences with a schizophrenic mother, foster homes, a devastating family estrangement, and infertility.








letting go book laurie pawlik she blossoms

How to Let Go of Someone You Love: Powerful Secrets (and Practical Tips!) for Healing Your Heart is filled with comforting and healthy breakup advice. The Blossom Tips will help you loosen unhealthy attachments to the past, seal your heart with peace, and move forward with joy.









miss him book laurie pawlik she blossoms
When You Miss Him Like Crazy: 25 Lessons to Move You From Broken to Blossoming After a Breakup will help you refocus your life, re-create yourself, and start living fully again! Your spirit will rise and you'll blossom into who you were created to be.







xo


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

4 thoughts on “6 Tips for Helping Your Spouse Through Financial Difficulties

  • Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen Post author

    Frank,

    I’m glad this article helped, and I hope you and your wife find supportive ways to help each other through your financial difficulties. If you have any questions or need further resources, please ask!

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  • Frank Peterson

    Hi,

    This was just what I was looking for, because my wife and I are having serious money problems and I don’t know how to solve them. She’s sad and depressed. I gave her some information on debt relief and credit scores, but it may be the kind of support she doesn’t need. Thanks for this information.

    FP