Wednesday, October 08, 2008
A recent American Psychological Association study showed that almost 3/4's of people are worried about money. Debt is going through the roof, both on a national level and as individuals. And according to the same study, financial disagreements are at the top of the list for marital disagreements and divorces.
And that study was done before the floor fell out! Now, we watch in fear as banks struggle to survive. We watch as our home values plummet, and for those with variable rate mortgages, the payments go up. Less value, higher cost. That does sound like a recipe for stress!
In these times, it makes sense to find security and love from our spouse. Marriage should be a refuge from the storm, not merely another location of crisis.
I have heard from people who have told me that they are so exhausted by trying to keep their heads above water that they don't have the time or resources to deal with the marriage. Wrong approach! This is the time to invest in the marriage. This is the time to dig in and hold on.
A previous post noted that not divorcing can save the average home $20,000, just in the first year. Over time, that number goes way up. The results of divorce include lost value in a home, the costs of maintaining two households, the reduction in retirement savings, and the liquidation of assets at the worst possible moment.
In recent days, we all have been reminded on how little control we have over our world. We can't control the price of gas, can't stop the stockmarket's drop, can't control the loss of credit, can't stop our house value from plummeting, and can't stop the worldwide crises.
But we do have some control on our little world in our home. We do have options on whether to provide shelter for each other in the storm. We have control on whether our marriage falls apart or not.
I heard a recent story about how many married women are going onto singles websites. There seems to be a group of bored people (not just women) who are not getting their needs met in marriage. The old reason was the "golf widow," those who felt abandoned by partners hitting the golf course.
The new term is "downturn widow." That describes someone who has lost time together with a spouse who is working harder, longer hours, and trying to stay above water. Imagine this shift! Before, it was a sense of being abandoned in favor of a pastime. Now, it is a feeling of abandonment because a spouse feels the need to put more effort into surviving. How tragic!
I am not saying that this describes the majority of people, but it does point to a current pulling society toward a sad conclusion: marriage is for the good times, not the bad times.
That is the sad part. In the good times, we should relish our marriage. In the bad times, we should seek shelter with each other.
Our world gets more and more unstable. Find stability in your small world!
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