The Effects of Financial Stress on Marriage: Psychological and Physiological Impacts

effects of financial stress on marriage

Marriage is a sacred bond between two people that love one another. It takes time, hard work, and dedication to really make it work. Unfortunately, outside elements sometimes take a toll on a marriage, causing couples who once vowed to make it through sickness and health to drift apart. Often times, money plays a large role as one of those elements. So, what are the effects of financial stress on marriage? How does it impact us psychologically and physiologically?

The Effects of Financial Stress on Marriage:

No matter what your social status is or your demographic, none of us are safe from the grips of the pressures that weigh on our relationships. Marriage, in particular, is arguably one of the hardest relationships to maintain in our lives.  Not only does compromise come into play but money does as well. From budgeting to spending, these decisions can make or break your relationship. But, what are the actual effects of financial stress on marriage?

Psychological Impact:

According to the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), financial distress can have destructive effects on not only the married couple but their children as well. Money issues can cause feelings of failure, tension in the household, and overall negative behaviors that trickle throughout the family. Common psychological effects, the AAMFT states, includes but is not limited to:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Overwhelming levels of stress
  • Feelings of detachment
  • Confusion
  • Alcohol or drug abuse

Generally, this financial stress feeds into feelings of feeling incapable and developing unrealistic expectations of ourselves. If left alone, these effects can escalate and turn what was once a healthy and empowering environment into a dark and desolate place.

Physiological Impact:

Financial stress also hurts us physically. In a 2003 Ohio State University research paper by Theodore F. Robles and Janice K. Kiecolt-Glaser titled, “‘The physiology of marriage: pathway to health,” studies show that social relationships have an impact on our long-term health, especially in terms of marriage. When in a loving, positive relationship, mortality rates and illness have been shown to decrease, while these numbers increased for those in stressful marriages. Marital stress, brought on often by economic hardship, can affect the body in three main ways, the research finds: cardiovascular, endocrine, and immune systems. Therefore, physiological issues that may arise from such may include the following:

  • High blood pressure
  • Upset stomach
  • Nausea and diarrhea
  • Compromised immune system
  • Higher levels of stress
  • Irregular production of hormones
  • Over or under eating

When this happens, we may not understand why our body is reacting to stress this way, and we may try to play the blame game. However, it’s important to remember that instead of allowing ourselves to adapt to this way of living, we need to fight it. What can we do?

How to Fight the Negativity Financial Stress Causes on a Marriage:

When you first get married, you likely have an excellent perception of your spouse, Benjamin R. Karney of the American Psychological Association wrote in this 2010 article. Over time, however, that perception can dwindle, depending on how positive you are able to stay about your relationship. This, Karney writes, is what happy couples do; they are able to turn their spouse’s shortcomings into explanations of a bigger picture. He uses the example of defining your significant other’s distance one evening as a result of a bad day at work rather than a lack of interest in you.

Unfortunately, long periods of stress can still tear apart even the strongest couples. To combat this, keeping financial stress as low as possible will help to eliminate one more element that can be harmful to your marriage. A few ways to do this are:

  • Recognize your own faults/contribution to the financial issues. Instead of placing blame, take a look outside of yourself and see how you might also be contributing to any monetary problems happening in the household.
  • Talk to your partner. Although conversation about money (budgeting, the what-ifs, etc.) should ideally happen prior to walking down the aisle, it is sometimes still not enough to keep the strain away. Have recurring conversations with your spouse about the budget and managing the money, and see what you can do (together) to make positive changes.
  • Get it down on paper. Karney recommends what he calls a Financial Performance Improvement Plan, where you identify two to three specific setbacks with money and create a solution for each. Be as specific as possible and create a deadline to ensure follow-through. Repeat as much as necessary until you have a potential solution for each money problem.
  • Don’t forget to nourish the relationship. Just because you have financial stress does not mean you need to neglect the emotional aspects of your marriage. As you try to improve your situation, consider cheap date nights or weekend getaways that fit your budget.
  • Talk to a therapist. You should consider talking to a therapist, either together or separately, to overcome any of the psychological and physiological impacts that may have already begun to take place from the effects of financial stress on marriage. This is especially true if you are having suicidal or hopeless thoughts and have a hard time feeling motivated to work and so on. Being healthy and taking care of yourself is extremely important in maintaining wholesome relationships both within and outside of your marriage.

Anyone can be a target to a marriage dealing with economic issues. Financial stress does not have to mean a lack of funds; it can also mean not agreeing on how to spend the combined income. It’s OK to ask for outside help from friends and family members to see how they may be able to relate or what input they can provide as an outsider. Sometimes, the simplest solution is taking a look outside of ourselves so that we can help ourselves.

What is your take on the topic? What advice would you add? 

T Harv Eker’s Net Worth

t harv erker's net worth

Going from $0 to millionaire is already a challenge, so to do it in two and a half years seems almost like a miracle. That is exactly what motivational speaker and author T Harv Eker claims he was able to do, according to the biography on his website. Although numbers vary, T Harv Eker’s net worth reportedly stands at roughly more than $3 million. So, how did he accomplish such success in his life?

T Harv Eker’s Career

Eker always had a strong work ethic. Coming from a low-income home, he began working at the age of 13. Throughout his teenage years, he would deliver newspapers, scoop ice cream, sell suntan lotion at the beach, and so on. He dreamed of becoming a millionaire, and so, during his time in college, he left his studies at York University to pursue his ambitions.

With a variety of jobs under his belt, he started several different businesses, but they did not work out. Life took a temporary turn for the better, though, when he opened a retail fitness store in North America, which he expanded to 10 different locations in only two and a half years then sold a portion to a Fortune 500 company, his website states. Although the sale did make him a millionaire, mismanagement of his money led him to lose his fortune in less than two years.

After his financial loss, he began to study people’s relationship with money, which led him to develop theories, such as his “Millionaire Mind” concept, he wrote in his New York Times best-selling book, Secrets of the Millionaire Mind with over a million copies sold.

Sources of Income

Along with his book, Eker is a motivational speaker and developed programs that help others learn how to be successful through financial courses he created. These include but are not limited to Life Makeover Coaching, Million Dollar Business Secrets, and The Wealthy Marketer. These mentoring and coaching programs range from a one-time payment of roughly $300 to $500 to about $300 per month for the more involved courses. He also speaks at events and produces seminars, sharing his knowledge of obtaining (and keeping) your wealth.

t harv eker seminar

Additionally, he formed the seminar company Peak Potentials Training, which was then acquired by event production company Success Resources, according to the company’s November 8, 2011 press release. Eker, however, continued to support the operations of Peak Potentials.

Eker also wrote another best-selling book called SpeedWealth, which was self-published.

T Harv Eker’s Net Worth

The above resources brings T Harv Eker’s net worth total to an estimated $3.5 million, according to this source. With his reputation as a money expert still to this day, his net worth is likely to continue to rise as he continues to sell his online courses through his website and speak at events. He also continues to offer free trainings, which helps to lead to an increase in sales for his programs.

Eker is proof that you can go from zero to millionaire with perserverence, research, and good old-fashioned hard work. He is also proof that you can easily lose your wealth by not managing your money.

See another celebrity net worth article here

 

Photo credit: Risorse della Mente

What Is the Difference Between Rich and Poor?

difference between rich and poor

According to the United States Census Bureau, the official poverty rate in 2015 was 13.5 percent, which is actually down 1.2 percentage points from 2014. However, despite this decrease in U.S. poverty levels, there is an increase of individuals who consider themselves lower middle class or poor. In an article by Geoff Williams posted on U.S. News’ website on April 24, 2014, Geoff reports that, based on numbers by the Pew Research Center, 25 percent of people considered themselves poor in 2008; today, 40 percent believe this. So, why is this? What is the difference between rich and poor? And is there anything we can do to change that?

How the U.S. Defines Poverty or Poor

Although the number fluctuates year to year, the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) for 2017 for a family of four is $24,600 in the 48 border states and Washington D.C., $30,750 in Alaska, and $28,290 in Hawaii. The U.S. Census Bureau outlined in their 2015 numbers that those in deep poverty, which is defined as a household income below 50 percent of the 2015 FPL, made up 44.6 percent of those in poverty and roughly 6 percent of Americans.

The middle class, though, is a little harder to define, but that is another article for another day.

What Is the Difference Between Rich and Poor?

The obvious differences between those considered rich and poor include income, housing, food, and lifestyle. But, when we dig deeper into the topic, there is actually so much more to it than that.

Motivational speaker and author T Harv Eker notes one big surprising aspect to getting rich in a post on his website from February 2: adding value to people’s lives. Being rich, he says, is not all about you. The more people you help, the richer you become in all senses of the word: emotionally, spiritually, and financially.

Another major factor that Eker attributes to the difference between rich and poor is that rich people see opportunities and poor people see obstacles. There are no “ifs” for what they want to achieve but rather “when.”

Tom Corley, who is also an author and speaker, spent five years studying poor people and their habits. Along with gambling, he found that wasting time comes into play. This can be anything from watching reality TV to spending unproductive time on the internet.

“Time is money,” he says. “The rich understand this.”

He adds that 65 percent of the rich created at least three different streams of income in their lives. The poor, on the other hand, only relied on one.

Additionally, Corley found in his study that 93 percent of the poor people observed did not budget their spending. Not to mention, 61 percent did not own their own home, while 100 percent of the rich in his study did.

Final Thoughts

Just as the difference between rich and wealthy is about mindset, the difference between rich and poor is all about habits. There is a famous quote supposedly said by Bill Gates that goes, “If you are born poor, it is not your mistake. But, if you die poor, it is your mistake.” Whether or not he actually said this is still a bit of a mystery, but regardless, the meaning rings true.

You have the power to change your financial situation, and believing that is the first step. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.

What are your thoughts on the topics?