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Grow Your Relationship in Tough Times

6 February 2009 No Comment
Finding love when times are tough

Finding love when times are tough

The world as we have known it is changing dramatically.  Many financial institutions we assumed were permanent have gone bankrupt. The government is now trying to rescue the banks from the catastrophe, estimating trillions of taxpayer dollars may needed.  Sadly, even with this spending, there is no guarantee that it will solve the problem. It is a time to change the way we see the world, it is time to change our mindset. Our mindsets are a way of thinking, including beliefs and mental attitude. Our mindset determines how we interpret and respond to everything that we experience.  For example, until recently, most Americans believed the best place to protect their money was in our major financial institutions. Our mindset and the willingness to risk our financial future was based on the perception that these great institutions were well managed, solid, and secure. Now we are faced with their collapse; decreasing home values, depreciating assets, and increasing job loss. Money put away faithfully for retirement is shrinking. Many of the assumptions about good financial management seem lost in an uncertain world. As with any time that our mindset becomes out of step with our reality; we are all experiencing; frustration, anger, and anxiety.

Of course this increasing financial stress is impacting couples and creating conflict. This is a time when couples either pull together or come apart.  The good news is that times like these can actually strengthen relationships. Like soldiers who experience battle together, a bond of greater intimacy and trust can grow in such times. To take advantage of this opportunity, we need to find new mindsets that lead to our success. The first step in finding our new mindset is accepting that change is good. Making the positive change is the second more difficult step. We need to use our minds, to be creative in the face of adversity. The better we relate to the people in our life the more success we will have.

Each of us does our best to make our relationships succeed. When a relationship doesn’t work, we often we don’t understand why. This is a symptom of unawareness and misunderstanding. We often do not realize we have beliefs and attitudes, or mindsets, that profoundly influence everything we do. For example, if we hear a loud noise outside right now, two people with differing mindsets can experience and react very differently to the same sound. One person with combat training may perceive the sound as a potential threat, reacting with an adrenaline rush and guarded fear. The second person, unexposed to the darker side of human behavior may only experience the sound as a firecracker, marking a celebration, reacting with excitement and joy. Because all we know is what we have seen and experienced, we often don’t realize that there can be a different way.  We use the mindsets inherited from our parents and our families. However, what worked for them doesn’t necessarily apply in our changing world, or with a partner who was conditioned by a different mindset. To recognize that you are not aware of everything you need to know about relationships, and how to make them work is a big first step toward advancing your partnership. Awareness is the beginning of change. Change through new awareness applies to every aspect of our lives and especially to succeeding with our relationships.

So what does this really mean to you? Change your mindset about money and power in your relationship. Accept that both partners must understand the financial big picture, regardless of who earns the most, and that this power sharing will help you succeed financially.  Take the first step. Have a conversation you need to have about money. Get on the same page about your finances. See the big picture together. Create a plan. Seize the chance to make your life better.

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