My money, our money issue is breaking me
I have been married for 22 years and have four children. Due to coronavirus pandemic, I had to take a pay cut. My wife is also working and she is still earning her full salary.
My dilemma is she is still relying on me as though it’s business as usual. The children are also demanding. The other day I lost it, shouted at her and almost beat her up.
I love my wife and children, but I’m scared I’m losing it and might end up doing something crazy.
Thank you for reaching out. During this Covid-19 season, many marriages are in distress. There is an unusual pressure rising up and if not controlled, it can explode.
We hear you that as a man, you want to provide for your family, but your salary has been cut and that can cause stress.
The children on the other hand might not be aware that the finances are dwindling or are affected.
For them, it is life as usual and a prolonged holiday season. Even when things are normal and you are broke, your children don’t understand this.
So, understand that their level of thinking is not the same as yours and because they have lived a certain lifestyle, that’s what they still expect.
Realise that they are also going through their own stress with this new normal. So bear with them and be patient with them.
As for your wife, is she aware that you had a pay cut? If you haven’t had the discussion, then how do you expect her to think differently? Are you sure that she is still earning full salary?
Could it be that you have never been open about your finances, so however much you say it, she can’t believe you? Why don’t you have a seating with her and let her know the truth.
If in the past you have not been faithful about your finances or haven’t been open about it, then start by apologising for that and bringing her up to speed to where you are at.
Wives appreciate when their husbands are open and honest with them. When they know the truth, they are even more than willing to chip in and help.
Have open discussions on how you can cut down on some items to fit your budget.
Then depending on your children’s ages, try to explain that the whole country is suffering.
When pictures of flooded areas or food donations are shown on TV, use the opportunity to teach them something.
However, have a balance on this so that you are not bombarding them with the news of scarcity as this can shock their system.
If your wife is with you in this, she will even be the one who will ask the children to slow down and can support and help you make them understand.
You need each other’s support in this difficult season, even the children’s. Be open with them as well, and make decisions together as a family.
You will be surprised how your children will adjust and be corporative once they hear the truth about the situation from daddy and mummy. The writers are marriage and relationship coaches [email protected].