The American Family Survey (AFS) reported that couples who had financial problems were more likely to also say that their marriage was in trouble. If a relationship is not stable, financial distress could break it.
It is not surprising that many couples are facing financial difficulties. As the pandemic forced many businesses to close or downsize, the U.S. unemployment rate reached an unprecedented peak in April last year. The rate for January this year is still significantly higher than that before the pandemic.
While data from Bowling Green State University’s Center for Family and Demographic Research show that the number of divorces in the U.S. declined in 2020, experts believe that the reason could be financial difficulties. They surmise that couples who plan to divorce are waiting for a more stable situation before doing so.
If your marriage is at its end and both of you are sure that you can no longer face the pandemic together, then it is time to hire a good divorce lawyer.
If there is any chance that you can work out your relationship, though, there are things you can do to cope as you stay together in the pandemic.
Find ways to earn extra income to address your financial hardship. You can do this separately or together as a team if that is still possible in your situation.
If you both have jobs, you can find part-time online freelance work you can do on the side during your free time. This is easier if you work from home. It can also be possible even if you work outside, though. You can find time to do this upon getting home. If you are jobless, you can do this full-time.
Choose your freelance work based on your skills. Among the available online freelance opportunities now are teaching or tutoring, bookkeeping, app development, copywriting, graphic design, digital marketing, transcription, translation, or being a virtual assistant.
You can build a small business from home as well. Online retail is one of the most successful types of businesses in the pandemic, and you can be a part of it.
You can do drop-shipping, which does not require you to have an inventory of goods to sell. You only set up an online store and have a third-party supplier. Once you get an order, you buy the item from your supplier and trigger shipment to the customer.
Other small business models are also succeeding during the pandemic. You can check these out to find what suits you best.
One of the most common issues between a couple is having an imbalance in the division of labor. You can avoid this by agreeing on a division of tasks based on each of your available times.
If the small business you are setting up involves both of you, it is even more important to delineate each one’s scope of work. Consider each of your skills, strengths, and weaknesses in doing so.
This should also apply to household chores.
If you have children, you must share child-rearing responsibilities in general. You can, however, assign specific tasks to each other depending on the age of your children. This can range from feeding and bathing toddlers to helping school-age children with their online schoolwork.
No relationship can prosper without open communication. If your communication has deteriorated, now is the time to fix this.
Agree to be calm and logical during discussions. Make it a rule to be honest with each other. This is also vital for the business you are setting up if you are in it together.
If you have children, you must be even more careful in how you talk to each other in front of them. Even if they are too young to understand what you are saying, your tone of voice and attitude can upset them.
Being confined together for long periods because of the pandemic can cause tension. It leads to sensitivity, irritability, hot tempers, and other causes of friction.
It is best to give time for each one to have breathing space away from each other. Alternate going out on essential errands like grocery shopping.
Inside the house, take turns spending alone time in the bedroom or any room of your choice. Use this time to do things that you love and that relax you. This provides a release valve for each of you.
The pandemic has changed everything. In challenging a relationship, it can either break it or make it stronger. You can only know the outcome if you give it a shot and give your relationship a fighting chance.
If you explore all your options in addressing your financial problems and other issues in your relationship, you will know that you have done your best. No matter how it ends, you will have no regrets.
Who knows, this can be the opportunity for you to discover that you can succeed as an entrepreneur. That is a happy ending.