We are totally broke after he made some bad career and financial decisions – now we’re even at a stage where we may have to sell our house
I’ve been married for 12 years and my husband and I have one son aged eight.
We had always been very happy until earlier this year, when I found that my attitude towards my husband was changing.
We’re totally broke at the moment, which is depressing because we’re in our early 40s and have worked so hard to build good lives.
I had a very well-paid job, but gave it up to work part-time when our son was born.
Over the past few years, my husband has made a string of bad career and financial decisions, and now we’re faced with having to sell our house and downsize to something smaller.
I know we’re in this together – for better and for worse and all that – but I can’t help resenting him for making such poor errors of judgment.
Instead of talking about it (I’m too angry), I just snap at him all the time and then retreat into my shell. It’s even affecting how attractive he is to me and that’s never been an issue before.
I want him to be strong and I don’t want to see him floundering around without a clue what to do. Am I being nasty – and what can I do?
No, you’re just in a really stressful situation.
Financial stress puts huge strains on a relationship. I bet no one feels as bad about what’s happening as he does, but when he made those decisions he thought he was doing the right thing and you went along with it.
I don’t think it should be about blame – it’s life and sometimes when things go wrong, you try to amend it with another bad decision and it can be hard to see a way out.
Don’t think too much about the long-term future and where you’ll be in five years, but take it day by day.
The key, as with many things, is to tackle an issue in bite-size chunks.
Don’t focus on the whole picture because that can be overwhelming.
Downsizing is sensible and you can still make a gorgeous home together. And when it comes to supporting each other – think of it as a relay.
When one of you is struggling and feeling down or angry, then the other can step in, take the baton and be strong for both of you.
Try to use the stress and anger you feel in a positive way. Think, “OK this is the situation and it’s a rubbish one”, but then sit down and make a plan.
Ask yourself ‘what are we going to do this week? What little bit of it are we going to try to solve?’
Once you start taking little steps, you’ll feel more in control.