As I’ve mentioned before, I’m calling this economic crisis "Financial 9/11." And it’s obvious that this downturn has been around for awhile, and may be here to stay for quite some time.
A report was recently released that the recession is said to have started this time last year. Meaning we’ve already been experiencing a decline for nearly a year.
Not to start this article off on a down note, but it can be hard to keep spirits up, especially during the holiday season, when news like this hits the airwaves. So how can you avoid committing financial infidelity in this tough economic times?
Avoid Financial Infidelity
Those who end up falling into financial infidelity are often seeking to duplicate the euphoric feelings of "falling in love." They are trying to re-create their feelings, maybe not specifically with adulterous affairs, but by other means, including out-of-control shopping, or other risk-taking behaviors.
It may seem counter-intuitive that someone would "binge-shop" during tough financial times or that a person would actively seek out risk, but the satisfaction that is felt from this "quick fix" can appear to be worth the risk or the cost.
Talk to Your Partner
The key to avoiding such destructive behavior is communication. I touch on various types of relational/financial communication in my book, Financial Infidelity, and there are many different ways to communicate your feelings about money and finances.
You could engage in Smart Heart dialogue where you use a transition in life to ask crucial questions and uncover you and your partners ideas about money. You could focus on your "Imago," the way you look at money based on your past both as an individual and as a couple.
Don’t Let Stress Get to You
The important this is to not let the stress get the better of you and to keep engaging each other in honest conversation. It’s hard not to let these conversations escalate, but it’s important to keep a neutral tone so that each person feels comfortable talking about their concerns:
*Echo what you hear and validate your partner’s feelings. Truly listen to the other person and let them hear you repeat their thoughts and concerns back to them. This assures them that you ARE paying attention and not just continuing with your "agenda."
*Detach from your emotions. Try not to let your responses be emotional, but rather focus on the facts and the truth.
After a fair and productive conversation, remember things that each person need to work on, in order to avoid financial infidelity or a need for thrill-seeking behavior.