New Stuff to Blog About and More

How to Cope With Loss of Financial Independence in a Relationship

from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit

When one partner takes to staying home after both partners have been working, the sudden loss of financial independence can be a source of frustration, tension, and misunderstandings. It is very important to have clear understandings about money in this situation, so that neither partner feels a sense of loss, abuse, or curtailment of the ability to make choices.


  1. Have a solid relationship. One person losing financial independence will not improve a shaky relationship. It will usually make things a lot worse. Before you make this choice, be sure of your relationship and its strength. Take the time to discuss the likely negative consequences of less income in the household, from tighter budgeting, to loss of friends with more money, to kids annoyed that they can't have what they want right there and then.

  2. Make lifestyle changes. Both partners will now have to go without certain things that could be afforded easily before. This means that the partner with money must also reassess his or her priorities too and not lump all of the sacrificing onto the partner staying at home. Make this very clear to the partner still working; it may take some reminders now and then. But it is important for your self-esteem that you don't fall into a bad habit of letting the partner with money spend on themselves at your expense, leaving you feel that you just "have to go without" again. The person who makes the money should not be the one "making the rules" and the new rules must be made cooperatively, in consultation with each other and by consensus.

  3. Expect some people in your life to disappear. This can be a good test of who your friends really are. When you begin declining the restaurant invitations and the expensive outings that you used to go on, some friends will disappear. Those who stick by you and your choice are worth every bit of the friendship. They are the people who respect you for who you are, not for your earning potential.
  4. Create a budget. This budget should cover all the bills, the basics, the needs of any children. And it should leave room for some private spending money for each partner. This money should be spent, saved, donated, whatever, according to the whims of each partner without dictates from the other. Even if it's only $20 a time, it's your $20 to do with what you will. And don't ask questions of each other about this private spending money; it is information that can be volunteered but not demanded. This continues a sense of financial independence over which the partner-at-home does have control.

  5. Take on the responsibilities of bill payment, budgeting, bargain hunting, etc. This frees up the lunch hours of the working partner (avoiding those queues!) and it gives the partner-at-home the knowledge of what is coming in and what is going out.
  6. Do not expect it to be easy and do be wary of falling into common self-esteem eroding traps. Losing financial independence is never easy and it can leave you feeling vulnerable, worthless, and helpless. Avoid these feelings like the plague though; they may be tempting but you are an important person no matter your earnings capacity. Perhaps you are caring for children, perhaps you are recovering from an illness, perhaps you are in between jobs–whatever the reason, you are still an active participant in your relationship, in keeping your home running well, in raising your children, in seeking employment etc. and all of these activities matter.
  7. Look for the positives. Do not see it as a loss of financial independence. See it as an opportunity to take charge of household budgeting, to be a good manager of all that you have become responsible for. Look at the time you have available to make savings, such as growing your own food, cleaning your own home with eco-friendly homemade products, picking up your kids early from school instead of using after school care, making your own meals instead of buying pre-packaged etc. Whilst there is a big income drop when one partner stays home, there is the pick-up of time and if you assess all the shortcuts that you took when working (e.g., takeouts), you will likely find you can do it all better, cheaper, at home.

  8. Invite people over more. Friends and family around the house will keep you good company and show you that life is what this is all about, even in the midst of financially lean times.

LGA: 5 books for $.99 plus free book


  • Volunteer work a few hours a week can help increase your sense of giving and provides friendships and colleagues to be with. It is likely that there is something you can volunteer in, even if you are housebound.
  • Do not put yourself down; you are every bit as important as the working people–affirm this at least twice a day.

Related wikiHows

Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Cope With Loss of Financial Independence in a Relationship. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

Stumble It!


Find it Here

Custom Search