This article has been contributed by our partner Relationships Australia WA
Research shows that money is one of the top five reasons that couples argue. One of the biggest challenges is not the actual money issues, but what money means to each person and the way in which money issues are talked about in a relationship.
Issues regarding work and the meaning of work may also surface, especially if there's been rearrangements to work conditions or a job loss. These changes can have an impact on time availability - some people may have to work longer or different hours, others may have more time on their hands.
These are complex challenges and not easily managed. The following tips may help:
Plan a time to talk about the situation
Schedule an appropriate time to sit down and discuss these matters with one another, where everyone involved is free from distractions. Money and work conversations can be emotionally loaded, so go slowly and give each other a chance to share your thoughts.
Understand each person's values around work and money
We all hold different values around work and money. In some relationships a crisis may lead to further tensions around people's differences in these values. Be patient with yourself and loved ones and seek to understand their values by asking about their history with work and money.
Understand the impact of any changes to each person's work
Many peoples work location or status of employment has been impacted by COVID-19 pandemic. It's important to give each other space to discuss how the changes in your household have impacted you. Changes to work life and employment status may lead to higher levels of tension in the household, so be kind and have patience for each other.
Seek official financial information and support
The government has created stimulus packages to support people and families financially impacted by COVID-19. You can seek out official financial information from trusted sources like the Australian Taxation Office or the federal Government.
In times of financial crisis there are non-profit organisations which offer professional, qualified, and independent financial counselling, so seek out these services, starting with free financial counselling from the National Debt Helpline 1800 007 007.
Keystart has a long history of helping customers in times of difficulty. This dedication to helping customers in the unexpected crisis of Coronavirus (COVID-19) is no different. Keystart have a wide range of measures in place to help you get back on your feet.
Acknowledge the challenges and losses you face
There is a grievance process associated with any loss. Each person will work through this in their own way. Strive for understanding and acceptance of each other's experience. This is a time for solidarity in your family and relationships. Having solidarity in the face of loss and challenges will reduce the tension you may feel in your relationship.
Focus on strengths of the relationship
Though it will be difficult, don't focus on what you don't have. Focus on your strengths and ability to work through difficulties together. If we focus on the losses and misjudgements, resentment may build. Instead, build a foundation of gratitude in the relationship focusing on how you got through the challenge together and had compassion for each other's experience.
Needing more support
If you're needing more support, remember there are more services available. Here are some services that provide round the clock support when you need it.
Relationships Australia offers a number of support services such as counselling, meditation and relationship courses. You can view their full range of services here.
Other organisations and helplines that offer 24/7 support are:
- Mensline on 1300 78 99 78
- Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800
- Lifeline on 13 11 14
Keystart's Customer Assistance Program with Relationships Australia
In partnership with Relationship Australia WA, Keystart provides customers with up to five free sessions with a Relationships Australia counsellor, to support any customers facing difficulties.
If you are a Keystart customer, you can get in touch with Keystart on 1300 578 278 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how to set up a confidential appointment. The customer assistance program can help to resolve difficulties in a supportive, respectful and completely confidential environment.