Potential Conflicts in a household due to loss of income by one of the partners


Often a relationship can be affected by many factors. Conflict can come up about anything. arguments about food, and what kind of fog is the family getting are often reasons for arguments. Understanding that combining two personalities in a household and adding to that the number of stressors such as rent, and school tuition can be a recipe for disaster. According to studies financial struggle is the leading cause for divorce followed by infidelity.

When one of the partners in a relationship loses their job, it can create a very toxic environment if one of the partners is not careful and gentle in handling the situation. In this case it does not matter if the woman or the man., or even if it is a traditional or nontraditional marriage. The stress can be the same. One of the things or ways in which this toxicity starts to permeate into the family dynamic is for example when one of the partners loses their job and he or she uses the economic leverage to influence the decision-making process. The fact one of the partners is bringing in all then income combined. This cycle can become sinister and even abusive. Most people do not think about this in the terms of extremes, but the reality is that this can develop into a form of psychological abuse. Let us say for example a woman loses her job and the husband must take care of the family and bills for a couple of months until she gets back on her feet. They have a joint account from which he has been spending in bars and restaurants and bars with his friends. She confronts him and he says, “since you are not making a financial contribution you cannot tell me when or how I will spend my money”. While this example must seem pre designed to make my point valid, the truth that this is exactly what happens in households all over the world.

The negative effect that this type of treatment can be detrimental for the mental health and the well being of the family and relationship as whole. It hurts the emotions of the partner and creates conflict that can even destroy the marriage. Feelings of depression and anxiety can also set root in the family. In an article published by the Journal (Three Charts how Economical Abuse and Emotional Abuse go Hand in Hand, 2017) 38% of women and 22% of men reported economic abuse. This extends to control access to knowledge about the spending, keeping the other partner in the shadow when it comes to decisions like refinancing the car or the house or taking out loans and even as far as not providing the partners who lost their income with some sort of allowance. This is where the abuse becomes more prevalent. As emotional abuse seeks to break down the spirit of the victim economic abuse seeks to control financial independence.

The global pandemic that we are experiencing had left us open for loses, both financial and personal. Many households have been facing unemployment and struggles. As I explained earlier in the same manner financial struggles can set ablaze an array of feelings and emotions that can ultimately break or damage the foundation of a household no matter how solid that foundation can be. It takes a great amount of maturity and compassion from the other person to help up his or her partner when they experience job or income loss.

The economical abuse explained in the previous paragraphs can be matched by the feeling of one being discouraged and deflated by the situation. The frustration of not being able to provide your family or to have an input in the economic decisions can change the dynamics of the family. In addition, if the family has a long-term goal and one of the partners suddenly finds himself/herself without a job the objective or plan will seem further to achieve, putting additional stress on the relationship and family dynamic. Let us imagine for one second that the family is planning to go on a trip by the end of the year to Hawaii and due to the loss of income this trip is postponed, the children can become bitter and angry towards the parent who lose the job or if for instance the goal is for the couple to purchase a home the following year but one of the partners has been unemployed for longer than forecasted, the husband or the wife can start feeling resentment and anger towards their partner. The person receiving this negative feedback can fall into depression and develop anxiety, lash out in anger against family members, feelings of insecurity and inferiority can help develop other issues such as drug and alcohol dep.

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