The financial impact to being in an unfulfilling relationship

man and woman wearing black shirts sitting on bed
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We’ve recently spoke w/ a couple regarding their challenge in intimacy. They’ve been struggling to understand each other causing the male of the relationship to shut down and disconnect, and the woman feeling like she’s not being heard at all. According to a Neil Strauss’ interview with Bustle, 70 percent of relationships starts to falter after the initial projection period of the relationship. This revelation occurs when the initial fantasy provided by being with you partner turns into a harsh reality of unmet expectations. When we’re at this stage of the relationship, one of two things occur.

1. We assume that the root of the problem at first is us.

2. We place blame on our partner for not living up to the expectations we had of them.

There are plenty of other articles in the internet that further elaborates on each one, as well as why we feel that way.  But here’s something to think about. Have you ever thought about the financial consequences when deciding to stay in an unfulfilled relationship? You’ve probably considered these as emotional consequences, but in actuality, it affects much more than that. Below are some examples of the financial impact:

You constantly buy things in the internet to pacify yourself.

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One of the couples we were working with mentioned that early in their relationship, they struggled with communication. The husband worked 2 jobs and was always tired. He would sleep when he’s not working and had a difficult time talking to his wife about anything that doesn’t involve his stress at work. His wife was raising their 2 kids while doing all the chores, cooked and takes their kids to their afternoon activities. Because she’s not getting any support from her husband, she is often stressed to the point of just not caring. She loves her husband, but anytime she brings something that bothers her, they argue which leaves her feeling worse. So, she shops and shops for things to make her feel better. On average, the purchases we’re only $5-$30 per. But looking at it long term, she spends about $3,000 a year for the last 5 years. This puts a dent into their finances because it lessens the available money.

Spending too much money on your hobby.

Photo by Jaroslav Nymburský on

For this example, we’ll use the name Jane and Joe. Joe has been with his spouse Jane for 8 years. Every night he comes home stressed from his job. To unwind, Joe eats and goes straight to the game room to play call of duty with his friends.  Jane hates that, she feels that he doesn’t pay any attention to her, which causes her to constantly picks fights to get his attention. On top of that, they haven’t gone on a vacation for 2 years since they don’t make enough money to travel. Jane sees it as a never-ending expensive hobby. Joe sees it as a time for him to relax, however he ignores the fact that it’s contributor to the problem. So far, Joe has spent over $1000 a year on new games, and online gaming purchases.

Over indulge in food and or alcohol.

alcoholic beer cars city
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At some point in our adult life, you may have been in a rough relationship. At first everything is fine, however after a year or so, you start arguing with your partner over things like trust, and honesty about each other’s past relations. These are usually the biggest reasons why couples fight or argue aside from money. You argue to the point that you may be yelling and it usually ends with you stressed out. According to Shahram Heshmat at Psychology Today, stress is a psychological symptom that motivates the value to consumption of alcohol as a temporary relief.  Research also states that the same can be said about junk food in replacement of alcohol when associated with stress. The average American spends $232 a month on junk food. Add that to the average of 3 drinks a day, five days a week at around $10 a pack, comes up to $650 a month as mentioned in an article by Ann Brenoff. That’s $10,584 a year to stay in a relationship that does not make you feel healthy or happy.

In the modern age of dating, one thing that’s constant is our need to be acknowledged for our efforts. Because we’re so deep in the muddy waters of the emotional stress, we may not see or even associate the financial burden of feeling unfulfilled, unheard or disconnected. This result in unknowingly carrying additional baggage of unwanted pressure as icing on the cake of an unfulfilled relationship.

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