Of course you would be happier if you had extra money in your savings account, but have you considered that more savings in the bank often yields greater returns in the bedroom? If at the end of the day, intimacy with your significant other is the last thing on your mind (or you find the experience isn’t what it used to be), it might be your lack of savings is to blame.
Dealing with Financial Stress Strains Relationships
Money problems and emotional stress go hand-in-hand, and stress of any kind makes maintaining a strong relationship that much harder. Numerous studies have shown that financial troubles, such as an underfunded retirement account, mounting debt or an underwater mortgage, cause a higher level of stress.
The New York Times reported that those who suffer from financial stress may experience changes in behavior and mood, and “find themselves being more irritable, anxious, lethargic or sad.” Others may develop disordered eating patterns, health problems or even turn to gambling and substance abuse to cope.
All of these ailments can lead to distance and miscommunication between romantic partners. And it’s often the level of physical intimacy, which serves as the foundation to a healthy romantic bond, that suffers when one or both partners is experiencing money problems in a relationship. So when couples face financial difficulty and are mentally and emotionally affected by it, the first symptom is usually less time with each other in the bedroom.
Lisa Bahar, a marriage and family therapist in Newport Beach, often sees the impact of financial stress on intimacy within romantic relationships first-hand through her patients. She explains, “Couples who are experiencing financial strain have a higher likelihood of experiencing disruptions or difficulties in the bedroom…I see more and more with the strain that the economy/financial impact has on couples that there is a decrease in interest and a feeling of disconnection, which plays out sometimes by withholding or shutting down among partners.”
If you identify problems with financial stress and lack of communication between you and your partner, addressing that stress by making saving money a priority is the first step in getting your relationship back on track (as well as your finances).
How to Start Saving Money and Improve Your Sex Life
1. Change your attitude about saving money.
The tenacity and discipline it takes to make saving money a habit doesn’t come easily to many. So get over the fact that it’s hard and realize that you’ll experience numerous benefits once you start putting away some cash in the bank. Once you adjust your attitude to no longer view money as the source of your stress, but a tool that can relieve it if you work toward saving money together, the strain on your relationship will diminish.
Author, relationship coach and YourTango.com blogger Maryanne Comaroto recommended “start by seeing the world of finance and money as a game, and one you can both win. Get out there and see what you can do, and stop wasting time fighting about what you can’t. Find ways to achieve your goals together and it will bring you closer in the end!”
2. Communicate about your finances as a couple.
Figure out your goals together — maybe you’re coming back from a tough year and would like an emergency savings account for piece of mind, or perhaps you both want to start saving money for a vacation so the two of you can spend quality time together. The important thing is that both of you are involved in setting your savings goals.
Bahar adds, “The key here is communication about finances. If there is communication and collaboration to create ways of coping and surviving a financial setback, then intimacy is already created, and having sex with your partner can be healing — and not to mention, relieving at times!”
3. Make a plan and stick to it.
Once you have identified and agreed upon your savings goals, it’s time to create a plan for saving money and follow it together. Don’t look at your end goal and be discouraged by an intimidating number you must reach — break down your target savings into smaller monthly, or even weekly, goals and progress as a couple over time. You can hold each other accountable, while providing support to one another as you tackle your financial obstacles together.
Financial stress is one of the leading causes of problems in relationships, and the further you and your significant other drift apart, the harder it is to repair that bond. Taking control over your financial situation as a couple will bring you closer together, allow you more freedom to do the things you want and hopefully, increase the “quality time” you two spend together in the sack.