Credit Crunch Couples...
Credit Crunch Couples...I think we realise what the credit crunch means in terms of economics but what might it mean for relationships? A client, Jennifer, 38, sees boyfriend Alex, 37, in a new light since he lost his banking job - and it's not a favourable one. (All perosnal info changed)
Jennifer confided that at first she was understanding and supportive of his efforts to find work when he became one of the first victims of City staff cuts. But despite knowing at a rational level he’s facing an uphill battle to find appropriate work, at an irrational, visceral level she’s beginning to feel there’s something wrong with him - he's 'lacking'
Jennifer knows this is counterintuitive but says she can’t help having her conflicting feelings. In her eyes if Alex really put his mind to it he'd have found something by now.
She knows Alex isn't naive and can sense her increasing disappointment. And this has led to a stressful atmosphere and arguments. These have focused on what Alex has "done that day" in his job-seeking. It appears it's never quite enough to satisfy her.
Their situation exemplifies the ugly side of what the credit crunch can do to a couple. And how it can bring out the ugly side of someone as it has in Jennifer! Why would we judge someone we supposedly love when they’re facing some fairly tough odds as Alex is. Because at the heart of why we choose certain partners is a sense that they're fulfilling some part of an unspoken bargain: you’ll do X,Y and Z in the relationship and I'll do A, B and C.
When that bargain breaks down for whatever reason - like job loss - we feel let down. If you don't have a very forgiving nature - like Jennifer – it’s easy to lose track of what’s important; in this case support and sympathy. So beware the credit crunch doesn't take a chunk out of your relationship as it does to your budget.
An edited version of this was published in The Times