The rate of marriage failures has been hovering around 50 percent for years now. The rate is even higher for second marriages. This isn’t the kind of news we like to hear, as most of us can agree that divorce can be tough on everyone involved.
Relationship experts assert that there are various reasons why marriage fail, but financial strain puts a big wedge between many married couples. We live in a society that oftentimes teaches the “more is better”. You can’t watch television long before being bombarded with commercials of the latest and greatest gadgets and toys you (and your children) MUST have.
It’s no wonder marriages are strained, as that’s a lot of pressure. The reality is that “more” is in no way, shape, or form better. Rather, it oftentimes puts undue stress on individuals and marriages, causing arguments and breakups.
Minimalism is simple living. It’s a concept and practice where an individual decides to live with less “stuff”, and aim for a frugal, simpler lifestyle. This includes things like finances, housing, and possessions.
If you’re married or thinking about getting married, here are some tips that will help strengthen your marriage when it comes to simplifying and adopting a minimalist mentality.
1. Less is more. When you and your spouse adopt the mentality that less is more, you reduce or eliminate so much stress on both ends. The breadwinner won’t be weighed down with thoughts of having to provide an affluent lifestyle to keep up with the Joneses. And, both of you can learn to be content with what you have now. You do not need to have many things in order to feel worthy and successful. Declare this right up front in your marriage and do your best to stick to it.
2. Communication success. When you can be open and honest with your spouse about communicating what is really important in life, your marriage has a better shot at making it. This goes for finances too.
Have a serious discussion about money, possessions, the kind of lifestyle you both want, and what kind of lifestyle will serve you best. If you’re thinking of keeping up with the Joneses, who happen to be in debt up to their ears, you’re going to battle down the road. You’re going to stress, argue, and take the frustration out on each other. Be open, honest, and be willing to do what is best for the whole family emotionally, mentally, and financially.
3. Less stress. We’ve touched on this, but it’s important that you realize that chronic stress is a main reason why people end up sick. Chronic stress, especially from financial strain, can drain you and your marriage. You’ll always be worried in the back of your mind about money and subliminally you may project negative feelings onto your spouse regarding the matter. Adopting a minimalist lifestyle assures you that you and your family will avoid unnecessary stress. This increases your chances of experience a happy and harmonious marriage.
4. Less ailments and sickness. Yes, you’ll both have less stress and less sickness, which can make for a happier marriage.
5. More quality time. Instead of spending countless hours taking care and maintaining all of your possessions and toys, by owning less, you’ll free up quality time to spend with each other. Having quality time to spend with loved ones is very important, yet so many couples busy themselves up so much that they neglect investing in their relationship. They work overtime, come home to spend hours in the upkeep of their home and toys, and when they do have an hour or two, they are too exhausted to really enjoy each other’s company.
It would be naïve to think that minimalism solves all marriage problems, because it doesn’t. However, choosing to live a simpler life can certainly decrease stress in various areas. If you’re not sure, do your own research on minimalism and listen to the stories families tell about how living simply helps them. You can learn so much by talking to those who have adopted a minimalist lifestyle.
Start a conversation with your fiancée or spouse about the minimalism path. Honestly gauge where you are right now finance and material possession-wise.
Have you bitten off more than you can chew?
Do you think you would feel lighter if you decluttered and/or downsized?
Go ahead. Begin simplifying and keeping an ongoing dialogue with your spouse about the journey. You can even try it for a trial period to see how it feels. You may be surprised at how much you enjoy it!