During our four and a half year journey to repay $109,000 or credit card debt, my wife and I cut our budget down to almost the bare necessities, picked up extra income wherever we could, and still argued about money frequently. Sometimes it seemed like we ate, slept, and breathed finances.
But through it all, we never forgot that we were in love.
Going through an intense debt relief program, it's easy to make it the focus of your life. It's easy to think that working on your relationship is something that will have to wait until you get your financial footing back.
Don't do that disservice to your, your spouse, or your family.
Say The Words: It's free, and it takes so little effort. Tell your spouse those three little words, "I Love You." Say them and say them often. I have a phrase that I like even better that I try to tell Vonnie every day, "I love life with you."
Hold Hands: Young people in new relationships seem to hold hands all the time, but it seems the older people get, the less they hold hands. I grab Vonnie's hand whenever I can. It's just how I envision us going through life; hand in hand together.
Don't let Chivalry Die: Guys, seriously, it wouldn't kill you to open the door for your significant other.
Explore together: The most important thing is to spend time with your significant other. I guarantee there are countless things in your community that you never knew were there. For example, we recently found a local winery that has a wine tasting package complete with cheese, crackers and chocolates. For $10 each, Vonnie and I spent an entire afternoon tasting wine, talking, and enjoying each other's company.
Impress Each Other: Remember when your relationship was new, and you did little things to impress your significant other? Why did you stop?
It's easy to get comfortable in your relationship, and that's OK. Being comfortable is one of the perks of being in a long term relationship, but there's a huge difference between being comfortable and taking your partner for granted.
Keep working on your relationship.
Keep building a life together.
No matter how broke you are, never forget that you are in love. No bill collector can ever take that away from you.
Travis is a contributing writer for the A Straight Talk on Debt blog. He is also a very active member of the CareOne community forums. Travis is currently enrolled in a CareOne Debt Management Plan (DMP). Travis candidly shares his personal journey to pay off his debt and the tips he's learned along the way. As a father and husband he provides a unique perspective on balancing debt, finances, and family in Minnesota. You can also read more from Travis on the Enemy of Debt blog, where he is a featured blogger. Compensated Blogger for CareOne Debt Relief Services.
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