Agony Aunt Annie offers advice to a reader who loves her husband but they are both feeling the pressures of too little money (or too much debt)…

Morning Annie

My husband and I have been married for 24 years now. We are renting a small house with our two adult children and we not happy about it.

He told me last night how he hates his life and is tired of not having money all the time

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We are both employed but are drowning in debt. I’m very unhappy and don’t know how to handle the situation. I feel like he is supposed to try and better our lives and that he should stop complaining. He is not the only one that feels that way.

Other than that we do love each other very much.

Please help!

Regards
Depressed

Dear Depressed

Thank you for your letter. If I told you that you had won a free advert in this magazine, would you want to advertise for:

a) a cash inflow that comes along with the grumpy husband

b) optimistic, supportive husband that comes along with the present situation.

If you choose a) I’m sure that your situation would be stress free for a while. You pay off your debt and breathe easily. Then he wants to buy a large, expensive motor bike with the remaining money and you want to put some away for retirement.

Maybe you choose b) and get an optimistic and supportive husband but you discover there’s nothing quite as bad as that chipper person before your morning coffee, and you feel like you’re the only one facing reality and being unhappy, even though you should be in it together.

There is however a third option that you get to have free of charge and it is actually the only thing you do get to control and change – and that’s your attitude

At this point you may feel that you have played the money or the mystery box TV game show and you should have just taken the money because the mystery box surprise sucks. Don’t be too hasty to ditch the box though.

Think about it: imagine having a good attitude regardless of circumstances or annoying people

Think about it: imagine having a good attitude regardless of circumstances or annoying people.

That doesn’t mean that you won’t feel down at times

That is an appropriate feeling to feel at times. It just means that you don’t build your house there.

Consider the whole picture and not just the one glaring part of the story.

You have a despondent and grumpy husband. Yes, he appears to have lost hope and is very verbal about it. Why did you fall in love with him? What is that you still know that you love about him? How can you rekindle that spark?

How do you take care of yourself?

Think about what re-energises you and brings you some joy. Maybe it’s a quiet cup of tea in the garden everyday. Maybe its a short walk. Maybe its a long bath … (or a very shallow, short bath if you live in the drought-stricken areas.)

I hear you that life is tough at the moment and there are a lot of challenges. You don’t get to have a do-over life when an easier season comes. These days still take those 24-hour chunks of time from your life.

Choose just one thing that was worth the day each day. The hard times and the struggles are loud at the moment. Listen for the tiny sparkly moments that are also there in between.
You are beautiful!
Love and blessings
Annie