Married Parents Face Poverty, Too

BY: - 21 Nov '12 | Money

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Conversations involving poverty often revolve around single parenthood, unmarried mothers and the like. However recent data has shown that the poverty rate for married couples is going up–an increase of 47 percent since 2000.

While single parents have always seen more financial burdens, the fall of wages and rise of unemployment combined with lack of paid leave and affordable childcare has caused married couples who don’t even have kids to see a 22 percent rise in poverty rates. Married couples who do have kids, are “even more recession-sensitive,” because they have more expenses and less flexibility according to CEPR report author, Shawn Fremstad.

“Poverty and economic insecurity are about a lot more than having children out of wedlock,” says Fremstad, who notes that many of the people now viewed as “single” in poverty statistics actually live with a partner. “There are a lot of people who, if they said ‘I do,’ would still be in the same boat.” Fremstad also says that the data show disability is also a significant problem, affecting roughly 10 percent of poor married families.”

The objective is not to create a situation of seeing who’s worst off, but to build a better understanding of poverty so we can get rid of it. Public policy professor at Harvard, Kathryn Edin, explains reasons why poor women put motherhood before marriage in her book, Promises I Can Keep.The solution to poverty is not getting married, it’s more about getting good jobs, decent wages and flexibility.

Read more on the Atlantic website.

BMWK– What do you see as possible causes of poverty? Do you see any way to combat it?

About the author

Stacie Bailey wrote 160 articles on this blog.

Stacie Bailey is a graduate of Quinnipiac University with a master's degree in Interactive Communications. She has strong interests in youth, social media and an overall love for sharing knowledge and information.

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The Do’s and Don’ts When Dealing with Unemployment in a Relationship

BY: - 23 Nov '12 | Marriage

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The typical everyday stressors of relationships can be challenging enough for both partners, but add to the mix a layoff or firing and all hell can break loose in a family who doesn’t have a strong foundation to begin with. In every life a little rain must fall, and in every marriage there at some point, will be an obstacle to overcome. Some couples are prepared, and pull out all of the necessary tools and equipment needed to win the battle. Unfortunately, others get stuck and aren’t quite sure what to do next.

My layoff, a few years ago, is still fresh on my mind. I remember, after receiving the upsetting news from management, quickly grabbing my belongings and rushing out of the building to call my husband. I remember walking aimlessly up and down the block with tears streaming down my face. I felt like such a failure. Although my husband’s income was greater than mine, our family still relied on two incomes, and here I was unable to contribute my half. The negative thoughts overwhelmed me, until my husband came immediately to comfort me. His attitude toward my unemployment calmed all my fears and concerns. I was unemployed for a full year before landing my dream job. But my family made it through and we came out even stronger. If you are currently in this situation, please stay encouraged. It will turn around. Below are the do’s and don’t for couples dealing with unemployment:

Don’t Place Blame. The unemployed spouse feels guilty enough and really doesn’t need their partner pointing fingers or blaming them for something they didn’t want to happen either. This is the perfect time to be more united than ever.

Don’t belittle. Making your partner feel less than is the worst thing you can do during this time. Feelings of inadequacy are already very present. Use this time to encourage and praise your spouse for holding down the home front and managing the household.

Don’t highlight the negative. Pointing out what you don’t have, or events you are unable to attend due to the lack of finances is painful for your spouse. Putting yourself in their shoes allows you to view the situation from their perspective. Treat him/her the way you would want to be treated if the roles were reversed.

Do pray over your marriage, partner and finances. Praying together as a couple and allowing God to take the lead is the number one priority.

Don’t be too ashamed to ask other prayer warriors to add you to their list.

Do get creative. This is the perfect opportunity to think outside the box. Creating low-cost date nights and meals can be a lot of fun. Researching quick cheap meals, online movie options like Netflix and Redbox will definitely save you money.

Do encourage. Self-doubt surely surfaces during unemployment. Remember your spouse needs to know that you still believe in him/her. Tell them often just how great they are and how the next job is right around the corner. Be prepared to assist with resume writing, interview prep and follow up. You believe you can do anything when you have a loving spouse in your corner.

Do budget carefully. Be realistic about your finances and the fact cuts will need to be made. Honest conversations must be had with the children. They need to understand the changes that will have to take place to ensure everyone is on the same page.

Do count all the other blessings. Consider all of the other things in life right now to be grateful for like family, love and great health!

Remember your spouse will not be unemployed forever. Although it is a struggle, remember, your spouse needs you in their corner now more than ever.

BMWK, are you dealing with unemployment? How are you handling it?

About the author

Tiya Cunningham-Sumter wrote 593 articles on this blog.

Tiya Cunningham-Sumter is a Certified Life & Relationship Coach, founder of Life Editing and Author of A Conversation Piece: 32 Bold Relationship Lessons for Discussing Marriage, Sex and Conflict Available on Amazon . She helps couples and individuals rewrite their life to reflect their dreams. Tiya has been featured in Essence and Ebony Magazines, and named one of the top blogs to read now by Refinery29. She resides in Chicago with her husband and two daughters. To find out more about Tiya, and her coaching, visit www.thelifeandlovecoach.com and www.theboldersister.com.

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