It seems that there come times in a relationship where everything becomes a struggle. Nothing works out your way, and normally simple tasks become ten times more difficult. This summer has been one of those times for Mr. SD and me.
Mr. SD has been a student for the past two years. His employer sent him to school to study up on electrical stuff (I have no earthly idea what he does), with the promise that he'll come back to work with a hefty raise. How awesome is that? Unfortunately, Mr. SD is no financial planner. It's one of his greatest struggles. When I met him during his first semester there, he'd already blown through most of his student loan, as well as his savings. He got a little better with my influence, but we've had to have a lot of talks about being smart with money. I however, have been a budgeter since diapers. I was also the only one making an income, so I supported us throughout most of his school days. But this summer, oh this summer.
Wedding expenses were on the rise, and I took a job that I knew I would love. Contract graphic design from home, for a business I loved. Unfortunately that love didn't always mean paychecks. One of our clients stiffed us big-time (we're talking 25 grand), and it cost our 4-person team a month and a half of paychecks. Luckily, I had pre-paid my rent with my savings, so our cost of living each month was microscopic. But we did have to learn how to pinch and save, basically eliminating any "fun money". Toss on top of that trying to plan a wedding, renovate a house on gift cards alone, and try to get him through his last semester at school. It's enough to give anybody hives! We've had more stress than I ever thought I could handle. Oh, and yesterday my car finally hit the point where I can't drive it until I repair it, which would cost us upwards of 2 grand. Did I mention that our paltry credit cards are maxed out, and we pay the bills by the skin of our teeth? Yeah. It's been rough.
Yet there's a light at the end of this tunnel, and it's called September 1st. It's made everything bearable knowing he'll be back at work, and we have iron-clad contracts in place ensuring me a paycheck. It's really helped us as a couple, because we had to face an extremely stressful time before we even walked down the aisle. It gives me confidence that we'll be able to take the challenges before us head-on. As hard as these four months have been, I think it was worth it to find out that not only can we handle it, but we can have our rough spots and still come out stronger. And to me, that's what marriage is all about. Not just the good times, but all the pull-your-hair-out-stressful ones too.
Have you and your partner had any particularly rough times during your engagement? Did it make or break you as a couple?