Marrying someone means committing to being there for them through the good times and the bad. While sometimes, supporting your other half will be as easy and natural as breathing, there are times when you might encounter some challenges together. If your spouse decides they want to go back to school to earn a degree and increase their earning potential, they’re going to become more reliant on you to help them out through this stressful period in their life.
Initially, if you’re the spouse left at home, it can feel like everything is piling up on you, from the extra expenses of college education, to the challenges of cooking and cleaning for the kids. However, if you can commit to supporting your spouse at this time, you could find you end up enjoying a happier, healthier, and stronger relationship in future. Here are some steps to get you started.
Know What You Can Do Financially
A spouse going back to college can be an expensive thing for any couple to handle. Even if you don’t have children at home to pay for, there are likely to be expenses you need to commit to that will rapidly eat into your budget. With that in mind, it’s worth working as a team to figure out what you can do to make your spouse’s education more affordable.
You might consider signing up for a part-time job alongside your current career to help earn some extra cash and ask your partner to do the same when they’re not studying. You can also look into ways to access more affordable options. Co-signing a loan can take some of the risk away from a lender if your spouse doesn’t have the best credit, ensuring they can leverage better deals.
Take on the Lion’s Share of the Housework
Just because your partner is going back to college doesn’t necessarily mean you should be responsible for handling all the housework in your home. However, if they’re struggling to manage a schedule of work and study at the same time, you might be able to help by offering some extra support with the tasks you can manage alone. Consider agreeing to doing more of the laundry and cleaning on days when your spouse is overwhelmed with schoolwork.
On days when they’re available and out of classes, then they can still pitch in and offer their help. However, taking this extra task out of their typical daily to-do list can help to make their lives easier. It also means that when your spouse does have extra time in their schedule, they can spend it with you, rather than catching up on household chores.
Be Emotionally Supportive
Looking out for your spouse when they go back to college isn’t just about offering financial support where possible and doing more work around the home. School can be a stressful experience at any time of our lives. There are going to be times when your spouse feels overwhelmed, anxious, and even unsure they’re capable of earning their degree at all.
Sometimes, the best thing you can do is act as your spouse’s temporary cheerleader. Offer emotional support and listen whenever they need to vent about difficult schoolwork. Be supportive and celebrate their achievements whenever they reach their goals. Remind them that you believe in them, and their abilities, and they’re more likely to thrive.
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