ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Nancy and Tom Collier have been married for more than 20 years and say money has never been a big issue in their relationship. But both say they understand how it can become one.
"It makes them angry and frustrated, and they begin to take it out on each other especially if they lose a home or whatever. Than they are really in a bind," said Nancy Collier.
Family therapist Elaine Gurley says this is a common issue. "Money would be one of the leading issues especially when one wants to save, and one wants to spend." And these conflicts multiply during challenging economic times.
"It could increase the amount of arguing for some people. It could lead to conflict avoidance or withdrawal where there is no speaking. So there is no chance of working things out," said Gurley.
High school senior Cory Mack has only been with his girlfriend for two years and says the economy has even affected their relationship. "We can't go out as much as we used to and buy as many things as we used to."
But now he looks for cheaper ways to spend time with his girlfriend. "The park is free, and it is still nice. And you could spend time with your loved one," said Mack.
Gurley says economic challenges can have a positive effect on some couples, "if they could come together and say these are difficult times lets pull together." Because they know if they can survive unemployment or losing a home together They can get through anything.
Despite the tough economy, divorces in Dougherty County are down slightly. 81 people have filed for divorce so far this year compared to 85 this time last year.