Debt and Money Issues: Why It is So Important to Have Open Discussions
How to sure money issues don’t end your relationship.
You may be united as a couple but many couples find themselves divided over debt and other financial issues. Money and debt are usually the number one reason why married people get into arguments and those high voltage disputes can sometimes lead to divorce.
That’s why the best time to talk about debt is before you are married. In many cases one person in the marriage brings a load of debt with them, and the other person isn’t prepared for it. The amazing thing is that couples share the most intimate secrets with each other, but when it comes to money it’s a subject that’s usually ignored – and that’s a mistake.
Let’s use an example: one person prior to marriage charges thousands of dollars on a credit card but doesn’t share that with the other person in the relationship. If they discussed the matter before they tied the knot, then they could find credit help and hopefully lessen the impact the debt would have on their finances. The consequence of not talking about money and debt, is once the finances become combined, or even if they are separate, the spouse with the bad credit score will negatively impact their ability to get joint credit.
Debt is a serious issue in this country but credit help is easily available through credit counseling organizations or by simply discussing the situation with your partner. Once the issue is out in the open and you are reasonable and patient, not heated or argumentative, then you can decide on a game plan. You can look for professional credit help or you can decide to budget your money and control your spending, but both partners have to be on the same page. Marriage is a commitment and deciding to get out of debt is also a commitment that both of you should share and value.
You may not mind carrying three or four thousand dollars worth of debt on a credit card, but your spouse may vehemently disagree. If your financial philosophies differ you both must be willing to compromise. The following is a few ways to avoid confrontations.
- Keep everything on the table and open to discussion — you’re willing to discuss your sex life then you should be willing to chat about money. There should be no secrets.
- Don’t let things ferment; if you think your spouse is overspending then bring up the subject in a calm manner.
- If you are planning to marry someone and already know they don’t mind carrying a lot of debt and they don’t think saving money for the future is important, and you’re not comfortable with it, you may want to reconsider the marriage.
The bottom line is talk to the person you are in a serious relationship with about money. It will help avoid trouble down the road.