Does your spouse have a hidden life (of debt)?

by Guest


Money is one subject guaranteed to cause disagreements in even the best of relationships, so it is hardly surprising that an increasing number of people opt to keep their other half in the dark about their finances.

For many people, getting married or committing to a serious live-in relationship with someone means pooling resources to pay off the bills jointly.

In most cases, one person out-earns the other, especially for households where there are children and this in itself can be the cause of friction.

However, the most serious problems arise when one partner takes on financial commitments without talking to their partner, or even worse, fails to tell them when they are having money issues.

This type of stress can be almost impossible to contain and can lead to all kinds of relationship difficulties, even if the other person does not know the cause of the problem.

Some people find it difficult to discuss money, especially if they anticipate their partner is likely to disapprove of what they have spent and try to hide the problems, or borrow more money to try and pay off the debt themselves.

However, in the long run, it is far better to have things out in the open for the sake of the relationship.

It can help to have a think about what caused the debt in the first place – there can be many different causes that prompt overspending.

An addiction to a habit such as drinking, gambling or even shopping can be an underlying reason, but for most people, the situation is far less complicated.

Having a credit card is a useful back-up but it is very easy for debts to spiral out of control unintentionally.

If this is the case, it may be worth thinking about taking out a prepaid card instead. This provides the convenience of a credit card but as it has to be loaded with cash in advance, there is no chance of inadvertently overspending. Sites such as offer a range of cards that are currently available on the market.

Other reasons for overspending can be a simple lack of organization; it can be very easy to run up debts if you don’t have a clear budget for each cost.

Whilst it may be natural to feel angry if your spouse has run up debts that they have hidden from you, it is important to be able to discuss the issue and not just resolve it, but prevent it from happening again.

By working together to draw up an action plan to deal with any problems, it should be possible to pay off any debts and as the old saying goes, a problem shared is a problem halved.

For situations that are complicated or have gotten out of hand, it is also possible to get professional debt advice, but try talking to your creditors first. They may be more helpful than you anticipate.

This is a guest post by MoneySupermarket.

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