The Dirty Little 4 Letter Word In A Marriage… “Debt”
There’s no doubt that debt is a major concern when it comes to marriage. The statistics tell us that debt is rampant and marriage debt is rising. One of the main reasons for this is that couples DO NOT discuss finances before they get married. Whether it’s because they consider their financial situation to be their business alone or don’t consider it at all, it can become a serious issue.
To avoid this you need to discuss financial matters BEFORE you get married. Both parties should know how much the other is in debt, nothing should be kept hidden from the other. It certainly isn’t fair or ethical to bring debt into a marriage without your partner knowing about it. They deserve to know what they’re getting into which will build trust in your marriage or otherwise, they are being deceived. And at some point they’re sure to find out and it’s much worse if they discover it, as opposed to you telling them.
Whether it’s credit card debt, bankruptcy, collection agencies, judgments, liens, taxes owed or whatever, you need to come clean from the get go. Then you both can decide if you want to go forward with the marriage even though there’s debt issues or wait until it’s paid off and start fresh.
That said, if you’re already married and debt is creeping in on you or is already there you need to have a serious heart to heart talk and see what you can do to get a handle on it. Debts in marriage are the responsibility of both parties, therefore, both need to look closely at who is spending what on what. Major purchases such as a home, vehicles or anything that costs 100’s or 1,000’s of dollars shouldn’t be bought without both parties’ knowledge and approval.
Finally, if you are in marriage debt right now there are a couple of things you need to do. Get ready this is HUGE! You must change your spending habits by committing to a written plan called a budget. Then get an extra job and start paying off debt, the smallest one first would be best.
One other thing you can do to help you through this is talk with someone you both trust that will be supportive and provide comfort to both of you such as a family member or pastor.