Perhaps the most important thing in a relationship is honesty. It is the foundation that ensures you and your loved one trust each other. Still, this can sometimes be difficult to maintain – especially if money is involved.
One survey, conducted in the UK, discovered that around one in seven adults were hiding debt from their partners. More than half of these people had kept financial problems a secret because of feeling ashamed while around 45% were concerned with how their partner might react.
Although financial matters can certainly contribute to the breakdown of a relationship, it’s often not the amount of debt that causes problems but rather the attitude to dealing with it. For example, burying your head in the sand when confronted with money issues will only make the problem worse. Taking positive action to resolve the matter, such as by investigating a debt consolidation loan, shows a commitment to tackling the problem.
Unfortunately, even talking about debt can be difficult; which begs the question – why?
Why Is Talking About Debt Difficult?
It’s important at this point to discuss the differences between good and bad debt – although many would not easily see a distinction. Debt is extremely common and often needed to help us live a better quality of life. After all, securing a home is usually impossible without additional backing while seeking a university education would be impossible without support.
Debt only becomes bad when it becomes unmanageable – when payments start building up and creditors don’t get paid. It’s this debt which we need to be more open about. Yet, similar to why partners are sometimes kept in the dark surrounding their loved one’s financial problems, the reasons are often the same.
Debt is a difficult topic to discuss and usually considered a taboo. In fact, many young Americans would rather disclose information on their STDs to prospective partners rather than be open about their debts.
The main reason is shame – and it’s this which needs to be overcome. Considering how you’d struggle to find someone who isn’t in some form of debt, this shouldn’t be as big of an issue as it is. Regardless, we need to encourage open, frank conversations about debt – for our own financial and mental wellbeing.
Why Hiding Debt Is Impossible
Although hiding debt is common, it’s almost impossible for it to stay a secret. For example, if you are on a debt solution called an IVA, there would be regular correspondence – for at least the next five years – between you and the provider. Payments would be taken out of your account and you would find it difficult to take out additional forms of credit while the agreement was active. Not to mention that Individual Voluntary Arrangements are a form of insolvency that will have your details published on a public database known as the Insolvency Register.
This secret could go on for years – and it’s something which just can’t stay hidden. The longer it does, the worse the trust issues between you and your partner could become.
However, even if you weren’t on a debt solution, the regular phone calls from lenders and the letters demanding repayment would surely lead to a few questions.
How To Talk To Your Partner About Debt
Talking to your partner about debt is essential. Not only is this important from a trust perspective but without knowing your financial situation, your partner might make plans without factoring debts into account. For example, by planning expensive holidays.
To begin with, find a place where you and your partner both feel comfortable and safe. Tell them you want to chat and would appreciate it if they just listened. Next, reveal your debts. Take your time, explain the situation, and – ideally – what you’re doing about the matter.
Assuming your partner respects and cares about you – which, if not, you might want to rethink your relationship – they should appreciate your honesty, offer their support, and help you deal with this.
What If I Can’t Talk To My Partner About Debt?
Although you’ll probably have to discuss the issue of debt with your partner eventually, there are multiple groups you can contact for support. Even your creditors might be open to negotiating reduced payments if you can’t make your commitments.
You could also turn to other loved ones or friends for support. The important thing to remember is that – although debt can feel isolating – we can assure you that you aren’t alone.
If you are interested in even more business-related articles and information from us here at Bit Rebels, then we have a lot to choose from.