Years ago before we committed to a relationship, we worried about prospective partners having too much emotional baggage, now it seems we are worrying about financial baggage, both, theirs and ours.
We bring with us, student loans many years after we have graduated, credit card debt that we just can’t seem to rid ourselves of, sort of like the memories of a very painful past relationship. Unfortunately we are still living with the relationships with our creditors so they are very much in our present.
Most people are bringing some sort of financial baggage to the relationship table. It is almost easier to discuss your emotional past with someone you love, as you are talking about a situation that did not make you happy. You could always put a large percentage of the blame for the relationship not working out on your former partner since they are out of the picture.
Financial baggage is much more difficult to admit since it is the present situation and you are the only one to blame for it. When do you bring up any financial mishaps? How do you tell someone that you really, really like that you spent too much on silly things like shoes?
What about if your situation is worse than overspending? What if you have been bankrupt or if your credit is in such a bad state that you would not be able to get a mortgage? This is a very tricky situation to be in as it could be a deal breaker. Some people see how we manage our financial commitments as an indicator of how we manage other aspects of our lives.
What if the person you are falling in love with tells you, they have been reckless with their finances, would that be a deal breaker for you? I know someone that lives in fear of her husband finding out about her credit card debt. Is that any way to live? Can we have a successful relationship while withholding that type of information or is that the thin end of the wedge.
I wish I had some good advice on this topic but the only thing to be said is to get out of debt and clear your credit report as soon as possible. I know that is rich to say when credit cards are charging exorbitant interest rates and we are in the misted of a crippling recession.
In a backwards way, I am lucky that my beloved and I have about the same amount of debt, so there is no accusations of who mismanaged their money more but we are still in a rotten place. We can’t afford to get married or really move forward with our life until we get the monkey off our backs.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this very tricky topic – please leave me a comment. This post is part of Women’s Money Week 2012.