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POLL RESULTS: Until Debt Does Us Part: (10 comments)

POLL: Until Debt Does Us Part

Friday, November 14, 2008 - 12:01 AM

A reader writes... Q: I got married last year without ever telling my wife that I have $30,000 in credit-card debt. We have one joint account, but we also have separate checking accounts. Should I tell her about my debt? Or just keep paying the bill quietly and hope I can bring the balance down?
POLL: A debt is brought into a marriage without the spouse's prior knowledge. You need one person to help straighten this out, and that person is...
 
73% (1018) A good financial planner.
 
2% (34) An understanding banker.
 
14% (199) A divorce lawyer.
 
10% (143) A guy with no neck who does his best work in a back alley.
1394 people have voted in this poll. (This poll is not active.)
Stevarooni
Lover

From: KCMO

Posts: 64

Registered:
Jun 2008
Re: Until Debt Does Us Part (Score: 1)
posted Friday, November 14, 2008 - 07:35 AM (#45847)

Money isn't supposed to be a huge part of marriage in these "enlightened times", but it's cited as a reason for marital discord in far too many cases. Buddy, you need to fix your expensive habits, get on a budget, and get that debt paid off -fast-. You also need to stop your "lying by omission", or your marriage is going to have much bigger problems.


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Water
Lover

Posts: 4

Registered:
Aug 2008
Re: Until Debt Does Us Part (Score: 1)
posted Friday, November 14, 2008 - 08:49 AM (#45848)

While it's great that you found someone to spend your life with, money is one of those big things that needs to be discussed before tying the knot.
Not that I necessarily think this will happen to you, but a worst case scenario would detail the IRS coming to collect on the debt and, by proxy, they would go after your wife too. It would be awful if she found out that way.
You should definitely try to pay this debt off as soon as you can, but I agree that you should tell your wife too. It might be hard, but it will be worth it for her to be on the same page as you.


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wpgDBA
Lover

Posts: 6

Registered:
Sep 2008
Re: Until Debt Does Us Part (Score: 1)
posted Friday, November 14, 2008 - 12:05 PM (#45849)

This doesn't say much about the trust level in your marriage. You didn't trust your wife enough to share this beforehand. She is not going to trust you much after this.

 You do have to tell her, because she is going to find out one way or another. I suggest you hope that she is willing to understand and that you understand if she is not.

 Either way, cut up your credit cards and mail the pieces back to the banks. You need to stop racking up debt whether you save your marriage or not.

 I know I am being harsh, but I am not trying to be mean. And yes, I have taken a few well-aimed and well-intentioned kicks in my time, too.


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Bdave
Lover

Posts: 7

Registered:
Jan 2008
Re: Until Debt Does Us Part (Score: 1)
posted Friday, November 14, 2008 - 08:45 PM (#45853)

marraige is partly at least, a financial partnership, the fact that you didn't come clean before marraige is pretty bad and you owe it to your wife to come clean. She's going to be upset that you didn't reveal this before hand but should forgive you. however as this could affect her as well you owe it to her to tell her.


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Murgatroyd
Lover

Posts: 300

Registered:
Jan 2008
Re: Until Debt Does Us Part (Score: 1)
posted Saturday, November 15, 2008 - 03:29 AM (#45854)

Gosh, it's amazing how often the answers to these questions can be boiled down to:

"You idiot! Tell your partner the truth, as soon as possible!"


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Snobahr
Lover

Posts: 15

Registered:
Jan 2008
Re: Until Debt Does Us Part (Score: 1)
posted Saturday, November 15, 2008 - 04:04 AM (#45855)
What everyone else said (including the "You Idiot! Tell you partner everything NOW" response)... And take steps to constructively and realistically bring down your CC debt immediately. It might not hurt to ask your wife for advice/ideas, so that you don't continue keeping her in the dark.
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MrD3071
Lover

Posts: 7

Registered:
Oct 2008
Re: Until Debt Does Us Part (Score: 1)
posted Saturday, November 15, 2008 - 07:10 PM (#45860)

Gotta ask, whats REALLY worse, being in debt and keeping your partner in the dark who WILL eventually find out about it and then guess whos in for a serious tanning OR just come clean, be a man and get it off your chest, admit your mistake and work things out together, after all thats included within the vows you made is it not?


--
'Love is the light that dissolves the walls between people, countries and humanities'
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Jorn
Jorn

Lover

Posts: 20

Registered:
Nov 2007
Re: Until Debt Does Us Part (Score: 1)
posted Sunday, November 16, 2008 - 12:16 AM (#45862)

I can completely understand the desire to keep that sort of thing a secret- I've been in a similar situation myself, though of a smaller scale, and not married (yet) to the lady in my life. But a marriage is a contract, your debts are her debts, and she doesn't have all the information. That's not fair to her.

I'm not going to chide you for your spending habits as some have done, as I know that a lot of people's credit card debt comes not from extravagant purchases, but from necessities, like food, gas, and such. A budget is a good idea though, and it's much easier to do that if your wife is aware of your situation, so she wont expect you to pay for things that you can't afford on top of your debt payments. That's definitely a situation you want to avoid (again, I speak from personal experience) Don't let that hole get any deeper than it is.


--
Sa souvraya niende missain ye; I am lost in my own mind.
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Waterfly
Lover

Posts: 2

Registered:
Jul 2008
Re: Until Debt Does Us Part (Score: 1)
posted Sunday, November 16, 2008 - 06:09 PM (#45871)

Something to keep in mind here: When you marry someone, your credit affects her credit, and vice-versa. How would you feel if you went to apply for a loan, sign up for a credit card, or move to a new apartment, or get a new cell phone, or anything else that involves someone running a credit report and you found out your credit was messed up because she didn't tell you she had credit issues in her past? What affects one of you affects both now, so do what you should have done before you got hitched and TELL HER! Even if you're already working on fixing it, she has a right to hear it from you now and not a stranger later on when it's least convenient.


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wpgDBA
Lover

Posts: 6

Registered:
Sep 2008
Re: Until Debt Does Us Part (Score: 1)
posted Monday, November 17, 2008 - 10:46 AM (#45879)

What is the worst that could happen if you tell her, anyway? She tells you it is OK, because she didn't tell you about the $50,000 of debt that she's got.


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