Debt Nation: How Debt Is Destroying Your Marriage

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“In
sickness and in health, ‘til death do us part.”

If you are
mired in debt, your wedding vows might as well read “’til debt do us part.”

Debt is the
death knell of relationships. Contrary to the popular saying, money is not the
root of all evil. Greed is. And debt is the trigger that allows greed to rear
its ugly head in a relationship.

When you
get married, there is no more “I” or “Me”. Instead, it is “Us”. Both spouses
are responsible for the day-to-day nuances of being an officially married
couple.

Everything
is an open book. In most cases, the couple shares a bank account the purpose of
which is to draw funds for paying the household bills.

Problems
arise over time when the conjugal account becomes mismanaged. It gets drawn
down aggressively to pay off accumulated debts.

Sometimes,
the acquisition of debt is the decision of the both spouses. They need a house.
They want a car. Perhaps one of the spouses is still in school.

They could
be in a situation where one was laid off and cash flow is tight. Jointly, they
discuss using the credit card to “bridge finance” their difficulties.

“We can pay
off the debt once I get rehired.”

So they
avail of the credit card’s cash advance facility or debit feature to borrow to
stay on top of the mortgage, the car loan, or the student loan. These
facilities have a limit and are subject to interest charges.

Even if the
other person has been rehired, the credit card debt has blown up due to
accumulated interest. The debt problem has become a runaway freight train. The
couple’s life takes a tragic turn. Instead of living for each other, they are
living to pay off debt.

The debt
becomes like a silver gorilla on their backs. It puts a gigantic strain on
their relationship. From a position of understanding, it becomes a blame game.

Worse is
debt that is acquired by one partner in secrecy. He/she does not tell the
other. The spouse gets into debt because he/she cannot manage his/her desire to
acquire material wealth.

The spouse
gets more credit cards to fund his/her acquisitions without telling his/her
partner.

When the
partner/spouse finds out, it is like a betrayal of trust. In ways, it is
similar to finding out that your spouse is having an affair. However, instead
of another person, the third party is greed.

And what if
there are children involved? Children who have needs – school, clothes,
medicine, and food?

When
children are factored into the equation, it is no longer a question of “Us” but
“We”. They become collateral damage in the debt trap.

Marriage is
more than just a union of 2 people. It is a bond of trust. Together you should
work to protect that union from foreseeable threats. When it comes to being
mired in the debt trap, the best recourse is to avoid it all together.

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