Is it okay to break up or get divorced over debt?
Do you and your partner experience conflict because of debt or money-related issues? We all know that debt poses challenges, especially in a couple’s relationship. Many people find themselves in a desperate financial situation or are one paycheck away from losing a relationship due to debt.
Debt can be a source of stress in any relationship and a catalyst for breaking up. According to USA Daily News, almost 50% of Americans believe debt to be a significant contributing factor to breaking up, including divorce. However, it is crucial to note that debt alone isn’t a reason for separating.
If you are someone who found out that your partner has debt, would it spell the end of your relationship? Below, we will discuss everything about debt and breaking up. We hope that this information will educate and shed light on your situation.
Debt and Breaking Up: How Are They Related?
Debt and splitting up are closely related. Debt can be a significant source of stress and conflict in a relationship. For instance, if one spouse has racked up a lot of credit card debt and the other doesn’t have access to much money, tension will likely develop between the two. This can lead to arguments and financial insecurity in the relationship. In addition, it can lead to feelings of shame and guilt, straining a healthy relationship.
A study showed that arguments about money are more frequent and intense than other disagreements. Due to the consequences of unending rifts regarding money, couples may separate or divorce to achieve peace of mind.
Being in debt can cause you to forego the things you would like to prioritize as a couple. Thus, delaying you from reaching your goals. At worst, it can result in long-term financial consequences.
People have such strong emotions about debt. In a survey of millennials, more than half agreed they will delay getting married until their finances are settled. This shows the importance they place on finances in a relationship. The respondents also emphasized that financial transparency is a critical component of any healthy relationship.
Is Splitting Up the Best Solution?
Financial issues can be easily misconstrued or taken out of context. Whether it be a short-term or long-term debt, it can cause such a burden in a couple’s life. Besides the financial burden, the mental and physical consequences are also overwhelming. The good news is that there are steps you can take to rectify the situation. It doesn’t need to end with breaking up.
That said, here are some considerations for navigating financial challenges together.
Transparency is Key
If you’re in a marriage or serious relationship, you likely will learn of your partner’s debt level at some point. Although not everyone talks about money or debts, it’s critical to have an open and honest conversation about your finances. Keeping a few secrets will only lead to bigger financial problems down the road.
Moreover, be open to the possibility that your partner’s financial troubles may surprise you. The key question is whether your spouse plans to address his debt and reveal his financial situation to you. Otherwise, it could be the beginning of the end.
Meanwhile, if your spouse is honest with you and has plans to pay off all their debt quickly, it’s likely worth considering the option of staying together. As a partner, you can provide support to help them achieve their goals of becoming debt-free. When your partner is unwilling to improve their financial situation, you may be better off walking away from the relationship.
Create a Plan Together
If the above step worked and you plan to stay in the relationship, it is time to sit down with your partner and develop a financial plan. As a couple, work together to create a financial management plan with realistic goals and targets that you both commit to. This is significant as you may eventually have children, buy a house together or otherwise combine finances.
One crucial consideration when creating a plan is whether you’ll help your spouse settle their debt. You can also work on strategies that can help lower your living expenses to pay the debt faster. For example, moving to a more reasonable house to save on rent or limiting your spending habits.
If you don’t plan to contribute to paying your spouse’s credit, you can still help them create a budget that will encompass his debt payments. Overall, it’s all about an effective financial plan and open communication.
Don’t Always Blame Your Partner
To keep a healthy relationship, avoid pointing fingers at each other when money-related issues arise. Doing so will only cause more, unnecessary issues in your relationship. Remember that debts are simply temporary situations that need effective management. If you experience financial difficulties at some point, learn how to talk about it productively.
On the other hand, if your spouse remains engaged in compulsive shopping and spending that undermines your finances and well-being, then going your separate ways may be the best option.
Your Happiness Matters
It may be challenging to leave a relationship because of financial and material considerations. However, you should remember that your happiness is essential. Even if you love and care about your spouse, you shouldn’t have to change yourself or alter your life to accommodate them. Financial problems are the leading source of stress between couples and not everyone is accustomed to this situation, especially if you are not the one with financial problems.
You need to take a serious look at your relationship. If your spouse is unwilling to do what it takes to eliminate the debt, is not remorseful about getting into debt, or doesn’t feel responsible for their actions, you may want to consider breaking up or filing for divorce to save your sanity.
On the other hand, if you feel the relationship is worth pursuing, you may have to decide whether you can tolerate living longer with a person who doesn’t share the same values towards money. In the end, it is your happiness that matters most!
Don’t Be Ashamed to Talk About Your Debt
When you are the one in debt instead of your significant other, it can be tempting to hide the details from your spouse. You might be afraid they will think less of you if they know how much debt you owe.
However, keeping this kind of information from your partner won’t help either of you. It can make things worse. Thus, your partner must know how much debt you are dealing with, so they can be supportive and helpful in helping you get a handle on it. The key is honesty — even if that means admitting something uncomfortable, such as “I don’t know what to do about my debt.” The more open and honest you are with your partner about money matters, the easier it will be for both of you to work together toward solutions.
The Bottom Line
Debt can put a strain on your relationship and lead to many different problems. Whether or not it is a reason for breaking up depends on your unique circumstances. Hopefully, this article helped shed some insight into this complex topic. And remember, relationships can be worth fighting for, so seeking couples counseling or even taking personal finance courses together could make all the difference in the world.
Finny the Finance Bot says…
What kind of impact does debt have on a relationship?
Debt can put a significant strain on a relationship and can contribute to relationship problems. However, whether or not it is okay to break up or get divorced over debt is a personal decision and can depend on a variety of factors, such as the amount and type of debt, the cause of the debt, and the couple’s ability to manage and resolve the debt together.
If a couple is unable to resolve their debt issues and the debt is causing significant stress and strain on the relationship, it may be necessary to consider other options, such as seeking the assistance of a financial professional, negotiating a debt settlement, or in some cases, considering separation or divorce.
Ultimately, it’s important for individuals and couples to communicate openly and honestly about their finances and to work together to resolve any debt issues. If necessary, seeking the assistance of a financial professional or counselor can also be helpful in managing debt and resolving relationship problems related to debt.
The author generated Finny the Finance Bot’s text in part with GPT-3, OpenAI’s large-scale language-generation model. Upon generating draft language, the author reviewed, edited, and revised the language to their own liking and takes ultimate responsibility for the content of this publication.