Hiding financial debt from your spouse is one of the most questionable decisions you can ever make. This can have a huge impact not only on your finances but your relationship as well. This can rob you of your peace and quiet at home. You could reach a point where your stress starts to ripple out to other areas in your life.
You might start to become more irritable at home and your spouse does not have a clue why you have a change in behavior. It is also possible that your health is affected because you have not been eating right. You could also be losing sleep or waking up in the middle of the night thinking about the secret you are keeping. If you want to fix the problem, here are a few things to look into.
Hiding financial debt will stress you out
One of the most obvious side effects of hiding financial obligations from your loved ones is stress. The thought that you are withholding important financial information from them can give you sleepless nights. You might even start to lose interest in eating right or even in taking care of yourself. In turn, you can start to get sick or seem distant from your family.
It is not easy to hide debt from your spouse because you need to have an open line of communication about everything. You might even start to think that they could also be hiding something from you and this way of thinking can be destructive. The blame shifts to your partner and you create stories in your head creating a rift between the two of you.
You might think that one small lie is acceptable but that only gets more complicated as time goes by. That small lie slowly snowballs into a big obstacle not only with your finances but in other areas in your life. Psychology Today shares that one of the reasons people lie is to keep conflict or disruption down in any relationship.
Covering it up can lead to bigger financial problems
Hiding financial debt is never a good idea because it can lead to bigger financial problems along the way. If you are hiding a credit card debt from your spouse, the unpaid amount will just keep on getting bigger each passing day. Your original creditor might not hold onto that account for long but as soon as they sell your portfolio, collection calls can start coming in. Once this happens, your spouse will find out about it.
It could also be money you owe other people. It can be a family member or even a common friend. This can lead to trouble if that debt goes unpaid for a really long time. It can get awkward seeing that person in a family or social gathering. You will start to avoid that person and as time goes by, your relationship with them deteriorates.
You would be lucky if they just forget about it and not ask you about that money in the future. However, there are creditors who are not as forgiving. Interest, fees, and penalties tend to increase the amount you have to pay back in the end. When you try to avoid it and they eventually catch up to you, the amount due is way more than what you originally owed.
It can prevent you from moving towards your goals
Hiding financial debt can ultimately derail you from pursuing bigger goals in life. If you want to buy a house for your family, a quick credit check could instantly reveal an unpaid debt. It is still possible that you get approved for the mortgage loan. The downside is that your lender will view you as a big risk and essentially assign a high-interest rate on the loan.
That is on the upside because lenders can just as easily deny your mortgage loan application. If you are trying to put up a business, you can also go to a lender to borrow a start-up capital money. Again, if you have unpaid debt obligations in the past, this is rings an alarm on most future lenders to be wary in extending you credit. This can hold you and your spouse back from moving with your goals in life.
The cover-up can ruin your relationship with your spouse
If you start hiding financial debt from your spouse, it can start to affect you mentally, emotionally, and even physically. More than how it will affect you, it will also put you in a tight spot with your spouse. One of the pillars of a strong relationship is the honesty you have for each other. Without that, you will slowly put an end on that relationship.
One thing it can lead to is that it exposes your spouse financially. They are in the dark and could start to talk and dream about plans you both have for the future not knowing you are hiding a secret from them. You suddenly call-off going to dinner with old friends because you owe money to some of them. You lose that house you both wanted to buy because your spouse does not know you cannot get loan approval. Once she starts seeing through and finding out about your financial infidelity, you might lose that relationship as well.
What can you do to set things right?
Now that you have an idea about some of the situations you can find yourself in when you start hiding financial debt from your spouse, here are some ways to remedy that problem.
Be upfront and honest
The first step you have to take is to sit down with your spouse and lay your cards on the table. This is not easy as PsychAlive site shares that even married couples lie once in every ten interactions they have with each other. Sit down with your spouse and tell them everything you have been hiding. This is not the time to skirt around the details. Tell them everything from the amount you owe, what it has come up to now, and even why you felt the need to hide it from them.
Admit you made a mistake
You might start to think after hiding financial debt all these years that you were doing your spouse a favor and that you did not do anything wrong. With the admission of the debt comes admission of your mistake. Own up to what you have done and do not pin the blame on anyone. Admitting your mistake is a great step in helping you find the solution to your problem.
Create a plan to rectify the mistake
This is the time to look at your current financial situation and see how you can manage to pay off that debt obligation. Now that your spouse knows about it, you can work together in solving the problem. This might result in some belt-tightening around the house or giving up a trip just to pay off the debt you had.
Follow through with that plan
Creating repayment plans is just part of the process because you still need to follow through on those plans. Even if you go into debt consolidation and are able t combine everything under one account, the work does not end there. As great as that debt repayment program is, you still need to make the payments. You have to make sure that you follow the plan and not add more payments to your finances.
It is not easy hiding financial debt and will never be that is why you have to come clean. Tell your loved one about it and work on a solution together.