Almost every day, I will have a potential client say something like, “you can’t tell my wife” or “don’t tell my husband”. Of course I always respect the wishes of my clients, but I encourage clients to openly discuss their financial problems with their spouse. I even have clients who want me to tell their spouse about their financial problem, thinking it will make things easier. These conversations generally don’t go very well. The spouse is usually upset and feels deceived, and the client feels an even deeper sense of shame and guilt.
Getting out of debt isn’t easy and you need all the support that you can get. By keeping financial problems a secret, we do not have the support of our number one backer, our spouse. Secret debts can damage relationships, but with ‘the big secret’ out of the way, spouses can share the burden and both work towards a common goal together.
Full disclosure is the key to a clean conscience. A continuing conversation about money will help bring a spouse on board and show commitment towards the relationship. Having two people openly involved in running financial aspects of their life together improves accountability, equalises the marriage in a positive way, and helps each partner to stay on track.
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