With the right approach, it’s possible to reduce some of the harm financial difficulties can do to a marriage. For one, supporting, rather than blaming, each other can help limit the psychological impact and make it easier to focus on finding solutions. Accept the problem as one you both own. Holding onto resentments and anger or blaming your partner for your financial state of affairs is absolutely counter-productive. Negativity blocks your ability to think clearly and that makes it hard to come up with solutions. So, your relationship is damaged and you still have the debt.
Supportive behavior and joint ownership of the problem is the first step, but obviously not the only one. You still need practical solutions to money management, and you need to work together to come up with the answers. We’re not finance experts, so there’s not much practical advice we can give in this area. But there are experts out there who can help you come up with effective approaches that will work for you.
If you’re thinking of spending money you don’t have for something you really don’t need, think again. Be realistic about what you can afford. The unnecessary debt you take on might not only prevent you from buying things you actually need, the resulting stress will take its toll on your marriage. Besides, the things we buy don’t often make us as happy as we expect them to, and that can make the pain of the lingering debt even worse.
Nevertheless, if you still decide to take on needless debt, make sure it’s for something both of you will benefit from. While our partner might initially agree to spend on something they don’t want, the debt they have to keep servicing will soon make them forget they ever thought that was a good idea.