Is Hidden Debt Taking a Toll On Your Marriage?

Forget a box of chocolates. The best present you can give your significant other this Valentine's Day is your faithfulness - financial faithfulness, that is, say Atlanta bankruptcy attorneys.

Relationships these days are just as likely to be damaged by financial cheating as by adultery. According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, more than 50 percent of people report buying something their partner didn't approve of - and 30 percent admitted to hiding said purchase. It seems that when the economy took a nosedive, so did honesty.

None of us get married with the vow, "until debt do us part." So how is it that so many of us are ending up with deep, dark financial secrets?

In the case of debt, it often starts with denial. In today's economy, it's common for a period of unemployment, a salary cut or simply higher prices to make it a struggle to pay the bills. And some of us (possibly, ahem, myself) have been known to deal with stress with a shopping trip to the mall, which only makes the situation worse. When an unexpected expense comes along and we're short on cash, we quietly whip out the credit card, promising ourselves to pay it off next month - and hoping our significant other will be none the wiser.

Unfortunately, the money we need to pay off our growing bills often fails to materialize. And the more we lie, the worse our debt gets - and the more we feel we have to keep lying. Debt quickly becomes a downward spiral. But it doesn't have to be that way.

No one likes to admit to a mistake. But like pulling off a band-aid, the sooner you get it over with, the less painful it will be. Believe me, telling your family you're $5,000 in debt is a lot easier than letting them know you're $20,000 in debt. And telling them you're $20,000 in debt is a lot easier than letting them know you're $50,000 in debt - and about to lose the house to foreclosure.

If you're having trouble coming clean about your finances, remember - money can't buy happiness, but love can. More than 90 percent of Americans avoid talking about money with their spouses. Maybe that's why our country in such bad financial shape! If you're trying to go it alone, it might be time to seek help - after all, two heads are better than one. And if you still can't seem to overcome debt as a couple, maybe it's time to get professional help. At DebtStoppers, our Atlanta bankruptcy attorneys can identify a bankruptcy plan to eliminate your debt so you can find a fresh start - for your finances and your marriage. It's absolutely free when you sign up for a one-on-one debt analysis.

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