One of the most important aspects of a relationship is trust. Without trust a relationship can be very difficult and in a number of cases will fail.
When it comes to money, the actions I have taken have been very foolish. I have ended up in debt twice now and my partner has been with me the whole time.
By the time my partner and I had got together, I had already begun sorting out my first debt problem and our finances were much simpler as we both lived at home. She knew I had a bit of debt but I was sorting it out so there was no real problem.
Once I had paid off my first debt pile everything was ticking over nicely. We had moved into a place of our own and things were on the up. Unfortunately that was about to change with Debt Pile number 2 slowly building up.
The Build up to Debt Pile Number 2
I must admit that back when debt pile number 2 started to take shape, I had a problem with money. If I could get it I would. Once I had it I would spend it. I did not appreciate the value of it all, despite paying off nearly £20,000 for my first pile of debt.
When I had paid off all my first pile of debt my credit rating had got a lot better. None of the negative data such as County Court Judgments or Defaults were on my credit report. This mean’t I could borrow again, and borrow I did.
I started spending money recklessly, money I didn’t have and shortly after that I started gambling. This was to prove to be my downfall. I started using credit cards to gamble and naturally I lost it all. I then took out a loan, determined to settle my credit card debt and make a fresh start. That didn’t go to plan and I was soon gambling again, only owing a lot of money. I was taking out payday loans to make ends meet and the situation was just getting to a breaking point.
I lost it all and finally realised that I had a serious problem. It is a great shame that I couldn’t have come to this conclusion sooner but I didn’t and the situation is what it is now. The past cannot be changed, now all I can do is sort out the problems I have created.
Planning a Solution
Eventually I set out a plan on what needed to be done to address the situation. I was going to confess all to my partner and start my own debt management plan to pay off the huge mountain of debt that had accumulated during my reckless spree.
At first I wasn’t sure exactly how to reveal the extent of what had happened with my finances to my partner. It seemed bad enough that I was in debt, but to explain that half of that debt was due to gambling made it seem worse. After a lot of thought I decided the best way was to write a letter to my partner, explaining what had happened and then answer any questions she had. I was scared but it had to be done.
I picked the date I was going to confess all about my debt and gambling problem and handed over the letter. My heart was beating fast, there was a knot in my stomach but the deed was done, for when she read the letter my partner would know about my secret.
Once my partner had read through the letter she did not know what to say. I explained that I was going to take care of things, and make sure that it gets sorted. She was quite angry at what I had told her, and also angry because I had not gone to her sooner. However she was still glad that I had told her. It was a big relief to know that my partner now knew about my debt problem and the causes of it.
My partner couldn’t understand how I could have wasted so much money gambling. I don’t understand it either. I couldn’t offer an explanation, I admitted. I don’t fully understand why I gambled so much. Maybe because I was already in a bit of debt, perhaps I thought I could win enough to pay it all back. I don’t know. I am not normally someone who gets addicted to things but the online casinos had me hooked. Gambling is now longer part of my life and never will be ever again.
One thing we did straight away was to get a joint bank account so my partner could keep tabs on what I was going. My old bank accounts were closed so I couldn’t gamble ever again.
It worked because I stopped gambling and because I physically couldn’t do it without my partner seeing the transactions on our bank statements. It also helped rebuild trust because she could see what was happening with our money and knew where it was being spent.
The Effects of Debt
The next 12 months of our relationship was very testing. I would be lying if I said the situation didn’t have an effect on our relationship but it did. Not so much now but back then it hung round us like a huge weight on our shoulders. I still think I made the right decision letting my partner know and in time things have got better. My debt is just something that happened but isn’t as significant as it once was.
As you will see from browsing this blog, I still owe a lot of money and that isn’t going to change any time soon. However with each payment the balance owed decreases a little. I don’t let this debt affect my partners or my own life. I suppose you could argue that the money I pay off each month is lost, but then money isn’t everything. So long as we have enough to put a roof over our head, keep warm and eat then that’s good enough.
How about you, how did you tell your partner about your debts? Did you keep quiet or did you confess all?