With nearly 20% of couples holding some kind of secret debt from each other, its' no wonder this topic has become the elephant in the room for many couples. If you have discovered your partner has been hiding debts from you, it's a great idea to go into relationship counselling at a place like Inner Dimensions to discuss the underlying reasons behind this hidden spending.
What have they been buying?
It is important to examine what has been buying. If your partner has been compulsively buying personal goods, they may be trying to fill an emotional gap in another area in their life. On the other hand, if they have been taking on personal debts to ensure that the household can maintain a certain lifestyle due to other factors such as a job loss you then need to explore the underlying emotional issues that lead to the deception. This can range from the need to be seen as a provider, to embarrassment over poor budgeting. Exploring this issue can help to ensure that the same issue doesn't come up in other ways, such as overeating or other compulsive behaviors.
Why did they conceal the issue?
In all relationships things arise that are uncomfortable and unpleasant to deal with. Dealing with the reasons your partner has not felt able to communicate with you about the debts is important to resolve how this issue has arisen and make sure you can easily communicate with each other going forward. Counselling can help to bring up these communication issues in a neutral place.
How will you fix the issue?
With a large debt you need to work out how the debt will be repaid. The mechanics of this can depend on how the debt was generated, as some couple may want the responsible party to find ways to pay off the debt themselves while other might be willing to repay the amount of the debt out of household funds. Equally you may want to investigate in the neutral environment of relationship counselling how you will discuss and manage finances going forward, in an open manner to prevent other similar issues.
Many couples find that the neutral environment of relationship counselling and the presence of a neutral counsellor useful to work through the underlying issues of hidden debt. This can not only help to resolve the issues around the debt, as well as preventing this or similar issues from reoccurring in your relationship.