Dear Penny: I’ll Never Marry My Boyfriend, So Can I Hide My Debt?

Dear Penny,

My boyfriend and I are 71 and 72. He’s been divorced three times, and I’ve been widowed twice. We both have our own homes and good incomes.

The problem is, I’m in debt due to my last-place husband. My boyfriend always talks about how he is debt-free except for his mortgage. We are in love and committed to each other.

Do I have to tell him about my debt when we have said we don’t want to remarry? I am perplexed about the debt.


Dear L .,

You aren’t obligated to disclose every single aspect of your life and finances to your suitor. Of track you’d need to tell him you have debt if you were talking about marrying or moving in together. That’s not the case here.

As long as your pay isn’t impacting him, you shouldn’t feel guilty for not telling him. But I wonder if you’d feel better if you told him.

I’m going to paraphrase Dan Savage, the acclaimed enjoy and gender opinion reporter, and give you the advice he often reproduces when someone is scared to reveal something about themselves to a partner: If you tell your boyfriend about your indebtednes, you’ll be divulging one thing about yourself. His reaction will reveal everything about him.

What I’m hoping is that you’re underestimating your sweetheart. You say he “always” talks about being debt-free aside from his mortgage. It may be that he’s simply more open to discussing money than you, so it feels like he’s constantly talking about his lack of debt.

Context troubles a lot here, more. Is he accompanying it up because he’s proud of the accomplishment? Or because he’s stimulated about all the things he can do because his expenditures are low? That’s a lot different than if he’s the type of person who thinks that just because he’s debt-free, anyone else who has debt is irresponsible.

Your boyfriend’s reaction isn’t the only thing to consider when you make this decision. Be honest with yourself: By continue this secret, are you spending more money because you’re trying to pretend like you don’t have any obligations? When you’re not upfront about your financial positions, you often wind up with a lifestyle you can’t afford. You say yes to the vacations and restaurants that are out of your budget because you don’t want anyone to suspect that you’re struggling.

I have no idea if this is happening here. You don’t say how much obligation “youve had” or whether it’s practicable. But if this debt devours up a significant part of your income and you’re a duo who tends to split things relatively evenly when you go out on appointments or travel together, it’s something you need to seriously consider.

One benefit of telling your boyfriend is that opening up can be a relief. Keeping a bad situation secret merely compounds the stress. When you look at something through the lens of shame, it often becomes far worse than it actually is in your mind.

If you haven’t told anyone about this lurk obligation, consider telling a trusted friend or own family members first. Doing so could help you gauge your boyfriend’s reaction. You may also discover that talking about this isn’t as terrifying as you’ve imagined.

Regardless of how you proceed with your boyfriend, I hope you recognise that not talking about this debt isn’t going to make it disappear. You need a plan for how to inhibit this debt, whether that involves paying it off as quickly as possible or maintaining the monthly pays as feasible as is practicable. If you haven’t done so, consider making an appointment with a financial planner or counselor to make sure your plan is solid. You may feel better about telling your boyfriend you have debt if you can also talk with confidence about how you’re administration it.

Not to add to your distres, but the longer you keep this a secret, the harder it will be should you eventually open up. Even “the worlds largest” pity collaborator may be hurt to learn that you’ve been deterring pay a secret for years because you were afraid of their action. Conversely if he doesn’t react well, your pain will be exacerbated after vesting many years together.

I won’t try to pretend that learning your debt is a deal-breaker for him wouldn’t be incredibly painful. I certainly understand why the easiest thing to do is not to talk about this when you’re happy and in love. Still, I think it’s important to know whether he attends more about you or your net worth.

Whatever you choose, I hope you can stop feeling flustered about your debt. It’s not a character flaw. Life can throw a great deal of surprising snags at you. Sometimes your battle meanders come in the form of debt. Hopefully after seven decades in the world, your sweetheart is careful enough to recognize that.

Robin Hartill is a verified financial planner and a elderly writer at The Penny Hoarder. Send your complicated money questions to AskPenny @thepennyhoarder. com.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which assistances millions of books worldwide deserve and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal narratives, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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