Relate Cymru provides relationship tips for couples in debt as new research finds one in seven people has hidden debt from their partner
As a new report from relationships charity, Relate, finds that one in seven people in debt has hidden debt from their partner, Relate Cymru has advice on how to adopt a more open and shared approach to finances.
The report, In too deep: an investigation into debt and relationships, is sponsored by Provident Financial and explores the strong links between debt and relationships.
According to the latest figures, 17.7% of adults in Wales are in problem debt which equates to 439,779 people.* Relate’s report highlights the impact this can have on relationships with one in five (20%) people in problem debt having experienced the breakdown of a relationship with a partner where debt was at least part of the reason. To add to this, a quarter (25%) argue about money, debt, and other financial issues with their partner at least once a fortnight.
Relate Cymru says that relationship dynamics such as how well a couple communicates and whether they have a shared approach to finances can make all the difference. Relate counsellor, Peter Saddington or Gwilym Roberts, National Director at Relate Cymru said:
“Money worries are one of the top strains on relationships and in the current financial climate, we now see a lot of clients who are struggling with debt. Debt is a stressful thing for anyone to go through and frequent arguments about money are common among couples whose finances are under pressure. We also hear from some couples where one person has been hiding large debts from their partner and, although the debt is upsetting, it is often the deceit that causes the biggest problem.
“Whilst talking about money can be tricky, hiding debt can cause a lot of damage to the relationship in the long-run as well as people’s ability to deal with debt. Counselling can help couples to talk more openly about money and tackle any problems together.”
Relate Cymru’s tips for couples in debt
- Talk to your partner about your attitudes towards money and debt and what you think has influenced them. Greater understanding will lead to less arguments.
- If you’re hiding debt from your partner unless you’re in an abusive relationship, it’s usually best to come clean. Pick a quiet time with no distractions, accept responsibility and explain you want to be open and honest about money from now on.
- Put together a plan outlining how you’ll manage paying off debt together and work out a monthly budget. It will help you to feel in control again and like you’re tackling the problem as a team.
- Check in regularly with your partner about finances. Couples who make financial decisions together are less likely to have issues.
- If you’re arguing more often than not, it’s worth seeking relationship support from an organisation such as Relate (relate.org.uk).
- Do seek support on the financial side of things from an organisation such as Christians Against Poverty (capuk.org) or Money Advice Service (moneyadvice.org.uk) so you can begin to tackle the debt together.