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

Dear Cent,

My boyfriend and that i are 71 and 72. He’s been divorced three occasions, and I have been widowed two times. Both of us have our very own homes and good incomes. 

The issue is, I am indebted because of my last husband. My boyfriend always discusses how he’s debt-free aside from his mortgage. We’re for each other and dedicated to one another. 

Must i simply tell him about my debt whenever we have stated we don’t wish to remarry? I’m embarrassed concerning the debt.


Dear L.,

You’re not obligated to reveal each and every facet of your existence and finances for your boyfriend. Obviously you’d have to simply tell him you’ve debt should you be speaking about marrying or relocating together. It is not the situation here.

As lengthy as the debt isn’t impacting him, you shouldn’t feel guilty because of not telling him. However I question if you’d feel good should you told him.

I will paraphrase Dan Savage, the legendary love and sex advice columnist, and provide you with the recommendation he frequently repeats if somebody is scared to show something about themselves to some partner: Should you inform your boyfriend regarding your debt, you will be revealing one factor with regards to you. His reaction will disclose everything about him.

What I’m wishing is the fact that you’re underestimating the man you’re dating. You say he “always” discusses being debt-free apart from his mortgage. It might be that he’s simply more available to discussing money than you, therefore it seems like he’s constantly speaking about his insufficient debt.

Context matters a great deal here, too. Is he getting up because he’s happy with the accomplishment? Or because he’s looking forward to everything he is able to do because his expenses are low? That’s a great deal diverse from if he’s the kind of person who thinks that simply because he’s debt-free, other people that has debts are irresponsible.

Your boyfriend’s reaction isn’t the only real factor to think about whenever you choose to do this. Be truthful on your own: By continuing to keep this secret, are you currently spending more income because you’re attempting to pretend like it’s not necessary any obligations? When you are not upfront about your funds, you frequently find yourself having a lifestyle you cannot afford. You agree the vacations and restaurants which are from your budget since you don’t want anybody to suspect that you’re battling.

I do not know if this sounds like happening here. You do not say just how much debt you’ve or if it’s manageable. But when this debt utilizes an essential part of the earnings and you’re a few who has a tendency to split things relatively equally when you are on dates or travel together, it’s something you require to honestly consider.

Just one benefit of telling the man you’re dating is the fact that opening could be a relief. Keeping a poor situation secret only compounds the strain. Whenever you take a look at something with the lens of shame, it frequently becomes a lot worse of computer really is in your thoughts.

Should you haven’t told anybody relating to this lingering debt, consider telling a reliable family member or friend first. Doing this can help you gauge your boyfriend’s reaction. You may even uncover that speaking relating to this isn’t as frightening as you’ve imagined.

It doesn’t matter how you proceed together with your boyfriend, I think you’ll notice that not speaking relating to this debt isn’t will make it disappear. You’ll need a arrange for how you can conquer this debt, whether which involves having to pay them back as rapidly as you possibly can or maintaining your monthly obligations as manageable as you possibly can. Should you haven’t done this, think about making a scheduled appointment having a financial planner or counselor to make certain your plan’s solid. You might feel happier about telling the man you’re dating you’ve debt if you’re able to also talk to confidence about how exactly you’re handling it.

Not to increase your pressure, however the longer you retain mtss is a secret, greater it will likely be in the event you eventually open. The most supportive partner might be hurt to understand that you have been keeping debt a secret for a long time since you were scared of their reaction. On the other hand if he doesn’t react well, your discomfort is going to be exacerbated after investing a long time together.

I won’t attempt to pretend that learning your financial troubles is really a deal-breaker for him wouldn’t be incredibly painful. I certainly realise why the simplest factor to complete isn’t to speak about this when you are happy as well as in love. Still, I believe it’s vital that you know whether he cares much more about you and your internet worth.

Whatever you decide, I think you’ll can stop feeling embarrassed regarding your debt. It isn’t a personality flaw. Existence can throw lots of unpredicted hurdles to you. Sometimes your fight wounds come by means of debt. Hopefully after seven decades on the planet, the man you’re dating pays enough to acknowledge that.

Robin Hartill is really a certified financial planner along with a senior author in the Cent Hoarder. Send your tricky money inquiries to

It was initially printed around the Cent Hoarder, which will help countless readers worldwide earn and cut costs by discussing unique job possibilities, personal tales, freebies and much more. The Corporation. 5000 rated The Cent Hoarder because the fastest-growing private media company within the U.S. in 2017.

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