Debt is a relationship killer. Let me be clear and say that I’m not talking about mortgage debt, which what’s known as good debt. I’m talking about personal and consumer debt: auto loans, student loans, credit cards. These debts with higher interest rates can often quickly add up and create stress for a couple.
What many couples are working towards in order to protect and save their relationships is something that I call a No Debt Union (#NoDebtUnion). Some couples choose to enter their marriages debt-free while others choose to work towards being debt-free once married, and still others decide to stay debt-free. What these couples have in common is that they’ve prioritized their relationships over debt.
If you want to join this movement and work to pay off your debt to save your marriage, I’ve created a No Debt Union Pledge that you can take. The text of the pledge is listed at the end of this post. To take the pledge and sign on to the No Debt Union Movement simply leave a comment below.
Not long after I started this blog, I spoke to my friend Kaila about paying off her student loans. She had recently accomplished this important task and it hadn’t been easy. She had paid the final $10,000 over the course of 6 very frugal months. When I asked her why she had done it she told me that she had been talking to her partner about getting engaged and had decided that she had decided she didn’t want to bring debt into their marriage. They worked together to cut back and the process was actually one that helped bond them. According to Kaila, “I was putting more than 50% of my take home pay towards my student loan balance so we had to live very spartanly for six months. We got really creative. That allowed us to go through the process of paying off debt together. It just confirmed what a great team we are.”
Why a No Debt Union is So Important
A quick Google search about debt in marriage brings up articles with titles like Debt is a Marriage Killer , How Debt Can Destroy a Budding Relationship and Many Marriages Today are Til Debt Do Us Part.
Studies show that debt and money stress are real problems in marriages. Here are just a sampling:
- In a 2010 study by American Express showed that money caused the most stress in 30% of couples followed by intimacy at 11%, children at 9% and in-laws at 4%.
- Financial planners working with couples who are divorcing suggest that 40% of the time it’s about money and debt.
- This one study on newlyweds and debt was particularly interesting. Here is a quote from the conclusions of the study: “debt, along with other expenses associated with couples beginning their lives together, are likely to distract couples from the developmental task of building a strong marriage relationship during the first few months and years of marriage.”
While it’s not possible for everyone to pay off all of their debt before they get married like Kaila, working on reducing your debt and c0ming up with a plan to get out of debt will help your marriage. Take the No Debt Union Pledge and commit to making your marriage stronger one dollar at a time.
Some ‘No Debt Union’ Resources
If you are having a hard time dealing with debt in your relationships, these are some great resources to check out:
The ‘No Debt Union’ Pledge
Share this pledge on Facebook and Twitter! Spread the movement! Post in the comments below if you plan on taking the pledge:
We do not want debt to do us part. We believe that our marriage is more important than debt. For that reason, we pledge to do everything we can to prioritize our relationship whether that means entering our marriage without debt, working towards eliminating our debt while married, or staying out of debt after we’re married. Our marriage is a ‘No Debt Union!’