Anyone hiding their debt from a partner - don't!

I first joined these forums about 3 years ago when joint debt was around £50k and climbing. My Husband had no idea about the extent of the debt, happy to leave the finances to me - I joined here and convinced myself I could do it without him ever finding out. I confess that I even posted here under a different name for a long long time and never told any of my "online" friends that my Husband didn't know quite how horrendous it was.

My Husband found out the true extent 7 weeks ago and I have realised how I have wasted most of our married life worried about money, hiding post, dreading the postman and I bitterly bitterly regret it. Had my Husband not found out about the debts I am sure that I will have carried on hiding it although I am pretty sure I was heading for a nervous breakdown. I wonder when, in reality, how bad it would have got before I told him.

It is only now that we have spent the last few days away on a camping trip that I realise just how much of my life I have wasted by not telling him the truth. For the first time in years we have had a family holiday that I have actually enjoyed and been relaxed. We have had joint control over the finances, I am completely comfortable with what we are spending and not panicking about where the money is coming from. We are getting on so much better, there I was worried about telling him the truth incase he left me and in fact our marriage was in tatters due to my stressed behaviour whenever we were planning anything.

To anyone who is still keeping debt a secret just think about what you are missing out on - my Husband knows that the debt isn't from being lavish, but overspending every month and then struggling to keep up with the debt. Not telling him how bad it was meant I couldn't explain why we couldn't afford things which in turn increased the debt.

Together we are fighting the debt, there is no point sticking to a budget unless you both know the end goal and we talk about everything.

I have wasted almost 8 years of my relationship with my Husband due to debt and to us our life starts afresh now. It will take 7 years to pay back the debt but we will do it sooner as we are determined, but more importantly we are in this together and a lot stronger.

I was petrified of him finding out, yes there were very difficult days but we are coming through the other side - he loves me whether we have money or not.

I just wanted to post as I know I was one of the people who read the posts about confessing all, thought about it and then didn't - if I had 'fessed up years ago I wouldn't have wasted so much of my life. I saw a sign today, "You only have one life, live it" - Indeed!!


  • Lemon_Tree
    Lemon_Tree Posts: 10,202
    First Anniversary First Post
    hi Mrs Trouble, i'm so pleased that it's has worked out so well for you finally being able to share the truth with you husband and being able to get the support you need and deserve. I'm sure i'll still be here in 7 years time to cheer you through the finish line, even though i'm planning on making it there myself next year.
  • ilovecheese
    ilovecheese Posts: 254 Forumite
    Just had to say what a fantastic post!

    I wish you well on your debt free journey!
  • sunnygirls
    sunnygirls Posts: 278 Forumite
    Mrs Trouble i need to say a very large thank you and send you a hug . I read one of your posts yesterday and it really touched a nerve ,so i searched and read through all your posts ...What this could be me !!!! I did it last night i told my husband everything between sobs and crying ,he was so shocked not angry just shocked , after everything had come out i showed him your first post this is me i explained and i just cant do it anymore . I cant say i had a good nights sleep i feel terribly guilty but i feel relief that i dont have hide and lie anymore . we have decided to go down dmp route , according to cccs website it will take 6 yrs to pay off our debt the same amount of time we have left on our morgage ,so by the time we are 50 we should be debt free . I will post everything soon but i still feel very raw and ashamed but over the next few days /weeks i will post my progress .Thank you again for posting your story it so inspired me x
  • CH27
    CH27 Posts: 5,531 Forumite
    Good luck to you both:)
    Try to be a rainbow in someone's cloud.
  • Hi Mrs Trouble, don't quite know why I'm writing this apart from the fact that I'm getting more desperate by the day!! Just read through your post from the 27th April and we have quite a few things in common; I've been hiding this debt for a few years now, always on edge and doing everything I can to avoid my husband finding out, the feeling of guilt every single day because I'm keeping a big secret from him and thinking that I know he will leave me if he finds out. The big difference is that this is my debt in my name and he doesn't have a clue. He hates debt and hates paying interest on anything unless he really has to. This is a credit card debt just under £7K that I managed to rack up while trying to block out the feelings of helplessness I felt at my child being bullied. My child is now fine and I'm stuck with this. I didn't buy anything big, but I did spend money I didn't have. I'm paying it off with my child allowance, again which he knows nothing about, but am only paying about £40 per month over the interest so the figure barely decreases. So many times I've set myself a date to tell him but then it's come and gone, my last being the 1st of May. All I can think is that if he leaves me then I've wrecked my kids lives as well and I just can't live with that. I would appreciate your thoughts.
  • d-van
    d-van Posts: 38 Forumite
    BarganQueen just wanted to say don't be sad, there must be something that can be done. You say it is your debt, do you and your husband keep your finances separate? If so, do you get your wages paid into a different account? You could maybe fill in an SOA and see if anyone could advise you on what you could save then maybe afford to pay more towards your c/c.
    You should realise that people make mistakes and you made yours and you should try explain this to your husband (for better & for worse...) I don't mean to preach to you but maybe it would be a weight lifted off your shoulders if you came clean and admitted your mistake. I'm sure he loves you and will want to help you.
    Sorry if I'm being too blunt but I really do feel for you and nobody's a saint...
  • Hi d-van, thanks for your post. Yes we do have separate bank accounts, I don't work as I've got a little one at home so he works and pays for everything which makes me feel even worse so I can't pay any more than I'm already paying. I've tried ringing the bank and explained the problem with a view to lowering the interest for a while but they're not interested. They can only help me when I fall into arrears which I find unbelievable. I feel like the Lion from he Wizard of Oz, in need of some courage!! I don't think you're being too blunt, just trying to talk some sense into me. Thanks.
  • Sueb_2
    Sueb_2 Posts: 8 Forumite
    Barganqueen, I also have been in your position. I had over £25k of debt in 2006 (about £8k left...) and my husband knew nothing about it. I got so stressed when I realised I couldn't cope with the debt I had that I knew I had to tell him and take the consequences. We had a tough time but we are still together and getting the debt down. You have to do it, if you don't what will happen? If your partner loves you he will want to help you sort it out, or at least support you doing it. Ring National Debtline and have a chat with someone, they are so good there, you'll immediately feel better.

    Take care of your self and try and find the courage to do
This discussion has been closed.
Meet your Ambassadors


  • All Categories
  • 341.6K Banking & Borrowing
  • 249.6K Reduce Debt & Boost Income
  • 449K Spending & Discounts
  • 233.5K Work, Benefits & Business
  • 605.8K Mortgages, Homes & Bills
  • 172.4K Life & Family
  • 246.4K Travel & Transport
  • 1.5M Hobbies & Leisure
  • 15.8K Discuss & Feedback
  • 15.1K Coronavirus Support Boards