As a Dave Ramsey Certified Counselor, I like to occasionally listen to Dave’s radio program. I get the podcast and, if my schedule allows, I like to listen to what is happening to people all around the country. Recently, I was deeply saddened by an email that he read on his broadcast. It may have been a repeat and originally aired some time ago, but the issue is something that I see too frequently in my business.
Dave read the letter that shared, from a listener, how his/her friend had recently killed herself. It appeared that the husband, while now dealing with the death of his wife and the future of raising his children alone, was hit with even more devastating news. It appears his wife had mismanaged the finances to the point that payment on bills were late and more to the point that that their house had been foreclosed on. Facing eviction very close to, if not immediately after, his wife’s funeral had to be unbearable. From the note, it was apparent that he had no idea to the seriousness of their financial situation. The wife, and for possibly more reasons, felt that life was not worth living after the situation with finances. Wow, how heartbreaking and eyeopening.
Several years ago, Dave was working on a pilot series for CBS. Early on in that process he appeared on Oprah. I recorded the show to see what it was like thinking that Dave may have the possibility of being on there regularly. That thought quickly disappeared, as Dave strongly criticized a couple for their situation and suggested that one spouse, I believe it was the wife, owed the husband an apology for not being honest with her spouse in how she was handling/handled money and the impact on the husband when he learned the amount of debt that they were now in. Dave was politely scolded by Oprah and informed that the apology was not in order. Dave was right.
Regularly, I meet with clients who share their financial secrets with their spouse. Sometimes it is in my office, sometimes they come to my office as a result. The impact is not fun and it is not needed. Unfortunately, confidentiality prevents me from sharing many of the situations I see. It is not my intention to make it more painful than what it already is.
Keeping financial secrets from our spouses can be fatal to a marriage. Trust is huge and having trust in our finances is one of things that every couple MUST have.
What is it like in your relationship? Where are you headed? Is it time to come clean and get on the right path?