How to Persuade your Partner to Seek Debt Help

by Fox Symes on February 18, 2014

Debt isn’t the easiest subject to broach, as your mortgage continues to struggle against an unpredictable storm of payments, excuses and meandering conversations. In fact, most of us avoid the topic of money with ourselves, let alone our partners, preferring to tread water as the lightning of a fourth warning crackles overhead. It’s not your debt, you feel comfortable in your finances and everything has settled down, since you’ve taken stock of enthusiastic spending habits and learned to swim with the tide effectively; there’s no point in rebelling against a demanding presence and pretending the letters of urgent payment don’t exist. So how do you introduce the subject and come to a successful resolution without alienating your partner, belittling their confidence or offending their efforts?

Inspire, Don’t Berate

Nobody likes to be spoken to disrespectfully or belligerently, your partner needs your help, not your high handed judgement. Don’t dictate what they should do, but start talking about what you can do together should your lives change; improved finances is the portal to holidays, weekend getaways, new appliances, a furniture make over or a bulging savings account. Sit down together and think about what your common goals are, providing a reason WHY your partner should get their butts into gear and tackle their debt.

Talk About Them

This isn’t about you. Sure, their economic status may be impacting on your lifestyle and pressuring your bank account to cover anything from dinners to extra payments, but this isn’t the time to talk about your gripes. Leave it in the past. Instead, get them to open up about their money difficulties, exploring when it all fell down or any attached emotions associated with over spending, opposed to paying essential bills. Is there anything you can do to validate them as a person? Are you indirectly enabling their behaviour by being unavailable when they want to talk about their issues? Open the floodgates of mutual communication and listen consistently. They will return the favour.

Learn How to Co-Captain

You may think you need to be in control of your finances, your partner’s finances and attain the debt free label by a specific point. But this is a team effort. Their wishes, needs and wants are just as valid and salient as your own; you’ve had time to warm up to the idea of saving as a lifestyle choice and striving toward a self-determined goal. Now it’s time to balance your zeal with theirs and see where the chips fall. Go through the advantages and shortcomings of each major decision together, set savings goals both of you agree on and identify where either party can make sacrifices, acknowledging and discussing any protests or road-blocks.
Has your partner fallen prey to the overwhelming gusts of mounting debt, spending and never saving? How did you address the issues, and if you’re still waiting to navigate the subject, what’s holding you back? Let us know in the comments below.

Previous post:

Next post: