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Can My Fiance Really Ask to See My Bills?

Question:

Dear Steve,

I have several large bills that I have been making monthly payments with what I can afford to pay, which isn’t very much, from a medical condition that I have. I have never once asked my fiance to see any of them just because I don’t believe that it is really any of his business since I am the one who is responsible for paying off the bills.

I was wondering if it is appropriate for him to keep pestering me to see what bills that are in my name because I honestly don’t think that it is appropriate for him to keep pestering me to see them. I have never once asked for any kind of help when I am making the payments

Wendie

Answer:

Dear Wendie,

Thank you for reaching out to me and asking your question.

I can’t think of a “requirement” that you show your fiance your bills or what you owe.

However, I think it is worth considering what the underlying emotional concerns are that you have that prevent you from confiding with the person you are to marry.

Typically, savers and spenders attract each other in a relationship. Each person has their own money personality and you can find out what yours is with my online money personality test. So it’s expected that you have a different way of approaching these issues.

It has always interested me that people have reservations about sharing credit and debt information with their relationship partner but they don’t hesitate to swap bodily fluids, get married, or create children.

The resistance to sharing information about individual finances is tough because we think it somehow is a representation of our self-worth.

If your hesitancy to share the information is based on a medical concern, once you are married your husband will have the authority to approve medical care if you are unable to. So he should probably be aware of what is going on if it relates to a health concern that could impact you. I think that’s just logical and not about giving up power or control to another person.

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Again, just my dumb opinion, but I think starting off a relationship and a marriage based on secrets and fears should sound some alarms. It’s clearly already on his radar.

Years ago I had a client that told me he was so ashamed of his credit score and debt that he could not tell lifelong love about it or get married till he had solved it. After seven years of being engaged, the woman he loved, gave him an ultimatum to either set a wedding date or she was going to move on. He couldn’t share his financial information and she left. A tragic loss based on fear and it could have all been avoided. His credit score wasn’t that bad and he didn’t owe that much. It was his fear that held him back, not reality.

I mentioned before that savers tend to attack spenders in a relationship. Your fiance might be the saver. But I would ask you to consider that his desire to understand more about the bills you currently have and are “hiding” can create internal conflict with him since it grates across his own money personality.

His inquisitiveness may have more to do with helping him to remove his financial stress than make any sort of negative opinion about you.

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It’s just me but it is very possible that your hesitation to share details of financial issues you will share in marriage can create doubt and erode trust with him. It would be natural for someone to think if this person is hiding X issue then what else are they not telling me.

The most logical answer here would be for you to share the information with the person you have already agreed to marry because it can come out after you are married and the issue gets worse. For example, after you are married you have a reduction in income and can’t afford the minimum payment and wind up getting sued. Or, your continued debt would stop you from buying a house together. The debt emerges as a surprise when you go for a mortgage. I’ve seen both things happen.

See also  Debt, Relationships, Fighting, Sexually Transmitted Debt and Financial Infidelity

I understand your concern and hesitation but it might be the right time now to have the open and honest conversation where you both share your credit reports and debts with each other to understand what you are both bringing to the marriage.

This is not a meeting to judge each other but to celebrate the love and trust you have in each other.

Let’s say you do share the information with him and he walks out the door. Honestly, isn’t that better right now than before you get married, pregnant, sued, and in joint debt together?

Post a comment below and let me know what you decide to do.


Damon Day - Pro Debt Coach

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Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
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