How to avoid financial difficulties before marriage?

According to a recent article, singles who hide financial difficulties before marriage are setting the stage for a possible divorce. Transparency is one of the most important factors for any productive relationship. Couples who anticipate embracing marital bliss can avoid the pitfalls associated with the embarrassment of unveiling financial difficulties by developing a strategic plan for their future marriage.


According to the article, Should I Tell My Partner About My Debt Problems Before the Wedding?, a new study by the Debt Advisory Centre indicates that most people choose not to be honest and reveal their true financial debt position.


  • 1 in 5 people haven’t told their partner the full extent of their debts
  • 7% admitted that they don’t know if their partner has any unsecured borrowing
  • Women were twice as likely to hide their debts as men
  • Over 50% of respondents who plan to get married say they owe money on credit cards, loans and overdrafts
  • The average amount owed is £3,200 but 20% admit to owing more than £5,000

Why does not disclosing your true financial difficulties contribute to the possibility of divorce?


When individuals do not disclose their true financial difficulties they are exhibiting characteristics consistent with a dysfunctional organization. Dysfunctional organizations which include marriages exhibit several characteristics that are detrimental to its existence. There are five different levels that contribute to a dysfunctional organization.


The foundation for the dysfunctional organization begins with each person’s use of defense mechanisms for coping. Defense mechanisms are the unwritten rules an individual learns and utilizes to effectively deal with circumstances that are upsetting, embarrassing, or threatening.


The second level is skilled incompetence, which is the outcome of the defense mechanisms we have internalized. When the defensive behaviors we’ve learned are transformed into a learned behavior, that behavior becomes a skill – albeit an incompetent skill – that we consider necessary in order to deal with issues that are embarrassing, threatening, or upsetting. A skill that is learned from the regular application of a defense mechanism has a high degree of incompetence embedded within it, because we are unaware of how this skill will impact our future.


Skilled incompetence transforms into a defensive routine. Defensive routines are the third level. When the skilled incompetence is automatically exhibited at all times, the behavior is now a defensive routine.


Defensive routines lead to fancy footwork. Fancy footwork is the fourth level. Fancy footwork happens when individuals try to deny the behavioral inconsistencies they exhibit, or else they place blame on other people, which results in distancing themselves from taking responsibility for their behavioral inconsistencies.


Fancy footwork leads to organizational malaise. Organizational malaise is the final level. During this phase the individuals in the organization will seek to find fault within the organization rather than accept responsibility for their actions and correct their behavior accordingly. The individual continues the process by accentuating the negative and deemphasizing the positive in an effort to cover up their actions. The organizational malaise is further exacerbated by a refusal of one or all the members to discuss their area of responsibility.


How should individuals disclose financial difficulties without the adverse effects associated with a dysfunctional organization?


Individuals who desire to disclose their financial difficulties before marriage should utilize a process that involves developing a strategic plan for their marriage. The process begins with developing a shared vision for their marriage. Afterwards, the couple should develop at least three goals in the following areas:


  1. Spiritual
  2. Social
  3. Educational
  4. Employment/work
  5. Physical
  6. Family
  7. Recreation/fun
  8. Financial

Afterwards, the couple should develop a timeline for each goal. Then each individual should disclose their financial circumstance and how they can contribute to the strategic plan. This process will provided an opportunity for disclosing financial difficulties without the adverse effects associated with a dysfunctional organization.


Related Articles


How to make sure money doesn’t end your marriage


Does your partner have a debt problem?


Removing your spouse from a joint bank account


Dr. Derrick and Mrs. Sheila Campbell PO Box 1668 Blackwood, NJ 08012 (856) 566-3267


Published books – Leading Your Marriage into the Promised Land -Leading Your Marriage into the Promised Land (Workbook for husbands & Wives) – Advanced Marriage Training for Singles

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Samaritan Baptist Church

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El Shaddia Christian Assembly

Philadelphia, PA

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