• Discounts and special offers
  • Subscriber-only articles and interviews
  • Breaking news and trending topics

Already a subscriber?

By signing up, you accept Moneywise's Terms of Use, Subscription Agreement, and Privacy Policy.

Not interested ?

Ashamed of debt and failure

A discussion about debt and relationships was initiated by a Baltimore woman named Jessy, who called Ramsey seeking advice about dealing with her husband. Although she’s an experienced doctor, Jessy has been staying at home in recent years to raise the kids while her husband promised to manage the family's finances by himself. However, when she noticed some of her credit card bills were not being paid in full she grew suspicious that all was not well.

Her husband eventually revealed that the family had accumulated significant debt and they would need to consider downsizing their home to stay afloat. “I just wasn’t paying attention at all and now we’re basically in trouble with debt,” she told Ramsey, holding back tears.

Hidden debt can be a strain on any relationship. Jessy said talking about the debt with her husband is difficult and she’s worried about offending or emasculating him by bringing it up. “... he wants to be the man in charge taking care of everyone,” she said.

“Well, a proper man in charge shares the burden of running the household with his wife,” Ramsey responded.

Co-host George Kamel concurred: “There’s nothing manly about secretly going into debt.”

Ramsey sympathized with the couple's struggle because his financial hardships in the 80s had a similar effect on his wife. “I felt like an idiot when I went broke,” he said. “I wasn’t an idiot, but I had done some idiot-butt stuff that caused us to go broke. And it really wasn't Sharon's fault and she was scared to death like you are. That's why the tears are so close to the top.”

To resolve the situation, Ramsey recommended having an open and honest conversation.

Need cash fast? Turn to Credible for hassle-free personal loans!

With competitive rates and transparent terms, Credible makes borrowing simple and stress-free. Whether it's for a new car, home improvement, or debt consolidation, find the perfect loan for your needs.

Find the best rate for you

Relationships and household finances

Women have made great strides toward financial independence and involvement in financial planning. But there’s still some way to go.

The share of moms staying at home with kids surged from 15% in 2022 to 25% in 2023, according to a survey conducted by Motherly. Eighteen percent (18%) of mothers said they had changed jobs or left the workforce in the past year, and the top reasons cited were staying at home with children (28%) and lack of childcare (15%).

A GOBankingRates survey also found that 12% of women have partners who control the finances in their household.

Meanwhile, financial infidelity is rampant. Forty-two percent of U.S. adults living with their partners or married confessed to keeping financial secrets from their partner in a Bankrate survey. Around 55% of U.S. adults surveyed by Forbes Advisor said debt-related stress had led to a loss of trust in their relationships.

Looking ahead

Talking about financial issues and debt can be difficult. But Ramsey believes this stress can be diffused through open dialogue. He encouraged Jessy to look past their previous mistakes and attempt to create a plan to tackle their debt problem together.

He said, “This is a relationship issue. The two of you have got to sit down together and you just say ‘Look, I screwed up by dumping this whole thing on you … whatever the mess is we’re going to face it together.’”

Sponsored

This 2 Minute Move Could Knock $500/Year off Your Car Insurance in 2024

Saving money on car insurance with BestMoney is a simple way to reduce your expenses. You’ll often get the same, or even better, insurance for less than what you’re paying right now.

There’s no reason not to at least try this free service. Check out BestMoney today, and take a turn in the right direction.

Vishesh Raisinghani Freelance Writer

Vishesh Raisinghani is a freelance contributor at MoneyWise. He has been writing about financial markets and economics since 2014 - having covered family offices, private equity, real estate, cryptocurrencies, and tech stocks over that period. His work has appeared in Seeking Alpha, Motley Fool Canada, Motley Fool UK, Mergers & Acquisitions, National Post, Financial Post, and Yahoo Canada.

Disclaimer

The content provided on Moneywise is information to help users become financially literate. It is neither tax nor legal advice, is not intended to be relied upon as a forecast, research or investment advice, and is not a recommendation, offer or solicitation to buy or sell any securities or to adopt any investment strategy. Tax, investment and all other decisions should be made, as appropriate, only with guidance from a qualified professional. We make no representation or warranty of any kind, either express or implied, with respect to the data provided, the timeliness thereof, the results to be obtained by the use thereof or any other matter.