Relationships should be based on mutual trust. Otherwise, I believe that there is no future possible. Finances are important. Same values are essential. Mutual chemistry is necessary. But when you break trust, you break the bond between you, don’t you?
Main characteristics of The Great Pretender: he showers you with gifts: designer bags, fancy jewelry, mind blowing shoes and exquisite perfume. He takes you out to expensive restaurants where you taste meals you cannot pronounce. He tips so generously that you secretly start considering a new career as a waitress. For your birthday you get an unforgettable trip to Paris or Rome, or Tokyo.
You live in a fairy tale. You are afraid to wake up in the morning and find out that he exists only in your dreams. Unfortunately for you, he is as real as he can be. Your relationship is getting serious, you move in together and that’s when the reality hits you.
First, you find out that his house is couple checks away from going back to the bank. Second, you find out that his truck is leased. Third, you find out that he is in debt up to his eyeballs. All the meals you had with him, all the trips you took together, all the gifts he gave you, everything was financed on his countless credit cards.
You are horrified. You are not sure if you can build your indestructible future together based on mistrust and uncertainty. You ask him (your voice is shaky, you eyes are teary) how much he owes. He waves his hand carelessly, saying that he doesn’t owe that much. He assures you that it is all manageable. You listen to your inner voice that says that something does not add up. Your last trip together to Asia, or Europe, or Antarctica was not cheap. A bracelet, or a ring, or a designer bag he gave you last month costs a fortune.
You decide to investigate on your own. Because you work at a bank, you can access certain information. Carefully, not to get caught, you bent some rules and pull a credit report on the love of your life. What you see is your worst nightmare.
Numbers flash at you from the pages of his credit report, making your head spin like during a never ending roller-coaster ride. The total balances of his seven credit cards add up to $75,000. “Not really that much” takes a terrifying form. You realize that his words do not match the message.
Do you bail out or do you stay?
My friend stayed. She did ask him why he never said a word about his debt. He innocently explained that it never occurred to him that it was THAT important. He lived in debt, using credit cards to finance most of his life and never had any problems. He promised to change. He promised to pay off the debt, find a second job. They decided to forget the past and focus on the present.
I don’t know where they are going to be in five-ten years from now. But right now they are working on his financial problems. Together.