Skip to navigationSkip to content

The Moneyist: I want to marry my boyfriend, but he has $25,000 in credit-card debt and leads a financially reckless lifestyle

By MarketWatch

This woman feels caught between her love for her boyfriend and his love for buying stuff on creditRead full story

Comments

  • Also share to
  • Women: get smart. Take romance out of it for a minute. Think of picking a husband like picking a business partner. Would you go into business with someone who can’t manage expenses, is fiscally irresponsible and withholds accounting details from you? Of course not. So why go into a marriage that way

    Women: get smart. Take romance out of it for a minute. Think of picking a husband like picking a business partner. Would you go into business with someone who can’t manage expenses, is fiscally irresponsible and withholds accounting details from you? Of course not. So why go into a marriage that way? Marry an asset. Not a liability.

  • Sounds like it’s going to be a boring “frugal” marriage. I would be focused on how the two of you can earn more money, which sounds very possible, rather than how you should ignore your feelings and pick your love based on what man can match your credit score.

  • Go ahead and marry him, you will get a short term marriage, that ends in acrimony and financial ruin, even worse if you have children. Tell the guy you love him, but will only marry if he cleans up his act and pays off the credit card. If he goes for it, have some cheap dates, keep him on the straight and narrow.

  • Run girl, run.

  • I will be less worried about the debt but really worried bout the reckless lifestyle. Both of you can work harder and make lot more money to pay off the debt but that won’t be possible with reckless spending. Listen to your gut and don’t let your emotions crowd out what your gut is telling you.

  • My new column is an all too common dilemma: “I have a suggestion: Bring the water to the horse, but don’t make him drink.”

  • Guys don't like it when you try to "fix" him because he's financially irresponsible. You will be disappointed when he doesn't conform to your financial expectations.

    Why not find someone who is already financially responsible, and already has a career and treats his parents with utmost respect?

  • Great answer! Also don't underestimate the power of credit scores...

    "...high credit score can help predict whether someone is trustworthy, reveal their skills at navigating a relationship and show their level of commitment. Similar credit scores are also “highly predictive” of whether couples stay together"

  • Why get married at all?

  • Even though it may sound wholly unromantic at first, any good and happy marriage is a fundamentally practical institution. That most definitely includes the financial realities of both parties.

    Sustained financial health/sound practice and romantic happiness are far from mutually exclusive, and in truth

    Even though it may sound wholly unromantic at first, any good and happy marriage is a fundamentally practical institution. That most definitely includes the financial realities of both parties.

    Sustained financial health/sound practice and romantic happiness are far from mutually exclusive, and in truth they’re often indivisible. If anyone found themselves raising these questions at the juncture portrayed by the reader, it portends a serious problem. One that may breed profound unhappiness not too far down the road.

  • Finances and money management are a big thing in a relationship, and if he doesn’t have his house in order nor tries to get it in order and keeps making excuses, then an ultimatum needs to be made.

  • Markowitz Portfolio theory may be dated but not so for dating. Investing in a partnership is no different to looking at assets worthy of your hard earned cash. If you go all in rather than diversify, make sure you can stomach the vol when you know he’s inconsistent.

  • Advice? Don’t do it. If he loves you enough he will clear his debts first. The biggest marriage ending arguments other than infidelity are about financial irresponsible behaviors. Don’t do it or you are asking for a failed relationship.

  • Don’t do it. Financial behavior isn’t some external thing that isn’t a part of someone. Behavior -is- part of someone.

  • Run away as fast as you can

  • A marriage contract might be a (very) good idea if, in your eyes, love trumps financial recklessness.

  • Financial stress/disagreement is the number one reason for divorce. Escape now!

  • I do not think you should marry your boyfriend until he decides to take steps that reflect financial accountability. I also think you should ask him if he blames others for his mistakes or does he accept responsibility for each of his mistakes. Does he want to become accountable to a mentor or mentors

    I do not think you should marry your boyfriend until he decides to take steps that reflect financial accountability. I also think you should ask him if he blames others for his mistakes or does he accept responsibility for each of his mistakes. Does he want to become accountable to a mentor or mentors who can help him? His desire to get out debt will be reflected by how much he improves in his spending as well as noting that his debt continues to shrink according to the written plan.

  • Run for your life.

  • I was one with many debts and pockets that would burn with money in them. I tho at a point new I needed help. My wonderful wife who married me then was my life line. We confronted the problem. I did something most men wouldn’t do. I surrender to my wife and she became my personal. Finance person. Every

    I was one with many debts and pockets that would burn with money in them. I tho at a point new I needed help. My wonderful wife who married me then was my life line. We confronted the problem. I did something most men wouldn’t do. I surrender to my wife and she became my personal. Finance person. Every paycheck I signed over to her. Now years later no credit card debt and only need debts house car utilities. She’s been more than a wonderful wife

  • Tell him to get his financial shit together and pay off the debt-THEN you’ll think about marrying him when he CONTINUES to prove capable of managing his finances. What it looks like is that he wants your credit to help him, but it won’t. It will drag yours down because you are associating yourself with

    Tell him to get his financial shit together and pay off the debt-THEN you’ll think about marrying him when he CONTINUES to prove capable of managing his finances. What it looks like is that he wants your credit to help him, but it won’t. It will drag yours down because you are associating yourself with a bad credit risk. I would also insist on a pre-nup that specifically states that all your finances will remain separate and that any money troubles he has will not be transferred to you when you kick him to the curb.

  • All the comments are right but will you listen? If you ever want kids part of a males role in most but not all marriages is to be a provider. Is he a provider? Does put himself first? Will he likely change? What if you get pregnant. Good parent? A life of misery and arguing await you with this playboy.

  • No romance without finance. You should never have gotten this far. If you think this money stuff bugs you now, wait til after the wedding. He's just being who he is. You're the fool for believing he will change.

  • GLWT

  • We always don’t figure out the perfect opponents. So we decide how we accept the ones.

  • I can give you 25,000 reasons to look elsewhere. I’ll start with this reason: “I’d rather go through life wanting something, than having something I don’t want.”

  • Find someone more compatible for your needs and wants. Most of the time those you fall for aren’t good for you. I wasn’t in love with my wife at first but she had one thing that mattered to me......honestly, clean slate, humble, and cooperative. Now, her life has done a complete 180. Very hard to find

    Find someone more compatible for your needs and wants. Most of the time those you fall for aren’t good for you. I wasn’t in love with my wife at first but she had one thing that mattered to me......honestly, clean slate, humble, and cooperative. Now, her life has done a complete 180. Very hard to find a women like that now. All women so focused on kids they can’t afford, partying hard, and getting by. Unbelievable.

  • Marry him! You're a strong woman who don't need no man to provide anyways. This is your chance to be the breadwinner! Men have oppressed women and married financial liabilities so they could be the providers since the beginning of history. Now it's your turn! #femaleempowerment

  • Love is love. And honest communication can make a huge difference.

  • What about this man suggests he is marriage material? If he's not improving his situation, he's not ready, no matter what he says.

  • Interesting

  • Sounds like the story of an opioid addict’s first month.

  • We need to treat habitual spending or any destructive financial behavior like an illness. It is a person's inability to understand what behavior is causing the symptoms and the dysfunction. A financially reckless person regardless of their gender requires help. That said, given their sound minds, the

    We need to treat habitual spending or any destructive financial behavior like an illness. It is a person's inability to understand what behavior is causing the symptoms and the dysfunction. A financially reckless person regardless of their gender requires help. That said, given their sound minds, the decision to seek help and change their behavior is their own and no one can influence that decision (horse to the well, so to speak). Until they recognize they need help and modify their behavior accordingly and permanently, the risk of financial doom for all co-habiters looms. Parents, spouses and children are the most at risk. And there's no insurance for this.

  • Debt

  • If you marry, get a prenup. And keep your finances separate. Then each of you contribute to shared expenses and each control your own personal income and expenses and debt.

  • Do the math

  • Run

  • Whatever happened to the checking off all boxes on the boyfriend list? Lol

Want more conversations like this?

Join the Quartz community for all the intelligence, without the noise.

App Store BadgeGoogle Play Badge
Leaderboard Screenshot

A community of leaders, subject matter experts, and curious minds bringing nuance back to how we talk about the news.

Editors' Picks Screenshot

No content overload: our editors will curate the most notable and discussion-worthy pieces for you every day.

Share Screenshot

Don’t just read the story, tell it: contribute your ideas and experience to the dialogue.