My Debt Is Making Me Into A Bad Girlfriend

Once upon a time my debt didn’t consume me. I hung around other people in debt, and I was young and foolish enough to think I can put a stop to my spending addicition whenever I really decided to put the brakes on it. Those were happier times. Ignorance truly can be bliss.

When I finally woke up and started to realize that I was way in over my head, I became terrified at what I got myself into. My big revelation and then obsession with beating my spending addiction and getting out from the mountain of debt I’ve accumulated happened about a year into dating my boyfriend (we’ve been together 3 years). There was definitely a shift in my personality as I went from the happy-go-lucky girl that wanted to squeeze the joy and life out of each day (even if it cost me a fortune I didn’t have) to having an emotional load almost bigger than my debt itself be placed squarely on my shoulders. The emotional cost of debt is real, and it could knocks the happy right out of you.

From my revelation onwards, I know I haven’t been the same person to live with. My debt has made me depressed, worsened my insomnia, and has made me constantly stressed, fatigued, scared, and anxious. To add insult to injury, relapsing into having a bad spend day (or bad spend week….or sometimes bad spend month) just exacerbates those feelings to an extreme degree, with an added heap of guilt, regret, and shame to top it off. Overall, my debt has put me in a bad place. Living with my boyfriend means he’s the unfortunate roomate of that bad place that I seem to be permanently residing in.

So why this post now, a day after Valentine’s Day? I’m not trying to be contrary as I’m sure the topic of eschewing the spendiness of V-Day has been exhausted by this point. The day just brought forth everything that was bubbling underneath the surface when I told my bf I won’t be home for dinner because I got selected for a focus group and I simply couldn’t say no to the easy money. Causing disppointment was heartbreak enough, but it also got me thinking how I didn’t care for any possible romance because all I could think about was being able to put something extra on my debt. I don’t know if anyone else experiences this, but it’s hard (and sometimes downright impossible) to feel romantic or sexy when you’re stressed the heck out about your gargantuan debt. And the lack of feeling romantic isn’t the only way my debt is making me suck at being a girlfriend.

For those in debt (and are bothered about it), you may be familiar with the constant sinking feeling in your stomach that accompanies it. Now imagine coming home after spending that hour-long commute thinking of your massive debt to someone that wants to greet you enthusiastically and talk about how wonderful their day was. Well my day wasn’t wonderful and I feel ill that I owe what feels like never-ending debt. Now imagine what the response to a simple “how was your day?” would go after an episode of crying inconsolably because your monthly interest rolled in and added hundreds of dollars to your debt load. Those crying spells and mood swings get worse when you barely sleep at night because the stress of what you owe keeps you awake night after night until you’re totally frazzled and have the mental capacity of a zombie. Zombies? They don’t make good girlfriends. Especially the sobbing, stressed-out ones.

There’s also the time I spend not being present in our relationship because of being glued to my cell phone or laptop screen, endlessly filling up online shopping carts at my favourite stores and then agonizing over clicking that X at the top right corner while my brain shouts “wait! Maybe you can buy just the dress. Just the dress!!” and then the monstrous willpower needed to just say no. I haven’t spent money on clothes or other indulgences since the end of 2016 but I think I spend even more time lately filling those imaginary shopping carts with the things I want to buy. This happens night after night while my boyfriend looks over at me, disappointed, saying “can’t you just be with me?” I usually make up some excuse how we’re just watching Netflix anyways, what’s it matter if I’m also looking at my phone or laptop screen? But I get it, he’s right. I’m not here. I’m buried in my addiction, which has led me to be buried in my debt. My body is here but my mind simply isn’t.

When I’m not obsessing over things I would’ve liked to spend on, I’m obsessing over my bank balances. I find since being in debt I check my balances often, as if I suddenly won’t be over 60k in the hole between the couple of hours since I checked my balance last. Let me note I’m not talking about checking investments and market performance (frequent checking would be justified); this is staring at the numbers and amounts I owe to my bank, as if the figures are some sort of totem or icon that might evoke some sort of inspiration by the act of looking upon them. Maybe it comes from a secret hope that some bizarre circumstance outside of reason will produce a change. Maybe it’s just to wallow in the guilt I know I deserve for getting into this mess. Either way, I’m not present and contributing to my relationship when I’m lost in that rabbit hole. I’m there but not there, much to my partner’s chagrin.

I’d say what really gets to my overly-understanding boyfriend is not my irritability or depression over my money – he really does do his best to empathize – but the poverty mentality I can’t shake when I’m deep in my debt depression. As an owner of a small business, he relies on keeping a positive outlook and faith in the fruits of his labour to keep his business growing successfully. He’s a sole entrepreneur and he’s linked his success in business to keeping his headspace positive and his energy and motivation high. Living with someone who’s truly depressed about money and their general lack drags him down to a place he doesn’t want to be. I know when he tries to dream-build with me by mentioning something we’d like one day (a house, a rental property, a wedding) and I moan over how it’ll take over ten years to even scrape the surface of getting there, that I completely deflate the air out of him. It’s not fun having a partner that can’t see out of their predicament to see what positive things may lay in their horizon. I feel I can’t even think of my “dream” assets when I can barely see the light at the end of my debt tunnel. A beautiful part of any relationship is looking towards the future together and I can’t see past my credit card balances.

Overall, debt is not sexy. It’s not emotionally supportive, either. It’s given me yet another reason to slay the debt monster quickly, so I can get back to being a supportive, happy, emotionally stable, and present partner that I know my boyfriend – and anyone else I’ve willingly made an emotional commitment to – deserves.

Has anyone else experienced debt hampering their relationship(s)?

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  1. This is such a gritty, real post. Thank you for it. This is truly your own experience and I can only imagine how scary and painful it is for you. You are taking this pain, though, and using it as motivation to stay committed to your goals. And I think that is smart and I sure hope it helps.

    Now I’m going to ask you to visualize something. Let’s say you were on your phone/laptop/device during Netflix bc you were on Facebook. Or texting a friend that you haven’t heard from in a long time. Let’s say you were glued to the news out of the states or anywhere else. Let’s say you were exhausted, even, from a day home with the kids while he was out working and he gets home just wanting to chill but you need to unload the frustration/fatigue/grievances of your day on another adult, the only adult you ever see. Let’s say you can’t sleep because it’s kids keeping you up or you’re depressed from weight gain or some other challenge.

    What I’m getting at is this: in every relationship (particularly as it goes on) there are those distractions and obstacles that prevent each and every one of us from being the mother/spouse/daughter/friend that we have the potential to be. I personally think social media and wireless Internet have been the worst thing for relationships. I know I make my spouse feel neglected at times, and I’ve told him many times that I feel Facebook/the Internet is like the other woman in our relationship. Is this too much information? LOL Sorry if it is!

    I wonder if the ability to constantly check your debt is also snowballing your anxiety. You are in a constant sense of alarm, which is not healthy. But when you think about it, maybe it’s the medium that is the problem as much as the debt (please forgive me if I am totally overstepping the limits of bloggy-buddy here with my arm chair analysis!!) I don’t know if you can, but I think it’s very important that you remove your banking info etc from all but one device. I’d definitely take it off my phone. You might need to wean yourself off because these gadgets are meant to make us addicted and dependent and feel like we HAVE to be glued to them. Talk to your bf about what you are looking at online. Close the window. Close the laptop. You will still be stressed about debt but perhaps you can stop stoking the fear and anxiety with constant checking. It’s self-punishment, and you don’t deserve that. You have overspent. It’s going to take years to recover, yes. But please, please try to focus instead on how much interest you are saving by making extra payments etc. Write those numbers down and put them where you will see them. Focus on those. Only allow yourself a specific amount of time checking balances every day. When it occurs to you that you should look, you will need to find something else to do instead. It’s very hard to do.

    I just want to stress to you that many of these things can happen in a relationship as it matures. It is hard to keep interested and interesting. Your debt is very real and I understand how stressed you are about it. But it is best for you, and your relationship, to take some steps to bring that under control. I think the first step would be agreeing to put your phone/device up during couples time. You will need to retrain your attention span. My Internet was just down for 5 days and I’m doing an online writing class–it was sheer misery not being able to log on and check the course and read what the students are up to. But guess what? I’m taking it to learn to write…so I should just go and write. But the web is an alluring, addicting thing. It is very healthy to take a digital break. I hope you can try one soon. Maybe some affirmations and meditation would help. I hope that you feel better soon. From what I’ve learned about you on this blog you should be proud rather than despairing. I’m glad you have a good man that wants to understand. Put down the device and let him 😉 Hugs hugs hugs, Jill

    1. I wish I could give you the biggest hug, Jill. It’s never too much info, and it’s never overstepping the limits. I look forward to your perspective and always appreciate it. The best part of bloggy-buddiness is that we find connections based on what we really value and think about as opposed to many of our “real world” connections that may just be based on history or convenience or physical proximity but necessarily common ground.
      You hit the nail on the head. Life as it is – fatigue, stress, the kids, the news, aging parents, et al – alone prevents us from being the (insert relationship title here) we’re supposed to be to the people we love… and then there’s the internet. I totally agree it’s been the worst thing for relationships. From one perspective yes it might bring those far away closer to us but I feel it’s definitely pushed those who are actually close to us much, much further away. Be happy you recognize it; I think the next generation doesn’t even acknowledge what impact wifi and social media is having and it’s just become their new norm.
      By coincidence I cleared my cache on my phone yesterday so my bank card number doesn’t pre-populate on my phone, as I know going to physically get my bank card from my purse would likely deter me from checking often (I hang my purse very out of the way to avoid puppy chewing of yet another leather item!) It is most definitely self-punishment, and it most definitely creates a sense of alarm and panic all the time. You’re reading me perfectly here. Its emotional self-flagellation. It’s far from healthy so I really appreciate the suggestions. I need to stop checking those numbers but focus on the extra bill payments and the positive, happy numbers that will get me to the end of my debt journey. You’ve inspired me to look up a debt calculator so I can devise a plan and have some more encouraging numbers to focus on instead of the ones that giving me anxiety. I totally agree with the method of “thought replacement;” I easily get into a vicious cycle of racing thoughts so the act of recognizing a thought and then replacing it with a healthier one is imperative for me. Extra payments and the numbers to get me to “debt zero” are a wonderful replacement thought.
      A digital break. It even feels good to write that down. That’s an extremely worthwhile suggestion. Digital media is most definitely an alluring and addictive power and if I don’t make a firm decision to put it away while I’m with my bf it’s definitely going to impact our relationship – from not being present to the anxiety caused by the content that I’m obsessing over when I’m looking at a screen. I’m happy you mentioned meditation. I’ve never really been great at getting started with it but my bf has a daily practice he sticks to – asking him if I could participate could be just the kind of “us” time we need as it’s the antithesis of what I’ve been doing with the constant balance-checking.
      Thank you for being you, Jill. You really are a ray of sunshine.

  2. I’m so glad you took my comments in the manner they were intended. You’re going to be okay. This will strengthen you. You are stronger by the day. I wish you all the very best and thanks for sharing this story with us. Your honesty is helping people in ways you may never know. I think connecting with your bf through meditation is such a great idea. Best of luck with it! xo Jill

  3. I would say yes that it has a direct impact on my relationship. First, it is impactful because I feel guilty that we can’t do all of the things we want to do. Second, I feel like I have to be the adult in the room and say no, which makes me feel guilty. Third, my spouse doesn’t necessarily care about the huge amount of debt she has racked up (primarily six figures of student loan debt). Her attitude is that it will get paid someday by somebody so instead of obsessing about it, she actually went the opposite direction and stopped caring, which drives me a bit nuts. And of course that probably makes me somewhat resentful of her because she doesn’t see things “my” way or even see it all. I fully admit that is probably the biggest “problem” in our relationship.

    1. Jason, thanks for sharing the other end of this equation and what impact this has on the “responsible” person in the relationship. My current SO is spendy himself, but I’ve been in a long term relationship previously where my debt and spending was a huge issue for who I was with, and your sentiments echo so many of his, and it really takes me back (and honestly, makes me really regret putting someone through that). There’s no way it’s easy feeling like you have to be the adult, or feeling like you’re always “taking away” someone’s fun just by trying to be responsible.

      I know everyone comes from a different place so maybe the reasons your gf has these attitudes towards money are different than mine, but maybe try seeing if she wants to talk about her fear or despair or any hopelessness she feels about her debt. I’ve definitely have felt so hopeless I have just thought screw it, might as well just keep going and at least have the life I want. Maybe a chat showing her some hard numbers where she can actually see how with debt snowball, for example, she can actually pay things off in a tangible amount of time, and knowing you’re there to emotionally support her and work on doing fun, frugal things together might make her feel like there’s hope, and it IS worth trying!

      Good luck, and thanks for sharing your side of things. It really hit home.

  4. While we were dating, Mr. Picky Pincher definitely was affected by his debt. I wanted to take him along for a work trip, but guests needed to pay $700 for their plane ticket to attend, which meant he couldn’t go. At the time I made more money and had less debt, so I actually paid for his ticket and told him the company covered it.

    That did mean I ate PB&J for many dinners after that, but it was worth the memories we had together. Debt can destroy a relationship if you let it destroy you. Hang in there. 🙂

    1. Your anecdote warmed my heart! Not in the spending-money-on-someone-means-you-love-them kind of way advertisers have pushed down our throats
      (we know better!!) but the fact you didn’t tell him you paid, giving up any thanks/glory/girlfriend points for such a grand and thoughtful gesture. That is true love 🙂

      Thank you for the encouraging words. It goes a long way!

  5. This is a beautiful post and I’m sorry that I only have weird internet hugs from a stranger to offer to you.

    I’m sorry that debt is making you her bitch right now and I’m rooting for the day where you can return the favour. You are self aware about the damage debt is doing to you, and that right there is half the battle won, even it doesn’t quite feel that way right now.

    1. Thank you for the kinds words, as well as the (totally not weird) internet hug! I’m chockful of hugs to both give and receive with my internet peeps – we’re a pretty awesome community 🙂

      Also big thanks for reminding me that being aware is half the battle. It’s so easy to look at the numbers and just feel like I’m failing at this entirely, let alone making any progress. It’s really comforting to hear that the things I can’t possibly imagine yet are certain to come my way if I keep hacking away at it! And I love it – I’m totally gonna make debt MY bitch one day!

      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  6. Wow this really hit home. Thank you for sharing it. My partner and I have had a lot of tense moments, and some full-blown arguments, over the last several months as I finished up graduate school and went back into debt repayment for my student loans. I also had some remaining debt from undergrad and I was (still am) so so sick of being in debt that all I really wanted to do was throw any extra dollars at it every month. I was pretty obsessive about it. But our goals and priorities as a couple weren’t really meshing (for instance, he was trying to convince me to buy a car, which would have required taking out another loan) and all of this caused many tears, sleepless nights, and arguments. In the last couple months, I have gotten to a much better place with my debt (I still have a bunch to pay off) and it has not affected my relationship as much, and when it does, we are doing a better job of communicating about it. But I certainly know how all-consuming having debt can be, and how much headspace it really occupies. Meditation has been a great help for me in coping. Thank you again for sharing and wishing you all the luck!!

    1. Thanks for sharing that, Kate. I think this is something a lot of have gone through or are currently going through and it’s just awkward and uncomfortable to talk about with those around us, so it’s something we deal with on our own (and with our SOs) without being able to express our worries or just get a springboard for those thoughts. First, good on you for throwing everything on your debt! That’s so hard to do and keep consistent at, especially when we already feel like we’re in the hole financially, so that’s awesome of you. I also see where the stress can come from. My SO is a lot more spendy than I am (and makes way more money) so when he says things like we should get a new mattress or another big ticket item, I literally feel a pit in my stomach because I just can’t; all I want is to crush this debt! I’m glad things are getting better, and also stoked for you that your debt is reducing! Thanks for your well wishes and thank you for sharing as well!

  7. I am guilty of balance checking and spreadsheet staring as well! After months of obsessing, I found that there were no new revelations from one day to the next; all I was doing was wasting time and energy.
    Thinking about your debt is living in the past, and staring at your plans is living in the future. Once you have a plan/systems/habits in place, I suggest you try to live in the present; I am working on this as well. One thought that really helps yank me into the present is this: What REALLY matters in the life you’re trying to create? Probably not the money, right? For most, it’s family, friends, or maybe helping others that really matters. …. There’s no reason you have to wait to make these things a priority!!

    1. Richard, you are bang on. I needed to hear that. I’ve never considered things from that angle before, that those behaviours lead to either living in either the past or future and decidedly not in the present. That’s a great wake-up call, especially considering that some of that debt-stress leads to me not being present at all when it comes to my relationship. You’re right – thinking of the things that truly matter, those intangible elements of our lives that matter the most – is something I can start right now.

      Thank you so much for sharing!

  8. Just chip it down a little at a time. Before you know it you’ll be debt-free. And don’t let the low interest debt if you have it ruin too many restful nights. Debt can be a good thing if managed properly. Everyone is different, of course, so YMMV.

    1. That’s the goal! Chipping away, constantly! Now to ensure the chipping away is consistent, and I don’t add any more to the pile!

  9. I remember being in debt and how it did put a strain on our relationship in ways. However, we got serious about paying down the debt after we were already married and the debt was basically all student loans for my wife’s college degree. This was a joint decision for us to take on and we did spend 2 years paying it off.

    I can tell you that having a plan about how you are going to get out of the hole is your best bet. If you start to get a plan and can see it being successful, this should start giving you hope. As you get more hope, you won’t feel the need to check your balances and all that as often.

    Once we got on our plan (we used Financial Peace University), we set our goals together and started working towards them together. So, when we had the opportunity to work extra hours or throw extra money towards the debt, it was a team building experience rather than something that was tearing us apart.

    I hope that you guys are able to work through this together. I don’t think that he needs to pay your debt until you are married, but there’s no reason he can’t help you formulate a plan and encourage you to work it. That should help lift your spirits and allow you to be there for other things! At least you are paying attention now!

    1. Steven, thank you for such a feel-good comment. I LOVE hearing about couples/households that teamed up to beat their debt together, combining their goals and efforts and feeling closer and stronger taking on that journey as a team. Your comment truly made me smile.

      We’re not at a place where we share money or goals yet, but I’d like to be. The plan to get out of debt is definitely key, but your story has reminded me that a plan to get my SO and I on the same page when it comes to finances and even getting an open dialogue going is also super important, and needs to be done soon! There is strength in numbers and teamwork and I know I’ll feel far less isolated (and isolating, with my mind always on the debt stress!) by getting him on board and working on things together. I hope to learn a little more from blogs like yours about how to take this on as a united household!

  10. “The emotional cost of debt is real, and it could knocks the happy right out of you.”

    I loved this line! I am currently struggling with being more open about my finances with my boyfriend. This is the first time I have ever shared my finances with a partner (I too was that young and foolish girl). This is the first time I’ve actually WANTED to share my financial journey with a boyfriend. I feel shameful and terrified of rejection and disappointment. But I’m going to do it. We have a date tomorrow to go over our budgets. Since when did date night become so stressful?! I’m very grateful to have someone by my side that supports my me and my financial goals. It sure beats going at it alone.

    Thank you for sharing this post of raw honesty! It’s so comforting to know I am not alone with these thoughts of consuming everything around me! I would like to tell you the shopping carts will end! It will take time but eventually you will stop creating them. I finally stopped that habit when I started doing technology cleanses. I avoided all internet and social media for weeks, sometimes months at a time. I believe the first step is sharing the tornado of shame we keep in our minds. As for checking your bank account… I did this too! I finally decided to automate as many payments as possible and only make additional payments towards debt when my budget allowed. I used to budget. It’s free and easy to manage (at first I checked this often too). It shows you your progress in reaching your goals and overall gives me a more positive outlook instead of staring at my almost empty bank account.

    I hope some of these tips help you on your journey. You are doing a great job! Continue to love and forgive yourself. It will get better! And you will be debt free 🙂

    1. I could hug you right now!! That “tornado of shame” you speak of (that really hit home, btw) is what keeps me from sharing a lot of these thoughts from those in my life so those shopping carts are truly my dirty little secret no one knows about. Because of that, I’ve never been able to hear the much-needed comfort that they WILL end one day, that others have beat it and I can beat it too! I really needed that. I’m going to take this technology cleanse idea very, very seriously. I think it’ll be cathartic in many ways.

      That is so awesome that you want to have your bf on board with this. Trust me, I get the big deal that it is to WANT to have him there. I’ve once shared finances with an ex who completely took over and then controlled MY money, which led to backlash (secret credit cards, which led to more debt) and a total fear of combining finances again. I’m now at a point where I too want to share that journey, but also totally fear the rejection too. Disappointment is bang on – I don’t fear judgment, as my SO is so supportive and loving – I fear he’ll be disappointed in me if he knew the breadth of my debt and think I’m a failure. Please let me know how that conversation goes! I know I need to gear up to have the same one myself!

      And thanks for the tip for easydollar! I’ll check it out for sure! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  11. You were where I was 1.5 years ago. Also $60k in debt. My hubby had $50k, so in a way our debts helps us bond closer and get motivated to get out of it (you did not say in your post if your hubby has debt).
    I just want to say it does get better though. Don’t be discouraged and stay focused. My daily interest rate was $8.50. I would joke with my hubby that i could get a decent meal with that money. But all joking aside, it does get better and even though you may not be in the right head space right now, your intentions are good (to get out of debt and build assets) and it seems that your boyfriend is support. You guys will get through this. Please don’t drag the debt on forever if you can help it.
    Now that we are debt free (and we got hitched) we are able to put away over $1,000/month each towards retirement and take 2 vacations a year (no kids), give generously to our church and spend more money on eating out (which we like to do). It will totally be worth it. Trust me

    1. Hi Pamela! My SO does have debt as well, but he’s the opposite of me when it comes to it – zero stress at all. He has his own business so he has the capability of making large sums at a time…he just hasn’t done that yet, but has faith in what’s coming down his business pipeline to get there. I’m more of a planner and want to plan out how to consistently chip away at my debt, whereas he prefers to ignore it for now and work on closing a large deal that would pay off all his debt at once. Very different methods and mentalities, arent’t they!!

      I’m so glad you and your now-hubby haved teamed up and beat your debt together! How inspiring!! And getting out of 60K of debt in 1.5 years?!? Congratulations!! That’s spectacular! Even better is to hear the “after story” of the debt pay-off; you two are saving a great amount, had a wedding, putting money where it’s meaningful to you, and are enjoying your efforts! Bravo! I hope to get my bf on board with me soon so we can enjoy building together as well.

      Thank you for your support. It’s so comforting to hear things are going to get better 🙂

  12. One of the best written financial post’s I’ve read in a long time. It’s different. It’s real, and vulnerable and truthful. I get to read copy and creative writing for days being a creative director in advertising. This pulled me in. It’s very good. Good Job. You’ve gained a fan.

  13. For me, the anxiety and the stunted efforts to enjoy life fully were significantly reduced when I started writing my current debt amount on my bathroom mirror with lipstick every month. I write the new number beneath the old number to remind me that I am making progress. To remind me that I am moving forward. To remind me that life doesn’t stop because I am anxious. To remind me that after I take a dump in the bathroom, it’s time to flush the toilet and walk out and be part of my family, my friends, my reading, my hobbies, my life.
    Prior to this, I would have a hard time sleeping, be busy judging my expenses as well as those of others, worrying about whether I will ever make a dent big enough, wondering when I’d get to the next ten thousand dollar mark, deprive myself of the enjoyment of concentrating on a book or a show or a conversation. I kept walking out of the toilet without flushing it. Something had to give. Now I look at the bathroom mirror figures with hope and anticipation for the next time I will write a new number. In the interim, though, I will LIVE.
    I totally get your blog entry. Totally. I totally know that you can beat it – the debt and all the emotions attached to it. If I happen to read your debt free post, I will celebrate virtually with you. In the interim, I will celebrate the baby steps that make a mile.

    1. I think posting the numbers somewhere so visible is a great idea! I have made a graph with little squares to colour in for each $100 of debt I pay off and have posted it on the door of my closet. I thought that was symbolic as the clothes within it are some of the biggest reason those numbers are hanging on the door!

      I get what you mean about that all-consuming state, of not sleeping, of judging, of depriving yourself of the joy of the present moment. I’m glad you have the confidence to know you’ll get through this and really still live!

      Thank you for the encouragement!!! I wish you strength in your journey, and patience to help get you through the tough times, and the times it seems like that number on your mirror just isn’t changing quickly enough. Keep at it – every dollar down is a win. Every dollar is a small winning battle that will eventually win the war!

  14. Just found your blog! First, I would like to say that you are an excellent writer. Truly! Second, I hope that you fully commit yourself to reducing your debt. You know in your heart what needs to be done. You know that it will be life changing. The pain, guilt, worry and shame that you carry can be erased. Now, work towards that end. Your debt truly is an emergency! Remember that the value of a person is not in what he/she possesses. Good luck!

    1. Thank you for the kind words! Debt definitely is an emergency, and I love reminders like this so the emergency state remains top of mind! It’s so easy to get lulled into a sense of false comfort that everything is alright – it isn’t! Debt must be conquered! I’m definitely looking forward to the life-changing power getting rid of it will bring me. Thank for you for the reminder that all those negative feelings will be out the door with the debt!

  15. Wow just wow! This is one of the best blog posts I have ever read! The honesty in your words was amazing and many people are going through the same thing. What’s awesome about this post is the relationship aspect of it of “being there but not really there”. You could replace debt with whatever problem a couple is experiencing. It could be social media or whatever.

    Debt hasn’t hampered my relationship, but I could see how it could. I always felt like my problems are my problems but my successes are “our” successes if that makes sense. I had to close down a business of mine but all the time I was in transition, I made sure I had more alone time than normal. Being alone allows you to scream, talk to yourself, plan, and just collect yourself so that when you’re with your significant other you have much of it out of your system. My girlfriend understood the situation and was grateful I wasn’t “checking out” when things were bad. Oh and btw we live together also.

    Again what a great post and I love the honesty. I know when I was in debt I got pissed off about it and just attacked. Sold my car, got a roommate at the time and all that. Your boyfriend will see how hard you’re working at becoming debt free and offer to help as much as he can.

    1. Thank you so much for the kind words, Cedric! I really connected with you saying “I always felt like my problems are my problems but my successes are ‘our’ successes” – that’s exactly how I operate too! I think getting it all out when you’re alone is key; great to hear that it helps you be present during your together time. Awesome to hear she’s been so understanding of the situation too. I’m lucky that my bf is understanding and indeed helps so much, it’s jsut the journey to debt-free seems so long and impossible sometimes I can be inconsolable. Reading about other people that have done amazing at conquering and attacking their debt is the perfect antidote for that – I get excited hearing about it, and it’s so motivating! Good on you for going beast mode and getting rid of that debt!!

  16. Most brutally gorgeous thing I’ve read in a long time. Thank you for being real. I will say that money stress makes me into a person I do not like and takes a huge toll on a relationship and I really want to echo Jill’s comment above – she really hit it out of the park.

    1. Thank you for the kind words. And Jill really did hit the nail on the head – she’s a gem. Check her if you have a chance – I’m totally in awe of her.

  17. I’m never losing this mindset that I’ve now gained on my relationship with debt and money; though, I am now having to ‘work’ to undo some of the ways in which I dedicated my life to make the student loans go away and have a healthier relationship with debt.

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