Friday, October 2, 2009

If you can’t go dutch…don’t get married!

Imagine the ideal situation in which two people that love each other decide that they want to do the ultimate…the paramount…and get married. This would be the end result of the story…but will the product be the same if at some point while dating and creating a sustainable relationship, one person realized that the other party can not go dutch!
We see this all of the time, a man and a woman (in most cases) decide that they are enamored with each other and embark upon a dating relationship. The questions are asked concerning what type of activities that they participate in, types of music they enjoy, genres of movies they take pleasure in watching, even down to the topic of sex…which is usually brought up when the time is right. The dates that the couple participate in are sometimes paid by the man on a consistent basis (because I am a man I say this) and sometimes by the female. The assumption that money is being made by both individuals is substantiated because both are working. Occasionally the amount of their annual salary might be the topic of a conversation later in the relationship, but it is not a serious factor.
Cupidity eventually takes hold of both of them and they realize that they want to do the damn thing…get married. Friends and family are contacted and alerted of the great news and of course the date is not set but it is I the works after a few “minor” details are completed. The female shows the ring off with smiles and affection for this time she knows that her search is finally over for the man she will spend the rest of her life with and initiate a family with is all hers!
The HIV tests are taken, the pre-marriage counseling is another joy to add to their positive interaction and relationship repertoire. They find out they have even more in common than they thought. So of course it is time to achieve one last thing and that is to share each other’s credit report! That’s when all hell breaks loose.
One of them if not both of them have bad credit…credit so awful that it will stunt the process of getting a home and effective financial planning for the future of their marriage and also for a potential family. Buying a home, purchasing a new automobile, old bills that are in collection and unsatisfied judgments to eventually mix with possible new bills and the proclivity of credit denials are the conversation now.
For example, “You never told me you had bad credit?” “When were you going to tell me that your credit was jacked up?” Love should guide us not money! “I thought you loved me for me and not for my money!” “I am working on getting my credit repaired.” “Oh that bill came from something my parents did!” “I was helping out one of my people’s and purchased a cell phone for them in my name and they didn’t pay the bill!”
The list of reasons and statements of discovery and newness can continue but it is true: If you do not have your finances and credit together do not expect to even embark upon a marriage. It is not to say that some situations can not be worked out, but being equally yoked is more than in a spiritual sense, it is also in a sense that the person you decide to settle down with has the congruent awareness that financial management is a part of their character, not just the ability to work and maintain a lifestyle and it is not something to be taken lightly. I wonder if more people took the time and had the conversation about finances and credit, would their relationships last or would their relationships be doomed. If you can’t go dutch…don’t get married!

I Love You But God Loves You More!

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