Your relationship, your debt and your mental health

posted by in Debt

Debt problems can destroy even the healthiest of relationships

Debt can harm even the healthiest of relationships

It’s long been a concern of ours that so many people who struggle with debt feel a knock-on effect with their relationships.

There’s reason to be worried; our infographic for Mental Health Awareness Week highlights that 6.2 million people are hiding their debt from their partners. What’s more, 35% of people with debt problems said their relationship suffered or ended completely due to debt worry.

As Peer mentioned in a previous article, debt due to separation or divorce is a real problem all across the UK.  Luckily, our Wellbeing guide has a few suggestions to help keep your relationship on track during times of stress.

1.   Talk about your feelings 

Debt and stress go hand in hand, and it’s made worse still when people keep everything bottled up. 

Speaking about your feelings can help you feel less alone and release tension. It can also help deepen bonds with those you love, as you’re giving them what they need to know in order to support you. 

If talking about your debt just isn’t an option, then you could keep a diary of your thoughts and feelings. Set up a private blog on a platform like WordPress or Tumblr and just let it all out. 

 2.  Be optimistic

If you’re feeling overwhelmed with negative feelings due to debt, it’s very important to take a breather and remind yourself of the positives. 

According to health and fitness writer Leanne Beattie, “optimism” comes from the Latin word optimus, meaning “best,”. An optimistic person always looks for the best in any situation and trusts that good things are all around. An optimistic person is also more likely to look at their relationships and focus on making each one as healthy and joyful as possible.

3.   Share the load

 If you have stress in your life, it’s possible that you’re simply taking on too much and not asking those around you for help. For example, if you feel that your partner could do more in the house to support you, make sure you tell them in a constructive way. Yelling at them or guilt-tripping them will only make both of you feel worse.

Approaching the matter calmly with a more positive spin (for example, “I always appreciate it when you get the shopping in / wash the dishes / hoover around”) reminds your partner that you notice when they do nice things for you.

 4.  Reach out for support

16th century poet John Donne once famously wrote that “no man is an island”. All these years later, his words still ring true. Friends, family, colleagues and support groups can all give you a sense of belonging and will offer a different viewpoint to any problems you may have.

Emotionally healthy people are able to adjust to and solve problems, and in doing so they help others as well as themselves to get satisfaction out of life.

 4.  When love just isn’t enough

Sometimes things just get so tough that you and your partner may feel like you’re completely out of options. Counselling charity Relate help thousands every year to overcome problems in their personal lives. You don’t need to be at ‘crisis point’ to seek their help. You can simply be two people who love one another very much and want to do all you can to put things right.

StepChange Debt Charity and the Mental Health Foundation are working together to help you however we can. For free online debt advice in just 20 minutes, use our online tool Debt Remedy.

Rachel Connor has been with the charity for over 5 years, starting in Helpline before joining the MoneyAware team in 2012. Rach enjoys travelling, video games and creative writing in her spare time (currently penning her first novel). She had a previous life as head writer on Cartoon Network's Ed Edd n Eddy and as a copywriter for LivingSocial. She also writes comics and graphic novels for the animated series Adventure Time and Regular Show.

Written by

Tags Debt