We all know the scene. the fairytale dress..the top hat and tails..the horse drawn carriage....then after the fabulous wedding, reality sets in. You're on your own with your partner and the dream wedding has somehow crash landed into you both sitting in front of the box watching your favourite soap every night.
Well...going out costs money and every day expenses are increasing by the minute almost. Who can afford to go out much these days? But the real cost of debt is the one where your relationship starts to hit the pan. Another red letter on the door mat and another row about who is going to pay it. You start to feel you no longer look your best and he starts to take an interest in other women. It's a horrible vicious circle. You start to buy new clothes or having your hair done when you can't really afford to-and before long you're up to your neck in it.
It is well known that relationship breakdowns are often closely associated with financial hardship and last year in the UK 157,000 couples divorced an d it is suggested that many of these divorces came about because of the level of UK debt increasing so rapidly.
The irony is that even if you get divorced you need money to leave each other-let alone all the extra funds to set up a new home.
Mandy Wright, 36, from Southampton, said that her relationship went from bad to worse when she and Jeff, her husband of three years, they got into a mess because of over spending on credit cards. She said they blamed each other and the rows were endless.
'In the end I didn't know whether we had just fallen out of love. I was devastated than just when we could have done with supporting each other we actually hated each other. Neither of us had any money and we were still paying off for our wedding! The wedding had cost us thousands but I wanted something special. Jeff still throws that at me and he says that the wedding was more important than the marriage. and that I should have made do with a smaller bash. But I wanted to be the princess and I had hoped it was going to be a once in a life time affair. We are still paying for the reception. I know it’s crazy. Looking back I would have had a simpler reception but I was captivated with the idea of giving everyone the best. I think we have suffered as a result.
The other thing is that the divorce will cost us thousands as well. It’s too awful to think about-and the debt has actually made me think I will never fall in love again.'
The average cost of a divorce is a staggering £13,000. Of course some a very cheap and quick but others can cost an arm and a leg. People getting divorced usually want it sorted quickly and many couples resort to funding their divorce-on a credit card.
Janie Summers, 34, from Plymouth says, 'I wanted my divorce yesterday. Money problems had fuelled our rows and in the end I was sick of his gambling away our food money in order to get some income. Then he’d have a drink to drown his sorrows while I sat fuming waiting for him to come home. I had a child to consider and I wasn't going to mess my kid’s life up over money. I know that money problems ended our relationship because neither of us could take the stress. Maybe if we’d had someone to talk to it would have helped us cope better and maybe find a way through. As it was we stopped speaking and I'd find bills stuffed under the sofa cushions. He just refused to look at them and thought they would simply go away. I have never been brilliant with money but I knew that buying a new plasma screen TV was going to be trouble. We then had a DVD player to go with it and the list went on and on. It was all fine for 6 months until pay back time arrived and then on top of everything else we were lumbered with debt we couldn't pay.
Mum bailed us out so many times and now I feel awful about that because it was such an expense for her when she couldn't afford it really. She helped us with utility bills, overdrafts and everything else. I hope I can pay her back one day. Meanwhile I am living with Jessie, our daughter and my husband has moved out. My solicitor asked me how much I wanted in maintenance from him and I almost laughed. I won’t get a penny. I've been saddled with the debt. I am just relived I have found someone I can talk to and offer me help and a bit of comfort through the divorce. We are going for a two year separation. Would I get married again? Yes of course I would. But I'd like to win the lottery first.'
Then there are the kids. It’s awful when kids are involved in the break up of a family home. Whenever children are involved during relationship breakdowns it can be very stressful and upsetting for all. Often mums and dads want to help their kids through it by buying those presents or going on expensive holidays or day trips and this is often paid for on that credit card. So instead of things being better-everything is worse and the kids know there's stress around so as Jamie says, 'maybe it’s better to take the kids to the park-watch a DVD and do games with your kids. Talk to them about what is going on but try not to make feel they are to blame or that money is a bad thing. I blame myself for not putting a stop to the spending sooner-but you live and learn don’t you? I would still like to enjoy the little luxuries to boost my self-esteem but I guess they will have to wait for the time being.'
If your relationship is suffering due to debt or money worries then call www.debtdivas.co.uk for confidential help and support-when you need it most.