Anxiety is something I think everyone experiences to a degree. But some people experience it to the point where it decides what you’re going to do with your time — with your life — and it really, really sucks. I mean, to just be simple about it, anxiety sucks.
When I was a child, my limited understanding of marriage included knowing I would have to eventually share all my stuff. As I got older, I realized I would have to split my money as well. But it wasn’t until very recently that I learned my debt would also be a shared asset. Aside from the scary business of marriage, what with the merging of emotional assets and vowing to love one another, it’s the union of two banks accounts. The Spice Girls were singing about when two credit scores become one, right?
I don’t suppose I had really given the idea of asset integration much thought until one of my best friends got engaged a couple years ago. After dating for seven years it was time for both their last names checking accounts to merge. My friend put her foot down and insisted that her soon to be husband pay down his entire credit card bill before the wedding; starting their new life together with a clean slate. Good for her; well both of them really. Once you sign a marriage license and file for joint taxes, finances become muddled. Sadly, we live in a world where all too often divorce rules and romance drools. Even more confusing, in the case of divorce all the assets and debt brought into the marriage, as well as those accrued during the union, would be up for grabs. Despite my cynicism, I still believe in the sanctity of marriage, and my friends’ marital financial situation made me pause and think about assuming my future life mate’s debt.
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