BOSTON (TheStreet) -- You meet what seems like the perfect guy or gal. You are in love and ready for a commitment -- marriage, buying a home together, perhaps starting a family.But something is not quite right. There are suspicious phone calls, with "wrong number" and "work related" offered as unconvincing explanations. Unfamiliar phone numbers are scattered in a cell phone's missed-calls log. Your partner appears way too eager to be the first one to the mailbox. Innocently peek inside their purse or wallet and the response is a snippy mix of defensiveness and sheepishness.
|Financial disputes can be hard on a relationship, but honest differences are one thing and deception from your partner is quite another.|
Your significant other may be trying to hide serious debts and foolish credit card charges alike from your prying eyes. If the sight of the mailman sets off a fear reflex, they may be dreading the moment you see one of those "PAST DUE" envelopes, correspondence with a collection agency or threat of legal action. 2. Dodging questions about their financial history/credit rating
Marriage brings with it the union of all things financial, including credit ratings. For many couples, that poses no problem and it's accepted that the good and bad will average out to a happy (and hopefully still creditworthy) equilibrium. If the mere effort to discuss your partner's financial background hits a nerve, though, their reluctance probably confirms your suspicions. 3. Letting you pay for everything
We all seem to have a friend who manages to disappear to the restaurant restroom every time the check comes, or who goes full-on ninja invisible when it is his/her turn to buy a round. If your partner is that person, don't assume they are merely a cheapskate. It could be an indication that they can't afford even a simple night out, and that could suggest damaging debt.
Is it your credit card that always gets tapped when your boyfriend or girlfriend orders off Amazon ( AMZN)? When you are shopping, is there always an excuse for why he or she has to "borrow" your card ("Oops, I left mine at home again"). It may very well mean that your partner's cards are either maxed out or they fear being "rejected" at the register while you look on. Couples may live by the mantra of "share and share alike," but having only one half that does all the sharing is a bad omen. Be especially wary if your partner frequently pulls your credit card (or cash) from your wallet without asking. Add to your concern if they fail to let you know they did so until after the bill comes in. They probably don't view it as stealing, and neither should you, necessarily. But the action does reveal a potentially fast, loose and unrestrained attitude toward spending (especially when it is other people's money). 5. Blaming everyone but themselves
Taking responsibility is crucial for anyone looking to fix financial blunders. Be wary if your loved one blames everyone but themselves for "mistakes." The late credit card payment? It was sent in on time, so of course it must have been lost in the mail. That mountainous credit card debt? A thieving roommate or hard-luck relative is to blame. The low credit score? Obviously a computer error. That collection agency that called? Liars! I paid that off years ago! Errors certainly do happen, and people do sometimes have to fight to restore their good name and credit. But when excuses proliferate with every bill, one might be advised to call the bluff. -- Written by Joe Mont in Boston. >To contact the writer of this article, click here: Joe Mont. >To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/josephmont. >To submit a news tip, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.