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Found out that my fiance is 280k in debt - what happens should I still marry him?

(344 Posts)
BornToShopForcedToWork Fri 28-Sep-12 22:09:52

Last night my fiance confessed that he is 280k in debt. I am devastated and consider not to marry him anymore. Although we always kept our finances separate and I don't mind marrying him with the debt I am a bit worried that I will be liable for the debt as well. I am not English and therefore not sure how it's handled in the UK. I have assets that I would like to protect.

How shall I handle this situation?

BornToShopForcedToWork Fri 28-Sep-12 22:45:05


I know. This is why I've asked for advice what's the best thing to do. We are both still young, so children won't be in the near future anyway but still. That's what I don't want to happen.

sookiesookie Fri 28-Sep-12 22:46:16

So he decided to commit his life to you after you became quite well off yourself?

When did the business deal fall through? How long has this debt been hanging around?

Sallyingforth Fri 28-Sep-12 22:46:55

If the debt could be wiped out tomorrow by a win on the lottery, I still wouldn't marry him.
1. He has lied to you. Not a small lie - a huge one.
2. He cannot handle money and will get into debt again.

sookiesookie Fri 28-Sep-12 22:48:19

Children may be a while away, but what about when you can't afford rent or the mortgage payment?

Or food?

BornToShopForcedToWork Fri 28-Sep-12 22:49:08

I am trying to talk to him now but he doesn't want to tell me anything. He says it is none of my business and it was a business deal it would be written off soon anyway. I am so upset, he has been such a great guy to me in all the time we are together and now this happened in the last 24h. I haven't eaten all day and I wish there would be more wine in the house.

sookiesookie Fri 28-Sep-12 22:49:32

Sallyingforth i couldn't agree more.

Its not about the actual money. Its about him.

madonnawhore Fri 28-Sep-12 22:51:30

He sounds shallow and completely motivated by money and possessions. That's why I think he proposed to you once you inherited some quite substantial assets.

If you marry him, he will get into debt again and lie to you about it. When he can't lie any more and he's facing ruin, you'll feel obliged to bail him out with your inheritance. Especially if you have children with him by then.

This person is not a good person. Don't marry him.

MadBusLady Fri 28-Sep-12 22:52:01

He is being defensive and patronising, OP. Not good signs. sad

I don't suppose it would help to go to family/friends for the weekend and talk it over/sleep on it? This must have been such a shock.

BornToShopForcedToWork Fri 28-Sep-12 22:52:12


I would keep my finances separate anyway. My mother is married for 18 years to her DH now and has always kept her own bank account. We don't live together all week, I am a live-in nanny at the moment and therefore live with my employers during the week. I am still studying by distance learning and I need the space in the evening. We have lived together before I lived in Brussels last year.

TodaysAGoodDay Fri 28-Sep-12 22:52:19

Please don't marry him until this is sorted out. How would you feel if when you did marry him, his debts became your debts, and you lost everything? And even then, I'm willing to bet his attitude to money will not change.

Please have some respect for yourself and don't get married.

madonnawhore Fri 28-Sep-12 22:52:45

Sorry if i missed this earlier in the thread but How did you find out?

AlteredState Fri 28-Sep-12 22:53:35

Definitely don't marry. Even if he manages to clear the debt he may always have the potential to get into more debt if it's part of his personality to spend, spend, spend. Once he's in more debt and you're married his debt is your debt, and your assets are his assets. Do you actually have to get married? I mean if you're worried about any future kids having a different surname etc you could always change yours by deed poll. Ive met a couple of people who have done this, they essentially pretend they are married and other people just assume they are because they have the same name. Of course there are other legal things you may need (eg legal agreements detailing who gets what in the event of separation, a will is a must if you wish him to inherit in the event of your death - and vice versa - since he won't automatically inherit - there's no such thing as a common-law spouse). Obviously if marriage is for religious or cultural reasons you don't have that option but it's just my thought.

sookiesookie Fri 28-Sep-12 22:53:37

* He says it is none of my business and it was a business deal it would be written off soon anyway.*

None of your business? do you not see OP what marrying him will be like? How dare he? and I would want proof that this happened in the last 24hrs

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Fri 28-Sep-12 22:53:44

We are both still young

This makes it even more staggering that he's managed to run up such an enormous debt.

This must be devastating for you and I do really feel for you. But he's a wrong 'un and if you tie yourself to him you have to accept that his attitude to money is unlikely to change.

colditz Fri 28-Sep-12 22:53:52

Oh my fucksy, that is a lot of money!

electra Fri 28-Sep-12 22:54:10

This is a problem. Regardless of whether you will be liable for the debts - will you ever be able to have a stable future with someone who may not be responsible enough to make sure the bills and the mortgage is paid? And who lies to you about his spending? I would get out while you still can, or at the very least put the wedding on hold.

trixymalixy Fri 28-Sep-12 22:55:06

Run, don't marry this guy.

BornToShopForcedToWork Fri 28-Sep-12 22:56:41


I am sure he will. My mother's current DH can't handle money either, however he is not in debt. So I know that people like that are unlikely to change.

All this has happened to me in the last 24h, before that I had the best partner I could imagine... I can not believe that I was so stupid. I feel ashamed for wearing my engagement ring, who is worth a little fortune and he probably hasn't paid for with his money either.

Offred Fri 28-Sep-12 22:57:19

See I agree about the lying but that is a reason to not be in a relationship with him to me. The debt is the reason not to marry because marriage is primarily a legal and financial commitment.

sookiesookie Fri 28-Sep-12 22:57:30

I would keep my finances separate anyway

OP that's not always possible when married. Its actually quite difficult to keep finances, completely legally separate.

orchidee Fri 28-Sep-12 22:58:00

You could ask the citizen's advice bureau whether your be liable for his pre-wedding debts.

Even if not, and he has changed and will no longer spend money he can't afford on trying to impress people, unless he can magically make the debt disappear, it will affect you. It'll affect how much money you jointly have for rent or a mortgage, for holidays and nights out. For the things you should be doing while young and living in London.

If he has demonstrated that he has a plan to repay the debt, I'd be tempted to suggest continuing the relationship with a view to marrying when the debt is cleared or almost cleared, but 280k could take a lifetime to pay off. Is he currently working in a well-paid job?

BornToShopForcedToWork Fri 28-Sep-12 22:58:38


I mean that I've found out about this. I don't know when the actually 280k of debt thing happened. He doesn't tell me.

BigStickBIWI Fri 28-Sep-12 22:59:02

If you're going to marry him - or anyone - you need to share your financial backgrounds/situations. That doesn't mean that you have to share everything, but you do need to know what is going on.

I would say that you shouldn't even consider marrying him at the moment, until you know exactly what is going on. And given your own financial portfolio you need to be very careful about marrying him, if you want to keep this safe.

Personally I would be seeing an IFA for more help/guidance here - to protect your inheritance.

TribbleTuckandDismount Fri 28-Sep-12 22:59:06

Run like the wind, you do not need this guy in your life.

Put it roughly, he owes your yearly wage eleven times over. That is a hell of a lot of money. That's a whole house in some parts of the UK.

Seriously, don't marry him!

BornToShopForcedToWork Fri 28-Sep-12 22:59:41


He owns companies. So I always assumed that things were going well.

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