I wanted the best honeymoon ever…
As I was planning for our wedding day, I wanted to express my love to Karlene with an incredible honeymoon. After all, the honeymoon sets the pace for a successful marriage, right?! WRONG! But at 19 years old planning for a wedding and honeymoon, I wanted to impress my bride-to-be.
I had never been to Hawaii.
I wanted Karlene to experience the best week of her life. Hawaii seemed like the logical choice. I met with a travel agent and arranged my dream honeymoon. The only problem was, I didn’t have enough money at the time to fund it. I came to the (ill)logical conclusion to pay for it with plastic. My plan was to pay the credit card off prior to the wedding day. Then life happened.
The wedding came, and the balance remained.
Being young and unfamiliar with large interest rates of credit cards, I just couldn’t seem to pay the darned thing off! Now I was stuck in a dilemma, I was marrying Karlene without her knowledge of my credit card debt. I justified the problem with the thought that I was providing her with a vacation of a lifetime. I secretly carried a “mistress” in my pocket, and her name was “Debt.”
The honeymoon was over.
There’s a saying that goes, “The honeymoon is over” implying the all the fun is past and reality now stares you in the face. Our honeymoon was nearly a disaster even without my secret being revealed. It rained every day, Karlene got sick, and the joys of Hawaii were unavailable due to weather conditions. We finished our week and returned to start our “real” lives together as husband and wife.
“You LIED to me!”
These were the exact words that Karlene said to me a few months into our marriage. I had been checking the mail to make sure Karlene never discovered the credit card debit. I hoped to pay it off and for her to never know anything about it. Well, young and married means living paycheck to paycheck, and my “mistress” never went away. When I finally told Karlene the debt that we were now in she looked at me in shock. She couldn’t believe that I lied to her. It wasn’t that I was telling her false information. No, my lie was a lie of secrecy and deceit.
The power of honesty and teamwork.
I never wanted to break her heart the way that I did. I could have avoided the entire mess if only I would have been up front with Karlene about the problem from the beginning. At that time we were making $800 a month with very little room to spare. But now the truth was revealed, we worked as a team to conquer the debt. Together, we succeeded. Alone, I made a mess of my new marriage. If I could go back in time, I would warn my young self not to make this mistake. Even writing about it brings back memories of pain an guilt.
Lying never wins.
Don’t be foolish to think that lying will keep your wife from hurt or pain. Make financial decisions together and don’t hide debt! Eventually what is done in secret will be revealed. Instead, be honest with your wife in everything. The truth may be hard to hear, but it will save you from much more pain down the road. Love your wife with your honesty and integrity.