Working in the financial world, focusing on women's financial security, once she tells her story of STD the flood gates open of story after story, and from my experience as a Minister for 37 years, the same applies to men whose bitter experiences of marrying into debt.
One of the conclusions that Larke Riemer draws (summarised) is that the sexual pull is so great and the sparkly glasses are so fogged with passion that good sense can neither be heard or any research considered.
Her story is a common one and can be read in full through the SMH link above. Essentially she and her ex remained good friends and over their 15 years of marriage had dreamed of owning a hotel. A business opportunity came up to buy such a hotel, and refusing to listen to her wiser friends, in she jumped but it was she who put in the vast majority of the finance.
Their fiscal research lacked due diligence and essentially it had a recent history of poor returns and finally she got out and lost everything that she had put in – now a much wiser person and back on track, she is advising women who are either in a similar situation or about to get into such an arrangement or those who are on the other side as is she.
In my experience with men whose passions got the better of them and found themselves with the sex 'and' for whatever reasons came a mountain of previous debt with their new love. They were, to put a gentle word one it, flabbergasted. There was no law to prevent this transference.
What looks promising?
Try these suggestions
Larke Riemer puts up some solid suggestions to avoid such situations regardless of the gender. Larke Riemer is the Director of Westpac Women's Markets who are supporting the 2013 100 Women of Influence Awards.
First Larke Riemer says "No to" - going guarantor or open a joint account or allow secondary use of your credit card if you don't understand your obligations.
Next, Larhe says that she has met many women who have signed up for loans for their partners – from large business deals to mobile phone accounts - and found themselves holding the bag when their partners have stopped paying or are unable to pay.
Try and get utilities on jointly when you set up house. If you split up and move out make sure the gas, water, electricity, etc, are terminated because if your name is on the bills you'll have to pay them.
If you split up and have a joint account and/or mortgage, advise the bank, and get advice on what you can do to stop infection.
If he leaves for someone else and kindly leaves you with the family home and all the associated costs while he takes the cash assets, it's time to get advice from a lawyer.
Finally Larke Riemer from biter experience says that romance is wonderful, but the rose coloured glasses can be deceptive. Keep an eye on joint accounts. Get advice before signing any documents, especially if you're not sure what the implications are for you financially.
And there you have it from someone who knows.
Romance is more than beauty
A listening ear
In a not dissimilar debt situation, a naÃ¯ve 18 year old some years ago went guarantor for a mate for a car who then faulted on his loan repayments and the finance company came after this 18 year old for the money. His family heard about, his friends about it and this older fellow was jumped on profusely from a great height. Lesson learnt.
Some years later a Minister friend told the story of a man who came for a pastoral conversation. He was desperate for his special girl to become his wife. Neither had married before. Neither had a serious relationship previously. They were made for each other. Or so it seemed.
The problem was that she lived way beyond her means and was known for it, she was a shop-oholic - the best wardrobe, the best car, international holidays and buying sprees, time shares and on and on it went. She would be bringing an unsustainable debt to the altar.
Only the slightest of hope
He was no frugal freak but realised the situation and to go ahead with the planned marriage would be bringing financial disaster upon himself and quite possibly his parents (who would undoubtedly help). Her parents had given-up long ago.
He sought to talk it through and as he did so, realised, without the minister saying a word, he had to face up to a tough decision.
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He mentors young writers and has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html