Marriages may be planned by God but are kept together by banks and financial lawyers.
Mel Gibson aside, who must be cursing his luck for being caught on camera while having a little fun on the side and will now have to pay his angry wife through his nose, for most couples, it's the buck that often keeps them from walking out of a relationship.
This is especially true for mature relationships; in simpler terms, marriages that are beyond the seven-year-hitch and have the cross of EMIs to carry.
With most high-earning young couples spending freely, loans run high on credit cards, homes, vehicles and even exotic vacations. And most couples prefer to apply for loans jointly to avail the maximum amount. And if one of them decides to end the relationship, repaying the loan by one partner or dividing liabilities and assets between two people can be complicated and may take months to be worked out.
"Most working professionals will think twice before ending a marriage if a joint loan is involved, especially a mortgage on a property. Reworking loan papers and untangling themselves financially may seem nightmarish. This gives couples the crucial time needed to work out a relationship," says Prateek Kumar, a loan-management lawyer attached with a prominent nationalised bank.
Agrees Janki Singh, a marriage counselor, "Often couples quit a relationship after a bad fight. Sometimes, a little time can save a marriage. If time is the factor, working out financial liabilities can offer them that buffer."
Better to stay on
Stress due to debts can break a marriage but on the other hand, it can also keep two people together. "My husband and I had taken long loans for home and car at the beginning of our marriage. But after about 10 years we realised work pressure had taken us apart. We started having ugly fights and one evening we decided to end the relationship.
My husband moved out of our house. After three days we met again to sort out the financial technicalities and realized we had difficult loans which had to be paid off by two earning people. And we were not sure if our new partners would share the burden and the stress with us.
That made us take a look at our marriage again," says Pinki Arora, working with a media house. Today, after a year, Pinki and her husband Ashok are back as a couple and are reworking their relationship. They vouch that the loans saved their marriage!
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