The affect debt has on the family unit is enormous. According to researches money and debt problems are the number one cause of stress and anxiety.

Stereotypically, the role of the man of the house is that of being provider for the family, and if this role is not fulfilled then it naturally has devastating affect. As tension builds, arguments will happen which in turn impacts on the relationship.

Is it possible to avoid this situation in light of the current economic climate? Certainly the prevalence of such situations is on the increase however it is possible to minimize the impact it has on relationships.

For starters, if you have a partner and you are sharing a household budget its important to be open and upfront with each other. It's absolutely that when it comes to managing the debts, you are both on the same page. If not, it could spell disaster. Also, its good to have a second opinion when it comes to managing debts.

Next, you should have a clear idea of the income and expenses by doing a comprehensive budget. There are lots of websites out there that have free tools and calculators available to help with this.

Finally you should consider speaking to a qualified debt management expert. A debt management expert will be able to examine you position and provide you with options that may be suitable. Its important to make sure that whatever you chose to do (to fix the problem) that its affordable and sustainable.

Solutions that may be suggested by the debt management expert include applying for financial hardship (under credit laws) with your creditors, making some sort of arrangement to settle the debts over a period of time, refinancing property to settle the debts or even bankruptcy.

Whatever the option, you will need to discuss it with your partner and decide as a team about the course of action you wish to undertake.

This is probably be easier said than done and it reminds me of a conversation I recent had with a woman that was struggling to pay her credit cards debts. The woman was so scared about telling her husband about her situation that she preferred to keep it a secret for fear that he might leave her.

After a while the debts all came to a head and the woman was forced eventually to confess. Of course her husband was upset but he eventually calmed down. When he did finally calm down the couple set about looking at how they could fix the debt problem.

The woman called me back and said she was willing to look at all her options to tackle the debt an how foolish she felt with keeping her problem from her husband for so long.

The story ends positively with the woman choosing to consolidate her debts into one, affordable and sustainable repayment plan. The sense of relief was as if a weight had been lifted and no don't her relationship with her partner would have also benefited.

If this story rings more than a few bells, take a leaf out of the woman in this story's book and consider opening up and speaking to your partner and a debt management specialist. You will feel a lot better for it and you will realize there is light at the end of the tunnel.