Mistake #5: Focusing Only on Your Mistake
I knew someone once who had a little debt problem. She had always struck me as a person who was enviably carefree about money until I realized this meant she was also rather carefree about amassing credit card debt that would make my heart race. Turned out, it made her heart race, too, especially after she got married to a fiscally responsible cash-only kind of man. What I didn't know was that she kept her debt a secret from him until she figured out a way to pay it off. I know, I know, we're supposed to tell our spouses everything, right? But she was afraid he would judge her, or worse, not want to have a future with her if he knew about the debt. Point is, we're not endorsing secrecy, but we are recommending doing your very best recon before setting off a tough-topic conversation grenade. Having a plan shows not only that you've tried to solve this problem but also that you recognize this is a problem (you'd be surprised how often that part is skipped over), that you're taking responsibility for it (ditto) and that you're demonstrating that you're going to do your best to make sure it won't happen again. And it's those extra two steps that diffuse the potential relationship-exploder into an unpleasant but survivable conversation to be had over dinner. A really nice dinner. That you made.