When Your Partner Is A Compulsive Shopper: How To Curb The Habit And Save Your Relationship

When your partner keeps coming home with expensive items you don't need and really can't afford, your relationship and financial status can really suffer. While spending irresponsibly every once in a while is fairly normal, when this becomes a regular occurrence, there's a good chance your partner is suffering from an addictive behavior known as compulsive shopping. Similar to alcohol and drug addiction, this behavior is a true psychological issue, and it must be dealt with carefully if you want to save your relationship and prevent financial ruin. Here are some guidelines to abide by as you work to address the issue.

See a psychologist sooner rather than later.

Don't assume your partner can get through this on his or her own. The euphoria your partner feels when making a purchase is very addictive, and compulsive shopping is frequently tied in with other lying behaviors and emotional distress that can make it very hard to unwind all that's going on and gain control of one's behaviors. Encourage your partner to see a psychiatrist who has experience dealing with compulsive shopping. Attend sessions with your partner if the psychiatrist thinks it's wise. This way, the counselor can not only advise your partner in dealing with their behavior, but also advise you when it comes to helping your partner curb the spending.

Visit a financial planner.

In addition to addressing the mental and emotional side of this behavior, you must also get a handle on how it is impacting you financially -- and how to get out of the hole it has put you in. Visit a financial planner, and be honest with this professional about all of your debts, your spending practices, and other financial matters. They can help you formulate a spending plan for the future, which can include paying down any debt that your partner has racked up due to the compulsive spending. Once there's a plan in place to move forward, your partner may have an easier time resisting the urge to spend because they'll be doing it for a reason.

Approach this as a team.

Do not blame your partner or expect that they will dig themselves out of this problem alone. Since compulsive shopping is often related to emotional distress and feelings of guilt, this will just make matters worse. Work side-by-side with your partner. Make sure that you also abide by any guidelines that the financial planner or psychiatrist suggests. You should also get into the habit of making all financial decisions together. This way, when your partner feels the urge to spend, he or she will become adapted to telling you about it, and you can step in and curb the behavior.

For a psychiatrist, contact a doctor such as Kay M. Shilling MD PC