Marriage: 4 Toxic Spouses to Avoid

Last Updated Feb 16, 2011 1:46 PM EST

When it comes to relationships, we all know there are certain types of people who aren't marriage material. Some that come to mind include women who can't commit and men with wondering eyes. But let's not forget to include potential partners who are lousy with money.

I recently chatted with Michael Sion, author of Money & Marriage, How to Choose a Financially Compatible Spouse, for his opinion on the types of people who make toxic spouses. Here are the four he recommends you never marry:

1. The Shady One
This person may be charming but he also isn't completely honest. He misrepresents himself in lots of little ways because he probably has something to hide. Not sure if you're dating this guy? Sion recommends asking to see his credit report. Chances are he'll refuse to share it with you. Maybe you would discover he has a history of not paying off his debts. If you tie the knot, the lies would likely continue and poison your relationship and possibly your credit too.

2. The Non-Communicator
This lover may readily divulge details of her romantic past but she clams up when it comes to finances. Start dating her and you won't even be able to openly discuss if you should go to a cheap or expensive restaurant and who will pay the check, warns Sion. If the relationship gets serious, money issues will only get more complicated and there's sure to be disagreements and ugly surprises, he warns

3. The Irresponsible Spender
He's the guy who drives a car he can't afford. Or, she's the woman who lives well beyond her means. If you aren't careful, walking down the aisle with this type of person could leave both of you swimming in debt. You could potentially and successfully marry an irresponsible spender provided he or she hands over all control of the finances to you and agrees to live within a budget you set, says Sion.

4. The Lousy Earner
Sion isn't against folks who don't earn six figures. But he does think you should watch out for potential suitors with low ambition and who can't afford to live on their current salaries. Don't worry if you've fallen in love with someone who is young and in an entry level job, says Sion. We all have to start somewhere. You just want to make sure that person has a plan for climbing the corporate ladder.

What should you do if you end up falling in love with one of these toxic people? You may want to keep your finances as separate as possible and try to reform your lover. If you can't, think twice before you commit to spending the rest of your financial lives together.

Would you marry someone who's lousy with money?

Stacey Bradford is the author of The Wall Street Journal Financial Guidebook for New Parents.
Wedding Cake image courtesy of Flickr, CC 2.0.
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