Dear Donna: Discovery of debt a blow to relationship

By: Donna Shugrue Special to The Gazette
July 22, 2013 Updated: July 22, 2013 at 4:30 pm

Dear Donna,

I'm in a relationship with a man I have been dating for a year. I recently discovered that he is almost $100,000 in debt. He is unaware that I know about his debt. I don't know what to think. I never would have guessed that he would be so financially irresponsible as to let this happen. He is a wonderful man and I care deeply for him, to the point that we have been discussing marriage.

We never discussed our finances. I just assumed he was as he appears, financially stable. I know I have to talk to him, but I cannot imagine what he can say that will make any sense. I feel like he has been dishonest. I am heartbroken.

Dear Heartbroken,

Maybe there is an explanation that will make sense. You might be assuming things that are simply not true. Are you positive the information you discovered is accurate?

You cannot avoid this elephant in the room. It already has changed the way you feel about him. In all fairness to him, you said you never have discussed finances. Put the cards on the table and give him an opportunity to explain. The sooner you have this conversation, the better.

Dear Donna,

I had a relationship with a lady a few years ago and ended up with herpes. She did not disclose to me that she had herpes before we were intimate. This has changed my whole life. I was not looking to date, but I met a wonderful lady that I have been seeing for six weeks. I never would do what was done to me and be intimate without telling her that I have herpes. However, I'm afraid she will end the relationship. Have you ever been successful in matching someone who has herpes?

Dear Fellow,

One in four adults have herpes. There are approximately 1 million new cases of herpes each year. There are about 500,000 new cases each year in America.

Yes, I have successfully matched people with herpes. It is a very common virus and nothing to be ashamed of. There are a lot of myths about herpes that many people believe until they are better informed. Go to a herpes website and be prepared to share the facts with her. If she does end your relationship because you have herpes, I can assure you there is someone else who will understand.


Donna Shugrue owns Perfectly Matched. Her column runs biweekly in Family. Email questions to or visit

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