Compulsive Shopping Can Ruin Your Relationship

compulsive shopping

Compulsive shopping is just one of many addictions that can severely impact your relationship. Whether you’re in a marriage or a situation where you’re sharing finances with another person, the impact of compulsive shopping reaches far beyond the person with the addiction.

What causes a person to have this issue? Explains Elizabeth Hartney in her article, What Is Shopping Addiction on, “Usually beginning in the late teens and early adulthood, shopping addiction often co-occurs with other disorders, including mood and anxiety disorders, substance use disorders, eating disorders, other impulse control disorders, and personality disorders.”

In addition to its link with mental health issues, shopping addiction is frequently identified as a coping strategy to deal with stresses and difficulties in your life. It takes your mind off things you don’t want to think about and offers the habitual shopper a satisfying alternative to resolving life issues.

Though it’s not formally recognized as a disorder in the DSM-IV American Psychiatric Association manual, a 2006 Stanford University study found that about six per cent of the US population is addicted to shopping, with men and women sharing the problem equally. And the symptoms and results can be just as devastating as the symptoms and results of other addictions like alcohol, gambling and drugs. How can relationships be ruined?

Let’s look at some of the symptoms of compulsive shopping:

Maxing out – By spending more money than you have, you’ll frequently find yourself in a deficit situation without enough funds to cover your monthly bills. You could endanger your mortgage, your kids’ education and even your retirement by wasting all that money that feeds the addiction.

Buying what you don’t need – This is where you often see the compulsive nature of the problem…for example, you plan to buy one pair of shoes and end up with five.

Secretive spending – When you hide receipts, credit card statements and purchases from your partner, trust will be compromised.

Buying, returning and buying again – This cycle offers the shopping addict a chance to address his or her guilt, but the same pattern repeats over and over so no ground is gained in conquering the addiction.

Frequency – If these patterns go on unchecked over a period of months or even years, there’s definitely a problem.

Every one of these symptoms shows how easily compulsive shopping can ruin a relationship. From keeping secrets, to impacting finances and credit ratings, to cluttering the house with stuff you don’t need, trust and faith in one’s partner is jeopardized. Arguments will result. Even your precious time together as a couple might be minimized by compulsive shopping because the addict will feel such an unchecked urge to get out to the stores, particularly when he or she is under stress.

There’s lots of help out there. Before you damage your relationship to the point of no return, visit a mental health professional or check out the many addiction web sites that can put you on the road to recovery.

For more information, visit these pages:

Porn Addiction Can Devastate Your Relationship

Drug Use And Alcoholism Statistics Show Relationships Are Deeply Impacted

Problems With Internet Gambling And Gaming Addictions Give You Bad Odds

Addicted To Sex? Get Help Now To Save Your Relationship

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