One of the moving stories in the book we recently published rgarded support during an IVA. The writer described the key role of friends in supporting and enabling the IVA process to begin with and to throughout the life of the IVA. Debt can be a very lonely place to be and some have described the fact that they even kept their debt from their partner/spouse. Our shoulders are only so broad to cope with the weight and strain of the debt burden. And for those in an IVA – it can be difficult both emotionally (“can I keep this up?”) and practically especially when it’s a real struggle to continue with all the priority outgoings as well and the IVA payment itself. We find ourselves in awkward situations, when family and friends are inviting us to events we know will cost money – and making our excuses to avoid further embarrassment.

It’s great when we can find the support many speak of. But it is a personal matter, and the majority of those in an IVA, may feel such sharing of such details to be inappropriate or just too awkward to do.

Couples may try to support each other, encouraging each other to keep going when things get tough, or resisting the temptation to over-spend and risk the continuation of the IVA. But debt generally and IVA’s specifically can create tensions within a relationship or family. The constant need for discipline and sacrifice within an IVA can create tension and resentment. Especially when one of the parties involved feels more to blame for the debt occurring in the first place. Anger from the “innocent party” or guilt from the more blameworthy can wreak havoc in a relationship. But in a successful IVA for couples regardless of fault – there is an “in it together” approach that can be genuinely supportive.

Others have support of parents or someone they know who has been where they are. And still others find help and encouragement from online forums as has been alluded to in the occasional story shared, where an online community have provided a place to turn with questions or struggles. The very anonymity of such a forum can make it appealing to some. Certainly it’s worth trying to cultivate somewhere to go when the going gets tough.