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I'm hiding debt from my husband

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This topic contains 103 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by veritek33 veritek33 1 month, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #685256 Reply
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    Katie

    Hi Everyone,

    I need to know the right thing to do. Minor back story: I left home at 17, and got into a large amount of debt (student loans/credit cards/etc). My brother allowed me to live with him, and helped me figure out how to handle my money. I paid off all my debt.
    Flash forward, I’m married to a wonderful man who I have been with since I was 23 (together almost 10 years total) I have ran into an issue that I’m scared will end my marriage, or at the very least be held over my head forever. My husband is very frugal, and micro manages his money. We have separate bank accounts, and until the last couple years, I have been debt free (we bought a house under my name, and my credit score is currently decent).
    Here’s the issue. I lied. I told my husband that I was $2000 behind on my credit card in February, when really it’s about $6000. He took money out of his savings and gave it to me, and I put it towards my credit card, with the understanding that I’m paying him back. I’m not falling behind on payments, but he is starting to ask about my card balances. I pay my minimum on time (usually over) and I’m knocking it down as fast as I can.
    He was in a bad mood last night, and started asking me what my balances are. I lied and told him $0.
    He probably knows I’m lying, as I have no poker face, but he didn’t call me on it. I don’t expect him to pay any of this off, this was me being stupid about spending. I swear I have learned my lesson, and I leave all credit cards at home now. I’m trying to get this paid off.
    I know if/when he finds out he will probably leave me, or at the minimum say I can’t handle money and hold it over my head forever (and I’m really not exaggerating, I’ve been reminded about the $2000 every couple of weeks since Feb. – I’ve apologized several times). If I tell him this is the reason I didn’t tell him, he will get upset and accuse me of thinking he’s a monster and playing the victim.
    I just don’t know what to do..I love my husband, and I hate that I’m disappointing him on something he cares a lot about. I would appreciate advice on if I tell him, or how I tell him..

    #685258 Reply

    This isn’t what you asked but…

    He sounds controlling. There’s a difference between asking about your debt and holding it over your head forever and ever and ever. You actually sound very fearful.

    I don’t have any advice on what to tell your husband but I will tell you that his behavior isn’t at all normal for a healthy relationship.

    #685259 Reply
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    Fyodor

    Tell him. It’s only going to get worse.It is wrong to lie to him and more wrong to keep lying to him. Seek the help of a professional money manager who can help you manage your spending and a therapist who can help you solve problems in a non-destructive way with your husband.

    #685262 Reply
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    Northern Star

    It worries me that you think admitting the truth to your husband means he will leave you. Yes, overspending (a lot!) is a problem. Yes, lying is a problem. Yes, you are wrong to have done both, full stop—but it’s fixable, and it shouldn’t mean the end of your marriage.

    Why are you so afraid of your husband? It makes sense that you’d be disappointed and ashamed of yourself. But it doesn’t sound good if you think he would either leave you or torment you forever about this.

    #685266 Reply
    juliecatharine
    Juliecatharine

    Your problem isn’t a small credit card debt it’s that your husband is a huge asshole if he will leave you or hold this over your head. Don’t get me wrong-financial responsibility and honesty are super important-but so is safety within the confines of your marriage. I think counseling is in order for you at the very least. It’s disturbing that you’re okay with being treated this way by your husband.

    #685271 Reply
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    Katie

    I’m not “scared” of him like he would be violent or anything like that. I just know him, and when he gets disappointed in someone, it kind of lingers (sometimes it never goes away). If it won’t “go away” I’m in for a marriage where my financial moves are monitored or commented on (like if I buy a dress, I will hear “did you really need that”) which I’ll admit may not be a bad idea considering my present situation. But I’m not quite how long I would have to prove myself responsible enough for him to back off (if ever).
    I know I need to tell him, I know he’s going to be upset with me, and I know this will probably give more ammo to the “we can’t afford a baby” conversation we have been having for a year or so. Like I said, this is not his debt (and it’s not shared debt really – it’s in my name only). If for some reason he would want to end our marriage over this, I would never ask him to pay this off (his brother divorced his first wife, and she left him $25,000 in debt that he had no clue about) I would NEVER do that to him. I just was hoping I could take care of it before he noticed. I know it’s completely immature to think that way.

    #685274 Reply
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    Northern Star

    I don’t know if it’s immature to think that way, so much as it kind of proves the point that really sticks out to all of us: You’re afraid of your husband. You’re afraid of how he will treat you after you tell him the truth.

    That’s not great. Not great at all.

    #685276 Reply
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    ktfran
    Participant

    It doesn’t matter what kind of “scared” you are. The fact that you are scared to have an honest conversation speaks volumes. Great, he doesn’t hit you. Well done him. But you think he’ll leave you or hold this over your head indefinitely. That’s another form of abuse.

    You need to tell him. Because who wants to live in fear? And you do fear he’ll find out. You said as much. You two also need to seek couple counseling so both can learn how to better deal with hard issues and communication.

    #685277 Reply

    You are doing that to him, though. Because even if you think it’s only in your name, he could end up responsible for it. Do you file taxes separately or together?

    And yeah, you are lying about money. It’s a big freaking deal. You can’t even be honest with him, why would you want to bring a baby into this mess?

    If you can’t think to yourself, “do I need this?” And not buy something, you aren’t ready for a baby. If you are hiding thousands of dollars of debt from your spouse, you aren’t ready for a baby, and you also aren’t ready for marriage.

    Come clean, go into counseling with him and stop lying.

    #685281 Reply
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    ktfran
    Participant

    It’s also curious that you said you bought a house under your name. Not “our” name.

    #685283 Reply
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    golfer.gal

    I think a big part of the reason she’s lying though is because she’s afraid of the verbal and emotional abuse that she’ll endure for months (possibly permanently) after she comes clean. And to be clear his treatment of you is abusive. Being critical of someone’s every move for years because they “disappointed” you, making needling little comments about their judgement, holding mistakes over their heads for years afterwards, and using it is an excuse to not have a child with someone. Jesus Christ. This guy is an asshole and him leaving sounds like a damn good idea. I mean, yeah you screwed up and you lied. But it’s a couple grand and you’re paying it off.

    If you’re not ready to call it quits with this jerk, please get into counselling for yourself. His reactions are not normal or ok and you shouldn’t have to live your life being punished and walking on eggshells. Also, at 33 your time to have a family is running short. If he’s resisting that then you need to really dig into why, because it sounds like he’s using money and blaming you as a convenient way to avoid having a kid and making it your fault that it’s not happening. I do not recommend bringing a child into this relationship anyway, but it’s food for thought. If you want a family all the more reason to cut and run.

    #685284 Reply
    juliecatharine
    Juliecatharine

    Please don’t have a child with this man. None of what you’re describing is healthy or normal at all. He is your husband, not your father, not your judge and jury, not your parole officer. Seriously, you need some help if this feels normal to you.

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