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Dear Wendy

I'm hiding debt from my husband

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This topic contains 109 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by avatar LisforLeslie 2 months ago.

Viewing 12 posts - 85 through 96 (of 110 total)
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  • #685587 Reply

    Yeah, something’s not adding up for me also. I had $6k on my credit card last month because I paid a legal fee. I pay my balance in full each month, but that month I got hit with an interest charge before the date that I paid the bill. The interest was $90. I don’t know what the minimum payment was, but let’s say it was $100.

    So I’m with Dovies, why are you struggling to be able to pay just the minimum of $200 or $250 each month (minimum payment + interest)? What else is going on with your bills and stuff that you have had to get loans from work and your husband because you can’t make those payments? Are your other bills (mortgage, utilities, groceries, etc.) too high for your income?

    #685593 Reply

    I thought that she was making minimum payments, but was trying to pay it off completely to avoid paying the interest.

    #685596 Reply

    She’s said a couple times she’s paying minimums and a little more.

    OP: You can’t solve Money mismanagement with loans. To me, it’s risky to ask your employers for a loan. Your boss doesn’t need to know about your personal financial mishaps. It makes you seem unreliable and a risk for theft if your employer takes in cash or you have access to bank accounts.
    Your priority in paying things back needs to be your husband not the credit cards. You owe him $1200-1400, you live with him, and he keeps harping on it when you spend unnecessarily.
    I’m also starting to wonder if there is a large income discrepancy between you and your husband. It really sounds as if you’re barely making ends meet and that you are responsible for all bills except maybe the mortgage. If you’ll have $1200 to throw at debt if he takes on the mortgage solo… is your mortgage $2400? Is he paying half the utilities and groceries?
    Or are you responsible for the mortgage and utilities alone because only your name is on it?

    #685598 Reply

    She should pay down her debt first. Unless he’s really hard up for cash.
    Maybe you should sell if you are struggling this hard with that amount of debt. Get something you can afford.

    #685602 Reply
    Ruby Thursday

    “I went out and shopped like crazy over the last year, and it made me feel good to buy stuff, so I just kept doing it, meaning to pay it all back, and then I didn’t.”

    While $6k in credit card debt may not be a crushing debt if managed properly, I wonder whether the LW has deeper issues involving finances and spending beyond her means. Her original post started with her accumulating a large amount of debt, which resulted in her living with her brother and allowing him to help her manage that debt. Later, with no debt at the beginning of the marriage, LW managed to rack up $6k in credit card debt without an explanation as to where she spent that money. While many people run into financial emergencies that could result in high debt (unemployment, illness, etc.), I see a major red flag in someone accumulating that much debt and actively lying to their partner to conceal it. I find it particularly concerning considering her financial history. Her only real attempt to explain it suggested a serious issue with spending. If I found myself in her husband’s position, especially considering his past experiences, I would be extremely concerned that this behavior may not be a one-time thing and could result in even larger debt that she cannot manage effectively. I think that it could be completely reasonable to end a marriage because your partner is actively jeopardizing your financial stability.

    I agree that marriage and financial counseling should be the first step in determining how to move forward. However, I think this is and should be a big red flag for the husband. How did she end up overspending in the first place? What did she buy that made her fee she had to conceal this debt from her partner? Does she recognize the larger issue with this situation and what is she doing to make sure this never happens again?

    #685654 Reply

    Maybe the husband isn’t over reacting when he says they should sell the house. If $6000 debt causes this much difficulty that they aren’t sure how to pay it back and she was seeking loans they may have bought at the very limit of their ability leaving them no wiggle room if anything should happen.

    #685671 Reply

    I’ve read that half of Americans don’t have a readily-available $400 to pay for an unexpected car repair. A ton of people would be financially hobbled by a $6000 debt and paying it off at credit card rates can be crushing. Some cards have very high rates and it sounds like she may have one of those.

    #685685 Reply
    Northern Star

    Your husband sounds like a jerk. He’s accusing you of being a cheater (no WAY you should accept that BS crap name calling) AND he refuses to allow you to do anything to help your situation (because yeah, compulsive spending isn’t merely something that will go away on its own)? Jerk.

    #686371 Reply

    LW – I am late to this party but I have an opinion. You need to start talking about money with your spouse and thinking about your long term goals. When you talk to him, have a pay down plan ready to go. I suggest reading Mister Money Mustache. I would tell him that you have 4k in cc debt and owe him 2k. I would tell him that you have a plan to pay him $50 a month and pay down the credit card. Then I would start looking at ways to make extra money. Start selling things online – I love the facebook yardsale sites. or have a real yardsale and use the extra money to pay down the debt. Sell some of your clothes through a consignment shop. I would look at your bills – cable, cell phone, car payment, groceries and work to lower every bill. I have found if I get my groceries delivered, it is easy to stay on budget because you know the exact amount rather than getting surprised at check out.

    Honestly, facing this and getting your life in order can be the most freeing thing in your life. And this is great practice for budgeting for a child. I pay $18,360 a year in daycare! and it isn’t a fancy place…it is just kindercare. Add diapers and formula and all clothes and all of that. It is crazy so use this payoff as a chance to see how you would fit a baby in your life. It is very empowering.

    #686393 Reply

    All I can say is….please get some professional help. Financial planner and marriage counselor. So much emotion is wrapped up in money, and it sounds like your husband is frugal to the point where he cannot relinquish any control, and every penny is accounted for. You do sound fearful of him, and while he certainly has a right to be angry, it doesn’t sound like he has any interest in tackling your problems as a team. That, I think is the true problem here. You don’t think or act as a team. Your accounts are separate…house is under your name. Explain to him what happened. State you were fearful of his reaction, but that you cannot (will not) keep living in fear, and would like to approach the problem together. Perhaps have some numbers of financial and marriage counselors handy to show you are willing to make a major change. Hopefully he’ll be taken aback about how much you feared him and he’ll be willing to work with you. If not, well…I suppose write in again. Seriously though, if you truly want kids, this guy may not be for you. You will never evah be truly financially “ready”. Are some times better than others? Sure! But your husband is in la la land if he thinks there will be a “right time.”

    #686404 Reply

    Ok, this is so totally unhealthy. You should not be afraid to tell your husband anything. The first thing you have to do is you have to tell him the truth. Tell him you feel really bad about keeping the truth of your debt from him, but you were afraid to tell him. Yes, he will probably be upset. Second, you guys are married and your money should all be one and the same!! A husband should not loan a wife money, and you should not have to pay him back! Your money and your debt are equally both of yours now and you both work together to pay off your debt. Personally I believe being married means you are a team and you don’t keep separate finances anymore…you also both stick to a budget for expenses and talk it over with each other before making any major purchases. Why don’t you sign up for some sessions with a financial counselor together. This might make your husband feel better too…that you really mean to stop spending too much. My husband and I have the goal of never spending more than we can pay back every month. So our credit cards always have a balance of zero each month when they get paid off. You have to resist much of the frivolous stuff that you don’t actually need in life. Then our other goal is we have a direct deposit set up to put a specific amount of our money into our retirement account every month. It really adds up over the years! Good luck.

    #686852 Reply

    Hey everyone, I know I keep saying this, but I really appreciate everyone’s input! I feel like I’m getting a lot of different information, but one single message, and that’s me and my husband need to communicate more…a lot more actually. I start individual therapy next week to work out why I’m basically turning into my estranged mother. We start couples counseling in a couple weeks to work on our communication.
    So, we actually figured out a plan together to get everything paid back, and this seems like it will be a good solution. While we did have to borrow a little from a friend, we are paying off the 2 lower balances cards in full, and transferring the other card for a 0% for 18 months. My husband is paying the friend back in full next month, and then I will repay him as I can.

    We have had a lot of conversations this week that have really sucked. Truthfully, at the beginning of the week, I wish I hadn’t said anything. My husband is not the most sensitive person. At the beginning of the week, there was a lot of jabs from him to me. By midweek, I didn’t know what kind of mood he would wake up in. So by that time, I decided that even though I made a mistake, I wouldn’t ever try to make him feel this shitty if it was the other way around. So I talked to him about it. I know this seems like the natural reaction, but for the last couple years of our relationship, we just quit letting each other in. His grandfather was diagnosed with lung cancer, and he shut down. I thought he would just work through it by himself, but what I failed to see is that he didn’t know how to process something like this. I come from a medical based family, and have been in the field the majority of my life. Cancer doesn’t send me into a panic, it’s just part of life for a lot of people. While I absolutely had empathy for him, he didn’t know how to talk to me about this. It built resentment for him, towards the cancer, towards his grandfather for smoking his whole life, and me for not making a better effort to have his back.

    His grandfather has been in remission for the past year, but had a relapse in December. They started a new treatment with high hopes of success. Unfortunately, we got news on Thursday that it has progressed to stage 4. We don’t know how much time we have left with him. I guess this snapped some perspective in my husband. He came home and apologized for his actions, acknowledged hypocritical actions throughout the week (saying to stop beating myself up – but then throwing in my face what I did repeatedly), and basically he doesn’t want to loose our marriage, and he will do anything. He said that if counseling will help us be more open and honest, then giving it 6-7 sessions couldn’t hurt anything. We have been reading blogs, and I let him read this as well.

    I have a shopping addiction, I have low self esteem too. Most likely, they influence each other. When I don’t feel my worth, I buy stuff to boost me up. I watched my mother do this repeatedly to my dad. My dad died when I was a teenager, and left me with a bipolar, narcissistic, pill popping mother. I took care of the house/bills/her starting at 15, until she kicked me out at 17. Since then, we have had an on/off relationship. We have been estranged for over a year now (this time). This time all my siblings cut contact as well. She attacks all of our marriages, she has stolen my credit card and rang it up before (think close to $8000 – this was before I was married – never told my husband that was part of the debt he helped me with early in our relationship), attacked how I looked (if my hair is not blonde – I apparently look like a whore), constantly told that if I don’t do XYZ for her that I’m disappointing my deceased father, and a host of other things. My siblings have stolen from me in the past as well. I have never been to therapy, and I’m probably wayyy over due.

    My husband asked me why I never told him any of this, and all I can think is that I hate pity. I didn’t want anyone to handle my mess, and I’m ashamed of where I come from. I don’t want to tell him that my mother doesn’t like him, or his wonderful family who have taken me in as their own.

    So the plan is therapy, therapy, and more therapy. Keep the no contact with my mom. Stop buying anything but necessities, and basically try to be a healthier person.

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