This topic contains 109 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by LisforLeslie 2 months ago.
May 13, 2017 at 10:34 am #686855
That’s all good and sounds like progress for the most part. The thing that continues to concern me is that it sounds like it’s been a few times now that your finances have been out of control and multiple other people have had to bail you out – most recently, your husband, bosses, AND a friend. You need to be able to get yourself out of these situations and not keep repeating the pattern of having to be saved. You say you don’t like pity, but then you get yourself into a huge jam that you can’t fix by yourself. Not healthy or fair. If you’ve had to be bailed out ONCE, you should hate that feeling enough that you don’t let it happen again. Having to borrow money from a friend to cover your shopping addiction is really bad. I hope this is really a wake up call.May 13, 2017 at 10:58 am #686857
I would also suggest, since you haven’t demonstrated that you can spend responsibly, that you cut up any high-limit credit cards you have and only carry one that has a limit like $500. Or only use debit. If I were your husband, I’d want you to do that. It sounds like you have an illness that you aren’t able to control at this point, and credit cards are enabling you.May 13, 2017 at 11:08 am #686858
I completely agree, that this has become a destructive pattern with me. For the time being, I have locked my credit cards up, even though my husband didn’t think it was necessary. Until I feel comfortable on the reason why I continue a destructive pattern, I will not be using these, and sticking to cash only.
It sounds really stupid, but I was not ever taught about money, when my dad passed away, all of my adult brothers disappeared basically. My mom would run us overdrawn on the bank account about $2000 monthly, went through $500,000 life insurance money, and my entire $70,000 college fund in under 2 years. While I didn’t know about the college fund or insurance money until it was too late, I would just run the checks to the bank, and make sure the bills were paid. My mom was in a state of grief that she would just take an ungodly amount of pills and shop all day. I can remember coming home to like 7-8 boxes on the front porch daily, and her laughing about the fact that she didn’t have to hide them anymore since dad died.
I don’t have an excuse for making the same mistake 2 times in my relationship, and I completely understand his position that if I do this again, he will not be able to continue our marriage.
I’m putting our financial future in jeopardy, and that is not fair to him, or any kids we may have in the future. Some of you may find it harsh that he would not stand by me, but if I continue a behavior that I know is destructive, what advice would you give him? Probably that he should MOA.
I hope that with therapy and honest communication with my spouse that I can get past this. I don’t want to be this person anymore, and I want to stop letting material things effect who I am.May 13, 2017 at 11:40 am #686860
I don’t know if I’d tell him to leave you after 10 years, but yeah, when I first read your post I didn’t realize this is something you keep doing, and that you would not be able to pay it off yourself after cutting up your cards. I’d tell him if he’s going to stay with you he needs to make it clear that this cannot happen again, make sure you get counseling, and not allow you to have any credit cards. Even if you had a debit or low-limit card, I’d want to see the statements online. This is what my dad does with my brother who’s unable to manage money. I might encourage you to merge your finances and he just takes over the money management completely. I don’t know.May 13, 2017 at 1:13 pm #686864
PS, I think a lot of the responses about your husband being abusive or a dick were because it sounded like you’d gotten your act together financially years ago and not had any problems since, so “he’ll leave me” seemed out of left field. It’s why I said if that’s where your mind is going, something is wrong foundationally with your marriage. Which it is, in terms of lack of communication and honesty, and not being open about your issues.May 13, 2017 at 3:31 pm #686875
@katie, you’ve been through so much in your life that you’ve had to overcome and I commend you for taking these steps toward healing. You should be proud of how far you’ve come. I know many people with less trauma or disordered parenting who are far less introspective and mature as you’re being here. I’m wishing you all the best!May 15, 2017 at 9:26 am #686954
my sister struggles with anxiety and depression and her way of coping with it is to live beyond her means. She has filed bankruptcy once, has been living with my parents rent-free for 2.5 years all the while not saving up any money considering she has no expenses. She went back to school and got student loans. She has a credit card that is always maxed. She says she feels like a burden, hates living at home, hates that she can’t afford things but the thing is, she gladly lets ppl bail her out time and time again. Myself included, but those days have been over for a long time. If you feel like a burden, it’s only on you – dig in deep and deal with the retail therapy. My sister is 38 and has no problem buying stuff for herself like wine, clothes, expensive shoes and pets but then wonders why she has no money. She is extremely defensive when we offer help in the form of financial budgeting, she doesn’t want anyone looking at her habits. Only way she’ll deal with it and yourself is if you are the one bailing yourself out, not the other way around otherwise what have you learned?May 15, 2017 at 9:42 am #686956
@katie I’m late to the party but I just wanted to chime in and say that I was raised in a somewhat similar home situation and that’s why I now have debt. My parents were very irresponsible with money even though it seemed we never did without necessities. The fact is now they are in their 60s, relatively young, and having to file for bankruptcy due to my father’s spending and my mother turning a blind eye plus all of their medical expenses. They’re also going to lose their house and it’s all very overwhelming.
I was never taught that credit cards are bad or that you should save up for things your really want. It seems like common sense but I was just never taught that way. My parents just put it on credit. I’ve had to teach myself and take some financial classes as an adult. I recommend Financial Peace or Dave Ramsey classes if you have the opportunity. Or he even says to just go get his books from the library for free. It really has educated me on debt pay off, savings and where to invest my money. It’s better late than never to turn things around.
I hope thing work out for you and your husband and that you learn from your mistakes. I’m continually learning from mine and determined not to end up like my parents.October 12, 2017 at 4:38 pm #723203
Hi all, I just wanted to update you guys on where I’m at 6 months after coming clean with my husband about my debt.
So after all was said and done, I will be totally debt free next month! This is a huge weight lifted, and I never want to feel that crummy again.
I basically cut down to the bare basics, and me and my husband got a joint credit card that we now put all expenses on. I set a monthly limit for myself, and getting notified before I reach it helps keep things on budget. When all this happened, I set a weekly limit with cash, and did that religiously for about 4 months. After that we got the card, and that’s the only one I still feel comfortable carrying. I still get sad and want to buy stuff, but now I just shut the phone down and walk away, which feels pretty empowering for me. I know it’s what “normal” people are able to do no problem, but I could justify a purchase on anything.
I went to a few counselors, but haven’t had success finding one that sticks. One went on maternity leave 2 weeks in (but all she wanted to do was get me re connected with my mom – and that’s a hard limit for me), one was (hopefully) just having a bad day because she really just wanted to vent about her relationship, and the final one told me pretty much what I already knew. That I bought stuff to make me happy because I was raised by a woman who showed affection this way.
Eh, I may try to find someone eventually, but right now I feel strongly that I will never mess up that bad again. Plus, couple therapy was much more successful.
Me and the husband went to about 6 therapy sessions, and they definitely gave us some insight on how to communicate better. I was really shocked at how much he participated (since he was dreading it). We were both extremely independent, and had been on our own forever, that it was hard for us to see each other as a team member. Since the sessions, my husband seems much more forthcoming with how he feels, and what is bothering him, without making me feel like I’m being “attacked” or pestering him for info. We actually feel like we got to have a little bit of a reset. He doesn’t bring up my finances, but does check in with me about once a month to make sure that we are reaching our goals. We want to travel more next year, update our house (yes he is now on the mortgage lol), and start thinking about me going back to school. We have decided to go back to the counselor every 6 months to stay on track, at least for a couple years.
Since I’m not buying everything I see that’s pretty, these are all reachable things for us.
His grandfather passed away last week after a long battle with cancer, and that was extremely hard, but he is being very open with his feelings, which is a big change from where we were a year ago. I feel able to talk to him without feeling like I’m bothering him.
Me and my husband are in no way “perfect”, and we still argue, but it feels more constructive. He is still working on his knee jerk reaction to my buying stuff (the 2 hour argument over a $10 coffee travel mug comes to mind – that was in the 2nd month before counseling) At least now, if I buy something, and he doesn’t agree with it, all I have to say is “it’s within my weekly budget” and he backs off. I’m sure he goes and logs in just to make sure that I’m not lying, but that is the consequence for lying. It rarely even happens anymore, but I don’t mind him keeping me in check. I know he’s looking out for what we really want to do long term, rather than the insta-gratification high I would get from shopping.
Sorry that this is long, but you all really gave me some perspectives I would not have considered (especially in my VERY BIG PANIC MOMENT), and I really appreciate it.October 12, 2017 at 6:27 pm #723212
That’s a great update, it really sounds like positive changes in your relationship. Even with family tragedy you’ve continued forward and I think that’s a good sign. Keep it up!October 12, 2017 at 6:37 pm #723218
That’s a great update, Katie! Congratulations on being almost debt-free.October 12, 2017 at 6:42 pm #723219
That is awesome. Congratulations on doing the hard work to get to where you are now.