(recently joined)
03/06/11 10:34 PM
Would like to get some input...

I have been in a mostly bad marriage for almost 19 years, and together with my husband for a total of about 23. We have younger children that we had in the few good years we had together (we had gone through counseling, got back on track or rather on track to begin with at that time, and things were good for a few years, though still with normal challenges).

Anyway, I discovered very recently that my husband has been lying to me, probably most of our marriage, but for certain for the past 7+ years about money. I found out by accident with a routine insurance thing, which led me to find out he took a $3,000 loan on our old truck that has been paid off for years. My husband lied to me about this when I confronted him and he said it was a mistake and the bank must have never taken the lien off the truck when we paid it off years prior. I decided to peek into that account (my husband keeps an account of his own, and so do I, though I also maintain our joint money). In doing so, I found out he has a credit card from that bank with a balance of $14,500. I was stunned because I'm always nervous about money, we've never seemed to have enough, even though we are both educated and have pretty decent jobs. Money is such a security issue for me as my parents did nothing but fight over money my entire childhood. So for my husband to do this, I was livid.

I confronted him that night with my further discovery. In arguing over it, I asked him if there were any more cards, certain there wasn't. But then, he admitted there were others. I grabbed his wallet, took out every credit card and made him look up each balance on the computer while I stood next to him to figure out the damage. By the end of the night, I had learned he had racked of $55,000 in debt in credit card crap - no big puchases around the house mind you, no gambling, no luxury items - he pissed away $55,000 $80...$100...$150 at a time on crap like sporting goods, lunches/beers out with the boys, automotive stuff, etc., etc. Nothing to show for any of it!!! I asked him several times if that was everything. Point blank asked him, thinking there really couldn't be any more and since he was so busted already, he must be telling me the truth. The next morning, he hands me a sticky note with two more large dollar numbers on it. He had two more cards I did not know about that totalled up to another several thousand dollars - grand total by the end of the weekend...almost $85,000! I don't even know how someone could do that in credit card charges. But I looked at several of his statements...he bought crap, and then paid a butt load of interest and late charges, and all kinds of stuff. He had been taking cash advances to give me money for the bills he pays (I send them in), and he ran out of credit card credit, so he had to take the loan on the truck. I have no clue what he was thinking hiding this from me for at least 7 years (we bought a house seven years ago and I saw all our outstanding debt, which was minimal, with the closing papers at the time, so I know it wasn't nearly this bad seven years ago).

To make matters worse, he lied to me all of last year until it was time to take our taxes in. He screwed up on a 401k investment by moving some of that money into a supposed high yield thing that turned out to be like taking a loan on his 401k - he is so stupid with money it makes me sick and he never reads the fine print. Anyway, he confessed in a very tearful apology last year because he had gotten laid off, couldn't repay the loan and had to take it as a distribution which caused all kinds of penalties and taxes - we were in for about a $10k tax burden. Well, he had earned about 7K toward it during that year buying and flipping things on Craig's List. We had to cover the $3k, but I was actually super supportive (even surprised myself!!! lol), and I asked him a the time if there were any other secrets or any other things I should know about. He looked me right in the eye and said there wasn't. Over the past several months, he had many opportunities to come clean because he had been getting later and later on giving me money for the bills. Each time, I would ask (because I know he's not the sharpest knife in the drawer on money, but I just never suspected anything like this) if he had the money or was something up. Month after month he lied to me and told me he had the money.

So add all of this financial disaster on top of an already bad marriage - we have not been friends in years, have very little in common anymore as we have grown up together and I guess further apart, we have the most pathetic sex life on the planet in which I sadly have to always initiate or almost beg or nag for sex (quite humiliating for a woman who always hears her girlfriends complain that their husbands always want sex and they are so tired of it), and we argue a lot, always have.

As I type this out, I can hear myself tell anyone else in this situation to run, run away, as fast as you can, get away from the walking financial disaster who lies too damn well (I'm telling you, the last guy you'd expect this from if you knew him). But we have kids together, and while I've always said in theory I don't think people should stay together for the kids because kids can spot a crappy marriage and will repeat their parents mistakes if that's all they are exposed to, but it's quite another to take my kids' dad away from them on a daily basis (he'd still be involved in their lives a lot, just not there every day). And then there's the whole history together, and while a lot of it has been just crap, we still have been together 23 years and our entire adult lives thus far. Not sure how to just turn my back on that. And I do love him, but I realize I have been his doormat forever. He doesn't respect me to be able to do this, certainly doesn't care much about me to do this (though he says he never made those connections when he was spending). I have a ton of resentment for him right now. But my heart still has a lot of feelings for him.

He said he would seek a counselor's help, and even asked me to find him one, which I did within the hour. It's been three weeks since all this occurred and he's had the counselor's information for two weeks now, yet no attempt to seek help. He keeps saying he will, but work has been super busy. And while it has been busy for him, I just really think that this is so huge and so important that he could find time to go out and make a call in the hallway or outside or something. It's such a lame excuse.

So please, folks, please weigh in...let me hear what you think as strangers listening to a story...unbiased...not knowing either of us...what would you do if this happened to you? I think I really do need to get out, and a big part of me does want him to just go away and lead his life and let me move on with mine, but I'm very, very scared. I will likely be alone the rest of my life, because I'm 40, with three kids, and serious trust issues with men given the one man who was supposed to take care of me and my kids let me down in such a big, big way. And I wouldn't trust a man around my three beautiful daughters because of all the whacky stuff you hear about boyfriends and stepdads around a woman's kids. My girls are my world and I have to protect them...even if it means from getting financially ruined by their father.

So thoughts? I appreciate your time!

03/07/11 12:45 PM
Re: Would like to get some input...

Walkd, I'm sad to hear of your situation. You're right. DON'T stay for the sake of the kids, but there are things to consider before taking that step. You will be responsible for half of his debt, most likely. He will be unable to afford a place of his own. It may be very hard for the kids to see that and there's always the risk of the kids blaming you. However, those two things, while difficult to accept, are easier than living with a liar that will likely continue his spending behavior since by staying, you will in essance, enable his behavior.

Also, hire a private detective. I don't know a man alive who doesn't need sex. Perhaps his purchases are made while courting other relationships (AKA affairs). Have him followed and make sure that even when he does give in to your nagging for sex, there isn't actually 3 in the bed.

Best wishes. Divorce is really very hard. But there is light at the end of the tunnel and you and your kids will survive.

(recently joined)
03/07/11 01:49 PM
Re: Would like to get some input...

Thanks for listening and for the input. I did a full credit search for both me and my husband, and the cards are all in his name. I consulted with a bankruptcy attorney, along with a divorce attorney, and both assure me I'm off the hook for the debt strictly in his name. That doesn't mean it feels good watching us have to sell our assets in order to help him dig his way out. But he is looking at chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy, depending if I leave or not - no way around it, he can't pay those bills. If I leave, I think I actually help him a bit financially because he could probably get chapter 7, especially having to pay child support.

I am 100% sure about no affairs...i combed through pages and pages of the credit card statements, and before all this happened, we had had many years arguing over sex. There is a great website by a female counselor who wrote a book about guys like this...some just really do have lower sex drives and there are women out there like me beating themselves up thinking they aren't attractive enough, or good enough in bed, or that their partners are out there cheating on them. Though I was big time lied to on the money, I know there's no other women. Doesn't make any of this any easier, and as crazy as this sounds, I wish it was an affair I was dealing with rather than the $84k and a decade of lying. At least affairs usually come out after even a few years, and the man usually wants to clearly stay or clearly leave.

This feels like a bigger mess, though I don't know for sure and I feel bad for anyone on the forums who are dealing with affairs. A good friend of mine is dealing with that right now and her heartache is every bit as bad as mine.

Thanks again for listening. I know I have a lot to think about.

03/08/11 07:52 AM
Re: Would like to get some input...

Many more details are needed. How much income does he earn? How much does he keep for himself? How much do you earn?

As for the CC debt, it is marital debt. Upon divorce, you will be "awarded" half the debt in most states, and in others, the person that makes the most money gets more.

Unless he or both of you can file for BK now, you will each get 1/2 the debt. If either qualifies, they can file chapter 7 or 13 after the divorce, then what you wrote applies.

Also with divorce, whoever keeps the house must pay the other 1/2 the equity. Retirements and all assets are split.

With a 23 year marriage, if there is a significant difference in incomes, the higher wage earner will pay alimony, and possible for life depending on the state.

Beyond that, the condesending tone you used in your post when you talked about your husband is horrible. He probably doesn't tell the truth because he's afraid of you. He didn't even tell you he was laid off for gosh sakes.....anyone that wouldn't tell their spouse that is getting no support, and has got to be psychologically beaten into the ground first.

(Carpal \'Tunnel)
03/08/11 12:06 PM
Re: Would like to get some input...

I would have his paycheck direct deposited into the family account, rather than into his personal account and you manage those bills as best as you can. Perhaps you can put a flag on his credit so that if anybody, including him, applies for credit in his name/ssn, you will be notified (obviously it would have to SAY he is being notified, but it would be at YOUR phone number or email address).

I don't imagine I could divorce over this, but I would put measures in place to protect your assets and try to prevent further debt on his part. It'll be a long, long road.

You could also try some consumer debt counseling. Sometimes they can get the credit card companies to lower their interest rates so that the debt can be paid off faster.

03/09/11 09:31 AM
Re: Would like to get some input...

Have you ever thought that the reason your husband did this is because you are so controlling and freaked out over money? He probably didn't feel as if he could just go out and purchase something he wanted without a fight. I don't think this should be all put on him, I think you should take some responsibility also. What he did was wrong, but it sounds as if he felt the need to hide it from you because he didn't want the fight. I wouldn't divorce him over it I would get some couples couseling to work on both of your issues.

(recently joined)
03/11/11 01:22 AM
Re: Would like to get some input...

To both Dedicated Dad and Lauramc27...first off, I did put myself out there asking for help from strangers, so I get that I opened myself up to your criticism. But I have to clear up a few things, make a couple of comments, and then clearly never return to this forum again because it has not been the source of help I was looking for. I tried to be as detailed as I could in my story (which I now wish to just remove but cannot - if anyone knows how to help me get my initial post off, I'd like to do that)...

But a couple of things...I am not sure why you are blaming me for my husband spending $84k in useless credit card debt and lying to me about it for years. You don't know me from Adam, but I will tell you, I have always been very supportive of my husband. And while I do freak about money, that has been in the area of controlling my own spending habits and making sure we fully discussed our options together before any major purchases - like a new house or a car, etc., etc. Like any married couple should do. But I was never some flaming, controlling [censored] over money with him - quite the opposite. If I were, do you honestly think he could have gotten away with racking up so much money in debt and not telling me about it all these years???

In fact, if anything, he controlled more of the money because he gave me a set amount from his monthly checks to cover certain bills, and he kept a fair amount back for his own fun spending - we came up with that system years ago to make sure we didn't argue over money since I'm the saver and he's the spending. And he had what should have been plenty of fun money each month. I didn't even blink at that fun money once, though I would have preferred he put more of it in savings. Never questioned a dime because it was "blow money" we agreed upon.

So please stop going around making sweeping statements about people and judging them so harshly when you only have a certain number of facts. Clearly, my husband has some sort of spending addiction because we're not talking about $10 or $20k in hidden debt, we are talking $84. Even if the theory that my husband racked up debt and lied about it because I was some Atillah the Hun of a wife wasn't so ridiculous, are you seriously suggesting that it makes sense that he would spend THAT kind of money that he didn't have? Do you not understand he was not just hurting me and the kids, but himself? He will ruin his credit for several years, and it's amazing he didn't need Xanax or something while he tried to juggle payments and hide bills. He needs help, not justification for his problem. Clearly, even if he were single, he would have done this, and probably owe much, much more without having anyone else to consider. You don't blow $84k on a whole lot of nothing just because your wife wants you to have a savings account and no credit card debt. That's ludicrous. While I've never been through a 12-step program, I'm pretty sure the way addiction works (any kind of addiction) is not to pull in others to share the blame, but to accept your own accountability. I did not do this to my husband, and I think it's wrong for you to imply that.

My husband would be the first to tell you that whenever he has found himself in a tight spot, some trouble, or in need of advice, I have always been number one on my husband's side and very nuturing because I love him very much - why do you think this betrayal is torturing me so much? Others might have packed up that night. I have always been there for my husband and never shredded him, even when he admittedly goofed up on stuff.

I think I was entitled to be very upset that first night I found out and I think anyone would be, but within days, I completely forgave the money and the lying - that doesn't necessarily mean that I can stay in the marriage because there is a serious trust issue at play in an already strained marriage, but I did not harbor any ill-will against him or hate him or anything. In fact, I prayed for him, helped him find a counselor, and told both of those attorneys I met with that I didn't want to sink my husband if we were to split up and that I wanted to help him pay off his debt and get help. Does that honestly sound like the first concerns of someone so awful as both of you have painted me?

Beyond that, there are a couple of things Dedicated Dad got wrong...my husband did not lie about being laid off, not sure where you got that from. I was home when he came home that day, and when he told me, I gave him a big hug and said, "no problem, we'll be fine, I'm working, we'll be fine." And btw, the debt is really not mine, I will not be "awarded" any of it - I did verify it with two attorneys, so you either got some bad advice or are in a different state than me. But since the debt is in his name alone, and since it was not used for our household expenses with me not working (that's the only caveat, but neither applies in our case), it is not mine. I want to point that out because, had I not known that, or if you are going around telling other bankruptcy breakups that advice, you will be out there unnecessarily scaring the crap out of some people.

So apart from all of this, I have to say one final thing to DD and Lauramc27...people come to this forum for help...people are distraught and confused and hurting, just like me. For some, their pain is so fresh that they reach out and find forums like this because they have no other outlet but need some immediate help. I think it is terrible that you would make such negative comments back to posters without knowing the full details. And I think it's horrible you are so quick to make comments of blame. Make no mistake, that doesn't mean I would tolerate you saying nasty things about my husband either - he is still a very good guy. I'd be giving you an equal lecture on the "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all," adage, too!

I won't be back to this forum ever again, but I do hope you think twice before you say such nasty things to people who are already hurting. Certainly tell them what you would do if you were in that situation if they've asked you to weigh in, empathize where you can, and respectfully disagree when you can, but please just stop judging them with disdain. If you can't help yourself, then stay off their posts.

(recently joined)
03/11/11 01:30 AM
Re: Would like to get some input...

See my post to you below...

07/04/11 01:05 PM
Re: Would like to get some input...

Your husband has big problems with money. You did not cause him to spend foolishly and rack up the credit cards. His actions show complete disregard not only to you, but to his children and their welfare. This is NOT how a normal, responsible person behaves.

The fact that there really does not seem to be a marriage between you is another hurdle. I would say he is passive aggressive, and IF he is, then my advice to you would be to get out of the marriage as soon as possible, or you will spend the rest of your life in a sexless, joyless, and debted union.

This is really a question of what you want to do with the rest of your life and how you want to live it. Many times with counceling, a person changes, but only for a few weeks or months....then they regress back to their old ways.

If you truly believe your life with him is worth saving the marriage, then do all you can to make it work. But, if your heart says it will be years before you can truly have a good marriage, it may be wise to start to live the life you want.

(recently joined)
07/07/11 10:48 PM
Re: Would like to get some input...

I have to agree with Eve. I would add that you want to establish your own credit in your own name. This will impact your credit score. You also want to remove your name from joint credit cards... or close them entirely. You also need to take over all of the finances. He can't make a claim that he is better suited to manage this aspect. The bigger problem is going to be the lack of trust, respect, and love in your relationship. That will take professional therapy.

(recently joined)
06/04/12 02:38 PM
Re: Would like to get some input...

My name is Sherry Calhoun and I'm casting a new documentary based on a growing trend in relationships. I am looking for couples who are Divorced or Legally Separated and are still Living Together. Please feel free to pass the information on to your clients, friends, family members, or anyone with an interesting story to share. If you have further questions, I can be reached directly at the number provided below.

Sherry Calhoun
Casting Producer

(recently joined)
09/07/12 09:56 AM
Reply: Would like to get some input...

The first question is will you or can you really trust him! I have been thru similar situation and stayed 18 years. Dont wast your life on what ifs. Life is short and if your second guessing you have already made the decision. The fact that he didnt even attempt to go to counseling after a couple weeks is already proof he doesn't acknowledge he has problems. Sit down with the kids explain you love there dad but you have grown apart for many reasons. Be honest dont lie or hide things that is what is causing the trust issue. Good Luck!

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