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!