Financial Problems in MarriageWhen financial times are tough, it adds to the stress we deal with on a daily basis. This section is for talking about how financial problems affect our relationships and ways to cope.
Over the weekend, I finally came clean to my extremely sensible husband about a loan and a credit card that I had gotten without his knowledge.
Let me say that I was making my payments and everything was current. The balances just under 6K.
We are self employed with decent income. My husband who is a whiz at money matters paid off all our "together" debt, meaning the debt that he knew about and we were essentially debt free other than our mortgage. He even bought me a Mercedes last year and paid it off in less than a year. He's that awesome!
Because of our businesses, I got us into some trouble with payroll taxes a few years back and initially took an easy access loan to pay them rather than tell my husband that I messed up so bad with payroll taxes.
The problem was that it was too easy access, I managed to blow through thousands on trips to Vegas, the Caribbean, and to see family in another state. I did have a second actual job where all the money went to buy whatever I wanted and he was okay with that part. I just didn't tell him that that for every 500 I made, I was spending 1000.00
Because he is such a whiz with money, he refinanced our house to get us a sub 4 mortgage, my loans and such are obviously on my credit report along with an unpaid utility bill from when I put utilities in my name for our son and he didn't pay the bill. If I had known I would have paid it! Rightfully, my husband is hurt and upset that I went behind his back and did these things.
Today, he paid off my debt, closed the accounts and essentially wiped out our emergency fund to fix my mistake. My fault. I know what I did was wrong, it wasn't actually the first time I had hid things from him, but never to this degree.
I know there has to be someone here who is on the other side with a spouse that did this and was able to work through it.
We love each other, had rough times in the past and will survive this too but what can I do to help him with the hurt. I have no problem letting him know what I spend, when I spend it. It's not like he's ever denied me anything, I have no idea why I felt the need to be secretive!
Any suggestions would be most appreciated. He is quite calm about it where I would have been smokin furious. But the trust is now shattered and I want to do anything I can to get that back no matter how long it takes.
You (and your businesses) need to be an open book to him. nothing hidden. You said that wasn't the only thing you hid from him. if there is something that is going to come back and bite you in your a$$ later, come clean now. if it is dead and gone, say a prayer every night that your husband is sticking with you.
If he doesn't deny you things, I would guess the secretiveness was because you got a thrill from it.
What I find odd about what happened is that you were taking trips to Vegas, that you were working a second job to pay for these things, and he didn't know. If I were to guess, I'd say the reason he is so calm is that he feels that he should have known, or should have questioned, or something along those lines.
I don't really know what to tell you about how to rebuild the trust. I guess the best way to go about it is to be an open book. Let him know everything you spend, let him see the business books, be open and honest, don't spend money without talking to him first, even just for a coffee.
Just like with an affair, it will take time for him to learn to trust you again. And I wouldn't be surprised if he doesn't trust you in other areas as well, for a while. He may begin to wonder if you could be less than honest about money, what else might you be less than honest about. So be prepared to be an open book with every aspect of your life, if that's what he wants/needs.
And if you think that stopping the spending might be an issue, then consider taking some courses in money management to help you get that under control.
I went through something somewhat similar. I had racked up thousands of dollars in debt while in grad school - credit cards, loans, etc. It was getting harder and harder to pay everything, and I ended up missing a few months' payments on one of the credit cards. Needless to say, they put the hounds on me. I had to come up with a lot of $$, quick. I went to my mother, and she helped with some of it, but I absolutely had to come clean to my husband. He was incredibly understanding, supportive, and helpful - we figured out how to get it all under control. However, in our discussion I promised that I would never let that happen again - and I have been completely true to that word. I cut up all my credit cards, except for one joint card that we both have online access to, and basically just quit charging things cold turkey. If I didn't have enough cash for something, I didn't buy it. That was 3.5 years ago - and I'm thrilled to say that I've stuck with it, and it's now become habit/second nature. I don't even think of charging things anymore, nor do I want to.
I think just by demonstrating over a period of time that I could keep my promise was what rebuilt the trust on this issue.
Well, I am on the receiving side of this for the second time.
I am self employed and my wife handled the books for accounts payable. 14 or so months ago, it was revealed to me that not only had we burned through our reserve funds, but we were now in debt to the tune of $30,000 or so on bank cards and overdraft protections... Through the generous help of my mother, she provided an open ended loan to us to make us solvent again.
Money has still been tight and I was foolish enough to believe the my wife wouldn't let this happen again. She had since gotten a job and was continuing to handle the bills because I was handling accounts payable with my clients.
The thing that really got me was that we had been talking for about her getting a job for quite a bit of time because our health insurance coverage was brushing up to the $20,000/yr mark. Now with her knowing we were slowly sinking deeper and deeper into debt, she realy had no sense of urgency in finding employment.
Yesterday I got the shock of my life when a credit report was pulled so that we could refinance. The report showed about $11,000 in revolving credit outstanding again. My initial reaction was that this was an error, how could it be real, she promised she would talk to me. So I showed it to my wife and asked (truly, no accusations) . Needless to say my naivete got the better of me and now I am in the position of being fooled twice.
I feel I can no longer trust her. This goes beyond the money now. She promised she would tell me if we weren't meeting our expenses and she didn't. I wanted to show I could still trust her after the first time. I am at my wits end and don't know if I can ever trust her again.
So, subdued, there it is from the other side. I've been fooled twice, now I'm the one feeling bad.
Been on the other end of this. With some huge numbers and a total lack of honesty. And we are still just about together so it can get better. Do what my wife didnt - show you understand how damaging this and the lies have been by what you actually do day by day. It's about changing your behaviour not about words.