Husband Won't Give Up Failing Business
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Navigation »Talk About Marriage »Focused Topics »Financial Problems in Marriage » Husband Won't Give Up Failing Business

Financial Problems in Marriage When 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.

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Old 03-13-2011, 11:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Husband Won't Give Up Failing Business

I have been married for 20 years. It is the second marriage for both of us. I am 60 and he is 54. We have 2 children in college.

When we married we were both working and already had established careers. We work in the same type of business.
Seven years into the marriage he came home one day and said he was going into business for himself. He had already given his 2 weeks notice and had done the legal work to form an LLC. I was shocked and upset that he didn't talk this over with me first. He said I knew he always intended to do this. My father had just died that WEEK and I was emotionally exhausted so I said OK, give it a go. At the time I was working as a freelancer so I could stay home with our two young children most of the time, and not making much money.

He promised he would bring home as much money per month as he had before, when he was working for a company. That didn't last long. He brought home several hundred dollars less but kept insisting it took awhile for a business to get going. So we struggled for 5 years. Then 10 years. He wanted me to help him with his business but I was resentful about the lack of money. He also refused to give me details about how much he was making with the business.

One year he redecorated his offices, at a time when we could hardly pay our bills. He never gave himself a raise, ever. To this day his once a month paycheck is the same. He said it was a business expense he had to make the investment and it didn't affect our family finances.

Then he moved to a bigger office, bought more equipment, all the while flatly refusing to let me see the books of his business. He said he didn't trust me because I was unsupportive and would only criticize him.

Since the first year of his business he has treated himself to an expensive trip to a large sporting event once a year. He says he pays for it out of his business, but I became very angry that he could spend money on that while we struggled so much. I had to borrow money from my parents to pay bills. He said the vacations (which I did not go on, but our son did when he got older) were not my concern because he wasn't spending "our" money.

He has never been able to afford ANY employees, he hires a few people to come in and work by the hour as free lancers. After 8 years of minimal health insurance and struggling to pay bills, and deep debt, I took on a full time job, mainly for the health insurance.

Things got a little better, but the day I started my new job I found out he was having an affair. I eventually found out he'd had multiple affairs, mostly with clients. Having his own office, not having to account for his whereabouts all day, and working late into the night made it all so easy. I considered divorce, but I really do love him and I didn't want our kids, who were 13 and 15 at the time, to suffer from a divorce. He wanted to save the marriage so we did, although it took 2 years for him to stop seeing the other women completely. He lied a lot.

I managed to get into his office when he wasn't there and look through his files. He is deeply in debt and his mother is giving him thousands of dollars a month to prop up this failing business. He has no idea that I know. He continues to say he doesn't trust me enough to tell me about his business finances. He says he is making money, just not much. Says he is doing his best. But he continues to splurge on things for himself, saying it is his right to spend his business money as he sees fit and I have nothing to complain about so long as he brings home the same paycheck every month. Only he often misses a month. He has not paid himself so far this year at all.

A little over a year ago I inherited a large sum of money. The account is in my name only. I told him that I was afraid he was going to go bankrupt and creditors would come after my inheritance if his name was on the account. He insists bc it is an LLC, they can't. BUT I have also learned that the protection of an LLC disappears if you mix personal and business finances, which he does all the time.

Today he was leaving on a trip and asked me if I would make a deposit for him...a thousand dollars out of my inheritance account into his business. This is a first. He left in a hurry so I emailed him and asked what it was for and said I didn't want to start paying bills for his company. He didn't respond.

I don't know what to do. I can't force him to shut his business down. He says he will never do it, that he doesn't want to go back to working for someone else.

My kids have had to grow up without so many things, including a father who was home very much, and I am resentful that we never could afford any family vacations, or a new house. I am putting my kids through college with my inheritance and it will have to pay for our retirement too. Of course we never saved any money, we had so little. I figured one time that he made the equivalent of minimum wage each year. I paid off all our personal debts (not his business debt), including our mortgage with my inheritance money and now it feels like he thinks its just a money tree. I offered to give him $20,000 to pay off some of his business debt but in exchange he would have to open his books to me. He refused.

I feel so defeated and angry, but I'm 60 and have to think about retirement, not divorce and starting over. I dont' see how he can EVER get out of the debt he is in with his business.

Should I give him an ultimatum?

Last edited by Twinky; 03-13-2011 at 11:29 PM.
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Old 03-14-2011, 05:46 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Husband Won't Give Up Failing Business

Wow! A lot of what you wrote sounds like my story. Those affairs are probably why the business is unprofitable. Your husband has no business sense or self-control when it comes to expenditures.

Does a CPA do your taxes? As in a joint return? And for the LLC? If so, make an appointment with him/her and go over some things. You really need to consult an attorney as well. You need to protect yourself. Unpaid creditors can go after so much and make life miserable.

My advice to you is to not give your husband a dime. He will drain you of every bit of the inheritance. If the business is not making money, it needs to close. Also, you can use this as leverage. Simply tell your husband you won't even consider giving him anything unless you see the company books and recent company bank statements.

I've been living a similar nightmare for the past four to six years. If your current situation is allowed to continue, you will have nothing left.

Hang in there and be firm with your husband.
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Old 03-14-2011, 03:59 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Husband Won't Give Up Failing Business

Don't give him any money. Lot's of people start businesses because they like the idea of self-employment, and they get an ego-charge out being "their own boss" but never put in the effort to actually learn and implement what it takes to succeed in business. So they make less money, have less stability, and work longer hours than if they had a regular job.
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Old 03-16-2011, 01:34 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Husband Won't Give Up Failing Business

OMG, I can really relate...except minus the affairs and I have always had access to his business books and accounts. My jaw dropped reading your horrific story. I am so sorry you are going through this!

I agree with the other advice. Do NOT give him any money. Talk to a lawyer because you need to find out if your house and inheritance would be lost if his business bankrupts.

He needs to get a job working for someone...a regular paycheck.

Only give ultimatums that you are willing to follow through with.
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Old 03-20-2011, 04:37 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Husband Won't Give Up Failing Business

We pay for everything ourselves, but I pay the rent and some of the food shopping. Luckily I have some money for myself, your much older then us but when I do open the books for her (when she asks) She gets lost with how and whats happening with my money.

I think sometimes our special other will be better of out of our business.

In your case when your offering money 20,000 to open the books and help him, it means one thing ... he knows that 20,000 is not enough. But yet he hopes, I have bad investments that I do not want to sell since I hope they will become better, and they are just at a low.

Anyway do yourself a favor hold your money for both of you so you can sport both him and you.
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Old 03-26-2011, 05:39 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Husband Won't Give Up Failing Business

I didn't give him any money for his business. I sent him an email saying I wouldn't give him any money without knowing what it was for and explaining that I was afraid his business was in trouble and didn't want to get started putting money into it. He replied that I was over reacting and he was just asking for some help, not trying to milk me for money. And it was never mentioned again.

notaname, yes he needs to get a job working for someone else, but he won't even talk about it. I can't make him do it.

827Aug, the same CPA does our joint tax return and his business taxes. He won't talk to me about the business because my name isn't on it.
I wish he would close his business, but he gets very angry if I even suggest it. Says I'm being unsupportive and critical. Those are the reasons he gave for being "mad and hurt" so badly that he turned to other women. In fact, he considers my supposed lack of support and "meanness" to be a worse "crime" against him than his multiple affairs were against me.
He's a textbook narcissist.
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Old 03-26-2011, 09:28 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Husband Won't Give Up Failing Business

See an attorney as soon as possible. I'm afraid that inheritance money will have to be divided if you live in a community state. I really hate to see you lose everything by staying with him. Please protect your assets. I should have filed for divorce about four years ago--before the estranged husband drained us of every thing we owned. I'm not in a good place now; I hate to see others follow my path of mistakes.
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Old 03-27-2011, 08:15 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Husband Won't Give Up Failing Business

I have talked to an attorney. I do not live in a community property state so my inheritance is safe so long as his name is not on the account.
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Old 03-28-2011, 04:36 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Husband Won't Give Up Failing Business

Quote:
Originally Posted by 827Aug View Post
See an attorney as soon as possible. I'm afraid that inheritance money will have to be divided if you live in a community state. I really hate to see you lose everything by staying with him. Please protect your assets. I should have filed for divorce about four years ago--before the estranged husband drained us of every thing we owned. I'm not in a good place now; I hate to see others follow my path of mistakes.
827 not to correct you because you give great advice, however inheritance is not community property as long as it is not cominguled with joint property.

The advice to get an attourney is definetly good and really with the affairs and his total disreguard for your security, or feelings, I would file at least for a seperation, if it were me I would file for divorce as what you are describing isnt a marriage
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Old 07-03-2012, 07:23 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Husband Won't Give Up Failing Business

Hiya, I don't know if your still in the same position, but a friend of mine was in literally an identical situation as you, only she found out when bailiffs came knocking at the door and she started getting calls from debt collection agencies.

Some how in the end they managed to sort it out, they attended couple counselling and were able to restart the business using a technique we have in the UK that allows you to close a failing unprofitable business and start a new one up in its ashes, they visited a few insolvency practitioners and they did all of the paperwork for them etc.

Anyway I hope every things fine and well by now x

Last edited by Richardwell25; 09-10-2012 at 03:56 AM.
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