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.
I don't know where to begin, but I will try..
My husband and I have been married 10 years and have a 4.5 year old child. My husband went to Iraq in 2010 and before he left we had probably $15,000 in debt. I was afraid to tell the truth, so I lied ( I know, and I am sorry) and told him we were 10k in debt, not 15k. With raised interest rates, we owe more now, so he thinks I spent over $5k while he was gone (I didn't). A few months ago he asked me what we owe, and I told him, no lies. Since that time he has been exceedingly cruel, cold, and insensitive..hateful even. He has always had a bit of a temper, but things got worse. I am remorseful for the debt I am responsible for. I have apologized and am doing the best I can to make it right. I have gone to CCC to have them reduce the interest rates to 7% (from 13-20% where they were) and I am signing up to become a pharmacy technician (the schooling will take 6 months or so to complete) so I can get the job and pay off the debt completely *ON MY OWN* without his help.
Tonight we were arguing about his treatment of me, and he said that he may never forgive me for my "betrayal" and the relationship is probably ruined, but that he still loves me. He also said to me "you have no rights in this relationship anymore." I was hurt and stunned. I said, I won't beg you to keep me, does that please you? And he said no. I know he has every right to his anger for the debt I incurred. He told me that he is choosing not to forgive me for this despite the fact that he might be ruining our marriage with his not forgiving eventually. I suspect that he had an affair this summer when I was in the hospital for 3 days (my child was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes), and is holding the debt over my head as a way to feel superior or to excuse his betrayal of me. I feel less than human. I told him, just admit you are trying to chase me off and that you have someone on the side, and I will leave with grace, no argument. He denies an affair. When I asked if he wants me to leave, he does not agree that he wants me to leave. I feel abandoned. I am sorry for spending money every time he hurt my feelings or neglected or ignored me. I didn't know how else to handle it, I am alone in the world basically. He wouldn't talk to me. Hates communicating. He acts like I have no business knowing what he is up to, as if I am not a consideration in his plans or life. He only sends me e-mails when he wants or needs something, never to say hi, or "I love you" or anything. He doesn't want to talk with me on the phone ever, as if I were a pain in the ass for calling to just say hi, how is your day? In fact, a few hours ago, he said he wishes I would never talk to him.
-I understand anger. I do not, however, understand punishing someone for months and months and actually choosing to hurt the marriage when there are other choices that could be made. Even if I pay off the debt, he claims he may never forgive me, as per his own words. I need advice. I cannot get him to talk to me without him screaming at me, he won't attend counseling, and he criticizes me for not being a "good housewife". I don't feel like I can do anything right at this point. I have been spending my days cleaning the house and meeting his expectations, working out (as expected by him) and trying to make things better. The other day he said he was thinking of getting a second job "to pay for Christmas presents for our child". I found that hard to believe because lately he has been finding every excuse to leave the house and the 2nd job seemed like an excuse. He has been more secretive lately telling me things are none of my business. He has always been vague, but it is worse now that "he can't trust me". He locked me out of his e-mail and his side of the computer. He ignores my e-mails, never responding, so I quit sending e-mails. I feel hopeless. If this keeps going on, I feel like suicide would be the best option. Please don't take that as attention-getting threatening. I want him to treat me with more respect, not as a maid or a woman who is forced to look good for him. I want him to forgive me. I would miss my child, but I think my debts would be covered by life insurance ( If it looked like an accident, and it would) And I wouldn't have to deal with my husband's unending bad treatment of me, which is starting to hurt my health ( I also have type 1 diabetes). I have tried everything...begged for forgiveness, cried, said I was sorry a million times, told him my solid plans for debt repayment...everything. I can't seem to fix this, even by erasing the debt. I have never lied to him about anything else, never had an affair, etc. This is the one thing I have done that was bad. I have always been devoted and giving in this relationship, you have no idea. I don't know that he'd care if I died. He once made it clear that if he didn't punish me, I might do it again. (Hell no, I won't). Today he denied punishing me...which is a lie...he is definitely punishing me by withdrawing his kindness and sweetness. And he seems determined to spend our marriage acting this way.
Please help. I really need it.
All this over $5k? I'm pretty low on the income spectrum, and even I think that's a ridiculously small amount of money to ruin a marriage over. Sheesh. The guy is clearly looking for a way out and wanting to blame you for it, and is grasping at straws (is that the expression?) for anything to make you look like the 'bad guy.'
I can understand being upset about a lie, but if you explained that you did it to keep him from being overly stressed in Iraq, and that you realized it was a mistake and you're sorry and won't do it again, that should really be all it takes. You shouldn't have to be the only one to repay the debt, if that $5k was shared debt. Now, if you went and bought a $500 purse for every week he was away, yes that is very irresponsible, but that's not what you've said.
Since he has already said he can't forgive you, I don't see the point in running yourself ragged trying to repay the debts, since in a divorce you probably wouldn't be stuck with more than half (though it would depend on your individual circumstances), and it seems these are actually shared debts.
The whole thing is ridiculous - what kind of a man doesn't know how much money he owes in the first place? Doesn't he know how to read the paperwork himself? He should never have been $5k off in his own mind to the extent that he would even believe you if you said you both owed $10k when it was $15k. So he is hardly on top of his own affairs.
There are hints that the two of you are not financially responsible in all of this - owing $15k is not one of them. But the fact that he doesn't know what he owes, the fact that he would get a second job to get Christmas presents - wtf is that? Your kid isn't even 5 years old - what the heck kind of Christmas presents does he need to get for her? I'm pretty sure I got a teddy bear for my 5th Christmas and that was awesome as far as I was concerned. So even if he's lying, the fact that anyone thinks it's even partially acceptable to get an entire SECOND JOB just to buy presents for one person for one day is totally insane, financially speaking. So either he's nuts, or he's looking for a way to hide the fact that he won't be working a second job, in order to get more time away from home (affair, hobby that doesn't involve you, whatever).
It doesn't look salvageable to me mainly because it doesn't look like he's willing to do anything to salvage it (no counseling, no forgiveness) and you're not getting much out of it to make it worth your staying. If you're considering suicide for a life insurance payout, I think you're going to have step back and realize that we're talking about $5k, which is an absolutely paltry sum over the course of a lifetime.
Hi, yes the total debt is $15k plus accrued interest. If he is having an affair, he has been for a few months at least. He has always left me in charge of the finances because he says they stress him out.
I do feel alone. I appreciate the time you took to answer my post.
I don't want to die. My brother committed suicide at 19. I just don't know what to do.
Well, it certainly seems they do "stress him out" to put it lightly - since he's willing to throw his family away over the price of a family vacation. Totally crazy in my opinion.
Committing suicide isn't the way to go - you say it yourself, you don't want to die - but divorce could be. You'd be able to move on with your life, and you could meet someone better by this time next year. I know it's hard to see that now, but is this guy really the man you married? Do you really want his shortcomings to define your life?
I still think something fishy is going on here, an affair is a possibility, a second job could be his way of covering affair expenses since you're in charge of finances and would see it otherwise.
I know you're right, I have to remain strong. I am trying to get into classes online so I can have that certification...I need some way to make my own money anyway. I don't feel sexy enough to attract another man, (stretch marks, weight gain, etc from having a baby) in the future by the way.
He is not the man I married. He has seemed bi-polar to me, has been dealing with what seems to be depression for a long time. He wasn't that nice to me before the debt existed, sadly. But I do love him...sadly his few nice moments don't seem to be often enough anymore and he says that there is "no incentive for him to be nice to me" whatever that means. Ever since he started hanging out with this married **** from his military job, he has been horrible to me...he offered to take her to one of her appointments, but says taking me to my appointments is a "burden". She is a drug addict, meth, and while in the military is on like 14 drugs, all addictive to substitute for the meth she can no longer take (she would be fired for meth, but not prescriptions. My husband knows she is an addict, but also makes a lot of excuses for her.). I don't drive...I was in an accident years ago and never really recovered psychologically. I rely on him for rides. I have stuck by his side tirelessly. My son started showing signs of type 1 diabetes over the course of 2 days, maybe less (drinking lots of water, extra tired, etc.) I checked his blood...it was over 500....not good. I told my husband. He said I was crazy and that I just wanted our kid to have diabetes (!!!) I kept checking his blood sugar...always high. I tried to get him to give us a ride...after being yelled at and told I was nuts, he finally drove us to the emergency room. His final words to me before I went in: If that kid has diabetes, don't come home. Well, he was diagnosed with diabetes. I was correct. My husband was forced to come to the hospital when a military superior forced him. He treated me like it was my fault that our son got sick. All my fault. Everything. He claimed we would be getting a divorce. I didn't argue, I just could not believe he was acting with such disloyalty. It was disgusting, that and all the things I have not thought to mention here.
I figured it was over. 2nd to last day in the hospital he shows up and the doctor explains the diabetes is nobody's fault. Husband had refused to take my calls or support me in this harsh time. After doc leaves the room, husband hugs me and tells me that he is sorry he is "not handling this very well"....uh, ya think, *******? During that time I never left the hospital for 3 days. My kid is the type to need constant supervision, which the hospital does not provide. I couldn't leave for a second to see if my husband had that meth-head "just a friend" of his in our house to have time with her. He almost never picked up the phone. I have never felt so alone and helpless.
Is there really anything else to say here? I'm kind of at a loss for words...
It would be good for you to start identifying family, friends, neighbors, friendly acquaintances, family doctor, clergy, ANYBODY who you might be able to lean on a bit to help you at this time - can anyone else help you out with rides right now?
I'm not sure what to say about the meth-addicted friend. Kind of seems unimportant in light of the other stuff going on here. I'm kind of thinking "ehh, let her have him" at this point.
In a few hours when the Americans wake up you'll get more specific advice about how to protect yourself and your son legally, I don't have any experience with the nitty-gritty stuff, but I might suggest that this thread, being in the Financial Problems category, might not get as many views and posts - it might be good to post it over in the General Relationship or Divorce area for more specific advice you can apply. I was going to suggest Coping with Infidelity forum but it's not clear to me that that is the biggest issue here that you're concerned about. Anyway, hang in there - it's the middle of the night where 95% of the posters are so they aren't online yet.
I understand where you're coming from... my family is all on the other side of the world!! But these things have a way of getting sorted out. Do you think he is a good father to your son? (Not a rhetorical question, honestly what do you think?)
Sometimes he is good to our son, but he gets angry at him a lot because my son is hyper and refuses to do as told. I admit I get impatient with my son as well, however, I feel I am the better parent. I really wanted this marriage to work. He no longer makes much time for us anymore. We used to have Family Night once a week, but that stopped too. I wish things would get better. My heart feels like it was tossed in a blender.
The blender comment makes sense. He's being cruel to both of you. But that's his thing, not yours. Yes, it was a mistake to lie about the debt, but that doesn't justify the rest of this crud.
I wonder if something happened in Iraq (not necessarily cheating, but maybe generalized awfulness) that may have put him over the edge. Did all of the bad stuff happen after he went or was it already happening before he left for Iraq? 10 years is a long time and if things were pretty good, and then suddenly changed, it's not a big stretch that that had something to do with it. If he won't do marriage counseling, will he do individual counseling on the basis of having been through whatever he went through over there?
He was in Iraq with the meth-head. For the 8 months prior to leaving for Iraq, he never once tried to make love to me. The meth-head's husband was in Iraq with her as well. Not that it would prevent anything. He was regularly calling me, then one day he stopped...turns out it was a short time after she got there. He HATES discussing his emotions. Over the years we have made some steps to talk, but I feel like there is another person affecting his opinions...as if I make some headway with him, then he seems to want to leave. He agreed to go to counseling this summer, then suddenly changed his mind, as if someone else was doing the thinking. So I guess there will be no counseling at this point. He has some serious issues. He has been to Pakistan once, Iraq twice. He says Iraq made him worse, something about the way he sees the world. Like he is losing all hope, and becoming completely apathetic. Sometimes he can be sweet. Today we got into a HUGE argument, but an hour later, he called me Sweet Heart at the dinner table. It's like being married to Dr. Jekyll and Mr. JackAss.
It may be possible to push the counseling (individual) again with him. It would be a shame if this whole mess is being caused by a treatable depression (or some other psychological issue that can get better through therapy). The worst he can do is say no, right?
His behavior seems so irrational: throwing away a family over five thousand dollars, not wanting to visit his son in the hospital, blaming his wife for his son having diabetes, getting a second job to buy Christmas presents for one person. Irrational behavior could be helped by therapy but I don't see it getting better on its own.
I think if you want to fight for this marriage, counseling is going to be absolutely necessary.
On the other hand, if you're through, it would probably still be a good idea for him.
I have been pushing counseling for a while. But I have given up temporarily because he just keeps saying no. I rarely give up permanently, but my heart has taken a lot of breakage. I'm a strong girl, but I am not infinitely patient.
1. Underestimating debt by a little bit is not the worst thing in the world. He really needs to get over it.
2. Please do not ever talk of suicide. Your child needs you.
3. Do not keep constantly apologizing. It's done; people mistakes.
If he is nasty distant, be the same.
4. When discussing a problem, be brief and clear. Your post was an entire page. Men do not like prolonged emotion.
5. He may be experiencing problems related to his deployment. Hopefully he can get counseling but he needs to recognize a problem.
6. Keep yourself in good shape and dress well. However, do not be fawning or apologetic if he's nasty. Overall this seems more like his problem, and his difficulty than yours, and ultimately you are the one owed an apology for his treatment of you.
While I don't condone his actions, there may be an inconvenient truth that drove him to act nasty:
In the military, if a soldier's wife incurs a large debt, bounces a check, mismanages finances- it is the SOLDIER, not the wife, who is going to be on the carpet with his commander doing the explaining.