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 logged in because I really need to ask a question but I certainly don't want to bring any of this to our friends or family. I am sure we are all in a similar boat or we wouldn't be here right?
A little about us: together for 11 years, married for 5, 2 girls (3 and 2). When we were engaged he was in pharmacy school to be a pharmacist, quit school right after the wedding and defaulted on all of his student loans from the university (over 20k). Right after our first daughter was born he got involved in some real estate investment education which cost us thousands and multiple trips to Arizona and Nevada for continued education (while I was at home with a 2 week old baby alone), then he did nothing with it citing mostly excuses of he didn't have the money, time, knowledge credit etc...was laid off from large insurance firm with about 100 of his coworkers, immediately found temp work that he hated. He independently filed for bankruptcy for himself. Queue lay off #2.
Well, this time around he decided he isn't going to work for someone any more and he is going to be self employed, fail. Gets cash paying job helping friend install showers but the work is not consistent. We could no longer afford rent on our small brick home so we moved to a horrible, broken down trailer that has been the victim of vandalism because all the owner wants us to pay is taxes. We have no air conditioning or a working toilet. I had to sell my truck, that was in my own name to be able to afford to feed and clothe our growing children. He now works for another friend doing energy efficiency upgrades but again, not consistent at all. During this time I too have been laid off. In some freakish turn of events we OWE money on taxes that I cannot afford to pay. This is a completely alien way for me to live. I am not materialistic in any way (I am actually quite the minimalist) and I really do not enjoy shopping like most women my age, but I should be able to buy my kids ice cream if they want or not have to choose between the electric bill or shoes for my girls. We were regularly earning about $75k/year but the savings has all been spent on one venture or another.
Please, please understand I don't think he should be spoiling me and I don't require a lot (I don't do gym memberships, expensive coffee or anything like that), but our life has completely crumbled.
He has done nothing but let us down and break all of his promises. I can't depend on him for income or a strong credit background, I am the only one with either one of those things. He is very good looking and comes from a wonderful family. He is handy and helps out around the house when I ask him or he sees I need help. He is terribly unromantic, not outgoing and has never been generous.
I am not putting out a personal ad here or anything but I am very attractive, fit, educated and an amazing work ethic. I hate the idea of divorce because I do love him, but I don't want to go down with a sinking ship. Should I bail now or keep faking my support in hopes it will help achieve the greatness he seems to think he is destined for? I am looking for really honest advice here. I will be 28 this year and it has been so hard because it's not just me he is affecting, its our two amazing daughters as well so that changes the whole game.
The living circumstances you are in are unacceptable for raising children in. Your husband has shown consistently who he is regarding money and work, going all the back to school and his student loans. This is going to sound harsh, but I want you to realize we are coming from the prospective of having been down this road before and learned some hard truths and lessons - the kind that are difficult to truly explain to someone who hasn't.
Your current situation is not going to change your husband. Living in that horrible, broken down trailer has not spurred him to seek steady and secure employment.
Like it or not, you are looking at a preview of what your children's lives could very well be like the entire time they are growing up - no stability and constant flirting with poverty.
I understand that you are wanting to make your marriage work if possible. To you this is different than if he was sleeping with your best friend - you are looking for a way to make him grow up and make a transition in his life. You want to know in your heart that you tried every possible avenue before you pull the eject cord on him.
You need to do this:
Do you have parents or family who would take you and the girls in for an indeterminate amount of time? If not, then the advice below won't work.
If you do have family who will take you in, you so need to do this, and probably do this without his knowledge: You need to pack up the kids and move out and back in with your family. And as soon (and I mean like the same day) an you do that, file for Divorce.
Now filing for divorce is actually going to give him his last and best change to man up and grow and up and do what it takes to provide for his children and save your marriage, so stay with me here for a second.
There are two main reasons for filings:
First is the wake-up call, that this is more serious than anything he has encountered before. He has shown that he is willing to default on anything and doesn't care about his credit. Nothing you have done to date has convinced him to change. So you raise the stakes. You are "All-in" now. You can not put more on the line. Either this will be the wake-up to get responsible or not.
To that end, You need to stress two things: 1) That he is now responsible for those two persons he made with you, and he has to grow and and stop putting his pleasures before their basic needs. In fact, stress to him that the reason for filing for divorce is his failure to be what his family needs (and the fact he is actively dragging you and the kids down with him), and that if he can truly change, you'll be open to Reconciliation. If necessary, tell him again and again it's about the family and being a parent and a partner, and not about replacing him with another man. Then.. Hold his feet to fire. Change on his part has to be similar to what you will read in the infidelity forum about a cheating spouse who honestly repents - i.e. they have to do serious change and most of the heavy lifting and show you six ways to Sunday that they are serious. You have to be very skeptical of anything that smells of short-term, doing-it-just-to-appease-you, not truly sincere effort. Remember - you are protecting the upbringing of your kids here. You can demand more for them than what you would for yourself.
Whew... oh yeah.. the second reason for filing for Divorce... to get temporary orders that establishing the current residence of the children. I.e. that they are living with you, and if he were to freak out on you and try and take them to live with him, you would have the law on your side. This is important, because he is not showing that he is able to provide adequately enough for them. Even if he has a movie-quality awaking and change of heart, you can not risk their well being. They didn't have a say in this situation and they are the most vulnerable ones. Protect them.
Also, by doing this you can honestly say to yourself that you tried *everything* to make it work, and if it doesn't you know that you have your priorities straight - protecting those two babies and giving them a fair shot in life - A priority that your husband should also be demonstrating, but appears to have abdicated.
Like I said, it probably sounds harsh, but in the end you'll be kicking yourself for any delays in doing it. It's not about just you and him anymore - it's about the four of you.
Your response struck a chord. He has let me down in so many ways and I keep giving him chance after chance. We have been talking it over and this is absolutely his final chance, but I agree with the filing for divorce. Filing isn't finalizing. I do have family that would take us in for a short amount of time, but I already have 4 interviews (I DID finish my education and I have a bachelor's degree. Pathetic huh?) so I could easily be out on my own in no time. My only hesitation is this: his family is very Catholic, my family is very Christian. Being separated from him and/or divorcing him would burn a lot of bridges and me and my girls wouldn't be cordially invited to Christmas dinner if you know what I mean... I suppose that is just a risk I have to be willing to take.
I feel like a bad parent who has been too lenient with her kids then gets angry when they get used as a door mat and an ATM. I suppose it isn't too much of a difference.
I no longer have my own car. The only car we have his parents gave us 2 years ago (of course when we had to sell a car it had to be mine) so I will get on that ASAP
I deeply appreciate everyone who has taken the time to listen (read) my story and for your input. I have never felt like this before and I don't know what the future holds but I will regain control.
My only hesitation is this: his family is very Catholic, my family is very Christian. Being separated from him and/or divorcing him would burn a lot of bridges and me and my girls wouldn't be cordially invited to Christmas dinner if you know what I mean... I suppose that is just a risk I have to be willing to take.
What risk? Yes, you will deal with fallout from the family but people get over things. They will find their way back into your lives when they are ready, as long as you don't make it impossible for them to do so.
And whatever time they lose away from their grandchildren is just that, time that they've lost and will never get back.
The difficulty in making this decision really makes it feel like either choice can feel like the wrong choice. But I think that if you consider your life a year from now, or more, past the immediate pain of leaving him, you can see what is probably best for you and your children. I like Anubis' approach.
Your husband probably feels like he is doing the best he could do to be successfull, but its almost second nature to men (and women) to realize that the rules have to change after children come along. I've had so many opportunities to jump ship into some new business venture, where they offered partnership or a VP position, but I can't get past the fact that a "sure but steady" approach with my current career is so much safer, given the economy. Your husband had these choices, and it appears that he chose in a way that continued to put you at risk. Add that to the other problems in the marriage, and it seems like you are already living in an uncommitted relationship. I think you are out of other options now.
Your husband seems rather immature and fanciful. I believe that men should provide for their families, even when wives have their own careers. It doesn't seem like you are asking for a lot-everybody deserves a working toilet for God's sake! Why is it okay for him to throw money away yet not be generous to his wife? You have taught your husband that it is okay for him to treat you in this manner.
You cannot live your life worrying about what your in laws or parents think. I was supposed to marry a man of my own race and culture and stay home until I was married. Even though I was punished for being independent, I stood my ground. Your husband is not adhering to Christian marriage principles if he is allowing his family to live in squalor.
Do you have close friends who can help? What about a family shelter? Those are not nice places, but at least you can get access to government services in the short term. It can't be any worse than how you are living now.
I am responding to you with tears in my eyes, I was with such a guy for the last 25yrs, 18 of them married, walked away last year and he still hast figured out how to hold down a job. we are both Christians and thats why it lasted so long, at the end of it I ended feeling like I had just wasted the most productive years of my life being a "slave". He still refuses to provide for the 3kids even now. Trust me they really dont get better. Burn the bridges now dont waste another 10yrs of your life. Nobody else is walking in your shoes, paying your bills or living in your trailer. He took me from working as fully paid physician to the food pantry and still doesnt see anything wrong in it save yourself and the kids. May God give you the grace. Pray and stand. God loves you and knows your situation.
I am in almost the EXACT situation, only without kids. I know in my head that it's a bad situation to be in, but my heart in hurting and I miss my husband terribly. The bastard. :/ Feel free to PM me if you need to vent!
Wow, how ironic I came here today to see if anyone else was going through similar straits.
I've been with my hubby for 15 years and we have 2 great kids. He hasn't worked in over a decade and refuses to do so. It's a topic that has been off the table for a long time.
We lost our home to foreclosure in 09 and we've been living with is mother. She lost her job years ago and now we're facing foreclosure again!
His mother nags me for the money. I've been doing my best, but just had Gallbladder removed and she hounded me for money 'while I was in the hospital' - yeah, she's a charmer, right? LOL
Get out - that's what I'm going to do as soon as humanly possible. I need to scrape up money to get a car in my own name and find somewhere to live - hopefully over the summer while the kids are out of school.
It does not ever get better - it only gets worse and your resentment will build until you won't recognize yourself anymore and you'll get depressed and angry and that can lead to health problems, big time.
Is the thought scary? Oh yeah, scary as hell! You've invested the best years of your life, he says he loves you beyond all measure but his *actions* belay that!
Hang in there, get some time to yourself to think, plan, get strong and leave! You owe it to your kids! If you have a boy, like me - what will he learn from you staying? How will he treat his wife? Or your daughter? What type of man will she marry someday? That is what keeps me up at night.
Sorry for the rant! I feel your pain and my thoughts go out to you!