Thank you for listening!!
Two things really...
My husband and I have been married for five years. I am now unemployed and on disability and though I do have some income from the disability, it is not enough to support myself and my 17 y/o son without my husbands teacher salary. ( I am hoping to get off disability one day and am job hunting-though I have been job hunting for over a year and am in school too. It is a hard time)
It is funny though that my disability pays the same as his salary. (this is a sad statement about teacher's salary). Between the two of us we barely make it, barely, barely.
1) THE CREDIT CARD PROBLEM
When we met he was about 50,000 in debt and filed bankruptcy. He loves to spend spend spend. We agreed no credit in the marriage. He begged me to get a credit card but only to repair his credit. I agreed. (since I have all the free time, I pay the bills in the house and take care of the banking).
Over the course of the 5 years he has sneaked out and used the credit card many many times and bought himself presents, (stupid disposable stuff which are long gone now) which I am STILL paying off. I get very mad and these fights last days. He just can't keep his word to not use the card and keep is agreement. I never ever ever use my card except it is the overdraft for our checking account. Every time he used the card I find out by getting the bill. I then call it in as stolen and try to get it in the mail and hide it.(I know this sounds like crazy behavior, but it is after over 5 years of being lied to that I am driven to it. I can't believe I am doing this...) He seems to find the card or pleads with me that he needs it for a trip out of town " in case of emergency". Now I wont give it back to him, he says I am acting like him mom and it is his money too. we are always fighting about it. I caught him on-line last night trying to use it, (he had it registered with amazon.com and asked me why it didn't work-he didn't know I had called it in as stolen so I found out that he was trying to use it again, thus breaking his word to me that he wouldn't use it).
What can we do to break this cycle? He is absolutely obsessed with the credit card and with buying things. he spends his nights prowling on ebay. It makes me nauseous. Where as I will scrimp and save and go out of my way to make a dollar stretch, he will spend $7.00 on a coke at the movies at the drop of a coin.
2)THE SPENDING WHEN THERE IS NO MEONEY IN THE BANK PROBLEM
The other problem is that we really don't have much money to work with and I pay all the bills. I tell him how much we have and the bills and how much we have really does not change, nor has it. He has a debit card that is linked to the checking account and spends freely no matter what we have in the bank. He buys whatever he wants and refuses to be contained by any kind of budget or even talk about it. If I mention anything it is a big fight and I am compared to his mother and yelled at. He has to have whatever he wants or there is a veiled threat of him leaving. I have to then weigh having him there with this black hole of spending, or having him leave and my son and I would have no way to support myself and I would have to go to a homeless shelter. I really do not have anywhere else to go and I would be up such a creek if he left me as he is threatening to do. This month he wanted a computer (a laptop) for his birthday, (he got me a bunch of flowers for mine-our birthdays are a few days apart). He said "the marriage wont work unless I get a laptop". So I found a used one. (Now we have $20 left till the end of the month). Despite not having money, which he knows we don't, he continues to spend. he bought 4 cds yesterday that he wanted, (goes to the overdraft).
I have tried over the years many things:
- I tried making him a separate account for him for his "allowance" that he can use for his candy, gas, spending money, pizza, beer. It did not work as he spent the whole weeks worth in the first day, this went on for about a year then it really didn't work as he would call me almost every day with an "emergency" that the needed money as he spent it all... we eventually went back to him linked to main account
- I tried giving him cash-did not work as it was too tempting
- We tried therapy
- I tried excel spread sheets to carefully explain things to him.
- I tried logging in to the bank account with him daily- he would no look or pay attention-said I was "nagging him".
I feel so hopeless about it... and have made an appointment for myself for a counselor for next week. It is a marriage counselor that we usually go to together but I wanted to go to her alone as I am too mad to go with him. I don't think
I trust him any more.
Thanks for listening.