June 09, 2011

What If? - Case No. 6 - Unable to Trust Spouse with Finances

You are married with no children.  Both you and your husband have good jobs, but you have been living the high life and beyond your means for a long time.  Then it happens, your hours are cut back.  Suddenly you realize that you can only make minimum payments on your credit card bills.

You and your husband sit down and go through all of your credit card bills and discover that you have almost $38,000 in credit card debt.  Both of you vow to cut back and apply as much money as possible to the debt so that you can pay off your credit cards within 3 years.  It is doable.  You stop buying clothes, eating out with your friends at lunch and start cooking dinner at home.  It is hard but you know it will be worth it in the end.

Six weeks later you get a call from a credit card company about a credit card that is in arrears.  You tell the caller that there must be a mistake as you don't have a credit card with that company.  The caller is adament that there is a credit card in her and her husband's name with a balance of $4,800 on it.  The woman tells the caller to call back tomorrow. 

That night when her husband comes home she confronts him about the "hidden" credit card.  He admits that yes there is a credit card in both of their names that he has hidden from her.  He has used it to buy whatever he has felt like buying because he deserves it.  The husband goes on to say that life is too short and it is only money.

What would you do? 


Julie said...

wring his neck!

Terry said...

Agree with Julie. And after I was done wringing his neck I'd go over the bills to see who/what he'd been spending the money on. This happened tome with my first husband.

Then I'd open upseperate accounts, make sure the cc in MY name were completely paid off first. Then I'd start a secret bank account going to a PO Box in my name only. Make sure I had enough saved up in case I decided to leave him. Which is exactly what I did.

Martha said...

This scenario happened to someone I know.

If this had happened to me I would have a long talk with my husband and then I would insist that we go to counseling. This is a trust issue and when that has been broken it is hard to get it back.

We would also look over all the finances together and I would also insist that this was the time to come clean on any other secrets he may have such as gambling.

This issue goes beyond finances and if it happened to me I would feel betrayed.

Paula said...

The woman I volunteer with discovered early in the marriage that her husband was careless with money. She had a good job and bought their house in her name only and made all the payments. Same with her car. They don't have a joint bank account.

I worked with another woman who had one of those secret bank accounts and had the statements mailed to her mother's address.

I had a client at one job who won eighteen thousand dollars at a casino and didn't tell her husband or share the money with him.

To me, all these scenarios are terribly sad. I can't imagine being in a marriage that wasn't a partnership with everything shared and owned in common. I wasn't raised that way. My parents and grandparents always said a good marriage had one pocketbook.