I’ve been married for 11 years. I have grown children from a previous marriage. I discovered a year ago that my husband was using his credit card to buy gadgets, clothes, and technology toys.
He doesn’t have the income to pay for all this.
I informed him that it had to stop and that all his income would have to go towards paying off his debt.
I later found that he’d charged an additional $3,000 to his credit-card limit.
He must pay it off and can't buy anything more, I thought.
Recently, I saw new items. He said that it was stuff bought long before and only put away now.
I discovered that he’s obtained another credit card with a smaller limit, which he’s been using for some time.
He’s been lying “No” to my face when I ask if he’s been using his credit card. Yet every day he calls and says, "Love you."
How can someone love me and yet lie like he does? I’m working my butt off to save enough money to buy a house. How can I do this if he’s undermining my saving with his spending?
Are my concerns out of proportion? My son thinks I should let it go, but I can't seem to drop my concerns.
Unless your son’s a banker, lawyer or accountant, his response to your concerns is meaningless, other than his wanting you to not bother yourself (or him) about this.
Speak to knowledgeable, credible people about failure to pay credit-card debt and what responsibilities may fall to the spouse of the debtor.
Even if you’re never required to bail him out, being undermined by your husband in efforts to save towards buying a house, shows how wrong and hurtful his buying what he can’t afford and lying about it are.
He has a serious problem that may fit the description of compulsive buying disorder, or oniomania.
He needs the help of a therapist who deals with this type of addictive behaviour. Insist that he start treatment before the behaviour – and the debt – gets even worse.
Readers’ Commentary Regarding the woman signed, “Little Hope Left,” about finding a partner (April 18):
“She says she wants a man, “who busts his ass at work, makes good money ($60,000 a year), etc... "
“She's actually looking for a mule.
“She might do well to look at what she personally has to offer her partner, or any man, and focus on the non-material aspects of relationships.
“I see this a lot in women these days. They want the men to offer the moon and stars and everything else in between, while having very little to offer themselves.”
Ellie - I agreed, until your generalization about “a lot of women.”
Here’s what I see that applies to both men and women: Dating sites have created a shopping bazaar for finding a mate. They encourage check lists from what appears in the photo, what’s said in the profile, plus information gathered on limited dates, before trying someone else.
Yes, some women like this one are searching for security. Just as some men are looking mainly for arm candy to boost their own image.
Since I hear from a very large sample of the population who are looking for relationships, I can say with assurance, that finding a partner takes more than a fixed wish list.
But having a negative attitude to women or men in general, makes the search harder for everyone.
My close friend recently underwent (benign) brain tumour surgery. She’s experienced serious unrelated health issues in the past.
I noticed her normally-resilient spirits had dimmed. Several weeks post-surgery, she seems even more depressed.
I understand that fatigue is normal post-surgery. However, she won't see visitors.
I know it's important to give her space and time to heal, but mindful that depressive/negative thought-patterns can worsen if unaddressed.
I feel she's pushing me away. How do I know when I'm pushing back too hard? How do I make sure I'm there for her without annoying her or overstepping boundaries?
You can give her space/time and still be a good friend. Send over some flowers and fruit to show you’re thinking of her.
Text her about a TV show she might find interesting, podcasts she might enjoy, a book you read that you can drop by. She’ll appreciate your support and respect for her recovery time.
Tip of the day:
Credit-card debt can add up beyond a financial problem to a behavioural disorder.