After the A, I opened a CC to establish some credit. And was very cautious in the beginning. When it became apparent that R was in our future, I used the CC to help with finances around the house. I supplemented the grocery bill, bought clothes for the kids, used it for birthdays and Christmas, etc. Nothing like extravagant spending sprees or anything like that, but the day to day stuff. Hubby has always felt the weight of the world financially and I wanted so badly to try and help out. I finally had a PT job and I wanted to show him my faith in him by using my money to help the household.
Well, as you can guess, I was OK, until interest charges caught up with me. But I created the problem and I was determined to solve the problem on my own. He had helped me out in the past, and I did not want him to have to do that again. Frankly, I was embarrassed and as Hubby had been a bit strict with the budget prior to the A, I wanted to keep my accounts to myself. I didn't want a lecture, I didn't want to feel like a child being reprimanded and honestly, I was a bit resentful.
Because every time Hubby got angry with me for the finances, I was thinking in the back of my mind that Hey, I'm in this mess because of the A. If his A had not blown everything up, I would have handed over my paycheck in full. I would haven't even had the CCs. And now, that I had some control, I wanted to keep that control. Was that mature thinking? Hell NO. I know that now, but in the first year or two, it was the last little bit of myself that I was holding back and it scared me to give him everything. To finally trust him completely. Add in that we'd have occasional bumps along the way and that would set me back a bit. Damn rollercoaster!
Hubby asked for an Excel sheet with all the info... balance, due date, what was paid, etc. I kept putting him off for the first two years. Over the second two years, I think I've had a few versions that I gave him, but nothing recently.
To add... Every time I've created something in Excel, it makes total sense to ME, but it's not making sense to HIM. So, to say that I've struggled a bit with creating an Excel spreadsheet, is an understatement. I wanted to do it "right" and have attempted it quite a few times over the past year/year and a half. And I just sit on it because I don't want to disappoint him. And get frustrated because I can't get the thing to work in the way I want.
About three months ago, he asked again. I gave him all the balances of what I owed, but I wrote it all down on paper and he said he wanted it in Excel. So, it was back to the drawing board. In addition, he mentioned that me 'hiding' the information felt like I was committing financial infidelity. I had never thought that, and was horrified. I had told him the totals verbally and wasn't hiding that fact. But I can see where he would have felt like that. And never wanted him to even feel remotely that way!
So, I set out and tried again and got frustrated with myself. I recently did another spreadsheet for him about something else and he got frustrated with my attempt. And honestly, got annoyed with me. I didn't want to have that happen again with this and lead to a fight at this point in time. Dday anniv is coming up in two weeks or so. I don't want to add ANY stress to us right at this time, if that makes sense? Throughout our R, there are times where I've delayed talking about something until I know it's a time where A issues aren't going to cloud the original issue, if that makes sense?
Add in that 'real life' has been extremely busy and I realized that I was spending more time on the spreadsheet that I should have to make it 'perfect', and therefore not getting other things around the house done. So I deleted the damn thing. I thought, I'll do something even better! I'll give him online access to the accounts! That way, he can see whenever he wants. No hiding in any way shape or form! And he'll be pleased that I'm not holding anything back and that I trust him completely! I'll still do the excel sheet, but at least he won't have to wait any longer for the info. I have off for the summer, so I have more time to work on it then I did at the beginning of the month.
I signed up for online statements with two of the four accounts and am trying to get the third set up. (the fourth card is long inactive and I've been locked out. I only get monthly emails that I said I'd forward to him) That third dept store card? I stopped in the store to straighten it out early in the month and realized that it would take time which I didn't have that day. Honestly, I had forgotten to go back and finish. I'm ashamed that it slipped my mind, but it did and I can't change that. And my email sat in my drafts...
Anyway, tonight when he reminded me that he still didn't have the info? I went to my email draft and sent him what I had put together earlier this month. I sent the links and my login and passwords. I felt like I was finally opening myself up to him fully.
I ran downstairs to give him a huge hug, because to me, it was a huge bonding moment. And he was upset. Because I didn't do what he had asked by doing the excel sheet. I get why he's upset and he has every right to be disappointed. I made a decision for him in what I thought he wanted. Which was wrong. And for that I'm sorry.
Where I got my feelings hurt is when he told me giving him that information instead of the excel sheet was 'pathetic.' I gave him my financial timeline, if you will, and my expectation that he'd be touched by my tearing down that last wall was not to be.
I just needed to get my disappointment out. I'm not angry with him as I truly did not do what he had asked. I just thought I was giving him something far more valuable and it would seem he doesn't agree.
Edited to add: I know what I did was wrong. I was disappointed and wanted to share. NOT blame my husband in any way shape or form. I made the choice to use those CCs. Yes, the reason was good intentions, but regardless, it was MY choice. And I clarified farther down that he was calling my effort pathetic, not ME pathetic, because I don't want posters to miss that important fact. I can try to explain how my thinking was THEN and why I made the choices I did, but that's not how I think NOW. I want nothing more to make this right. I am NOT blaming him in any way here. He has EVERY right to be upset.
I love him with all my heart and I am truly sorry. Feel free to wield the 2x4s, but I really do 'get it.' And I want to work TOGETHER to make this right. I may bow out of this thread now. Not because I find fault with anything that someone has said about how wrong I was. But this post has hurt my husband. And that was the last thing I wanted to do.
[This message edited by betrayedandnumb at 7:14 AM, June 28th (Friday)]
If you can't do the excel spreadsheet like he wants why doesn't he do up a template for you to use and you just do the data entry?
On the other hand, and I hope you understand my analogy, he asked for cherry pie and you keep giving him apple pie.
Sorry, I'm probably no help at all
I can see both sides of this, finances make me go But they can also become a big problem in a short period of time.
It's all shits and giggles until someone giggles and shits.
Ima, I love your analogy! I felt resentful for a long time and it was hard to let go of that. But, I was giving him the wrong type of pie, so I can't blame him for him being disappointed.
He just came and apologized. As did I. He didn't mean what I did was pathetic. I'm thinking he was remarking on what he percieved to be a lack of effort.
It truly is a work in progress... this R stuff. I did start the sheet on HIS laptop, so he can see the progress...
Thanks to you both for your words. I just needed to get my disappointment out and thought you guys would understand...
[This message edited by betrayedandnumb at 9:50 PM, June 27th (Thursday)]
It sounds like your husband is looking for the excel spread sheet as his "timeline" to the finances. Maybe before you give the excel spread sheet, you need to discuss your fears and concerns of it not being "perfect". Does he know about your credit card you opened?
Honesty in a relationship is important. Communication is also important in a manner that is meaningful to both. It sounds like for him, the communication is in a spreadsheet. For you, it was open by giving him full access. However, the full access didn't give everything in a quick one place look.
I am sorry your feelings are hurt, as I am sure you were trying to be open. Your communication style didn't match his needs. Can you set yourself a time frame to have the excel sheet complete and stick to it?
Hugs to you!
And other than the initial card, he knew about them all. I've already paid off two smaller Dept store cards and am on schedule to close out another by the end of the year. Despite the interest racking up, I am making progress slowly, but surely.
I agree that you are both trying to control each other and that needs to be explored. I get that you wanted to make sure that you would never be caught without funds again but it seems like he needs to want to keep a tight rein on your budget. You are married, it is joint funds and you both need to have access to it and be honest with each other.
I hope you can figure this out and make it work. You did your best to give him a spreadsheet and it was not pathetic.
I wanted to keep my accounts to myself.
I kept putting him off for the first two years.
You say you didn't want to hand over control. But how much of your keeping the accounts from him was about keeping the information that you let things get out of hand with the cards a secret?
I think in there somewhere lies something you are not going to like about your choices.
4 years is a long time for it fester. You may have been working on it, but based on results, your intentions and your actions don't match.
Where I got my feelings hurt is when he told me giving him that information instead of the excel sheet was 'pathetic.' I gave him my financial timeline, if you will, and my expectation that he'd be touched by my tearing down that last wall was not to be.
I certainly think that he could have handled the whole thing better. If he wanted it a specific way in excel then why not do it together? He could have input as you checked and fed him the numbers. It was like he had excel blinders on, until you gave him the info in that format, you didn't give it... Seems like a stretch to me. You provided him with answers, he chose to ignore them...
I think you have to put the whole thing in perspective. Your point of view of tearing the wall down may not match his view.
While in the long run it is an honest and open thing to do... he is probably focused on the new(to him) burden of the debt, and the amount of time it took you to disclose it. It could have felt like a betrayal to him.
How would you feel if you were in his shoes?
I guess the question that needs to be answered is when/or if you crossed the boundary from establishing your own credit to hiding debt. Does he get to have an opinion on that? Yep. And it may not be the same as yours.
Another question to answer is - when in R, when does a Wayward have the right of transparency?
Is it reasonable to think that it fell within the 2-4 year mark?
I think you both have to sit down and have a conversation and compromise. Not all financial communications must be in excel speak. And what is your plan as a team to confront the problem, solve it and make sure it doesn't happen again?
I'll start with the *touchiest* (IMO). You put something together, were all excited for doing it, went to him expecting to do a *happy dance* and got upset when he didn't approve because it wasn't what he asked for. Here's the *touchy* part --> your recounting reminded me of a WS that puts forth an effort that isn't what the BS asked for....and yet expects a ticker tape parade just for *doing* it.
And I guess that I'll go ahead and mention another touchy aspect. In the beginning of your post you say that you opened a CC account to establish some credit and pay for household expenses. And that's completely understandable. But by the end of your post...there are 4 CC's. One of which is a card for a department store. And mixed in between those statements are comments that show quite a bit of *spite* about your WH's affair.
If this CC debt was *hidden* from your WS then I can understand why he would accuse you of financial infidelity. Your debt is his debt....and if you are spending and *hiding* it from him? Then he is right. Were the monthly statements being sent to your house?
Anyway, moving on. I don't really understand his demand that you provide information in an Excel spreadsheet....especially when it is clear that you don't know WTF you're doing.
It's all out in the open now. Why can't the two of you sit down together and go over the statements and he can input whatever the hell he feels that he needs to input into his computer program and be done with it? WTF does he need an excel spreadsheet for to show balances and due dates? Can't he just look at the statements? Heck, the statements would even give a break-out of *what* each charge was for.
My guess is that he doesn't understand your *emotional* reasoning on this issue. He is looking at it as a strictly financial issue. He's not hearing your 'whys' on this.
This situation should be easily solveable (is that a word?) as long as the two of you work together as a team.
Just as he is expected to *fall on the sword* concerning his cheating, you also should *fall on the sword* in regards to this hidden CC stuff.
In my effort to be *concise*, I often come off as blunt and harsh. Sorry, don't mean to be offensive.
My request is actually very easy and would take about 10 minutes to accomplish.
Sears CC – Balance = $10K - due on the 15th of the month
Kohls’ CC – Balance = $1K - due on the 12th of the month
My wife has somewhere in the neighborhood of $15,000 in debt, maybe a bit less now but I don’t know that (communication, right?!). Not a small sum of money by any means. It needs to be addressed NOW before it becomes $20,000 or more. At this point, it has nothing to do with my affair, her insecurities, the price of tea in China, etc… It is a problem that needs to be addressed immediately and gotten under control with a plan of action. Plain and simple.
I have two kids in braces which I now have monthly payments for the next 24 months. There is always going to be something that breaks around the house that will need to be repaired (cha ching). In a few years, the kids will hopefully go to college (cha ching, cha ching!!!). I have a payment due this weekend for our summer vacation ($$$).
By hiding what she owes, it is considered financial infidelity. I had people on this website tell me that. I really don’t care what “title” people give it.
Let me ask the posters out there, if there is $15K in debt in your household , don’t you want to address it and get it down to zero as fast as you can? I read many financial books and there is such thing as good debt and bad debt. This is bad debt, period. I want to get rid of it because I know my wife if beating herself up over it and it is causing undo stress between us. And the bottom line is that I want to help her get rid of it which is why I keep asking her for the information. If you knew my wife, you would know that she does not really want to deal with this. That is why I am who I am. I find a problem and I fix it.
My wife had CC debt in college. I paid it off for her before we were married. She ignored her car prior to us getting married; I paid the garage to fix it money (about $400) to get it fixed so she would have a car to go to work. In the beginning of our marriage, the CC’s were run up to $13K because of her buying beanie babies and other stuff that we did not need. I got a plan together and I got rid of the debt.
That is all that I want to do here because there are bigger bills coming in the next few years as our kids get older, as our cars start to break down, etc…
This is just a problem that needs to be fixed and the first step is communication. Second is working on a plan together. Third is sticking to the plan.
We are in “R” and we are going to live a long wonderful life together. I don’t care how the debt got so high (and please don’t read into the “I don’t care” in this sentence), we are here now and we have a problem so let’s work on the problem together and get it done.
“Failing to plan is planning to fail” ― Alan Lakein
It's very simple. Total due. Minimum monthly payment. Due date.
You husband's choice to cheat was horrible.
That said, your financial health should be important to you as a parent and a responsible adult. You racked up debt before. Your reasons for doing it again seem, frankly, disingenuous.
You have a spending problem and don't seem very on top of the ramifications of those choices. Sounds pretty familiar to me, and yep, it is financial infidelity.
An excel is not tough. It's a lot simpler than sending bits and pieces.
I have done books for small businesses and individuals. I can tell you that financial secrets create huge problems in marriages, understandably.
You didn't provide the information then when you were asked sent something different and expected hugs and praise. You state you don't want to be treated as a child but you might want to re-read that whole part of your post.
You also stated that your "hubby" always felt the weight of the world financially and you wanted so badly to help out. How is running up 4 cc's helping?
I know posters have been pretty gentle with you but honestly if your husband posted this in wayward it would be shredded.
Work with him, not against him, if you are committed to reconciliation.
[This message edited by uncertainone at 11:45 PM, June 27th (Thursday)]
'til the roof comes off. 'til the lights go out. 'til my legs give out, can't shut my mouth
The entire thing sounds like you are working against each other, when you both finally decided to work this out. Four cc's area bit much, but I can't fault you on not knowing the balances. I have customers that come into my store all the time that can't answer anything I ask about their billing. So I think that, while really bad is normal.
But what I don't understand is WHY you two couldn't sit down, when you realized what you needed to do and do it together. Why did you have to do homework and then turn it in? It sounds like a little tit for tat kind of thing going on.
If you have issues spending, it could be a cover up for other issues. When I Found out about my WS crap, I comforted with spending. Only know that I am starting to feel safer, has that tapered off. He has put up with a lot of packages coming in. Maybe you both need to go to IC and see why this became such an issue.
We are in “R” and we are going to live a long wonderful life together. I don’t care how the debt got so high (and please don’t read into the “I don’t care” in this sentence), we are here now and we have a problem so let’s work on the problem together and get it done
Bottom line is that you need to know how much you owe and who you owe it to. Kudos to you because I didn't feel any *negative* type of vibes about this issue in your post. It really seems as if you just want the info so that you can deal with it.
But calling Betrayed *pathetic* for whatever reason that you did is counter-productive.
She has said that she can't do the Excel shit that she is *expected* to do. So knock it off. You have access to her accounts. Between the two of you, you should be able to gather all of the information that is necessary. She's opening herself up to you and making attempts to get you all of the financial info that she needs to.
You guys can figure this shit out and come out ok. Stop being jerks.
I'm sorry for having a laugh, B&N, and H.
My H and I both participate on boards together and participate on boards separately. On the boards we don't do 'together', we tell one another what's going on.
So here's the convo earlier:
FH: There's a gal on SI who is a BW. She's run up some CC debt and her H wants her to submit it to him in Excel. Oh! And apparently she has tried but failed to for four years.
H: What does Excel have to do with it?
FH: I don't know, but I guess it's really important to him that she gives him this info in Excel format.
H: Why doesn't he just look at her accounts?
FH: I'm not sure that he knew she had other accounts? But whatever, if you thought I was spending money inappropriately, would you demand that I submit the proof in an Excel format? Or just ask for the numbers?
H: I wouldn't have to ask for the numbers. Our accounts are all merged.
FH: I know, right?
<about a half an hour goes by; we're both working on different things as we close on our house tomorrow.>
H: Is this on SI?
H: What's the amount?
FH: What amount?
H: The amount that the BW charged in 4 years.
FH: Well, I guess about 15K? And before the cheating thing he cleaned up some of her spending problems.
H: FIFTEEN THOUSAND?
FH: Yes, I guess so.
<another half an hour>
H: I thought you said the H was the money guy.
FH: Yes. He said he took care of all the bills for 20 or so years.
H: And he didn't know his WIFE had numerous CC's and stuff?
FH: Guess not.
<half an hour goes by. Movers arranged etc. Preparation for the cashier's check>
FH: He wanted the details submitted in an Excel format.
H: Yeah, I can imagine how you would have reacted to that little demand.
FH: Well, I guess she got the first card four years ago in order to establish some independence because of his cheating.
H: Uh'huh. She's overspending. Has nothing to do with infidelity, I think?
FH: I bought some really expensive champagne for tomorrow!
H: What were we talking about?
betrayedandnumb, and H.....you two have to talk to one another and trust one another.
Year two, I found some texts that made me question if there was another A (there wasn't) However, that was my reason for keeping my info to myself. I wasn't sure what was going on. (trying to explain my actions at the time, not that they were correct)
Year three I gave him an excel sheet with all the information. And later that year, he put passwords back on his FB and email after a fight. With the thought that I could always check his phone. So, it was still open, but only when he was home. Honestly, that gave me pause in sharing my info and that had delayed my willingness to share openly.
What changed? When he accused me of Financial Infidelity. I had been keeping the specifics because I didn't want to be lectured and treated like a child. But that's exactly how I was behaving. Like a petulant child. One that didn't get their way and pouts.
[This message edited by betrayedandnumb at 7:31 AM, June 28th (Friday)]
Anyway, what changed is that I realized that if he's going to have another A, he's going to have another A. All I can do is react accordingly. Once I came to that realization, I knew that he needed all the info. Which he had in dribs. And drabs. And that wasn't fair.
And then tried to make it right.
Oh. My debt is 12k. It was higher, but I've been paying more the minimum when I can which has helped. Letting the interest accumulate wasn't smart, but I am being responsible and doing the best I can on a PT salary. Again, there weren't any frivolous expendatures, but things like groceries and gas.
Also, to answer a previous post... I was getting a high from spending. Not because I was getting stuff. No, it was because I felt I was finally contributing to the household. As a SAHM for years, I often had felt guilty that I couldn't help him financially. Just wanted to clarify what I was getting from using the CCs.
Thanks to all who have posted.
[This message edited by betrayedandnumb at 7:35 AM, June 28th (Friday)]
I do all my budgeting in Excel so that is very true. I have templates in my file that she could have used and was offered numerous times.
And for the record, I did not call her pathetic. I said that the effort she put forth was somewhat pathetic. I know, that does not sound great put calling an effort pathetic is much different that calling her pathetic. I’m all about time management. Here is one way of looking at this problem – How long did it take her to type the initial thread on this site? Why not spend those 15-20 minutes on creating the financial report instead?
Look, I had to run a run a credit report on her last year because of the lying and not telling me about what she was doing financially. I told her that so she knows about it. I can knock out the information that I want in about 15 minutes but she told me that she wants to do it by herself. So, like a good repentant husband, I gave her her space. I just wanted a deadline, which passed months ago. Maybe there is something going on more than she wants to admit. The point is that I do not know. Just like a cheating spouse, you want to know and you are going to dig in until you find out the truth.
I know the truth. The “A” cause part of this, not all of it though. Now it is all about hiding and lying about the total number. What she does not get is that I just want that number. I don’t want the details of how she got there. Others have filed bankruptcy over debts getting this large. This is no longer an infidelity thing, it is a “we need to solve this before we lose the house” thing. It is the big friggin elephant in the room what she will not address. I just need the info. Nothing more, nothing less. I’m willing to work on it with her or without her but at this point, she will not let me in to do either.
This will be the last post I put on this thread because I can tell that my wife is getting upset after the prior post. Love you honey. Don't worry about the debt, I will handle it myself now. I'm actually tired of you posting 1/2 the details and then I get shredded on this site. Do me a favor, give all the details when posting, not the parts that you only want the people to know. Love. Got to get read for work now....
I recommend Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover. It definitely helps. Also, I think you need to sit down TOGETHER and do whatever needs to be done--gather info, make a plan. You guys need to break this pattern of you reporting to him--where he's the bad guy and you are the child. Neither of you want those roles--they aren't fun and they aren't healthy.
Work on being a financial team--where responsibility is shared and decisions are joint. Every one gets a vote (yay) and everyone has responsibility (part of the deal).
[This message edited by I think I can at 6:52 AM, June 28th (Friday)]
Never be afraid of the truth
I started it last night, but only got so far. It will certainly be a priority today. I can't change the past, but I can change the future.
[This message edited by betrayedandnumb at 7:29 AM, June 28th (Friday)]