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Financial infidelity

Neil78 posted 7/13/2020 14:19 PM

I met my wife in 2004, I have spent 23 years in the military and she has been with me for 15 of those years. Initially when we first started dating she lied to me about her age and confessed a couple weeks into the relationship and said she was 8 years older than me, but her records say she is 11 years older. She said this was just for immigration when she was a kid...so I really don't know for sure.

She is a nurse (RN) and always made decent money but never contributed to our savings at all, she would take money out of my savings so I separated all my accounts. We did have some joint credit cards and she started to run those up with shopping and gambling...always only paying the minimum no matter how much I hounded her. At tax time I would always have to pay everything (4-5 thousand per year)

When I was deployed she used my power of attorney to get new cards and start accumulating debt. I would get furious and it still continued...she came into the relationship with a prior bankruptcy. We could never get a house because of her horrible credit score. In 2011 when I was returning from Afghanistan she called me crying saying she had accumulated over 20,000 in debt on my cards. I was shocked and outraged but helped pay them down and put her on a plan.

She always just paid the minimum with high interest on cash advances and nothing improved much. In 2016 when I was deployed again she finally reached critical mass and couldn't keep up, she filed for chapter 31 bankrupt again she owed over 60,000 dollars. It did not effect credit score it was on her cards. But she had to pay 1,100 per month for 5 years which did make me compensate for her financial problems. I thought she was doing great and I am getting ready to retire, I told her I was proud of her less than a year to go on bankruptcy payments. Then I found out she has almost 10,000 on secret cards and another bad loan for 5,000 with 4,000 in interest over the payoff period.

She saved my life from loneliness and we always got along great, all we had was each other but this sickness of hers is unsustainable. We live in Florida now and there are no casinos in the area...she even lied about the dollar amount when I caught her this last time. I have no idea where the money gets spent...I pay for rent, bought her car with cash, she has no expense other than bankruptcy and occasionally food and little things....what say you?

DaBreaks posted 7/13/2020 15:33 PM

Could she be sending money home to family in her home country?

Online gambling is another option.

Neil78 posted 7/13/2020 15:44 PM

I guess my question is do you stay with someone like this?

Buster123 posted 7/13/2020 15:48 PM

Short answer: NO

20yrsagoBS posted 7/13/2020 15:49 PM


To answer your question.

If this doesn't feel like something you cannot get past, cannot repair, aren't willing to chance it happening over and over again, then you divorce.

If the comfort she provides you in your relationship makes up for the financial terror, then you stay married.

It's different for everyone

aussiemel posted 7/13/2020 16:11 PM

If this has been going on for all those years, obviously she cannot or does not want to change.

Has she or does she see a therapist at all?

She obviously hasn't admitted that she has a problem if she hasn't given you any indication as to where all the money is going.

My guess is gambling, if she was spending money in casinos when you lived in another state, she is probably now into online gambling.

She either confesses to everything and goes into therapy, or you might have to cut your ties. Only you can decide, but do you want to be worried about every cent when you retire?

babypuke posted 7/13/2020 21:00 PM

Can it be found on the credit card records where she spends the money on? Install a keylogger on the home computer to find out where the money goes?? Hire a PI or tech expert??? What does she say about it???

You have research to do, as this also affects you, now because it affects your mental health and in the future you do not want to become that bankrupt homeless guy because your wife dragged you into it, right?

Why is there not a rule now in your household which says that her monthly earnings should go mostly to a savings account?, why does she still have a credit card? etc.?

Above a few suggestions were given about where the money may go, time to find out as a first step.

About cheating including financial cheating, take action (more) to protect yourself, strength!

The1stWife posted 7/13/2020 21:19 PM

Still paying her debts. How sad.

Is this something you don’t have to pay b/c the account or loans are in Her name alone?

[This message edited by The1stWife at 7:10 AM, July 14th (Tuesday)]

Neil78 posted 7/13/2020 22:46 PM

Yes, almost all of the debt is in her name and she does not pay. Just the minimum the cycle just repeats itself until she is bankrupt again

LadyFalcon posted 7/13/2020 23:41 PM

I would consult w/ an attorney to see if your state has "limited divorce" laws that allow you to separate yourself from her financially only but allow you to still live in the home and she take advantage of benefits like health insurance, etc.

In NJ, there was no legal separation for marriages, only civil unions, but you could get a "divorce from bed-and-board" which was essentially the same thing. You were still married but no marital property (or debt) could be accrued after it was filed unless you "reconciled" and had the injunction removed. Some things such as inheritance, social security and pensions need be addressed as well.

I think it is worth looking into so that you do not get saddled with her debt down the road.

Buffer posted 7/14/2020 04:59 AM

Brother fellow ex serviceman, with the same amount of time under my belt. If you can remain in this bankruptcy wife then she needs serious IC not just financial counseling.
It will be hard as she is hooked on the thrill of the spend regardless of the hurt.
Separate accounts from now on. Sit her down and try to explain that the cause of her actions you are looking at D.
One day at a time

Bigger posted 7/14/2020 11:17 AM

I take it that the Chapter 31 bankruptcy is a typo and is a Chapter 13 bankruptcy (court-ordered payment schedule).

I’m surprised by the clear his-and-her status of the debts. Rule-of-thumb is that debts incurred in marriage are joint debts and that creditors can go to either party and/or any assets to get payment. Basically, they probably won’t bother if it’s your Ford or her Datsun that they repossess. This is supported by her need to use her power-of-attorney to get more cards and spending cash.

My first step in your shoes would be to get a very very clear picture of the debts and to stop the bleeding. Cancel all cards, close all accounts that are in any way associated to you, cancel subscriptions and all payments. I would want this done by tomorrow…

The second step is to get legal guidance on your accountability and if any of the debt can be collected from you. Be clear on what a divorce will look like if you decide to go that path. What would you have to pay? What would be her debt? What about your pension? What about support and so on and so on. Don’t think of this as having decided to divorce – it’s plain planning just in case.
Keep in mind that in a divorce settlement you two probably can’t unilaterally decide she takes the AMEX debt and you take the vehicles. The lender has a say too. If the card was issued due to your name or credit-score then they won’t accept offloading it to someone with a couple of bankruptcies.

Once I had all that in line, I would confront her and ask what she wants and what she’s prepared to do to get that.
Some examples of what might be required:
Go to GA (if the cash is going to the casinos).
Be open about her finances – To the extent where her pay is deposited in your account, you transfer living expenses to her, and she lives within her means.
Maybe even relocating to a casino-free area.

I would strongly suggest you BOTH join a financial management course of the type Dave Ramsey offers.

Basically, she needs to acknowledge the problem and be willing to deal with it in a realistic way. There needs to be a plan in place and she held accountable to that plan. For example: If she goes to Gamblers Anonymous she needs to check in so you know she’s there and not at the local casino. She needs to account for every dollar – to the extent she get’s a receipt for her coffee.

It sounds drastic, but it takes some months to break behavioral patterns, and even longer to deal with addictions. I am not suggesting an ongoing platform for a relationship, but more something temporary if you want this relationship.

beenthereinco posted 7/14/2020 11:36 AM

You can freeze her credit and they will give you a PIN that has to be given to unfreeze. If she will cooperate do it and keep the PIN yourself so she can't open any more accounts while you decide what to do.

Stinger posted 7/15/2020 21:48 PM

If she has cheated and/ or been financially unfaithful, you are , most likely dealing with a personality disordered wife. Read up on the cluster B personality disorders. These are a bitch.

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