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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5809
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Do you have a suggestion on how to handle this situation

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My husband has been self employed for five years and we are not making ends meet because the business is not providing us with an income. We have two young children and I currently stay at home. My husband was given an inheritance shortly after we were married 13.5 years ago and has never provided an income by earning enough to pay for our family needs. I used to work but stopped 4 years ago when we had kids. We had always used the money for trips or cars or him going back to school to become a chiropractor and to start a business and pay off our house. In 2008 we bought a different house and took on a debt, which we shouldn't have done and our expenses increased and of course the economy took a big dip then too. We have spent a lot of our savings on just living the last two years. He is a terrible business person but a good dr. He refuses to give up on the business so we just keep dumping more money into it. I want to sell the house so at least we can reduce our expenses but that still won't solve our income problem. My husband spends money on unnecessary items like this week he bought $1,000 worth of computer stuff and water filter, etc. when we can't pay our household expenses out of his paycheck. I can go back to work but I have tried that before and it just puts pressure on me to work and balance kids and it doesn't change his behavior. He says he loves me and the kids and I think he does it just is he doesn't realize the wedge this creates between the two of us. We have gone to marriage counseling and it helped enlighten him somewhat but he still is optimistic not realistic. I am going to a Christian counselor and she suggested drawing some lines with him to protect me and the kids. She suggested going to an attorney to separate our assets and that I could manage the household budget without him having access to that money. then he could have some of his own money to do whatever he wants with. I give him a timeframe like a year to provide for our needs and if he doesn't then I will take the kids and live with my parents until he figures things out and then we would come back. I think the leaving sounds harsh but he would be warned. I want to stay together but I am very frustrated with the situation and it doesn't seem that he gets the reality of the situation and I don't think he will until we are out of money.

Hi, I'd like to help you with your problem.


It sounds like your husband is either not willing to see this situation as a problem, or he is refusing to see a problem. Either way, you need to protect yourself in this situation.


I believe your counselor is right. At this point, you have tried everything you could to get your husband to understand there is a problem. He is not able to or willing to see what is happening, so it leaves you little choice in the matter but to protect yourself and your kids.


If you believe that your household expenses will last the year it takes to see if you husband responds, then by all means give him this time. But I agree, boundaries need set so you can have markers by which to measure progress, if there is any. It also gives you some measure of control to say "this needs accomplished by this time", etc.


I agree too that it would place a very large burden on you to work outside the home at this point. It also may be a detriment because it could give your husband even more reason to not help support the family and take some financial responsibility if he has you bringing in an income.


Set up a schedule with your counselor for the upcoming year for your husband. Also begin researching your options for separating your accounts. It never hurts to have a separate account just for bills at least or even a savings as a back up.


There is also a book that may help you called Financial Infidelity: Seven Steps to Conquering the #1 Relationship Wrecker by Bonnie Eaker-Weil. has it available or your local library may have a copy.


I hope this has helped you,


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