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Jen Helant
Jen Helant, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1386
Experience:  I have a degree in psychology and worked with many couples. I am happily married and have been for 10 years.
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Husband borrowed money with no record

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I just found out today that in 2006 my husband borrowed money from my dad to pay our bills unknown to me without any record of the amounts and nothing paid back to the tune of 55k. My brothers presented me with the detailed information today. My husband swears it was for bills. He did manage the budget, I know that he got us near foreclosure at that time be researching my credit bureau.. He never should have asked my dad for the money. My brothers think I should divorce him. I hate the shame he has brought on me and the kids as my brothers and sister in laws know all about this. He has never done anything dishonest that I know of. He took the checks cashed them and says he paid the bills. He asked my dad when he borrowed the first 7,000 not to tell me. He agreed. My dad called my brother to say he was concerned and asked him not to say anything. Everyone feels he used my dads mental condition to take advantage of him. He never should have asked my dad for money, he should have spoken to me first. When my brothere did further research he called my husband and told him not to borrow any more. It looks so slimey, I am very hurt upset, angry confused.  What should I do?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Jen Helant replied 5 years ago.
I think that what he did was not the right thing. He should have went to you and talked to you about it first. We are not talking about a $200 loan here and even with that I think he should have spoke to you about it. This is a large amount of money. Having that said and being that it is 6 years ago also most importantly you said he has never done anything dishonest I feel you should try and move on from this together. If he has not did anything like this before and overall you have a good relationship I would say to talk to him and let him know that you are hurt from this. See how he is thinking if he understand that this should not have been done and he should have spoke to you first then this is a good thing. Even though you are shocked and embarrassed he did use the money wisely and that is important. He probably did not want to go to you because he was embarrassed himself. Men feel they need to support their family and feel like failures when they can not. This is most likely the reason he went to your Dad and not you. That was very nice of your Dad to do that. A lot of people do not have anyone either that has money to lend or they may have and do not want to lend, so consider yourself lucky in that aspect. Do not worry what your other family members think. This is not anything new. Recently a lot of people went into foreclosure and debt. This is nothing to be ashamed about. Work on the "now" and what the two of you will do now to move on from this and pay off your Dad. The money saved you at a time you needed most. Now make a promise together to communicate about everything and Thank your Dad! Concentrate on your family and don't' worry about the others. Everyone will have their opinion and two cents about others, but no one knows unless they are in the situation. Keep your head up and take it day by day. I wish you all the best!
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for speaking to me about this. I just didn't know where to turn. My family and I in a real way feels like he stole this money or took advantage of my dads dimenished cognitive ability. Neither my dad or my husband kept a record of the checks, no repayment schedule was made. My husband was not forthcoming with my brother when he started to investigate dads dimenished account balance in 2007. He said he did borrow money from dad but was not specific in the amount. I will pay back the amount plus interest via a HELOC or borrowing from my 401K as soon as I can get my loan approved. Should I tell my kids about this? Should I have my husband go to a counselor ? Should we separate for a while ?
Expert:  Jen Helant replied 5 years ago.

No problem at all!


If he took advantage of your Dad that is different. Was your Dad not in the right state of mind or was he mindful. If he was mindful then your Dad must have lent it because he was married to you and you are his daughter. Yes, maybe a small thing got out of control since there was no record keeping. Did your Dad plan on getting paid back? If your Dad was not mindful then that is more serious. It would be best to sit down and have a long talk with your husband about this. If everything else is good in your relationship I would not say to separate because of this. However, if this was "the last straw that broke the camels back then that is a different story then you may need to consider that option depending on the severity. I do not feel you should get your kids involved. No matter their ages. They are your children. They have enough to deal with just growing. Keep your relationship issues between you and your husband just between you. I do not even feel you should get to deep into it with other family members. Communicate about this with your husband and Dad those are the only people that need to be involved and your Mom ( if she is still around. If not then I apologize). I think couples counseling would be good for the both of you together to get through this. I hope this works out for the best!

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

In 2006 my dad was in early stages of dementia. The fact that he called my brother and said he was concerned makes me think, like you said that my dad did this for his daughter. In looking at the checks he went to my dad at times twice a month. I asked my husband what he said to my dad and he would say he needed x amount for this bill and he said my dad would say he needed to get a handle on the situation , asked him what he was going to do. Not only do I plan to pay my dad back the raw amount but interest that would have accrued on that money.


Is this the straw ? This is so huge to me I don't know if it is the straw. My brothers waited 5 years to tell me about this until today, my dads 91st bday. He is now not in much of a cognitive state so they felt it was time to tell me what they found out. I told my husband had he been up front with my brothers and said, your dad has loaned me a large amount of money. I don't know the exact amount we need to gather the data and put together a repayment schedule I think we would have all been angry but able to deal with it vs thinking he had possibly taken advantage of dad, although he did let my brother know an approximate amount that he had borrowed. The real issue I think is we are wrestling with is if he took advantage of my dad or not. I do think the money went to the bills, as we sure didn't have surplus cash then so it wasn't mis-spent. It is just that he received so much money without any attempt to pay back or let people know that he and dad were transacting these loans. I wrestle with if staying with him validates to my brothers that I am willing to stay married to someone they think misappropriated funds from our dad. But if we divorce, what is the impact to the kids? Would that destroy their perception of themselves and their dad. I just don't know.........

Expert:  Jen Helant replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for clarifying. Yes, it makes it more complicated if your Dad was on the early stages of dementia. I would definitely recommend counseling for you both to help you decide if it is the last straw or not. It is difficult to tell if he borrowed money from your Dad since he knew he had money or if he actual took advantage of him. Only he knows his true motives. It is a good point that he did tell your brother. If his intentions were 100% bad then I doubt he would have told him. It is good that you plan to pay your Dad back with interest. I guess before you decide if you stay with him or not you would need to get counseling to get to the bottom of the main issue if he took advantage of your Dad or not. You know if this is the last straw or not. If you feel like it is then it may be, but only you can answer that. For your brother unfortunately you need to make the decision based on what you think is right regardless of your brother. As with divorce it is better to divorce than to have a not good situation for the kids if you stay together. I am not saying you should divorce, but I am just saying divorce it not always worse for the kids depending on the situation. Children will have issues no matter what it just varies based on how they grow up. If they suffer their parents getting a divorce as long as you both are still loving parents it should not affect them as much as if you both use your kids against each other. Most children with issues from divorce is when it is a "bad" divorce and the children witness that. I am not at all promoting divorce, but it is not always the worst option for the kids. Just be there for them and let them know that you both still love them and are still there for them. Assure them it is not there fault and it does not change the individual relationships each of you have with each of them. Try and go to counseling with him and see if your marriage can be saved that is if you want to. Your kids will not be destroyed. They will get through it just don't give them details. I do not think they should be involved in the details of your issues. I wish you all the best and I hope your husbands intentions were good in the end of all this. Take one day at a time. Don't try to predict the future of the two of you or your children just take each step and you will get through this.
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