Struggling with an unsupportive OH



  • Hello, A few questions for you to consider.

    If your OH has lied to you about debts and credit cards, what else is he already lying to you about or will do in the future??? How does this figure in the long term plans and future of your relationship?

    If you marry this person then (I believe) you will be jointly liable for his debts, even though he may have had them well prior to you meeting him.

    Why should you take out more personal debt i.e. a loan in your name to make his life easier? By not facing up to his situation, he is not exactly jumping in to help himself or the both of you is he? Would he do the same for you in the same situation? I suspect not unfortunately.

    Overall, your relationship does not appear to be based on solid foundations and I suspect that if you are really honest with yourself and examine the relationship more closely, you may find that there are other 'gaps' in the relationship. None of us are perfect, but if you do at least try then no one should be able to criticise you, you are trying to help the both of you but I suspect you are fighting a lone battle and I think you may be deserve better.

    Apologies for interfering in other areas but I am usually fairly accurate on my instincts.
  • I really feel for you and the predicament you find yourself in. I think that what comes over loud and clear is that you MUST NOT pay off his debts. Find the right moment to sit him down and tell him how serious this situation is and how he risks losing not only you but also his self respect. Go to the CAB and ask about debt counselling and if the worst comes to the worst he will have to consider personal bankruptcy. I don't agree with people walking away from their debts but sometimes it is the only way that you can make a fresh start. One thing is for sure, if he is made bankrupt he won't be able to run up any more debts!! Best wishes.
  • ive been there......ex hubby was a picture framer, he got greedy wanted originals, we are in Belfast but opened gallery beside the Tate Modern in London, meanwhile phoning me to work, wanting the details of my credit card for marketing..1,800 at im a time....Im a NHS nurse!..he encouraged me to open new crdit cards with me as main name, i never used the cards, he, the second card holder wasnt until i realised he hadnt paid the mortgage for six months did i waken up!!, also bought an x5 at £850 a month, and "bargain" crocadile shoes reduced from £1,000 to £300 did i wise up!!!, our last child induced because id high blood pressue which, 5 years on hasnt resolved...........£80,000 second mortgage on now debt free, but living a veey frugal life ....but him.....spent 4 months in a psychiatric unit, now in a one bed flat, no car, no job........eldest daughter aged 11 wont see him, 8 and 5 year old go once a fortnight at my petrol is very different, and im still bitter he wont get off his backside and pay maintence............i owed , with his debts £40,000 on credit plus the two mortgages, now as a home owner, with a boy and girl sharing a bedroom!, i still owe £7,000 from those days....sorry to get this off my chest
  • Isn't love wonderful!!

    I think you are in a very difficult place right now, very worried and probably feeling very alone - with the person you should be able to trust with anything the last person you can approach - but so brave as well to share your problems with us.

    My advice - having been around the block once or twice and still learning as I go - is step back, take a deep breath and share all your worries and concerns with someone. It doesn't have to be a friend or family member, in fact someone else more neutral may be a better choice because they are less likely to try to tell you what you should do, but they can ask questions which help you clarify your thoughts or offer ideas and alternative strategies. There are people out there who can help by listening to you talk yourself round the subject, and sometimes that is the only way to work out what you need to do for you. Try local Citizens Advice, the library, Sally Army or your local churches, one of those organisations can put you in touch with some personal support to match the quality of financial advice you are getting on here.

    Remember you are a wonderful, unique person, and you are important to lots of people. Anyone who loves and cares for you will be genuinely concerned for your wellbeing and want to support you and join you in your dreams - as well as inviting you to join in theirs. Take care, be strong and make your own choices for your own reasons.

    Remember what ever you choose for you is your right answer!

    As a footnote - possibly worthy of its own thread - what do you think about reintroducing the heroic quest as part of the mate selection process. Nothing like seeing a man slay the odd monster/travel to the ends of the earth to find some obscure artifact/rescue me and my children from a fate worse than death/clear his own debts and keep them cleared... to convince me that maybe he is worthy of my attentions. And if he doesn't convince? Well it must be healthier to stand by my expectations by walking away - if he is truly serious he will eventually conquer the dragon and come running back with his proofs of courage and affection.

    Not sure I could spin straw into gold or plait my hair into a ladder though...
    All will be well
    All things will be well
    All manner of things will be well
  • Also struggling with upsupportive OH.

    Don't pay off his loans - I know it feels like the debt is on your shoulders as well but he needs to pay it off himself - it is HIS debt.

    I wouldn't take over the finances either - I tried that and OH simply developed a more child like state of mind and spent until I told him to stop with no concept of how much money he had spent - he needs to work these things out for himself.

    Make sure he sets up a standing order into your account so you can pay the bills but then his money is his money - he will have to learn even if it is the hard way. Keep a carefull eye on his finances and make sure he's not going too crazy - my new tack is to set up a savings account and show him what you can have if you are careful with money

    I don't know if my advice will work as it's an ongoing project but my fingers crossed for the both of us. Good Luck
  • I have never been in debt until i met my husband and discovered that he had debts that he had accumulated with his ex. I took control and have had to be hard with him by budgeting and making sure that out of his wages he put alot towards debts while i ensured my wages went on keeping a roof over our heads. when i saw that we were starting to see some light at the end of the tunnel i loosened the reins a bit. we had a nice holiday this year and it felt great that he was participating in the saving up for it AND putting money towards debts. My goal is to be debt free by next august at the latest all being well. i would not advise a joint account. he will not be able to have a credit card because of his bad ratings and because i used mine and got into debt to clear his debts i will not want another one once i have sorted it all out. Our debt was a big cloud over me because i am the sensible one in the relationship which to someone who lives for today translates as boring. Our debt was probably about £10,000 in all but its taken me 3 years to get it down to around £4000 and it's been hard work. whenever he wanted anything i told him we cant afford it but you save up for it and you can have it and yes in the end it was like teaching a child to appreciate his pocket money but i had to get back to basics to do this. it has not been easy and its caused a lot of frostyness in the beginning but i had to take control for my own sanity and if he really did not like it i would of had to split up with him because there was no way i wanted to live in debt. i would recommend making your own spreadsheets of your bank accounts with income and outcome and facing up to each debt and putting them onto spreadsheets and working out how much to pay off each one every month. then you can calculate how long it will take and you can see when it will all be paid off. i did this and printed it all out so that he could see it in black and white and although most the time he would say i dont follw what youve done just carry on as i am happy with what you are doing, i still showed him so that there was proof that the scrimping was achieving something. i wish you well.
    :happylove Kikibee :happyhear
  • Debsie
    Debsie Posts: 12 Forumite
    As a young woman I was bailed out of debt, by my Dad, twice and told off by my husband numerous times before I worked out the money side of life. I have been in control of the family finances for 10 years during which time we have ammassed savings and have had no debt whatsoever apart from a mortgage. I am well educated and hold a professional qualification so I cannot claim I don't understand numbers. Looking back at it I think that I simply had no real concept of what money was or how it worked. I treated all money like pocket money.. which when it ran out; I simply went to Dad who gave me a talk about importance/future/responsibility/growing-on-trees and then more money. So I was happy. When I got my first job (23years ago) the bank account came with a credit card and BOY did that feel grown up, walking into a shop and buying anything I wanted. It simply didn't occur to me I hadn't actually paid for it and that I would have to pay the credit card company back. And so the problems started. Did I lie about my problems? Well yes I supose I did. If you imagine someone saying some words to you.. and then you say some words back... and then there is an outburst of emotion ie anger/disappointment/anxiety or sulking; then would you really say those words again to someone you really cared about and didn't want to see upset? - even if you wanted to. My husband calls this approach to life as 'head-in-the-sand' but I saw it as sparing us all from a 'scene'. So my lesson was to learn to cope with how other people reacted to my actions. Good or bad. So anyway, my husband married a debt ridden young woman and I played secret squirrel about my finances - my first shock was when he told me we wouldn't be having a joint account because he didn't want to get into debt. I can only just remember this event but I think I was offended more than anything else.. but it made the difference... because I realised he dealt with money differently to me and it made me think. It was many years later that the BIG change came. I was sitting, as a young Mum (no job = no money except for the 'pocket money' my Dad still gave me) watching Alvin Hall "your money or your life" curious about the young couple he was trying to help. He used lots of practical illustrations. As the series wore on and I listened to his explanation of borrowings/savings the penny dropped and I realised IT WAS ME he was talking about. Finally I GOT it. My Mum bought me the book (I was broke of course) and, honestly, I have not looked back since. Not once. I am now responsible for all the cashflow in our household - because I'm really enthusiastic about all things money now. My OH married me but not my debt or my debty ways. So it was made clear to me that I had to deal with my finances. I think this was very wise - my OH stayed emotionally detached from my problems so was in a better position to help me with them and because he is so calm and businesslike about money; I found it easier to be open and we have never argued about money.
    Try to stay detached about these issues, actually it is not your problem it is his, buy him Martins (or Alvins) book & think about watching a good 'get-yourself-out-of-debt' programme. Avoid jumping into his quicksand; else there'll be nobody to throw out the lifeline. That's your job!
    Charles J
  • Hi

    I work for a divorce solicitor and have seen far too many people come through our doors with a similar situation to you.

    DO NOT under any circumstances put any loans into your name. YOU will be legally liable for their repayment.

    If you lend him any money that you have saved, please have an agreement drawn up. It might not necessarily mean that you will be able to get the money back (if he hasn't got it), but at least you would be able to prove you lent it to him and might be able to enforce judgement via a Court.

    If you manage to get a property together, it is fairly obvious that yours will be the bigger financial contribution. Consider have a Deed of Trust drawn up to protect your contribution rather than the automatic 50/50 share. A couple of hundred spent on legal fees now could potentially save you thousands.

    Despite the doom and gloom above, I hope you manage to work it out. Hopefully he will "see the light"

  • You say that you know none of us can help you with your relationship, but the financial problems are part of your relationship. He's lied to you on more than one occasion. How do you know he won't continue to do so? A relationship has to be based on trust and respect, and in my opinion his attitude shows a huge great lack of respect for you. He's old enough to take responsibility for his own actions but won't. What is he spendng money on?
    Obviously something you don't know about or have you been turning a blind eye to extravagant purchases.
    You could spend the reat of your life baling him out, or constantly dreading the next bill or phone call.
    You need his reassurance and proof in action that he is willing to change his ways. As mentioned elsewhere here his spending could be an addiction. I would ask him to get professional help.
    I certainly wouldn't consider buying a house with him untill I was 100% certain that he wouldn't drag me into more debt and was working with me to clear the existing one.
    You've read the horror stories above. If you've got children of course its more difficult to go for a 'shape up or ship out' approach. From your post I get the impression that you don't. It may take an ultimation like that to shock him into action and make sure if you do issue an ultimation that you are prepared to carry it out.
    Lies of any kind undermine and destroy relationships.
    Sorry if I seem harsh,I don't mean to be.
    I wish you luck.
  • skintas_2
    skintas_2 Posts: 1,679 Forumite
    i have a friend who thought her man was paying the rent, he was spending it all as she was treating him like dirt, he left and she got a evition notice. she owed thousands, she already had a suspended eviction, only kpet hold of her house due to the fact she had a kid. she been done for claming and living with a partner, so was in rent arrears and debt already. when he left she was in more trouble that was 5 years ago she is still in trouble now with debt. i have made sure my rent is paid weekly by standing order from my partners bank every week. i try to pay the other bills, the rent is the most important i get evicted ill lose my house and kids schools back in bed and breakfast god knows how long. even worse my friend, got evicted from ha propert neva get housed again. i have joined a new scheme by my ha, rentplus pay a extra £45 a month, do your own repairs, after a year they give you your 12 months of £45 plus £300 bonus for not phoning ha with repairs only major ones like boilers etc.
    i will be debt free, i will
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