Don't Know What to Do! HELP!!!

Updated on August 28, 2008
J.J. asks from Kearney, NE
29 answers

I just wanted to update this a little bit. I didn't mention that our son has Cystic Fibrosis and that this is my husband's third marriage. Hi, I am at my wits end. A little summary of what's going on. About a month ago, I had gotten our checkbook extremely screwed up and I take full responsiblity for it. It was a stupid mistake. However, know my husband has pretty much taken all means to any money we have or may have away from me. He is going to pay all the bills and so fourth. That's fine - I can see why he did that. Now here is my problem, we had sat down and went through how and what we were going to pay with the checks for the month. Last I knew he was going to pay the daycare and the cable bill with his check and then the gas bill and other bills were going to come out of my check. Well, today he said he was going to pay the gas bill and the cable bill and I asked him that I thought he was going to pay it the previous way and he got extremely mad at me and said he never said that and it was all my fault that we were in this mess and I needed to work every night to get us out of.

Now did I mention that he owes his attorney about $30,000 for custody of his daughter, which the mom is taking him back to court so it will be even more and he promised to pay him $300 every month. We barely make it through as it is and our son we have together has Cystic Fibrosis which means he has extra medical costs. (The Vest costs $17,00 - two prescription co-pays cost 600.)

Through the years we have been married, he has never once supported me and I am always supposed to support him no matter what. I feel extremely alone and I have even started hating him because all he does is point out all the negative things about me and what I do or want and he never thanks me or anything for what I do. Especially for pretty much taking care of his daughter that he has custody of. I get her up in the mornings along with our son and get her ready and do my son's therapy. I take them to school and/or daycare and pick them up. I make supper for everyone. I do my son's therapy again at night and get them ready for bed. He is always out do something in the garage and gets irritated with me if I ask for any help with the kids.

I want to leave him but financially I don't think I can. What do I do!?!

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So What Happened?

Thank you to everyone who has replied. My husband and I actually are communicating on what bills need to be paid and when to pay them. So everything is not just on one of us. His attitude is still always so negative about everything and he still
but he seems to be trying to be more patient with our son.

More Answers



answers from Des Moines on

J., it sounds like you've already gotten a lot of advice, it sounds like things have been building for a long time. My hubby and I have been married 8 years and are coming out of a rough time ourselves. When you are bickering and going at it all the time, it can build some serious resentment toward your spouse and make you think you don't even need them or love them. I know divorce is alot of work too, don't think it would automatically be the answer. It's so hard to tell you what to do, since we don't know how bad it is. I would say I agree with the 2 things that seem to be suggested over and over. Marriage/financial counseling would do wonders. But I would also get some advice on how to establish some respect boundaries with your husband. Some of the ways he is treating you are wrong. His job is to encourage you & there will always be disagreements, but you are not his child, you are supposed to be his equal partner. I have been seeing a counselor that has helped me establish some boundaries with my husband. And they are very effective! I did it in a way that was respectful to both of us, but pointed out that things were only allowed to go so far. And he didn't even really realize what he was doing was so damaging. There are a lot of good churches and counselors out there. People aren't meant to go through this type of pain alone. Look at all the strangers that just e-mailed you because they care. Try to hook up with a good church soon, one that will encourage and support you. And speak up to people you actually know and ask for help. Dont embarass your husband, but talk to someone you trust, or a counselor about how to get some help. Give him a chance to change. You will know if his heart is willing or not. I have been praying about an issue for about 3 years that just changed. But it was because my husband was not willing to change. Once we sought out the counseling, his eyes were open to other possibilities and ways to communicate. It was not me who changed him, it was God. If your husband is open to change, God will use people to speak to his heart too. You can't change him, but you can start the process of counseling to help you both learn to communicate better. Ask God for help - ask others you know and trust, don't try to do this alone. God bless you and comfort you J.. If you want to talk more, feel free to contact me.



answers from Eau Claire on

The best advice I an give you is to search your heart. Every marriage has struggles, but is how we deal with them that matters. If you are being abused, that is one thing, but if you are unhappy, rethink why you married him in the first place. I know this may be tough to swallow, but if you make a commitment for a lifetime, then do what you can to Improve, rather than run. Nobody's perfect, we all have faults. I know you and your children would be better off in the long run if you and your husband chose to be humble and put the other first. Radical thinking, I know, but that is what Jesus did. Sometimes, we need to be a loving example - in the hardest of times, to let others know how much we love them. I realize that you will need to take the first step. Love is a verb, not a feeling, it is a decision.

My husband and I went to a Christian counselor to work some things out. Would your husband be willing? Sometimes a church can help too if finances are preventing you from solid Christian counseling.

I will pray for your heartfelt daily decisions!

May God bless you in a special way to day,



answers from Davenport on

You absolutely can and should leave if that is what you wish. You may not like this route, but you can receive financial assistance in most states to help you out until you get on your feet especially as you have a child with compromised health. If you feel that the place in which you are in life is not the best place for you and your child and you have tried to change the situation to no avail then it is up to you to do what you must to leave. A lot of couples fight about money. I think in your case it is pretty obvious that the issues with your marriage have little to do with money and a lot to do with the fact that you feel used and unhappy. Talk to your husband. If he is unable or unwilling to change then start looking for resources to get away.



answers from Minneapolis on

When you get married, your life becomes one, as well as your money. His checks, my checks doesn't make any sense. Sounds like you two have the ability to sit down and talk about this. How about talking about putting all the money together? You can set up most of your bills on auto-draft, to come out whatever day of the month you would like. This is much easier than writing checks and trying to get them in the mail on time. There are great budgeting forms on - look at the very bottom of the home page. Good luck!! Money is one of the big 4 that ruin marriages. If your marriage is worth saving, you have got to get on the same page with all of this.



answers from Des Moines on

Hi J. - I'm not sure if you are already involved in a church, but either way, I wanted to let you know that my church, Point of Grace, offers Financial Peace University. I have heard many testimonies and it has really really helped families out.

good luck!


answers from Minneapolis on

I see a couple of people have mentioned this already, J., but I have to say as well - check out Dave Ramsey! I highly recommend you read The Total Money Makeover and if you get the Fox Business Network, watch his show. He also has radio shows. He has completely changed our lives. We have gotten ourselves in a huge financial mess and Dave Ramsey has not only given us hope, but has given us a proven plan. He breaks it down into baby steps that are easy to follow and sets attainable goals. You are only 29 years old. You have plenty of time to clean up your debts and build wealth which will take the stress out of your relationship with your husband. But the only way it will work is if you work together. Keep all of your money together and pay your bills together. Come up with a monthly budget that you BOTH agree on. You can do it. Good luck to you!



answers from Davenport on

I bet if you guys sat down and had a 100% honest heart-to-heart talk that you would find out that he has just as many complaints and stresses about your situation as you do. You guys need to seek marriage counseling. Or check out these websites:



answers from Minneapolis on

If you truely want to leave him you may be better off including financially. As a single mom your son may qualify for more medical coverage through the state and so forth. You'd get childsupport and there are alot of resources available. I was a single mom for 6.5 years and have mastered the single mom. I'm now in a relationship with a great guy but honestly the financial part of it hasn't really changed that much. I've been on both sides of the fence being a single mom and sharing finances with a guy. If you need any specific information message me privately. There are alot of programs out there to help. You sound miserable and very unhappy and you and your son don't need that.



answers from Rapid City on

First of all you need to take back some control from him. Sit down with him and tell him you will divide the bills by percentage of what you make, each being responisible for certain bill. Don't let him goat you into feeling guilty over the mistake in the checkbook, everyone makes mistakes once in a while. If he tells you that you need to make that mistake up with your paychecks, tell him that he needs to make sure the attorney is paid out of HIS account. Maintain seperate accounts and save your extra money where you can. My husband and I have a joint account that the bills come out of and is covered by his paychecks. My checks go for the extras like birthday presents, school clothes and supplies, christmas presents. Some can't divide them up like that but you can set up different accounts. You could each put a percent of your check into a joint account to cover the monthly bills.

Marriage is hard enough without adding the controlling money issue. Your husband sounds controlling in other situations so you need to start protecting yourself and your son with putting money aside in case you ever want out.



answers from Minneapolis on

Do you have family you can turn to for help (place to stay, money, ect)? Maybe you should do a trial seperation so he can learn to appreciate all that you do. I would go to counseling first, so you can really get everything out in the open.



answers from Grand Forks on

Are you safe? Emotionally, Physically, Spiritually? It sounds like you are facing some incredible challenges. Financial goofs can be devastating even if they were really just an accident....

I am so sorry that you are dealing with this. All marriages have their ups and downs. It can be hard for any spouse to put themselves in the other's shoes sometimes. It sounds like both of you have huge things that you are trying to sort through.

When I am really at my wits end, it helps to remember and refresh common ground. Mutual goals. This can do a lot toward getting you guys back on the same team. It shouldn't be you vs. husband. You guys should be partner...sharing the load...

Do you have a church leader that can council you. A qualified therapist can do amazing things to mediate the issues that you both are stressed out about.

Please keep us posted. Marriage is one of the greatest trials in life....but my greatest joy and satisfaction in life have come from being a mother and a wife.



answers from Duluth on

I hope things are going better...



answers from Green Bay on

I am really sorry to hear you in such a situation and suffering. But remember, for better or worse, for richer or poorer. You're just hitting "worse" and "poorer" at the same time. I know it's stressful, but try the counseling, try talking to your husband without assigning blame.

Your husband sounds frustrated and worried and unable to express himself any other way. Even the best of marriages can have trouble weathering new children and to add financial strain atop that has got to be difficult for both of you.

Try a counselor. If you can't afford one, find a free one. Churches generally offer counseling as do other organizations for free.

Try setting up a babysitter and getting out of the house with your husband alone. It doesn't have to be anywhere - just getting out and going to the park or taking a walk together, alone, can help.

Your "about me" says you've been happily married for over two years, but your tone in this note is desperate and frustrated. If you really have been happy then you should try to weather this one. Marriage isn't all love and puppies and sunny days for most people, and giving up so soon isn't likely the best answer.

Good luck.



answers from Madison on

I am not so sure that you should leave. I have been married for 9 years. We have had more ups and downs than I'd like to admit for reasons I don't want to go over either. However I have to get back to the roots. You promised him forever, and he said the same. Be honest and ask yourself if you still love him. If so try to make it work. Counseling can help as long as you have some one who is all for marriages staying together and being healthy, I believe Christian counselors are known for such things :) Even if you don't believe the same thing you'd be on the same page in terms of saving your relationship with your husband. Sounds like he's holding a grudge which is not helpful, and there was a miscommunication about who was paying for what. Maybe getting it in writing would be helpful in the future? I know you have your hands full and support and encouragement would be greatly appreciated. I am right there with ya there. I guess that must be a man thing and I've decided to set one or two days aside a month to go and be me with my friends (doesn't work out all the time, but we try), and leave the kids with my husband. It takes a lot of faith and now that my daughter is 5 and able to help with my almost 3 year old, I feel a little better about it. The relationship between the kids and their dad is better for it too! Just hang in there. Maybe there is something else stressing him out too and while it isn't an excuse you may have a better understanding of why the negativity.



answers from Madison on

Hi J. -- You don't sound happily married! It's one thing to say you want to leave your husband when in the same breath you say you can't and another thing to still want to when you realize you can. I think you can leave him if that's what you really want! Poverty is not as bad as being constantly demeaned and taken advantage of by the one you chose to share your life with. It's not your job to be his excuse for what's wrong in his life. And his behavior is a lousy example for your son.

When I left my husband 19 years ago I found that the anguish leading up to my decision was the very worst part -- worse than the stress and the juggling that came afterwards.

I wish you the very best and will pray that everyone involved in your situation gets what he or she needs from it. L.



answers from Fargo on

J. i would first suggest that u go to a counselor. I would check with your work and see if you have any kind of benifits for mental health. I wouldnt move on something just yet. Im sure it is tough. I have a hubby that doesnt like to help much but since the birth of our son he will help with him and even get up with him at night. It is up to me to clean and do laundry though. He leaves pkg litter everywere. Opens something and then leaves the pkging all over the place. There is a reason that u married this man and im sure there is something behind his actions. As far as the finances is concered i do mine in my house and it is hard. DH is always using the debit card and not telling me. It has caused us some fees in the past. I hope it gets better and that b4 u change your world to drastically u will seek some counseling!



answers from Sheboygan on

Hi J.,
At the end of your post you said "I have been happily married for over two years." What? Maybe you should re-read your post. It doesn't sound like a happily married women wrote that! Get some counseling. If your husband will go, great! If not, go for yourself. If you are financially strapped there are organizations that can help you find a counseler. A good place to start would be your local clergy member. You need help getting your marriage on track, or you need courage to do what is best for you and your family.
Good luck!



answers from Lincoln on

I would highly suggest you check out Dave Ramsey is a financial talk show host who explains how to sit down together with your spouse every month and create a budget and do what is known as a "Debt Snowball".
My husband and I had no idea where our money was going each month and sitting down to do a budget show us exactly where each dollar is going. Also, combining your checks instead of his bills/my bills will help end the confusion.
We have paid off 2 cars & credit cards and will be completely debt free in 2 1/2 years (major mountain of student loans to deal with). :-)
Financial stress can truely take its tole on a marriage. My thoughts are with you and your family. Please take a look at Dave Ramsey it can truely be life changing. We've paid off $50,000 in 1 1/2 years and our marriage has never been stronger!!!



answers from Minneapolis on

Although your husband sounds like a big Bozo, he is really just a scared little boy in need of some accountability training ~ $30,000 in debt will do this to a guy.

The best place for the two of you to get your relationship back on track is in FINANCIAL COUNSELING. Through mutual accountability around finances you will both come to find places where you can agree. You will also be able to use the methods you learn there toward other areas where agreement is currently impossible.

Ask him if you both can see a family financial counselor or adviser so that you can get your finances on track. Don't tell him it is to save your marriage, just offer it as a solution so that you can all have financial security in the future. You will be surprised at how well focusing on money in a positive way will help you to move forward.

Divorce is really going to make everything blow up in a bigger way than you can possibly see right now J.. Starting with what you have - and working to make it better - will help you both currently and in the future. Even if your marriage doesn't last forever, leaving a marriage when it is at its worst is a prescription for misery all the way around.



answers from Minneapolis on

Don't leave, because you're feeling fed up. There's no need to give up either. It sounds like you both have a lot of big stuff going on , and you both need counseling..both marital and financial. It sounds like money is really tight. You don't mention whether you work or not. If you or your husband have medical benefits, check to see if your health insurance will cover marriage counseling. Most will if your health insurance covers mental health services.

Whether you are fortunate to get marital counseling or not, you should go to the library or purchase a few good marital counseling books. Many if not most address financial stresses in marriage. At the very least, if you can't afford professional counseling, you can both read a book together and talk out concerns. Many of these books come with a self-help program to walk you through talking about stuff with your partner. If you are spiritual and attend a church, you can get free counseling from your minister, pastor, priest, or rabbi.. and possibly access to resources to help in this area. Even if you don't belong to a church or synogogue, just call one. Most are more than happy to help out.

Last but not least, don't let money be the reason to give up on your spouse. It's got to be darn awful to have that $30,000 attorney debt, plus the stress of caring for a child with health issues. You are both under pressure, and you both are feeling the strain in different ways. Whatever you do, don't get into the blame game, or worse start feeling as though you're being taken advantage of. I know it's not easy when you feel all the weight of the world on your shoulders, but if you were able to step back and see things for what they are, chances are your man is being honorable, he's just overwhelmed and needing support. When he says you have to work every day for the rest of your life, he's really crying for help and support. He's probably just not that articulate and apparently very emotional.

Most definitely go to a financial counselor. They usually don't charge anything unless they help you realign your debt payment schedule. Check on the internet under "credit counseling services."

The benefit for both of you is that you will have a third party (outsider) mediating how you handle your household budget. They will work with you in contacting creditors, can help negotiate lower monthly payments, which will in the end get you both back on track with your spending. Since it will be a third party helping you manage your budget, hopefully you will both get away from blaming and second guessing each other about how and where money is being spent.

Stay strong and get help. Start with the financial counseling. It will help psychologically and change the negative charge between you, and take it from there. Whatever outside help you both can get, take it.

Here's some titles of some good books to check out:

Love Busters, Revised and Expanded
By: Willard F. Harley Jr.

The ABC's of Financial Success Book and Workbook with CD
By: Barry L. Cameron

Marriage: From Surviving to Thriving Workbook
By: Charles R. Swindoll

The Blended Marriage - Focus on the Family Marriage Series Bible Study

Rescue Your Love Life, Workbook
By: Dr. Henry Cloud, Dr. John Townsend
Thomas Nelson / 2005 / Paperback


answers from Sioux City on

My husband and I used to have the same type of arguments. I began to pray hard for him and each time he would begin on one of his tissies, I would not say a word to him. I would just silently begin a little prayer for him. After he had calmed down then I would go to him and explain, "Now dear, do you really think I woke up in the morning and thought to myself, I think I screw up the check book just to piss you off and make your life difficult!" I would then tell him I am sorry and ask him to help me do better. Sometimes it just helps to defuse the situation.

I also began to ask him to help, but I tell him exactly what I needed, yet give him a choice in the situation. For example. Honey I really need some help, the kids need a bath and the dishes aren't done so witch would you like to do?

I would also explain to him that he has a daughter and daughters are very special in that they look to their Daddies when they think about who to marry. Now what kind of a man would you want this little angle to marry? I would hope you would want her husband to help her and cherish her and be KIND to her. If you want that for your daughter, you need to model that so that she sees what a husband is suppose to act like.

Good luck and I will pray that everything works out.



answers from Appleton on

Honey all i can say is if you are thinking of canning your marriage the first thing to do is call a trusted counselor. It saved my marriage of 11 years. Tell your hubby you are thinking of divorce and want counseling. If he wants to salvage it he will go. If not, then he wasn't all in in the first place.



answers from Waterloo on

Keep in mind the #1 thing couples fight about is money. And I'm sure children/step-children are close to the top of the list =) It sounds like you are both frustrated and before you leave I would sit down and CALMLY talk about your finances and ask for help with the kids. Let him know how unhappy you are and that you are close to your wits end. My husband is notorious for sitting on his behind while I completely take care of our kids. An occastional swift kick in said behind usually works to get him to start helping again =) I just think it's a man thing!

If things don't change and he continues to be controlling and not helpful then it may be time to get things in place to leave.



answers from Milwaukee on

Hi J.. I am a mother of 4, divorced and although I do not have any step-children I understand what you are going through. Keep ypur head up- you are a great person for taking care of his children. Not many women would do that. I can't say that I would be that good of a step-mom. I have felt alone for years, but know that there are people out there going through what you are and you are not alone ! Stand your ground, be positive with yourself and know that you are doing all you can to support your family ( and his ). You are only 29 years old, I am 35 - and I wish that I could go back to 29. You have a longlife ahead of you, do what you think is right. Follow your heart and believe in yourself!



answers from Pittsburgh on

It sounds like you are going through a really rough time right now. Me and my husband have recently realized how important it is not be debt free, and so we are really really working towards that right now. I just wanted to share a few things with you that I have learned along the way. For one, neither one of you can get the pair of you out of debt. The family finances are both your responsibilities, so you definitely need to sit down and talk with him. Have a heart to heart and find out what you both want to accomplish with your finances. Make sure that he includes you in all the financial decisions. Ok so maybe he doesn't trust your judgment right now, but at least he need to give you his plan and you agree to it. It also sounds like your family needs to create a budget and stick to it. I know another woman online and every month her and her husband make a budget and then they sign it. Any adjustments that need to be made they have a "meeting" and work it out then. Here is a link to her blog might help you.) After you created a budget, they you need to set a plan to help you get current on your bills and then start paying off your debt. I would also, advise you to look into a Dave Ramsey for further help with paying off debt.



answers from La Crosse on

Have you really been happily married for two years? You sound miserable. Only two years into this relationship and you are overwhelmed. There are a million things that I could say to you, but I will keep it short: Number 1, you are not a doormat. Women love to please everyone and sometimes stuff their feelings or hold their tounge to keep the peace in the home. You've allowed yourself to take 2nd place as he seems domineering. It sounds like you are both under stress. It sounds like this situation you are in with the money and 'his children' (although I applaud you for treating them as your own). If I were you, I would plan a way OUT of this marriage. You are a lovely 29 years old - but you sound 50. I can't balance a checkbook either, but the money powerplay can make you hate him. His debt and being the sole caretaker of his this how you want the rest of your life to go???? Consider leaving,with your child who needs your special attention and deserves to not grow up in a crazy situation. I'm not saying that you are crazy, but you and your son deserve a better life. Take the love that you have for your husband out of the equation for a minute. What's left? I don't know what other women will have to say, but we're all here for you.



answers from Wausau on

well heres the brutal truth!!! If you want to leave him, then do it! Dont ask other people what they think. In your gut and heart you are unhappy, and know it. He has too much baggage and it not working as a team with you. He is self centered and worring only about himself NOT his fmily, He should be making meals and helping with the kids EVERYDAY! You help with his, he should help with his as well. This is not a togetherness, if you stay you are displaying to your children that a man is allowed to treat you this way, and who knows how the children will end up in the future with their spouses. Do whats right, it may be painful, but I guarentee, you will feel peace within yourself when you are happy. There are way too many great and awesome men out there, dont settle with the jerks.



answers from Minneapolis on

Unfortunately, I don't have any advice for you. I just wanted to send you a hug!

My 8 month old daughter also has Cystic Fibrosis. Caring for a child with CF takes alot of extra work. I am sorry that your husband is not interested in helping you with his care.

It sounds like your husband is being selfish and you are doing the best you can.



answers from Minneapolis on

You need to both sit down and do a total revamp of your finances. Start from scratch: list all your bills, all your accounts, and make sure you are both on the same page. Write down what you both decide, so there are no questions later.

You also need to sit down and split up the household chores and childcare. Your step children are old enough that they can be assigned chores. Again, put it in writing: post a chore list on the fridge, so everyone knows what they are expected to do.

I would expect your household to be under stress: sick child, second marriage, mounting bills. Get your day-to-day stuff sorted out first (money & chores), and then make time for you and your husband to be alone. Maybe you need to hire a mother's helper to help you one evening a week, or maybe the kids can go to a relative's house one Saturday a month.

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