Woman Gutted After Discovering Her Husband Has Been Hiding His Massive Credit Card Debt From Her

Posted by Sama in Relationships
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Some shocking secrets really hit you hard. This woman took to Reddit to ask for advice after finding the heartbreaking truth that her husband for the last decade had been hiding his debt from her and the amount, unfortunately, was not insignificant. The woman left in a dilemma asked Reddit users to help her figure out the situation and help her in coming up with a plan to return the debt and the Internet surely helped.

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Redditor ThrowRAfinancialhelp posted

“I (38f) just found out my husband (38m) of 14 years is in $50k credit card debt”

The Original Poster (OP) shared her situation with the Internet asking people to help figure how to deal with it. 

“I have been living a lie. I thought we were living comfortably. He shows love by purchasing things and he knows he has a spending problem.”

“I’ve helped him before by getting him out of credit card debt. I have paid off my student loans and my car. I don’t have any debt.”

“When he got a job that involves traveling I started working less so I could have a flexible schedule to be home with the kids, so he is the main bread winner.”

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“Because of travel he has to front the travel costs and get reimbursed from the company. So he opened up credit cards and started racking up debt the last 4 years.”

“Now that COVID-19 hit he is working from home and is longer getting reimbursed. He says the debt is mostly interest.”

“The only reason I found out about the debt is we applied for financial help to pay for a new roof and got declined. He wouldn’t tell me why.”

“I finally got it out of him the amount. $50,000! I have been ignorantly making financial decisions thinking the only debt we had was his student loans.”

“The fact that he hid this from me makes me feel like when my ex cheated on me. I’ll be fine and then see purchases that have been made around the house and just break down crying.”

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“I want to come up with a payment plan with him but I can’t trust him anymore. He kept it hidden because he knows I would have never made those purchases or gone on those vacations.”

“I’m at a complete loss. I can’t think clearly. I know it wasn’t malicious intent and he loves me very deeply but this is not what I signed up for. And I don’t know how to proceed.”

“If I help him get on a financial plan and really come down hard on his spending how can I even trust that he isn’t going to hide other stuff from me? He says he needs help and wants to be open but I don’t know what to do.”

“I told him the ball is in his court. If we are going to make this work he needs to be completely transparent and come to me about everything.”

“He claims he just wants me to live comfortably and not have to worry. So he acts like a martyr and puts all of his energy into his work.”

“He has pretty much agreed that I need to be ‘the boss.’ But said he wouldn’t cut up the cards.”

“Has anyone else gone through something like this? Is there a place I can turn? I need to talk to someone but I know he is so embarrassed about it I don’t want friends or family to know.”

“Let me know if there is another place to post.”

“TLDR; Husband has hidden debt from me, I feel like I’ve been cheated on, don’t know where to turn or what to do.”

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The situation may have left OP panicking and not thinking straight but Reddit users had many useful suggestions for her:

“50k is ‘mostly interest’? I don’t buy it. You need to look at his credit card statements and see where the spending is really happening.”

“I work for a bank, even with a card (or cards) with high interest, it would be kind of hard to rack up 50k in interest that quickly unless he was putting hundreds of thousands of dollars onto the cards, which he then would have to have paid off in order for the balance to currently be at 50k.”

“He’s definitely lying about that; I would demand to see the statements and if he refuses, call the bank and have them sent or reset the online banking to view them electronically.”

“And then take his cards away from him. It sounds sh*tty but he has proven time and time again that he can’t be trusted with a credit card…so put him on an allowance.” – catsmeow18357

“From someone who went through a similar situation, this is not just about money. I was 34 when I started feeling like things were “off”. The spending is a symptom of something else.”

“This has more to do with a personality flaw that likely will not change without a great deal of therapy from a specialist who can get to the bottom of your spouse’s addictive behavior. When I first had suspicions something was going on in my marriage, it was like picking the errant yarn on a sweater.”

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“The entire marriage unraveled and 9 years later, I am still discovering financial mine fields that I am tied to. After the initial discovery, I did the following (by the way, it took me 2 years to finally leave, and one failed attempt):”

“1. Signed up for marriage counseling. We ultimately saw a counselor through our church, attended a weekend long intensive marriage course, and went to a marriage class held at our church- which we dropped out of at the halfway mark when I realized only one of us was committed to the changes necessary to repair the relationship.”

“2. Sought legal advice; first from a divorce attorney and second from a Tax Attorney”

“3. Contacted the IRS (the issues were far beyond credit cards)”

“4. Dug through every piece of paper in his home office and uncovered mountains of debt and cards I had no idea existed…organized it all.”

“5. Miraculously got a job (I was a stay at home mom)”

“6. Opened my own phone account and separated as much as I could from our ‘marital’ accounts”

“7. Took an inventory of everything we owned. You’ll want to do this anyway for insurance purposes, but ultimately it helped me in the asset division component of the divorce filing.”

“8. Went to our bank and requested records reflecting our HELOC records – which were shocking at best”

“9. Signed a lease on an apartment”

“10. Moved out, with our children, and attempted to start over with $2000 to my name”

“This pattern of behavior is deeply rooted in something else. I didn’t hang around to figure out what that was, simply because I didn’t know how we were feeding our children, and he wasn’t telling me.”

“If your husband is truly remorseful and willing to be open and honest and shows signs of changing, that’s one thing. But in my mind, if financial security is something you value and need, I would take a hard look at what you’re facing and be very honest about whether you think you can sustain a marriage to someone who is deliberately deceitful.”

“Remember that every single time he chose to purchase something, it was a CHOICE. Those similar choices in my marriage led me to the only choice I had left.”

“It was either stay and hope for the best, or leave and do my best to survive. I chose the latter. Neither is easy.” – ChoiceAndConsequence

“He says he did it because he wants you to live comfortably and not worry? No no no. He won’t change until he can admit that he has a problem and did something wrong.”

“He can’t offload it on to you. He wanted new toys and things y’all couldn’t afford. And instead of making a plan with you to budget for them, he racked up credit card debt.”

“In some ways, I get it. I can be bad with spending and had about $25k on credit cards at one point (partly due to unexpected unemployment for a while). But I was single and realized I needed to make a change. And I paid it off.”

“He needs to start attending financial classes or something and admit he did this for him. Not trying to blame you.” – fakemoose

“This is his way of blaming you for his own irresponsible spending habits. Just how people try to blame their affairs on their partners (you didn’t give me enough attention, etc.)”

“It’s his way of relieving his own guilt and stress about it. I suggest getting into marital counseling ASAP.”

“You need to feel comfortable discussing this with a third party in the room that is not family/friends. He needs to admit that he is putting a major strain on the relationship and give you a clear plan of what he intends to do about it.” – JaneHeroine

“‘Because of travel he has to front the travel costs and get reimbursed from the company.’ I travel heavily for work as a consultant, couple thoughts.”

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“1. Any company requiring heavy travel will provide you with a company amex etc. There is likely no reason he “needs” to use his own credit cards. The only reason people that I know use their personal cards for business expenses is because they prefer their cards perks.”

“2. What else is he spending money on? They refund you and you can pay the balance off immediately. So that is telling he isn’t paying them off, so what was he doing with the cash?”

“3. I generally make about 800-1000+ extra tax free bucks a month traveling regardless due to per diem. I usually make a point to book hotels with a kitchenette so I can just buy groceries for the week and pocket most of my per diem because I’m not eating out for every meal (on average its usually 50 bucks a day depending on the location).”

“So how he is incurring such a debt with “nothing to show for it” is baffling to me.” – Highlander198116

“Of course you feel cheated on. He had an entire secret life for years and years.”

“He knew that you were living in a false reality with a false sense of security, and he knew it would upset you, so he unilaterally chose to keep you in the dark, thereby preventing you from being an equal partner in the marriage. How dare he?!”

“Until he can admit that he lied and betrayed you, you don’t have a relationship to work on. You aren’t partners until he treats you like one.” – empathetichedgehog

“He only wants help because he got caught. Before that, he wasn’t ever going to stop or reach out to get help. Remember that. You cannot trust him.” – Wild_Sea_9827

Reddit users went all out in giving suggestions to the woman and helping her in trying to decipher the situation more calmly and issues that she needed to address immediately. 

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