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Hello, I'm hoping to get some insight on my separation from my husband. We were best friends for 15 years, dated for 6 of those years and married for 1 and a half of those years. I'm only 29, so this situation is all the more devastating to me because I'm losing not just my best friend and husband, but my family, as his has been mine since we were teenagers.

We are exactly the same person except for one major aspect, the aspect that most couples fight over - money. I'm a saver and planner, someone that forgoes a cute new dress every other week to pay down my student loans just a little bit more. He is a spender, who would rather get a new ultrasaber or newest blu ray with 2 hours of bonus commentary than put anything in a savings account. This has caused some tension that has increased over the years. I want a house someday and he is alright with apartment renting forever. A year ago (almost exactly to the day) we got into a really heated argument when he missed a payment on something because he didn't want to auto debit his account, and caused his credit score to drop. We were looking for a bigger apartment and now could not due to how low his score had gotten. We were driving in the car, and I was furious he could be so reckless. During the fight at one point I said "I'm the kind of family that can leave you." These are words I wish I could take back everyday and caused everything to go downhill.

A week or so later he checked his credit on Credit Karma, where his score dropped again to about 550. He panicked and took a whole bottle of sleeping pills. When I found him, he was still awake, and I kept asking him "what happened? what did you do? what was in this bottle?" to which he only replied "you are going to leave me" over and over again. After he was sent to the hospital and monitored for a few days, he was released, and told me that talking about this again would be a huge trigger for him that he could not take.

While I understand what had happened and tried to make the conversation as easy as possible, as a couple, you can not always avoid money talk. Little things like "who is paying for this expense?" when it was not a normal expense or "it's raise time! How did you do?" would shut him down (we got hired at the same company the same day, so I would share with him my reviews and he was always reluctant to share his, despite the fact that they were always great reviews.)

Finally this month we got a notice in the mail from our complex that if we want to renew it is time. Last year I got two promotions and he had gotten one, so he said "I think I'm ready for the new apartment." I told him that's fine, but I warned him that they would want to recheck his credit and if that would be alright. He said that's fine, but I asked if we could look at it in marriage counseling together first to be sure that we would be approved credit wise, as I was worried a rejection would hurt him and cause another suicide attempt. He said that was fine. Then on 02/17, he announced during therapy it was too much and all I cared about was money, and that he was going back to his mom's house.

Since then we've been talking on the phone and going to therapy, and I'm getting mixed messages. At first, he'd say he loves me but is not sure if he is in love with me anymore, and act indifferent. He still won't say he is in love with me, but we had a great therapy session last Wednesday and I hope the next will be equally good. Last night we talked briefly on the phone again (our counselor said that no contact would be bad, to contact a little each day or every other day) and we had a great conversation. At the end of it I said "is it alright to say I love you?" to which he replied "yes, I love you too." He didn't say it as an 'I love you but not in love with you' or 'I'm madly in love with you' kind of way, but it was the most sincere I've heard since the day he announced he was leaving.

I guess my questions are does this sound like it can be fixed, is it on the upswing again and hopefully he realizes we can work this out? How do I let go of money drama, when I know we were doing fine financially the way we are? Since he is in such a damaged state and feeling unloved, what can be done if anything to show him I love him, without pushing and nagging on him too hard? Of course I want him to come home, but I don't want to rush him into anything he isn't ready for.
 

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Have both of you talked about the importance of budgeting? Is there the possibility of attending a seminar on budgeting together?

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OP,
He sounds quite immature and really unprepared to be in a mature relationship. If you seriously desire to be with him you will have to help him grow and mature. For instance, you need to set some basic rules regarding finances. You could come to an agreement that a certain amount of the finances goes into savings and certain amount is disposable. If he wants a major ticket item he will have to learn to put away the disposable income until there are sufficient funds to buy the item.

His mother is enabling his behavior by allowing him to run home to mommy when trouble arises. She may, quite possibly, just be continuing a behavior of her's throughout his childhood that has left him in this immature state. She must force him to face and solve his problems, not run from them.

Marriage is about compromise and consideration. Your threat was severe but his reaction to it was exaggerated. He needs to understand why he responded so dramatically to your statement. Life will throw many more curve balls at you and he must mature his coping skills if he is to face them. Good fortune.
 

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Red, You are much too young to have this much stress in your life.

Your husband needs more than marriage counseling if he will attempt suicide over a lowered credit score. His problems are much deeper than your marriage problems or money issues. He needs individual (mental health) therapy and until he gets it any reconciliation on marriage must be on hold. Otherwise he will continue to use his threat of attempted suicide to control you.

You have been friends more than half your life. What happen to switch the relationship from friendship to lovers? You dated for six years. Did you not during that time every discuss money, life plans, how many kids you want if any? His spending habits should not have been a surprise to you. Did you think that would change after marriage? Many couples do not fight over money. It is common but not as much as a given as you think. Wasn't his lack of maturity apparent to you?

This is really serious as you know: "After he was sent to the hospital and monitored for a few days, he was released, and told me that talking about this again would be a huge trigger for him that he could not take." Was there no follow up therapy for him? Just release and done? He needs therapy now, just him, and maybe getting it while he stays at mom's might be the better route. Have you spoken with him mom about the help he MUST YET GET?

Honest question for you to think about - Why did you really marry him?
 

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How can you possibly envision a healthy marriage with a man whom you cannot discuss problems without fear of a suicide attemp?

The sleeping pills over a low credit score is crazy. So is having a 5?? Credit score after one missed payment. There are other reasons for a score that low. He moves back in with mom over an apartment decision? Now he is moved out, but supposedly was willing to end his life over the fear of losing you?

So which is it? He is so afraid he'll lose you he would commit suicide, or now he doesn't want you at all and moves out?

None of this makes any sense.
You'll have to clear up these discrepancies in your post. Otherwise I'm thinking it's not even legit.

If this is a legit post, surely you have to know that living with a person who is mentally unstable isn't good for you, and his moving out of his own decision is actually great for you?
Surely you see that there is no building a future with someone that had mental problems?

Anyway, ball is in your court.
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Discussion Starter #6
To clear up some things: We did discuss finances and what we wanted in life before moving out. We decided that we never want kids (and are sticking to that), a smaller house because of the fact that we don't want kids, etc. It is in the last year that he has really been unable to talk about money and I think it is over the fear of losing me. He brings up the argument, along with my comment, and how afraid it made him every time money was mentioned. I'm not sure what to make of this most recent reaction. Maybe he is too immature, maybe it's an "i'll leave you before you can leave me" reaction, I don't know. He has also been on medication and seeing a therapist himself as well as with a marriage counselor. Finally, his credit score was always shaky, hovering at 600, but he was late several payments at the same time which made it drop so badly.

As to why I married him? I love him. I love that he is full of energy, life and love. He's incredibly attractive and a great friend. The only difference between us is the money issues.
 

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Yes. You are too hung up on money.

Yes. He has a very serious emotional/mental condition and needs an evaluation pronto.

I understand your concerns about money but threatening to leave over a late payment shows very low coping skills.

You both need to have goals that somewhat line up.

Yours don't.

That is the real issue as I don't see anything unhealthy about his goals or yours.

You need to learn not to manipulate him into a mold you desire.

He is who he is and you need to admit that his goals might be a deal breaker for you.

If you had threatened to leave me about a late payment, I would have helped you move that day.

He is less fiscally responsible than you but doesn't sound like he has a problem with that.

Either learn to adjust some of your life choices to his or you should go.

Neither of you is wrong in your choice of lifestyle but you are trying to force him into your box.

That is no way to love and respect someone you are committed to.
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Conanhub, you are absolutely right about my reaction. I was unhealthy and we are still working on our communication issues. That argument haunts me for all that it's done to my love lift and friendship. What I'm asking for I guess, more than anything else, are better communication and coping mechanisms.
 

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Conanhub, you are absolutely right about my reaction. I was unhealthy and we are still working on our communication issues. That argument haunts me for all that it's done to my love lift and friendship. What I'm asking for I guess, more than anything else, are better communication and coping mechanisms. A credit score and a slightly larger place is nothing in comparison to losing that companionship and while he is still willing to go to therapy, I am still trying for my marriage.
 

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As the others posted, the suicide attempt is the main issue here. I am hoping that he is getting intensive counseling to work on whatever the issues are....otherwise, you run the risk of this happening again.

A budget is no big deal with mature adults. That can be worked on during your MC session.

I wish you the best.
 

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Conanhub, you are absolutely right about my reaction. I was unhealthy and we are still working on our communication issues. That argument haunts me for all that it's done to my love lift and friendship. What I'm asking for I guess, more than anything else, are better communication and coping mechanisms. A credit score and a slightly larger place is nothing in comparison to losing that companionship and while he is still willing to go to therapy, I am still trying for my marriage.
Who are you asking for those better communication and coping skills from? Be honest.
 

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You really only asked one question -- Can this be fixed?

Yes.

Reading through your story, it's obvious that you think you have hurt him. You have, IMO, but it may be less about the message (money) than the delivery. You need him to work with you on the money, he's not, and that hurts you. If that is the only true issue in your relationship, you softening the delivery of the money message and him learning to grow up to make mature spending decisions will go a long way in healing your relationship. I know that is over simplified, but that's it.

You have a lot invested in your relationship. In the long run, that trumps everything else, including where you live. Could that be the way your husband looks at your relationship? Maybe, just maybe, that is why he was cut so deeply. At any rate, it sounds like you value what you have together, including a solid family relationship. That is such a blessing, something many people do not have.

You both are young. I'm 54 years young and still have a ton of growing up to do. We guys are that way!
 

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Conanhub, you are absolutely right about my reaction. I was unhealthy and we are still working on our communication issues. That argument haunts me for all that it's done to my love lift and friendship. What I'm asking for I guess, more than anything else, are better communication and coping mechanisms. A credit score and a slightly larger place is nothing in comparison to losing that companionship and while he is still willing to go to therapy, I am still trying for my marriage.
He needs some individual counseling. There is a much larger problem than communication between you that is bothering him.

I don't want to hazard a guess as to what his problem is but it seriously needs addressed.

Your marriage can recover if you both work together. You can schedule MC and/or get books to read together. HIS NEEDS HER NEEDS, FIVE LOVE LANGUAGES, ETC...

Just reading together and answering questions from the books increases intimacy and communication skills.
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.....He panicked and took a whole bottle of sleeping pills. When I found him, he was still awake, and I kept asking him "what happened? what did you do? what was in this bottle?" to which he only replied "you are going to leave me" over and over again. After he was sent to the hospital and monitored for a few days, he was released, and told me that talking about this again would be a huge trigger for him that he could not take.
This is very bad and it could be a sign that he's disordered. This type of behavior reeks of borderline personality control. He may attempt to control you with his threats/actions of suicide attempts. This is AFU.

Recommend you do not share assets with this guy or bank together. It is apparent you have different financial goals and maybe incompatible. Maintain strong boundaries.
 

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This is very bad and it could be a sign that he's disordered. This type of behavior reeks of borderline personality control. He may attempt to control you with his threats/actions of suicide attempts. This is AFU.

Recommend you do not share assets with this guy or bank together. It is apparent you have different financial goals and maybe incompatible. Maintain strong boundaries.
Hello,

Thank you for your insight and it's definitely something to think over. Do you mind if I ask what AFU stands for?
 

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In a very general sense, I do not believe separation and recovery(reconciliation) work for most couples. In your specific case, I agree with Conan.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I do understand what Conan is saying and don't disagree, but I do not believe it's completely un-salvageable. I've been doing some hard reflecting in the last few weeks of separation and I realize a large majority of the problem is me. I have been so unhappy with myself (not him, he has been a loving husband that can over-react to negative stimuli) and not willing to confront my unhappiness. I buried my unhappiness in my career and finances, asking him to do the same, because I felt so out of control of my life that I needed to control his as well. This is wrong, my threat was wrong, and money will not fill the hole inside of me. I came from a very broken family and swore to myself as a child I would do everything in my power to make enough money to never live in a place like that again. Although we were making enough money to live on our own, that panic still gripped me. "We work at the same company, what if we get laid off? I need to work more to prepare for that." "I'm 29, soon 30, and I should have a house by now. I need to work more to save." Etc, etc.

And now that I've lost the love of my life to that obsession? It's trivial. What is a larger home or apartment if you don't have the person you adore there with you? I'm not saying my husband is perfect and didn't over react, but surely I'm not the only person here that realized a lot of the issues actually DO come yourself rather than your loved one. I've been reading up about letting money issues go and rebuild yourself into a healthier person, but any advice on how I do that can help me. Even if he doesn't come back, I am the one that is broken as well, and need to get well.
 

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See if this might help, but I think there is a deeper issue that can't be worked on alone. I think you have some irrational fears. You expect a little too much when you say you "should" have a house by now. By whose standards is this the only correct age? I think you are forgetting to be grateful for what you have. I think you are doing very well. I think it's your perspective of how thing must be that's hurting you.

Some Ideas to Help Stop Obsessing | World of Psychology
 

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An update to this, for what it matters: Last night during therapy I confessed to my husband that I know a lot of the issues stem from me in the past year, that I was sorry, and while it wouldn't be over night I wanted to work on my health so we could be stronger when I was stronger. Paraphrasing, but he told me 'it's too little too late, I've been asking for you to get help with your money obsession for years, I'm too broken to continue this, etc." I asked him straight then, "is this over? please say it's over if it is... please say you want a divorce if that's what you want." To which he replied "It's over. I want a divorce."

We had another 50 minutes in the marriage counseling session, so, we kept talking. I explained I would not fight him if that's what he wanted and would sign the paperwork to make this a no fault divorce, to end it as quickly as possible. We also talked about what changed his mind from possible reconciliation to absolutely done, and he couldn't pin it on anything. Then as we go along talking about our past, confessing to each other we still love each other, and him saying he's just so broken inside, he doesn't know if he can make this relationship go on. Half way through therapy, his "I'm done" turns into "I don't know." Our therapist recognized this and finally spoke up (she just let us have our time to communicate this loss) and asked my husband if he was sure divorce is what he wanted. He said he couldn't go on like this much longer, and wasn't sure what could be done to reconcile the relationship. The three of us agreed that we would meet next week and during the week, explore our feelings to the fullest to help us make an absolute choice. We are going no contact this week, when before, we were touching base every other day.

On the way out we stop to talk in the lobby of the therapist's building. I tell him again, if you want this I won't fight you - I'll give you the divorce. It's not what I want but I love you and want you to be happy. That we don't need the week if he is done. He said he was going to think for a week on what we can do to reconcile, and that we won't call it quits until then. We stopped to hug three times on the way out (he initiated), we joked, we laughed, he gave me a coat his grandmother bought for me, and we left.

In my heart I know this is done, and I'm sure you all will say the same. Part of me is broken, part of me is scared, part of me is relieved because even though this is not what I want it's finally coming to a head. I don't even know what kind of advice I'm asking for anymore. I just want someone to hear me and my sorrow for losing my best friend and my family.
 
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