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So, my wife has some problems, she may have a mood disorder or something. Her spending seems to reflect her moods pretty well, and that has dug us into a pretty deep hole financially.

But so far, I've been able to juggle things, pay bills on time, our credit rating is impeccable. This month was particularly bad though for a number of reasons.

My wife has her own credit cards that I've always made sure are current. There are more than one, and the credit limits are up there, the smallest has a limit of $10,000. Before, I was able to pay them full every month, although I haven't been as successful in the past few months. I find myself working more and more overtime just to keep up to the bills. At the same time, whenever I've tried to get my wife interested in bills, it has failed. If I even get her to sit down with me to go over them, her eyes glass over, and I might as well be talking to a wall.

So, fast forward to hurricane Sandy. Her family was evacuated, and they stayed with us for a few days. Their house was OK, but out of power.

Then on Monday, a full week after the hurricane, I was at work and I get a call on my cell phone from her. Of course my cell phone decides to act up, and won't let me answer. No voicemail. Immediately, I text her letting know that the cell phone was acting up, and I tried to call her five times. She did not pick up.

Then, some hours later I get a text from her that she wanted to talk to me. Her family wanted to buy a generator, but didn't have the money so she had put it on her credit card. $1000. I was angry. I told her that we are not a bank that can just lend money out.

Ok, the situation was extraordinary, but hear me out... First, her family had been staying with us and we had our power back, so they were not out in the cold. Second, we had been following the power company's outage information, and we were at day 6 of what they said would be maximum 10 days of outage. And we had noticed earlier that the outage information had changed into "Crews are working in the area to restore power to your location."

And here's the biggest thing. Her family has three adults, all of whom are able to work. Only one of them is fully employed, but she earns more than my wife and I combined. The other two are partially employed.

But yet, we had to bankroll their purchase. In and out of therapy she has said that she is afraid of her mother, and feels guilty around her. But she takes those feelings and directs them at me.

The worst thing is that today it all blew up, because I asked if we got the money back. I had been told earlier that I would get the money on "Friday". It turns out that it means Friday next week. Maybe I misunderstood, I don't know. But regardless, I'm the bad guy for wanting the money back, which we need, and which I was promised. This is exactly the reason why lending money to family or friends is a bad idea. It's a no-win situation.

I said a $1000 purchase should have warranted at least another phone call.

So, the fight ended at my wife throwing her credit cards at me, saying "Now you'll be able to control me, just like you want to."

I don't know what I should do. I don't want to leave her without a credit card. What if she needs to take our son to the doctor, or some other emergency comes up.

But, time and time again, she has shown that she is not able to handle her spending.

I don't want to control her. But I do feel resentment that I have to work double hard, and I don't get to enjoy the fruits of my labor personally.

Maybe I should stop rescuing her. Have her take care of her own bills. But we have a joint checking account, where our paychecks go to, so I don't know how that would work. And I'm afraid that her credit rating would plummet, which would hurt us in the future. But that might still be the lesser of two evils
 

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It does sound like your wife is financially irresponsible. I personally think that a financially irresponsible person should not have access to a credit card. If you guys have emergent doctor's visit, can she write a check? Can you guys agree on a X amount of money where you have to talk to each other prior to the purchase?

It sounds like there's a communication problem in your marriage. Your wife believes that you are controlling her. Whereas you feel like her spending is out of control. If financial problem is the only issue with your marriage, it might be helpful to talk to a financial counselor. I think it's helpful to have a third person talk to your wife. Oftentimes, we listen to a third party (a stranger) instead of the ones closest to us.
 

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It does sound like your wife is financially irresponsible. I personally think that a financially irresponsible person should not have access to a credit card. If you guys have emergent doctor's visit, can she write a check? Can you guys agree on a X amount of money where you have to talk to each other prior to the purchase?

It sounds like there's a communication problem in your marriage. Your wife believes that you are controlling her. Whereas you feel like her spending is out of control. If financial problem is the only issue with your marriage, it might be helpful to talk to a financial counselor. I think it's helpful to have a third person talk to your wife. Oftentimes, we listen to a third party (a stranger) instead of the ones closest to us.
A check/debit card is worse than a credit card, I think... Because now she has direct access to the mortgage money, utilities money, etc...

The financial issues are really just a symptom of her disorder.

And the problem is that you can not reason someone out of their feelings, no matter what the feelings are.
 

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Ill jump in and reply for every female poster who responds to a thread about a husband who has a problem with spending:

Tell her she has to shape up and if she doesnt then you just have to divorce her.

Its funny that they all seemed to have missed this thread.
 

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So, the fight ended at my wife throwing her credit cards at me, saying "Now you'll be able to control me, just like you want to."
Good. I hope you scooped them all up, thanked her, and said "maybe now we can start staying out of debt and starting a college and savings account."

Stop worrying about your wife being mad at you. Especially when you pay her way.

Bottom line: if she doesn't want to be 'controlled' over money, she can go earn her own and do as she pleases - AFTER she helps pay the bills.

Have you ever read No More Mr Nice Guy? Sounds like you need to.
 
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