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Am I a total fool?

(48 Posts)
HenryHugglemonster Sun 20-Oct-13 17:55:32

I have known my husband for 8 years and been married for 3 years. He hasn't got a squeaky clean history with the law and has a couple of money related convictions. I knew this before we were married.

The year before we got married he was in court for a money related offence and was given community service. My parents were very angry with him as he was very secretive and they only found out once he had been to court. He sat down with them afterwards and explained everything and said that there was nothing else to tell.

3 months ago he was in court again and was actually sentenced for fraud. This came as a huge shock to everyone as again he kept it all to himself. He left me, my family and his to pick up the pieces. I was 7 months pregnant at the time. He has his own business which we then had to try and keep going which was particularly difficult as the staff we had walked out and left me to it.

Thanks to my family we have managed to keep going and my mum has been amazing. She was there when I had my baby and has been a real rock. Although she can't stand my husband now (not that she was keen on him in the first place) has never said outright that she wants me to leave him.

He is due out shortly which leaves me with having to make some big decisions. Of course he is trotting out the usual lines like, "this has changed me so much", "I didn't tell you what I was doing/going through (struggling to pay bills) as I wanted to protect you" etc etc.
He seems to forget though in an adult relationship you discuss theses problem and see what you can do together to fix it not go and defraud a heap of money.

He would make big decisions without me, one example spending £5000 on a car which we didn't really need. If I make a list of all the things he has lied to me about it far outweighs the list of good.

Now the hard part. I kind of understand the weird twisted way of saying he did it to keep everything afloat and not to worry me. I don't work so I'm not bringing in a wage. I am lucky in that my parents have supported my hobby which was hopefully going to be my business but it never really took off. We have a lovely house but a massive mortgage, again his own fault for not ever saying we can't afford it. This is where it started with struggling to pay it so rather than admit it he went down the wrong route.

He does most of the housework and we share the cooking, he helps on the weekends with my hobby when he can and he is a good dad. He would do anything for me or my kids.

I just don't know if he will actually have changed after this. My family hates him and would like me to leave him and not have anymore to do with him. I feel sad for my children, although if I didn't have kids the decision would be much easier.

I hope this isn't too vague but anyone who knows me will instantly recognise this and I don't fancy more 'gossip' going around where we live. There already has been far too much.

So am I a fool to continue or should I be brave and call it quits?

IAmNotAMindReader Sun 20-Oct-13 18:10:52

Sorry but if he's that shit with money he has gone so far as to break the law on more than one occasion and get caught more than once would be a deal breaker with me.

At best you'd be looking at a lifetime of being up to your eyeballs in debt due to his poor financial decisions and secretiveness, at worst he could implicate you in something illegal (signing you up to something without your knowledge, not divulging the full facts) putting your own liberty at risk.

He's been to court more than once and it still didn't put him off, he seems to think he can beat the system. Even if he does you will spend your lives looking over your shoulders wondering when that bubble will burst.

Leverette Sun 20-Oct-13 18:15:13

"If I didn't have kids, the decision would be much easier"

This suggests your gut is saying you need to walk away, but that you're concerned about the impact on your DCs.

If what he's done has affected your like and respect for him, your love will rapidly dwindle too.

SomethingOnce Sun 20-Oct-13 18:15:55

Since he seems to have a problem with being honest and straightforward, both in business and personally, I'd call it quits, sorry.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 20-Oct-13 18:40:34

I agree with all of the above. How would you ever trust him? Every envelope coming through the letter-box, every text message, every time he seemed to have a few quid more than normal.... you'd be on pins waiting for the police knocking on the door. On a practical level, you'd never get credit and he'll always find it difficult to get work where any money is involved. But, just from the way you're phrasing the question, (the reference to 'not squeaky clean' is a very kind way to describe a convicted criminal) I don't think you'll kick him to the kerb. He's a lucky man... but keep your eyes wide open.

Dirtymistress Sun 20-Oct-13 18:52:36

You haven't said whether or not you love him? And whether you want to live without him?

IslaValargeone Sun 20-Oct-13 18:59:27

I'd be calling it quits too I'm afraid.
The fact he is has spent so much time lying to you in the past and then leaving you to pick up the pieces of a business on the edge of going under would be the nail in the coffin for me.
How would ever really know what he might be getting you into.
This was not a one off error of judgement, he is fundamentally dishonest.
You know in your gut what decision you should be making.
Best of luck.

lovemenot Sun 20-Oct-13 19:14:35

I agree with the others above. He has said he has "changed" but has he any idea what you have been through while he's been locked up? Has he asked?

HenryHugglemonster Sun 20-Oct-13 19:19:12

Thank you for all your replies. I know what I should do but it is such a scary leap to take. He talks a good talk, says the right things to win you round.

I would have to sell my lovely house and move in with my parents. They would be more than happy. I would then need to study to gain some qualifications so when my kids start school/nursery I can go out and work. This is not a problem and would be a good thing.

I don't know if I love him or not. I feel so teary and have been keeping it together for so long, I'm just so tired of it all. Its even worse as when he is out he will be back at the house and it is too easy to fall into a routine, although as my mum says when I see him I may feel totally different.

I also worry how it would be for my kids to have parents that aren't together and only see their dad every second weekend or something. Also am I going to end up alone forever?

God I sound so pathetic and weak. How have I messed up so badly?

cozietoesie Sun 20-Oct-13 19:30:54

If you leave, you'll be your own woman again, though. No worrying about letters arriving unexpectedly, no dreading every knock on the door - not dog tired anymore. I think you've done more than enough for him. Now it's time for you and your kids.

Oh - and the very last thing you've been is weak.

Lweji Sun 20-Oct-13 19:38:19

Do you know anything about the family finances to this day?

One more reason to separate. His debts will be his, not yours, and by extension not the kids'.


SomethingOnce Sun 20-Oct-13 19:38:27

He messed up, not you.

He talks a good talk, says the right things to win you round.

I'm sure the same is true of habitually dishonest people. It's a form of dishonesty in and of itself, as well as being a means to other ends.

Your children will be fine if their parents are no longer together.

HenryHugglemonster Sun 20-Oct-13 19:55:20

You are all right. He has been dishonest for so long and deceitful. Can someone really change that much? If I were an outsider looking in I would say run for the hills!

I have been in charge of all the money since he was sentenced and haven't found anything yet and have also searched through all the paperwork, but you do think is there still something to come to light.

If you met him and didn't know you would say he is such a nice genuine guy. He would have been a brilliant actor.

cozietoesie Sun 20-Oct-13 19:59:56

It's probably not a change - just that when you first started the relationship, he didn't see what he thought (wrongly) was the right opportunity - or telling the truth was easier. Many liars are just lazy people: they'll lie or be truthful according to what is most convenient at the time.

And there may not be anything else in the woodwork for you to find - from the past that is. But you certainly don't need to live with someone you could never trust in the future.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 20-Oct-13 20:00:54

If he carries on in the same vein it's going to be much more difficult to explain to your kids why they visit Dad every other weekend in a prison rather than a home. People can and do change all the time, but it takes years of genuine commitment. His behavioural habit is so entrenched that not even the prospect of time behind bars was enough to dissuade him. The minute he gets a little short of cash, he'll be tempted to bend the rules again.

I'm sure he is a nice, genuine guy. My next-door neighbour is a criminal lawyer and he tells me murderers are also very nice, genuine people. hmm

Jux Sun 20-Oct-13 20:31:22

Cut your losses. Sell the house, stop fannying about with a hobby which is costing everyone except you money, take responsibility for your own finances. Harsh I know, but.

nightcircus Sun 20-Oct-13 20:55:03

Call it quits

Been there (without kids though). He won't change. He'll make you more anxious/miserable.

Sure mine had a psychopathic personality....likely as my thoughts confirmed by 2 mental health prof and a psychologist. Lots of parralels even in terms of phrasing.
Eg last ever text said 'I never told you lots to protect you....'

His not telling you stuff isn't to protect you but because he doesn't feel the need/isn't able to include you.

Don't worry how it looks. Rely on your family and move on. You'll need to be able to plan for your kids futures. What if he spends Uni money on a car?

nightcircus Sun 20-Oct-13 20:57:19

God just re-reading what you've written- please please end this. It's like reading about my own life. No good will come of staying with him.

HenryHugglemonster Sun 20-Oct-13 21:00:00

Jux, my hobby has never cost my husband money, my family happily funds it as they are involved too. It must be easy when everything in your life is so clear cut.

HenryHugglemonster Sun 20-Oct-13 21:05:17

Thanks nightcircus. It is nice to see someone posting who has been through similar. If you don't mind me asking did your ex go as far as to getting a sentence? Or were you smart enough to dump him before that?

kalidanger Sun 20-Oct-13 21:14:02

How much porridge has he done? You been without him that long so you must be part way set up on your own. Are you and the DC happy and relaxed and managing? Plus your DM must also be relaxed about her DD smile Surely it's better to stay in this status quo rather than be on tenterhooks waiting for the next policeman in a bad suit to knock on the door?

nightcircus Sun 20-Oct-13 21:14:45

Court case and community service/fine/suspended sentence with me (only found out list of previous crimes in court)
Prison sentence with next girlfriend (a Dr). Eventually you do have to do time if you prove incapable of learning from your mistakes.

Don't feel silly for 'falling for' this type if character.
I was told family courts are full of them. (Didn't have kids with my ex though)
When you do end though I'd seek advice first and do it all properly.... Lots on here can advise on that though.

Feel free to pm me any time.

Struggling to type at mo as baby (with norovirus) asleep on me!

nightcircus Sun 20-Oct-13 21:16:35

Haha my mum had just rung for a Chinese takeaway once when a police van rolled up to take him away for not attending court- awkward!!

HenryHugglemonster Sun 20-Oct-13 21:45:12

Kalidanger, he has been away for about 3 months. We have our little routine now, and funnily enough before if I was in the house myself I would be a bit anxious till he was back, but now I feel totally relaxed by myself. Amateur phycologists, what does that mean?

cozietoesie Sun 20-Oct-13 21:48:23

From my own experience, you were anxious because he was going to come back and for the last few months you've known he couldn't - at least on a day to day basis. How, in the past, did you feel when you heard his key in the door?

kalidanger Sun 20-Oct-13 21:50:24

I am merely an Ikea sofa psychologist but it seems clear as day what that's about - when he's not there things aren't always on the brink of going wrong, whether you were consciously aware that he was up to no good all the time.

This is a perfect opportunity to break the cycle. I'd take it.

HenryHugglemonster Sun 20-Oct-13 21:50:59

I was glad he was home. Safe. Maybe after all this I have grown up a bit, although I still won't go out to the tumble drier when it's pitch black. Over active imagination!

cozietoesie Sun 20-Oct-13 21:53:00

Of course you were glad he was home - and you knew (or thought you knew) that he didn't have disaster trailing behind him.

HenryHugglemonster Sun 20-Oct-13 22:00:02

Cozietoesie, your last post makes a lot of sense. I do feel much more relaxed in the house and also not anxious when the phone rings. That really gives me my answer.

kalidanger Sun 20-Oct-13 22:01:18

I think this is such a food opportunity OP. if you were idly in love and counting the days until he came home I doubt youd be asking us for advice. So you must see that how well you are set and how relaxed is better than returning to an uncertain home life and future with your OH. AYou can be friends and co-parents without you having to throw everything back in with him again.

kalidanger Sun 20-Oct-13 22:02:16

good opportunity
blindly in love

CharityFunDay Sun 20-Oct-13 22:08:20

I'm tempted to say LTB but you don't sound ready for that OP.

It sounds like (could be wrong) he's not a habitual fraudster, but that his compulsion to run up debt has led him into outright criminality in order to try to escape the consequences of his own actions.

I don't think you are 'a total fool' for feeling conflicted over this situation.

But your OH has to change for good in order for your marriage to be salvageable.

Counselling doesn't sound like it would address the root problem, so I feel constrained to advise he joins Debtors Anonymous. Like AA, but with debt instead of booze and no "God" stuff lurking in the background:

HenryHugglemonster Sun 20-Oct-13 22:37:29

Kalidanger, your right I'm not counting the days off. At the beginning yes, but now I have had time to process everything and I'm realising he has treated me terribly. You don't do that to someone you supposedly love.

CharityFunDay, his previous conviction was also fraud so I'm tending to think he is. He is shit with money, as is his whole family, just he seems to be the only one arrogant enough to do something so stupid.

Nightcircus, have pm'd you

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 21-Oct-13 06:48:52

My observation of emotional abuse... and I would class his mix of deception, charm and casual criminality as emotionally stressful, if not actually abusive.... is that it is hypnotic. While you are with the person and they are working their charm, it is difficult to think clearly. You make allowances and find yourself rationalising their behaviour or defending them to others. However, take some time apart, 'break the spell' and their influence is reduced. You start to see things the way others do... not the way he wants you to see events.

DontmindifIdo Mon 21-Oct-13 06:58:05

Op, I'm sure you don't want to hear this, but Jux makes a very good point, you don't seem to acknowledge your part in all this. The fact you have a house and lifestyle you can not afford without your dh committing fraud and your parents funding what I assume is an expensive hobby.

If you do decide to take him back, then your behaviour has to change too, you need to know where every penny comes from and if you can't afford your current nice house then you can't have it. It's interesting that your plan for how to cope if you don't make a go of your marriage is move back in to your parents home and have them keep you. Perhaps time to think about being in control yourself rather than allowing other people to "look after" you.

(you are an adult now and a mother, if you can't afford your hobby without your parents paying for it perhaps time to knock it on the head)

Reality Mon 21-Oct-13 07:15:03

I agree with the slightly harsher responses.

You've already said you can't afford the House, so keeping it isn't an option whether he's there or not.

I really think you would reap huge rewards from ditching him, renting a flat or buying a small house and supporting yourself and your DC.

Even if you nice home for a little while in order to get that stuff sorted out.

My ex (among other things) was awful with money, he bought vans we couldn't afford, fucking power tools and nonsense. Leaving him cost me 11k in debts that he'd rub up in mine or joint names (more fool me). Money well spent because it got me away from him.

Having my own job and income and flat and all of that was a big part of my healing process.

Best of luck x

Reality Mon 21-Oct-13 07:15:48


Move home, not nice. Run up, not rub. Etc.

Sorry, I agree with the harsher responses too. You're not working, but live in a lovely big house with your children. (His too?) Even if you don't deal with the finances, surely you would have a working knowledge of what comes in and out? That's just common sense.

You are an adult. Stop relying on your husband or parents.

HenryHugglemonster Mon 21-Oct-13 07:52:23

With regards to the last few post I see how you are perceiving the situation. I have been vague in my original post and also have let out quite a lot of stuff he has done, one due to shame and embarrassment and also if anyone does recognise me I would rather they not know exactly how much of a mess it is.

Years ago I said we should sell the house etc but he always made on the mortgage was up to date etc and would hide mail, obviously i didn't know at the time. We have separate accounts so I would pay for what I could and he would 'pay' for the rest.

I have a small business which compliments his, which I put my own, not my parents or anyone else's money, which I earned from my 'hobby' into. It's starting to take off now.

I do see my part in this, I could have been far more involved in the business and house. He makes it difficult. I would suggest something and he would dismiss it and do what he wanted anyway. When I put it this way it seems very obvious but it was all very subtle. This is why it is difficult as I see how I have contributed to the whole mess and feel I should stick around to help fix it.

They are his children as well, I'm not a serial shagger who just gets pregnant and expect someone to support me. He very much wanted kids too. I suppose it is hard to get people view on this as I haven't mentioned things but as said above I would rather not.

nkf Mon 21-Oct-13 08:00:03

He's a crook. Your kids' dad is in jail and you're worried about every other weekend. Move on.

MissStrawberry Mon 21-Oct-13 08:00:26

You aren't a fool. You are someone who loves someone who has been an idiot.

You don't have to decide anything within minutes of him leaving prison. He should find somewhere else to stay and start to live his life while supporting his children and show you that he has matured and is not going to lie to you anymore. He lied. He might say he was trying to protect you but he lied and treated you like a child even though really that is just a convenient excuse.

Don't take him back for the children's sake. They have already been used to being without him and having him in and out of their lives will be much more unsettling.

Good luck.

Inertia Mon 21-Oct-13 08:00:27

Bottom line is that this man is supposed to be the person that you and your children trust most in the entire world. You should be able to trust your husband to help keep your family safe, to be honest with each other, and not be a criminal. Your husband can't manage any of this. He's a liability and it will never get better, because it never has before and he won't change.

You can keep on going the same way if you like, but don't be surprised when you get the same outcome. He won't change, he's proved that over and over. If you want a change you have to make it.

Inertia Mon 21-Oct-13 08:02:21

And seeing him every other weekend is better for children than regular visits from the fraud squad/ bailiffs. Stability with just one parent is better than a life of fear and prisons with two.

MissStrawberry Mon 21-Oct-13 08:02:36

You have coped without him. You can do it officially.

Slipping back in to the old routine could quite easily mean he does too..

wannabestressfree Mon 21-Oct-13 15:02:36

I agree with the harsher posts and would go as far as to say how romanticised it can sound from a middle class point of view. This isn't someone who 'makes mistakes' he is a bloody tealeaf....
And I say this from experience as my father was the same. He led us a dogs life and it took my mother 3o long years to see sense. In that time he went to prison, pitted on against the other,stole my cheque book, my brothers bank card (and blamed me) and has left my nan in a home penniless.

Make some intelligent choices for your children. If he has changed then fine, let him live elsewhere and prove it. And stand on your own two feet.

The bottom still falls out of my stomach when my dad texts...... I just wonder what he has done now

DontmindifIdo Mon 21-Oct-13 15:49:04

The bit that really is standing out for me is that if you don't take him back and live off his wage, your plan is to move in with your parents and live off them. Again, there doesn't seem to be option 3, you fund your own lifestyle now. If he moves back in, you work too and make sure you have money coming in, if he doesn't, you work and fund your DC's lifestyle. The options you are deciding between are living off him or living off your parents.

It's that mentality that allows you to just accept his lies that he could afford XYZ, because you didn't take responsiblity for it. You aren't intending to take responsibility for funding your lifestyle now, just allowing your parents to take over paying for things (again not having to think if the money is there), then at some unspecified point in the future, looking after yourself.

Don't just allow it to be someone else's job to make sure the money is there.

Sorry - I wasn't suggesting you were a "serial shagger". You talked about "my" children in your earlier posts - not "our" children. I can't even remember why I asked now - it must have seemed relevant at the time. Sorry.

blondieminx Mon 21-Oct-13 17:41:17

If you take him back it's likely he will carry on with the same behaviour patterns. It's hard, but do you want to live like that any more?

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