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AIBU to not pay off DH's debt? (apols for long post)

(212 Posts)
bookwormthatturned Wed 13-Jan-16 00:53:36

I'm trying to get some perspective on this so would appreciate your thoughts ....

My DH has largely not been employed for the last few years following losing his job at the same time as his father died. He has had a number of fresh starts which haven't worked out and has not had an easy time.
Discussing finances isn't something he is comfortable with so, after getting a vague response whenever I asked how he was financially I ended up leaving it to him to tell me. DH had an amount of cash reserves and was still contributing to the joint account.
It now transpires that he has a significant credit card debt. Talking about it DH had an expectation that I would pay this off (I received a legacy from a relative that would just about cover the debt).
I'm reluctant to do this. The same thing happened a few years ago and we put that amount onto our mortgage (DH had previously funded some improvements so we just 'refunded' an amount of this from the mortgage to cover the debt.)
I have offered to take out a joint 0% interest card and (I'm working so would have the credit rating to do this) transfer the debt onto this. I've also offered to cover the minimum payments while DH is job hunting but he doesn't want to do this. Instead his plan is to continue using the card and then pay it all off as soon as he gets a 'proper' job. I've been encouraging him to be flexible and look at any job to help the cash flow in the short term. He has now taken a Christmas casual job which is due to end shortly.

Sorry for a long post and all the background but I'm losing the plot here. Am I being an unsupportive cow not to just pay it off? My concern is that DH would just carry on using the card and things could escalate again.


TendonQueen Wed 13-Jan-16 01:01:49

He needs to stop spending money on whatever he's run up the debts on, transfer it onto a zero per cent card as you suggest and you both pay it off, and close that card down. And have a long and frank talk about your finances and how they are going to work in future.

LeaLeander Wed 13-Jan-16 01:07:35

No, do not pay it off. Bequests should be used for something lasting and meaningful. Not to pay off consumer debt of someone who refuses to live within his means.

What is he spending on?! He may not like talking about finances but his issues jeopardize you. He needs to come clean and redouble his efforts to support himself. Everyone has losses and tough times but one must forge on.

In your shoes I would feel taken advantage of.

bookwormthatturned Wed 13-Jan-16 01:13:18

... A lot of what he's spent the money on is living expenses - contributing to the joint account when he couldn't really afford it. Also keeping up a rented garage for his motorbikes (I know!)
DH would never say that he feels his male identity is threatened by the situation but I'm wondering if that's part of the reason he didn't tell me what was happening.
I'm struggling on how to make progress on this without it getting confrontational or him thinking I'm being 'controlling' or that I don't have confidence in him finding a 'proper' job that gets him back to his previous salary level. BUT we (he) can't carry on living beyond our means.
Any suggestions on how to tackle this???

Ughnotagain Wed 13-Jan-16 01:24:53

You can't get joint credit cards, so that isn't an option.

It's up to you whether you pay off the debt for him. Tbh I wouldn't blame you if you didn't.

If the debt he's run up is from keeping up with living costs though then it sounds like you need to assess your household budget, or at least his contribution towards the household. I'd suggest filling out a household budget and going from there.

Mmmmcake123 Wed 13-Jan-16 01:33:12

I think you both need to properly discuss financial obligations and responsibilities. There is no point whatsoever in him paying half all the way if he is accruing debt.
He needs to accept a role/job that is 'beneath him' and go from there! It's not acceptable to wait around for a proper job to turn up and expect a bail out. You don't walk into, or easily transfer into a well paid role.
You have to ask yourself how long is he prepared to wait for his dream job to arrive?
I hope I haven't completely misunderstood and been offensive

bookwormthatturned Wed 13-Jan-16 01:34:20

I have looked at our budget, asked him to stop paying into the joint account and instead set up a transfer of £xxx a month to his credit card to cover food shopping.
Now it's more about how to move things forward ......

CaoNiMao Wed 13-Jan-16 01:35:11

His 'male identity' is all well and good but it won't (as has been borne out several times already) pay the bills. There needs to be some frank discussion.

bbpp Wed 13-Jan-16 01:39:46

Sell the bikes and pay off the debt?

sleeponeday Wed 13-Jan-16 01:39:58

Bluntly, if he's not had a job at the level he wants for several years, he's unlikely to get one. He can't afford to rent a garage for his bikes, and you would be crazy, IMO, to pay off his debts so he could carry on with that.

You need a hard conversation about how you proceed from here, IMO.

sleeponeday Wed 13-Jan-16 01:41:00

Sell the bikes and pay off the debt?

'Fraid so, yes. You and he can't afford to run them really, can you.

How old is he - is there potential for considering a new career path for him?

Baconyum Wed 13-Jan-16 02:17:09

Is he claiming benefits if he's not working? Is he being realistic in the jobs he's applying for? It's an employers market there are approximately 33% more people unemployed than there are job vacancies and that's all job vacancies not full time.

Agree he needs to sell the bikes and relinquish the garage too. Ludicrous to keep on unnecessary expenses when you're on a smaller budget that's just life.

You need to look at your finances as a team and cut back where you can to pay off the debt but I don't agree that it's not right to use the legacy to pay off the debt. In your position I would pay it as an interest free loan but with an agreement for him to lay it back. I hope he's pulling his weight at home in other ways?

LeaLeander Wed 13-Jan-16 02:41:57

He won't pay it back. This sort never change. If he would rather use up his wife's legacy than get rid of hobby bikes and a rented garage, you seriously think he'll suddenly see the light, buckle down and repay his debt to his wife? I'm sorry OP but you would have better odds playing lottery.
Safeguard that legacy as an emergency fund. Pull a credit report on each of you so you see the totality of the debt and which parts you are liable for. Insist he bring in income weekly whether from selling the bikes, dog walking, scrap hauling, working fast food or whAtever.
What age is he and how long has this been going on? Doesn't he care about your long term security If not his own?

araiba Wed 13-Jan-16 04:07:11

you're married. it is not his debt, it is both or yours debt

ThumbWitchesAbroad Wed 13-Jan-16 04:14:59

Fuck that! no, don't use your legacy money to pay it off.
And no, don't pay it off for him, he'll just do it again and again.

ObsidianBlackbirdMcNight Wed 13-Jan-16 04:32:46

I don't think that's right arauba with a credit card debt. It's in his name, nobody can force her to pay it.

novemberchild Wed 13-Jan-16 04:39:40

I would not. If he can keep his motorbikes (not one, but multiple motorbikes!) then you can keep your inheritance.

I know I am probably an embittered old trout now, but I paid some of my husband's debts and then found out he had been cheating on me all along. I would never have said this before, but knowing what I know now, I would say that a woman should always retain her own 'fund', and that nobody should ever pay off another's debts.

redskirt3 Wed 13-Jan-16 04:42:51

YANBU. Leave him to sort it out otherwise the situation will keep repeating itself.

Aussiemum78 Wed 13-Jan-16 04:54:15

Sell his bikes.

You can't afford those kinds of luxuries without a job. Why should your inheritance pay for that?

He needs to face reality.

knobblyknee Wed 13-Jan-16 05:18:05

Dont do it. I knew someone in an identical situation a few years back and she ended up with nothing.
He is not taking his debt seriously, and to assume you'd use your money to pay it off is taking the piss.

He's not comfortable talking about money because he's a twat about it.

Allgunsblazing Wed 13-Jan-16 05:22:56

Another vote for keeping your own money. This sort of man is no good and will never change.

PUGaLUGS Wed 13-Jan-16 06:24:15

Sell the bloody bikes!

Katenka Wed 13-Jan-16 06:34:42

Oh my god!

You sound lovely. You really do, but (trying to say this as nicely as possible) but you need to stop being so lovely.

His plan is you pay off his debt and he continues to not work and use the credit card. So you will be in this position until he finally gets a job?

Me and dh have fairly separate finances. We earn the same, put money in the joint account. What's left is our own money.

But if work needs doing on the house it comes out of joint money or we chip in half each. We never squabble about money and if I have spent money on a credit card it's up to me to pay off.

Do not pay it off and do not put it in your name. He is living beyond his means. If he won't get and keep a job, he need to cut back his out goings. The bike and the garage rental has to go.

He is an adult. I am sorry he lost his dad and job all at once. But he needs to get a job. Especially if he wants to keep the bikes.

All this shit about his manliness is shit. He didn't tell you because he knows he is wrong. If he is so proud and protect is 'male identity' he wouldn't be expecting you to clear his debt, would he?

Katenka Wed 13-Jan-16 06:36:55

I'm struggling on how to make progress on this without it getting confrontational or him thinking I'm being 'controlling' or that I don't have confidence in him finding a 'proper' job

Does he say you are controlling?

Telling him he needs to get a job, isn't controlling.

And be honest, you don't have confidence in him getting and keeping a job, do you? Nothing wrong with that, though. He hasn't managed to get and keep a job for 3 years.

Why did he lose his job in the first place?

HermioneJeanGranger Wed 13-Jan-16 06:41:26

Sell his bikes. If he can't afford basic living expenses, why is he renting a garage to store several bikes? He needs to sell the bikes, pay off his debt and cut up his credit card as he clearly can't be trusted with one.

As it stands, this debt is NOT your responsibility, regardless of marriage. It's solely in his name so he is the one liable. If you start paying it off and split,however, I think the courts COULD consider you liable as you took on responsibility for it, so don't!

His debt, let him deal with it. Why he thinks he can maintain a garage full of bikes when he can't pay for daily life is beyond me, though.

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