Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. Free legal advice is available from a Citizen's Advice Bureau, and the Law Society can supply a list of local solicitors.

My husband keeps lying to me about money... Very distressed and pregnant...

(31 Posts)
helsybells Mon 23-Apr-12 12:03:02

This is my first post on here, so I hope I get it right.

My husband and I have been married for nearly 3 years and have been together for 8 year and we are expecting our first baby at the end of September.

We are extremely happy and he is my absolute rock, he has looked after me so well when I have been poorly with morning sickness etc lately doing everything for me and he is a genuine gentle giant, a lovely and kind person who is generally extremely well liked by everyone, level-headed and easy going.

BUT he keeps lying to me about money.

It transpired a couple of years ago that he had a significant amount of debt on a credit card and bank overdraft. I was very distressed to find this out and he was very vague about it, giving me different stories and sums etc on different occasions.

Eventually my mum realised I was upset about something and got it out of me. She and my father then helped us financially to pay of the debt to the tune of about £5000. This left about £1000 on his overdraft.

All pay etc comes into my bank account as I manage the household finances etc so I had been paying off the overdraft on his account for some time and I would ask him for frequent updates on how much was left until he told me (upon me checking with him) that there was about £200 overdraft left for which he is not charged by the bank. It has been a struggle as times are tough and we don't earn much at all. About this point we found out we were expecting a baby and I have been saving the money since then to help us to have some financial back-up when baby comes along. It's been so nice seeing a little bit of security growing in our savings account along with the bump!

Yesterday his grandparents gave us a cheque (I think because of the news they recently recieved about becoming great grandparents thought they didn't say so as it's still early days) which I was really excited about as I thought we could put it in the savings account but it was made out to my husband so it would need to go in his bank account first. So we agreed we would use some of it to clear the remaining £200 overdraft and transfer the rest to our savings.

He was a little bit cagey/vague about the exact remaining overdraft amount and I was a little bit suspicious as to why this was but gave him the benefit of hte doubt and didn't think much more about it.

This morning a letter arrived on the doormat, like the usual ones he tells me are just "advertising" letters he gets from the bank and just throws away. I did a terrible thing and opened it.

It probably serves me right but it states that he has gone over his agreed overdraft by £3 and so will be charged. The overdraft limit is £4000.

I just don't know what to do or say. I am so disappointed. I trust him and love him very much and I don't want our baby to be born with a millstone of debt around his or her neck. I was hoping that the savings I was building up would help us to afford a home of our own in the next year or so but now it seems we are back to square one.

I simply don't know what would happen if my parents found out after they helped us. They haven't trusted him since and have asked on a lot of occasions if I am sure he has told us everything and I always fight his corner and get a bit grumpy with them for not trusting us to manage our finances etc.

I don't think this is new debt as he never buys anything new, it all comes from our bank account which I manage. So he has been lying to me about the scale of it all along. I have asked him in the past to tell me the full scale of the problem, that I won't be cross no matter how big it is, but that to clear it we have to know the scale of it and deal with it but he has clearly lied about the amounts.

I can't imagine my world without him he truly is my soul mate but I just can't understand how he can lie to me over and over again. What if there are other things he is lying about? It just errodes all trust I have in our relationship.

If he just keeps lying to me how can I help him???

Thanks for reading if you got this far and apologies for such a long post especially as my first one. I just don't know what to do and how to approach this.

BonkeyMollocks Mon 23-Apr-12 12:09:03

Oh dear! sad
I didn't want to read and run, but I have no idea what to say other than sit him down and get everything out of him! You need to know your position before you can start trying to sort it.

I really hope someone comes along who has some better advice for you.

Good luck.

worldgonecrazy Mon 23-Apr-12 12:10:22

I think you need to be honest. You could say that you opened the letter without thinking - I often do this on autopilot, and I don't think it's that unusual for a couple to open each other's post is it?

You also need to find out why your husband is getting into difficulties and what he is spending his money on. The first thing to do is to get his bank statements and go through them together. If he won't do this with you then it may indicate that he is either spending money on porn or online gambline sites. You won't know until you see the statements.

Hopefully, if the debt has built up over time, it's because your budgets aren't allowing him enough living expenses, for things like work travel, etc. Some men are really old-fashioned about finances and think a man shouldn't have to ask his wife for money or discuss finances as equals.

dreamingbohemian Mon 23-Apr-12 12:14:10

I'm so sorry you have to be dealing with this, especially when pregnant!

You could also try posting this in Relationships -- there will be a lot of women there who have been in similar situations and can offer good advice.

I don't blame you being devastated. It sounds like your DH lied in the beginning about how bad things were, and then got trapped in the lie. But it's just mad that he's been lying this whole time.

Are you sure it's all old debt? He doesn't have a hidden gambling problem or anything like that?

If it were me, I have to admit, I'd go postal. I would only try to work things out with him under conditions of absolute openness. I would get his bank statements for the last few years and see everything that has come in and out. I would insist on seeing bank statements going forward. I would insist on getting financial counseling, so that he can realise the depth of what he has done, and you can work out a plan to make sure this never happens again.

If he is great in every other way, I would probably try to work it out, but only if he is absolutely remorseful and accepts all the necessary changes that come with such a betrayal of trust.

dreamingbohemian Mon 23-Apr-12 12:15:07

Oh and do NOT apologise for opening the letter. He's the one in the wrong here.

boringnickname Mon 23-Apr-12 12:16:39

Giving him the benefit of the doubt, maybe he lied because he didnt want to worry you or felt embarrased etc?

Debt is a terrible thing and it has to stop now, you need to tell him you have opened the letter (you had every right to do this!) and that you now want to know everything because you need to know how far this problem extends? Does he have any other debts? It is not about "finding him out" but knowing how best to deal with it. (i fucking hate bloody banks and their sodding overdrafts!) The first thing that needs to happen is you need to get a reducing overdraft limit on that account so that he cannot use it, and then pay regular amounts into it, otherwise you will end up with terrible problems, so long as you pay regular amounts it should be ok.

Why has this OD developed? I suspect he is paying off other debts maybe? Tell him to be open with you about them then set about sorting them - you can get interest frozen on CCards etc, contact the national debt line for advice, their website is brilliant - you CAN get this sorted out at a managable level at this moment in time, do not let things drag.

Id be so angry and upset if I were you, but you just need to be practical, yes, you might feel betrayed etc but you need to find out why he has lied and make it clear that if it continues it could well be a deal breaker - there is a common saying

"When money worries come in the window, love walks out the door" It is sadly truer than i care to think, debt has ruined my relationship with DP, we are still together but it will never be the same again. Don't let this happen to you.

savoycabbage Mon 23-Apr-12 12:16:39

Where do you think the money might be going? Where is it going? Not on stuff so are you living beyond your means or do you think he has some sort of a problem?

helsybells Mon 23-Apr-12 12:17:42

Thanks so much both responses so far.

We both run our own business based on the farm on which we live, so there aren't really any work expenses etc to worry about as we don't commute or even travel for work etc. I don't know why I just don't open his mail, but I don't.

I don't think he would be spending it online etc as we both spend most of our time together in the evenings etc so I would be there and he's really not old fashioned about anything at all really. But I totally agree that it's a good idea to get hold of bank statements and go through them.

He has always said it was debt he ran up when he first lived in London before we met and has just been paying off the bare minimum so it never reduced...

I am intending to tell him what I have done and talk to him about what I have found out but I just worry there will still be more to it than I have seen even now. I really thought the last time this came up that he had told me everything and been honest and told me everything and that was an end to it.

HarrietJ0nes Mon 23-Apr-12 12:18:00

My first thought was gambling, how did he say he get the old debt in the first place?

boringnickname Mon 23-Apr-12 12:18:15

i really dont think it is helpful to start saying he is spending money on porn at this stage hmm

helsybells Mon 23-Apr-12 12:22:10

Thanks for added responses. I do think this has been a case of him being too embarrassed to tell me the full scale of things and not wanting to worry me then debt grows more debt. But agree that the statements are the first port of call.

I just can't seem to come to terms with the fact that he might not lie again or there might be more to it even now.

BonkeyMollocks Mon 23-Apr-12 12:23:19

i think going through the bank statements together is a very good idea.

Suggesting gambling and porn is not helpful hmm.

It could just be he is paying of debts by increasing other debts. Stuipid but maybe he just didn't want to upset the op.

boringnickname Mon 23-Apr-12 12:25:16

"He has always said it was debt he ran up when he first lived in London before we met and has just been paying off the bare minimum so it never reduced." This could well be true - once credit card debts get to the stage where you are only paying off the minimum payment, you are basically paying to stay in debt - the minimum payments just about cover the interest and will never shave anything off the orignial debt. If you are in financial difficulties (you are because you have debts you cannot pay) the credit card companies are obliged by law to be flexible. We are in a debt management program and this means that all of the interest we owe on loands (significant amounts) and ccards has been frozen, we now pay a monthly amount and we are paying off the debt not the interest - it will take us 11 years to clear it, but its a managable payment and hoping to increase it to pay it off more quickly, but there is no point in struggling to pay what we cant afford, the creditors know this so they accept the reduced payments.

This robbing peter to pay paul malarky is the road to ruin, you need to persuade your DH to get some advice, i wish we did this years back before we got into such a horrible horrible mess.

The lies are awful, but i do see why he did it, IF that is the genuine reason.

I hope you get it all sorted though

Some useful contacts

National Debt Line
Credit Consumer Council (i think)

boringnickname Mon 23-Apr-12 12:27:43

helsy, there may be more to it, but it wont be insurmountable, you just need to get advice and help. Could his business have run up debts? There is a specific part of the national debt line to help those who are self employed too as it is slightly different, you still have the same rights.

Nagoo Mon 23-Apr-12 12:31:37

You need to know EVERYTHING. dig out all the paperwork and put it on the table ready for when he gets home.

If it were me I'd ring and warn him that I had opened the letter, and he has a choice whether to go through the bills etc with me or if I do it on my own.

Good luck xx

helsybells Mon 23-Apr-12 12:32:28

Thanks very much boringnickname, I had no idea those sort of arrangements existed, so this could well be a very good option. Thanks so much for the links too, I will definitely follow them up.

It's so upsetting. For the first time recently, since I left my job in London 4 years ago and we changed our entire life, I felt like we were finally getting somewhere financially and life was looking up. Every time things get a bit better financially something just seems to come up and slap me in the face! It's just not fair and so frustrating. We work so hard and seem to get nowhere.

dreamingbohemian Mon 23-Apr-12 12:39:46

The only way to get through this is full transparency.

Make sure he shows you everything and from now on check the bank statements.

Is there any extra work he could take on before the baby comes, to cut into it a bit?

How much savings do you have built up? Keep an emergency cushion but try to pay off as much debt as you can, it will save you money in the long run.

Others may disagree with this, but I would also suggest not telling your parents about this. If they are already unhappy with him then this will just create more drama and it's not what you need with a baby on the way.

boringnickname Mon 23-Apr-12 12:46:00

I know how you feel helsy, my DP is self employed to, its very tough - but we will be ok, things are getting better and we were in a dire position. The National debt line have everything you need to know - of coure you need to know what extent of the problem is before you can deal with it, so dreaming is right, you need to know everything, no accusations, just practical sorting it out. I wish that someone had advised us over the help available before we mortgaged beyond our means to get out of debt - the banks just threw more and more money at us and it seemed like the only way out, it so wasn't NEVER borrow to pay off debts, there are better solutions. Get your DH on board with it, he wont have to stick his head in the sand anymore and you can get on with building your lives together xx

I agree with bohemian, do not tell your parents, for one thing, your DH needs to deal with this and you cannot ask them to bail you out again.

Babylon1 Mon 23-Apr-12 12:50:09

This is a tough one sad

It could almost have been written by my DH a few years ago sad

I've always had debts, we've been together over 10 years and I had debts before I met him, but I never told him, and they got worse and worse and worse and the bigger they got, the harder it was to say anything.

Anyway, it wasn't until we bought and sold our first house that he actually found out about my significant debts. When the house sold, a huge portion of my debts (£30k+) were automatically payed off as I had managed to secure a loan against the house without him knowing sad

It was a bad time, and even now, 6 years on, I'm still paying my debts - the difference is I am now with a debt management company, and they sort it all out for me for the relatively small sum of £80 per month, which considering that I was approx £80k in debt at one point - with very little to show for it - isn't a lot of money. I've so far managed to avoid regsitering for bankruptcy, but it is one thing which may have to be considered in the future, and it will give me a clean slate to start from.

I managed to rack up debt with store cards, loans, overdrafts and catalogues and can now get no credit at all which is a PITA at times.

The one piece of advice I can give you, from my experience, try not to shout or belittle him about the debt he has accrued, it is likely to make him clam up more and be more secretive about it.

Good luck in sorting this xx

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 23-Apr-12 13:12:18

You need to get together with all your bank statments, credit card bills, receipts - full open-book - and decide how to deal with this as a couple before it splits you up. Soul-mate or not, living with someone who runs up debts, has no idea where the money has gone and who lies to cover up is going to get very old, very quickly. So eyes wide open and understand that this is a serious relationship problem.

IME the type of man this happens to is one that is quite immature and doesn't think he has to adjust his bachelor lifestyle and spending habits just because he's got a wife or children. With a man like this the danger is that you will always find you're working hard but getting nowhere.... whatever you earn or save, he'll spend and have nothing to show for it.

So get the information & have a very frank discussion about how he is going to fix the problem. You need timescales, plans, amounts - and they have to come from him. He has to own the solution. Concrete commitments like promising to leave cards and cheque-books at home are the kinds of things you want to hear. Putting you in complete charge of the finances may be prudent. Asking parents for cash should be a last resort or he'll never learn. BTW If your mum wants to give you cash, use it to put into a savings account for your baby. Good luck

RedHelenB Mon 23-Apr-12 13:45:01

Just a note of warning - my ex was my soulmate & lied about finances (x2) I did understand why but down the line he also lied about seeing someone else.

He had a chance to come clean when the matter raised it's head in the first place & I would have to wonder why he didn't. Are you sure this isn't more debt racked up recently?

helsybells Mon 23-Apr-12 14:17:28

Thanks so much everyone. You have all been such a help so far and I greatly appreciate it.

I told him when he came home this lunch time what I had found and showed him the letter.

He explained that he had been scared to tell me and didn't want to upset me. And he had just been hoping "something would come along so he could pay it off" without me knowing. He agreed to call the bank in front of me and has ordered 7 years of statements which are on their way. He also asked the bank for any advice on managing the problem.

It seems that the money I had been paying in to pay off what I thought was a smaller overdraft that I had nearly cleared had just been swallowed up in interest and overdraft charges, so I'm glad I stopped doing it and saved something when I did but it is very sad to think all those months of hard work amounted to nothing.

We will go through the statements once they arrive and try to figure out how best to proceed.

He was very upset about the situation he had gotten himself into and was very down on himself for it but I explained that he should have told me last time and to lie to me was very damaging, hurtful etc but he needs to come clean about everything now as I will not tolerate this a third time (and he knows that I am a person who does not say something like that and not keep to it, it would be the most difficult thing in the world for me but I will not be a mug one more time).

He promises that really is everything but I have asked him to think about this until he comes home this evening and if there is anything else no matter how big or small to tell me tonight, I won't be cross I just need to know so we can deal with any problem but if this ever happens again our marriage will not survive.

I just hope I can get over this myself and trust him in other parts of our life too it makes it very difficult if he were out and about with friends in the evenings, on stag weekends etc for me to trust him, but I haven't ever seen an inkling of any reason not to before unlike the debt thing.

I am going to try and apply to his bank to reclaim the charges that he has incurred. Since the original ruling a few years ago it is much more difficult, if at all possible to reclaim such charges but I think from what I have read it is worth a try and anything would be a help.

Otherwise we will just have to sell things and raise as much cash as we can as well as paying as much off as we can. He currently works all the hours god sends in our business so extra work would be pretty much impossible.

I will certainly consult the recommended debt advisory services once I have seen the bank statements and understand the situation better. I feel much better now I know about this and I stop the rot now. If only, if only, if only, I had opened one of those wretched letters sooner. I don't think I'll take any prisoners in future when it comes to the mail. Sad but true.

I'm just praying we can cope with sorting this out.

helsybells Mon 23-Apr-12 14:29:35

Also BoringNN and Bohemian. Completely agree I don't want my parents to be involved in any way. They are so fond of him (I think they prefer him to me most of the time! ;) ) and I don't want them to think less of him for this, as it won't do any good it is better we deal with this ourselves.

Cogito = thanks - he has handed over his empty credit card and bank card already.

dreamingbohemian Mon 23-Apr-12 14:47:53

Sounds like you have handled things very well, and your DH is appropriately remorseful.

If there is anything you can sell to bring down the debt, I would do it. It's anyway nice emotionally to have a big clearout while you're pregnant.

boringnickname Mon 23-Apr-12 14:49:20

It sounds like you are on the road to sorting this, that is brilliant, i bet he feels such relief, he has been an idiot, but now you can both work together - it will be OK. If you want any advice on how to deal with creditors helsy, just shout or PM me, im happy to help if i can.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now