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How do I deal with my anger surrounding OH's secretly accumulated debts?

(21 Posts)
ElliedJeels Thu 02-May-13 18:11:42

I discovered recently that OH has managed to get himself into a payday loan cycle. He's accumulated over £2,500 worth of debt, from interest and new loans, over the course of two years. Along with debts we already have together, we're not in a good position.

He hid it very well. I had no idea. Until I had to go into his email to get a number for him, whilst he was at work, and I found the reminder emails dating back to 2011.

I confronted him, and he admitted everything. He says he didn't tell me because he was ashamed he'd let it get so bad. He'd been paying the minimum payments, or paying one off with another loan, so the debts wouldn't be obvious. We'd been living as normal the whole time.

We're now paying them all back, and don't expect to be out of debt until the end of July. That's with us paying out half of OH's wages every month, leaving us with enough money for rent and bills, and having to buy groceries with tax credits. We're budgeting like crazy and going without things that we need, me in particular. I'm pregnant, and I need maternity clothes, but can't afford them... DS is fine for a while, we got him his summer clothes last year, so I'm thankful for that.

We wouldn't be going about this so drastically if I wasn't pregnant, and didn't need full flow of money by the time the baby comes. I would never have agreed to TTC if I knew he was in debt, knowing that it would take most of my pregnancy to pay it off.

I feel utterly betrayed and miserable. Living on a tight budget is depressing, and I'm fed up with trawling charity shops for maternity clothes and finding nothing!!! He understands that I'm angry, but he wants to put it behind us and focus on paying it off and the baby. I don't feel he's in the position to want anything angry

I know this is temporary, I know that people live like this for years, and I know in the grand scheme of things it isn't a lot of money to owe. I just feel so angry.

I guess this is a rant more than an advice thread sad

Helltotheno Thu 02-May-13 18:19:04

You poor thing, I'd be livid. Leaving aside this one thing, that's if you can get past it, my bigger concern would be for your future with him. Are you married? If not, I'd seriously consider not until there's a huge commitment for that never to happen again and even then, I'd be very cautious. If you are, you know that you need to take full charge of the finances from here on in right? Does he? Because if not, he needs to... With a child, you can't afford to have him being a financial millstone round your neck..

Maybe MN mums could help with the maternity clothes situation?

2cats2many Thu 02-May-13 18:25:27

I really sympathise with you. An ex boyfriend of mine did this. The true extent of it only really became clear towards the end of our relationship and he ended up losing his flat over it.

It's made me super paranoid about debt and I've demanded full disclosure of financial matters from DH right from the start.

MrsMangelFanciedPaulRobinson Thu 02-May-13 18:42:56

Oh gosh that's awful sad No wonder you are upset. It's all very well your OH saying you have to put it behind you, but it's not fair on you having to budget so much and go without things, when he's racked up all the debt. It would feel to me, in your situation, that he was being a bit light about it all, and not realising the seriousness of what he has done. Has he promised never to do that kind of thing again? Do you believe him?

My youngest is nearly 4 so I don't think I have any maternity clothes left, otherwise I would send them on to you. How pregnant are you? Lots of Ebay sellers do BNWT and nearly new maternity wear very cheaply. And when I was pregnant I got lots of tops in Primark in a bigger size. They fitted after I'd had the baby too.

something2say Thu 02-May-13 18:48:06

Yes don't try and get over your ante too quickly... Let it go when it doesn't come up anymore....not because he doesn't want to be made to feel guilty for what he has to feel guilty, let him go without while you don't. You didn't rack up the debt, don't you go without to pay it off. Start with his food, give him less , let him see why as well. Xxx

something2say Thu 02-May-13 18:48:26

Ante??? Anger!!!

YoniRanger Thu 02-May-13 18:50:48

What size are you OP? I can do nothing about your relationship issues but I have some mat clothes

NervyWervy Thu 02-May-13 18:53:43

Think you can get maternity clothes from oxfam online?
Sorry, I'd be angry too flowers

promenadelight Thu 02-May-13 18:55:38

Sorry to hear this sad. But I'm someone who knows how easily these payday loans can suck you in blush, if the total amount owed is only £2.5k and it dates from 2011, that could easily have started with just a small loan that was taken out in a moment of desperation. And I can remember the shame of it too, it's not easy to admit this sort of thing to anyone, so don't be too hard on him for keeping it from you. It sounds like it could have been a one-off that ballooned into something he couldn't deal with. Not an ongoing problem like borrowing for gambling or drugs, which would be much harder to deal with.

What I would suggest is getting in touch with an advice agency like Stepchange or National Debtline. You should have enough money to meet your daily needs, and that is more important than keeping these loan companies at bay. They managed to sort me out with a payment plan which gave me enough to live on, but also froze the interest so it wasn't building up to unmanageable amounts. Don't try to sort it out yourselves, because you'll only manage to do that if you cut back to the extent that you'll be going without things you really need. And it's also worth looking at a benefits checkup. If you get tax credits now, you'll probably get quite a bit of help when the baby's here.

pregnantpause Thu 02-May-13 18:56:40

no he is not in a position to want anything. In fact I think it's rather disrespectful of him to try and convince you to brush your feelings under the carpet to assuage his guiltsad
Can you forgive him? because anger is fine, understandable, but if that anger becomes resentment then things may never recover. He was deceitful, and imo cruel, to mislead you, and allowed you to make decisions, big important decisions based upon a false impression of your life together.

How has he handled your reaction? What have you done as a couple to prevent this happening again? full disclosure presumably?

I have maternity clothes that your welcome to. In size 14, I will happily send to you for the cost of postage if they would help.

LIZS Thu 02-May-13 18:58:36

At least you now have a strategy to set things straight , assuming your dh ahs been honest with you now. I don't think it is reasonable to expect to feel less angry until it is paid tbh. Do you have any other debts outstanding ? Is it worth seeing someone independent like CAB to get your budget analysed so you both can manage better going forwards. When is the baby due ?

ElliedJeels Thu 02-May-13 19:30:22

Before I gave up work to look after DS (he got a better paid job that clashed with my hours) we had separate accounts, but since I quit I'd never felt the need to have access to his, he'd just transfer money over as and when I'd needed it, everything was being paid and money seemed fine so I never questioned it, but it was going on well before I quit. I feel kind of stupid.

He's taken my feelings well, he hasn't been defensive at all, which I'm glad about, but then I don't walk around the house ranting and raving. I'm just stressed out and snappy. I suppose he is right, the stress isn't good for the baby and there's really nothing I can do. It's easier said than done though to just chill out about it when it's all so fresh and we're living the consequences of his actions, and he lied. He's trying to make it up to me but this is a huge betrayal for me, especially that I'm pregnant and we planned it, he knew the whole time.

I'm due late October but I'm growing much faster than this, last time I made do with normal clothes that I adapted on my mum's sewing machine - I think that needs must and I'll be doing that again.

Sorry for moaning. I do feel a bit better having written it down.

Lweji Thu 02-May-13 19:33:43

On practical terms, register with your local Freecycle. You may get useful items and even post requests for stuff.

On his lying, and debts, has it happened before?
If this is a repeat, I'd seriously consider leaving.
In any case, I'd be adamant that it would be the first and only time.

Snazzynewyear Thu 02-May-13 20:41:52

You've said that you're 'going without things we need, me in particular'. What is he going without? Are you sharing the burden fairly?

Has he looked for extra work, e.g. an evening job, to help bring more money in?

chaosisawayoflife Thu 02-May-13 20:51:26

What size are you? I have a pile of maternity clothes I need to get rid of that I'll happily send to you for cost of postage.

ElliedJeels Thu 02-May-13 20:56:33

He isn't buying himself anything, he needs new clothes and some new glasses, but then I suppose his need is less urgent because he's wearing his work clothes for most of the time, if not then he's in pajamas. He works nights, and in fairness he is getting as much overtime as he can (which is hard on me and DS, and another consequence of all this that I'm annoyed about)

I guess with the way our family works it's going to be me who faces the brunt of it, I'm home all day and meal planning, finding ways to entertain DS without spending money etc. It feels very unfair.

MrsMangelFanciedPaulRobinson Thu 02-May-13 21:01:35

I would feel the same in your position. It does seem really unfair that no matter what it is you that is going to be going without things, inconvenienced and finding things hard, whilst he merrily carries on as he always has done, expecting you to just forget about it all.

What about doing a boot sale and getting rid of old bits and pieces and then using the money to have a bit of a spending spree to get yourself some bits? You could even use the remainder to get you and your little one a takeaway, whilst hubby eats beans on toast grin

Lweji Thu 02-May-13 21:09:51

You might want to auction your OH too. grin

ElliedJeels Thu 02-May-13 21:17:57

I think the boot sale is a brilliant idea actually, I never thought of that. I have some stuff that will buy me some bump bands and a dominos smile

I'm a size 16 chaos, but I'd hate to put you to the trouble of sending stuff off, but seriously thank you for the offer. Mumsnet's viper reputation is completely unfounded thanks

Dahlen Thu 02-May-13 21:25:22

I understand why you feel so angry. It's not the money and the temporary hardship, it's the betrayal of trust (he didn't tell you) and the fact that it has marred what should be one of the most joyous phases in your life. It's ok to feel hurt and angry about it.

You seem very rational about the whole thing (which he's lucky about) and it's impressive that you have the ability to realise being angry is going to be harmful to you and the baby long term. But your angry response to what is a bad thing is healthy, so what you need to do is either find a way to channel it or to assuage it. Have a think about what your OH could do to make amends - a budgeting course to help you feel you can trust him again? A temporary second job to earn enough cash to pay off the debt more quickly and buy you some maternity clothes? I don't know what would work, but I think a meaningful and sincere gesture from him would go a lot further than apologies, no matter how genuine.

Congratulations on your pregnancy.

ILoveMimislabel Fri 03-May-13 06:14:08

I have nothing to offer except maternity clothes if you need them ! A lot size 16 but big I will gladly send you them thu would only be going to waste ! Pm me and I will post them no problem !

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