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DH knows about secret debt and I think he's leaving me

(22 Posts)
Stressy Wed 18-May-05 08:18:56

I have changed my name as he knows my chat nickname. Nightmare scenario. Quite a big debt run up over three years (been a very stressful time). Had to tell him about it due to remortgaging. He says he doesn't know who I am anymore. I didn't tell him because he sees money as very important and I knew he would blow up. I don't really know why I'm posting. Just need support!

Fio2 Wed 18-May-05 08:24:07

well surely he ran up the debt with you, you are not to blame honey

deegward Wed 18-May-05 08:31:15

Stressy, 4 years ago I gave up work as we were moving south unfortunately I had run up BIG amounts on all my credit cards, and had loans, and an overdraft. I had to tell dh about it. It wasn't the best time, but now 4 years on the last loan finishes bing paid this September and I feel so much better.

Just wanted you to know others have been there, and have lots of t shirts {hugs}

Fio2 Wed 18-May-05 08:32:47

we have had to remortgage aswell, these things happen. You only have to go on motley fool site to see we have all made mistakes and lived beyond our means at some point. shit happens, I really hope to god he doesnt leave you as it isnt worth it

hamster Wed 18-May-05 08:35:08

There's more to life than money.
Regardless of what financial situation you are in I don't think it is worth while falling out about.

If he doesn't realise you are more important through this, then he obviously isn't worth it.

Money problems are the worst even without someone else making you feel bad too.

Hope he sees the light. Hope you sort it out x

Mum2girls Wed 18-May-05 08:37:26

If it is truly just you who has run up this debt, start working on a plan to reduce the debt - the usual stuff, listing your outgoings and any income, and work out how much could be paid off over what time period. It will make you feel better and more in control and if Dh sees you being proactive and building a plan to start reversing the situation, maybe he'll be more sympathetic.

You need to have some time to discuss, how and why it happened - surely Dh must have played some part in this?

Stressy Wed 18-May-05 08:59:20

Thanks you lot. I knew I'd get support here. I think what's happened is that I gave up work and at the same time we had a major trauma in the family (can't really say what or identifies me!) that was really hard to deal with. So I didn't have my own income and I was very stressed. It's gone on £20 here and there- thinking, sod it, I'll go for lunch or I'll get a cab (wasn't driving then). I think he thinks it's gone on £100 tops. He just takes money so seriously- he can't stand being in debt. So I was too scared to tell him. I just don't have enough respect for money whereas to him it's very important. Fundamental difference in attitude. Mum2girls- I'm thinking maybe I should get an evening/weekend job? I do work one day a week in my old 'job' as a freelancer but it's not enough money to clear the debt quickly. Hamster- that's how I see it. But now how he does. He's now saying he wants us to go for counselling

Mum2girls Wed 18-May-05 09:03:02

Blimey - counselling sounds a bit strong! However maybe he thinks there must be a relationship problem - otherwise you'd have never continued this debt in secret.....

How long has it been going on - and are we talking 100s or 1000s of pounds (not being nosey, just trying to determine whether your dh is being reasonable or not.

Stressy Wed 18-May-05 09:08:47

It is thousands, not hundreds, run up over three years. I think maybe it is part of a deeper relationship problem. He is fab but likes to be 'in control' and I think that coupled with not having my own money for the first time sent me into 'sod it, rebellion' mode. Not admirable, I know.

Mum2girls Wed 18-May-05 09:14:23

Maybe not admirable, but perfectly understandable. Sounds to me that relationship counselling is the way to go, so your Dh can see that he is not completely blameless in this.

Would you go?

Stressy Wed 18-May-05 09:15:56

Yes, I would. Because if it was the other way round, I'd be so angry and upset if I wanted him to go and he refused. I think it is part of a deeper problem. We've been through so much together over the past few years (to do with one of our children) it would be so sad if money split us up

dot1 Wed 18-May-05 09:18:25

exactly the same happened to me - dp didn't know about the HUGE amount of debt I was in until one day I couldn't bear it -the enormity of it - and she started guessing at the amount - she was so far out I was laughing and crying at the same time..! So, I told her. This was about 7 years ago and we're still together and I'm still paying it off! But at least she knows and realised why I was so poor - because I was struggling so much to pay it off. It's better your dh knows but very very hard, so I understand how scary it all feels at the moment...

Blu Wed 18-May-05 09:19:40

Stressy, so sorry that your stress is rolling on into this new situation.
I was actually going to suggest that councelling might help you to discuss this together. It is understandable that your DH might feel a bit poleaxed to find out the truth, and needs to see it in the way you describe it so well, as a continuation of your earlier problems. Councleeing isn't a sort of 'community service' punishment within a relationship, Mum2girls! It also sounds as if you need the supoprt to sort out all the different aspects of this causing anxiety - the actual debtm, the issues that money, and the hidden debt are causing betweeen you and your DH, and the 'putting to bed' of your original troubles.

Would it help show your DH that you are ready to face up to the debt situation if you arranged debt management counselling - I know from relatives that it can really help people sort out repayments into something manageable and much less scary.

Sorry this is all so frightening for you atm, Stressy - take it step by step. Good luck.

Oh, and sorry about typing/spelling - can't type on DP's laptop, also have bad hangover!

Stressy Wed 18-May-05 09:23:05

Dot1, that's really good to know you're still together. Blu, yep, I think we should go for counselling. It is part of a bigger issue. And I think debt management counselling would show him I'm making an effort. The repayments are difficult as they are about 35 per cent of my monthly budget! So he can't understand why I've no money. Problem is, too, to be totally honest with you, when he met me I was in debt which we paid off. So he thinks I'll just continue getting into more and more debt forever, I think.

edam Wed 18-May-05 09:23:11

Stressy, I had the opposite problem to you but maybe it will help you to understand your dh a bit? My dh had been hiding stuff from me - I only found out when the mortgage company sent official legal letters about starting repossession and dh finally confessed. I was horrified, and terrified. I felt that he'd betrayed me and put us at huge risk. Thank God we got it sorted - the worst thing was I could have sorted it out earlier if he hadn't hidden the post from me. We weren't actually struggling to pay the bills, but it turned out he'd not been paying into the joint account regularly and had been taking cashback here and there. I hadn't bothered to read the statements (think he hid them too IIRC) so came as a horrid shock. We ended up going to counselling because I couldn't trust him anymore. If he could do this to me, what else had he been up to, and what could he do in future?

I do really think counselling might be an idea if you want to regain your dh's trust. You need to talk to him about why this happened - calmly - and explore why you felt you had to hide this from him, without blaming him as that will just make him more hostile. Counselling would give you a neutral space in which to do this, with someone holding the ring and stopping each of you attacking the other and getting nowhere.

You need to come up with a rescue plan - the Citizen's Advice Bureau offers a really good debt service for free. And you need to sort out how you are going to change your behaviour so this doesn't happen again and dh can trust you (and how he can change so you can talk to him about money). Sounds like you've got some good ideas here. I do feel for you but I hope my experience helps you understand how shocked your dh might be. Is there anything in his past that makes him want to be in control of the money? When I was a teenager, my mother had to sell our house because she was made redundant and taken seriously ill so couldn't look for a new job. That experience means I was even more distressed by being threatened with repossession than anyone else would be - strikes at the very core of my security. Maybe there's something like that for your dh?


MeerkatsUnite Wed 18-May-05 09:41:19


Would suggest you also contact the Consumer Credit Counselling Service (they are a registered charity) and may be able to help you further. Their website address is

CAB can be helpful but CCCS can offer more specialised advice hence me suggesting them too.

Hope this helps

Stressy Wed 18-May-05 09:46:57

Edam, that really helps. Thankyou! I can't imagine how shocked he is. It's definitely a trust thing. Meerkats, thanks for that. Will call them. What a mess!

Gwenick Wed 18-May-05 09:54:31

I know how you feel - last year I finally had to confess to DH that I was about £1800 in debt - due to gambling. For him it was definitely a trust thing, and he said at one point "I don't know who you are anymore".....that was just under 1yr ago, but we're back on track again now. For a while he took my bank card away (I agreed) and the small amounts of money I got into my account each month (organist pay, child benifit and tax credits) we changed so they went into his account. I got my card back about 4 months ago (still no money in it though LOL) and he's learned (I hope!) to trust me again.

Stressy Wed 18-May-05 10:06:08

It's a real relief to know that other people have been through this and come out the other side. I think I'm going to have to go through the 'no card' thing, too. Going to have to just get my head down this summer!

Stressy Wed 18-May-05 10:12:56

ps He's just called me and said he thinks it's genetic as my dad is crap with money!

dot1 Wed 18-May-05 21:45:11

ooh yes - just a PS really - I got rid of all my cards and my overdraft and worked in cash only for about the last 5 years - so that when I was down to £0 I literally had no money and no access to money. It was INCREDIBLY hard at first and I spent months struggling at the end of each month - dp of course helped me out but at least she could be confident that I was trying, starting to pay off the debt and not building up any more.

Ironically I'm now the main wage earner and have the mortgage etc.!! I've got a switch/cheque card (after much deliberation) and the minimum overdraft, but no credit cards etc. I think dp trusts me as I've had to learn my lesson and now support my family, so there's no room for mistakes... In fact we've just had a row-ette 'cos she wanted to put white wine vinegar on this week's shopping list but I've said no 'cos it'll take us over our weekly allowance..!!

Stressy Wed 18-May-05 21:48:21

That's brilliant advice dot1. I actually think that's the only way I can out of this- to have no bank account, so to speak. He's calmed down slightly and I really admire him for the way he is now attacking 'the money thing' and not me as a person in my entirety! He wants me to go to a debt 'charity'? To sort out repayments. He's adamant he's not going to help me pay it off. This is tricky as I have very limited income but I'll work it out somehow...

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