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Joke backfired and it's all turned quite serious

(26 Posts)
DireS Wed 26-Aug-09 11:54:11

I have a friend who works for our electric company and we thought it would be a laugh to send DH a fake bill for a stupidly high ammount. Reason for this is that he is constantly playing jokes on other people and would normally find something like this hilarious once he found out the truth.

So My friend got hold of some headered paper and wrote him a bill out for £1000.

It came in the post on Friday but I played dumb and didn't ask about it or open in. DH never mentioned it to me which I found odd.

Anyway, on the letter my friend had put his work extension number assuming that DH would phone the company. DH did phone the number and asked how the bill was so high. Friend played along still saying the prices had gone up and we'd used loads etc ...

DH apparatly didn't argue.

Anyway he still hadn't mentioned it to me. This morning I walked in on him crying. I was mortified and asked what had happened and he blurted out that we'd had a massive electric bill that he didn't want me to find out about and he also has 2 credit cards that he hadn't told me about and he'd had to take out a loan to pay everything off.

I told him the electric bill was a joke but I was no longer laughing due to the credit card revelation. DH is now fuming, more I think at the fact that he's told me about them when he didn't have to.

Now we're not talking and I'm worried sick about how much debt we're in.

ObsidianBlackbirdMcNight Wed 26-Aug-09 11:56:46

That was a silly joke. I hate practical jokes, they are cruel and humiliating. I hope you have learnt that hmm

But there are bigger problems here. He would have the right to be angry over the joke but it's more serious than that. You have the right to know what debts he has, why he has them and he should not be concealing them from you. Maybe you need to wait until he's calmed down and have that conversation.

MaDuggar Wed 26-Aug-09 12:01:27

Jings. I have no words of wisdom for you, just sympathy I was married to a gambler, so understand the money worries. Has he said what the credit cards were used for?

rubyslippers Wed 26-Aug-09 12:01:56

i loathe practical jokes so would definitely not see the funny side

why is it funny to make someone thing they owe a huge amount of money??

anywya, that is separate to the amount of debt you are in and you need to talk about that ... you need to apologise for the "joke"

BunnyLebowski Wed 26-Aug-09 12:03:19

Your poor DP. Debts or not he didn't deserve to be the victim of such a horrible nasty and cruel "joke".

Hope you're proud.

BigGobMum Wed 26-Aug-09 12:13:42

It was a nasty thing to do BUT hopefully something positive can come out of it. The debt problems really needed to come out into the open. I hope you and DH (when he calms down) can talk and find a way forward. Good luck.

skihorse Wed 26-Aug-09 12:14:56

Joke aside: Am I the only one who got a 1000 quid bill this year for real? shock

I am rather worried though that you'll point the finger and say "my husband is in debt" and I really hate it when women do this. The debts were more than likely built up buying YOU and YOUR CHILDREN nice things/buying food/paying bills. Of course maduggar has other experiences with this. But don't forget, you're a team - you got in to debt together and you can get out of it together. The fact that he's hidden these bills from you is, I feel, indicative that he feels shame for not being able to "provide" for you in a manner which he feels you deserve/demand. Go easy on him - he didn't do it to hurt you!

AitchwonderswhoFruitCrumbleis Wed 26-Aug-09 12:18:45

oh balls. poor man. what a nasty joke, god knows, but you weren't to know. i agree with skihorse, you're a team, you can sort it out. and he did tell you, that's got to count for something.

RatherBe Wed 26-Aug-09 13:34:55

DireS - I'm sorry for your problems. It's probably a good idea to suggest to your friend that they don't do this kind of thing again. Not only has this 'joke' caused difficulties for you, I'm pretty sure the electricity company would regard this as a sackable offence.

ChocHobNob Wed 26-Aug-09 13:47:02

I disagree. When a person hides debts racking up on a credit card/through loans from their partner, how on earth can they be held accountable for the debt?! They knew absolutely nothing about it.

You are a team and hopefully can come through this together. It is good that he has owned up to this now and hopefully before it has gotten too serious.

I have experience with gambling addiction too (not myself). But I think it's a little harsh blaming the OP for her partner's debts he has racked up while hiding it from her.

FabBakerGirlIsBack Wed 26-Aug-09 13:49:42

You know this was a stupid thing to do and your friend could have lost his job.

Has your husband been spending on things he shouldn't on these credit cards or trying to support the family?

I think you really need to apologise to him for the stupid unfunny joke.

skihorse Wed 26-Aug-09 13:51:01

I'm not blaming OP for her husband's debts, but as fabbakergirl says, were the debts to provide for the family or is he wearing fur-lined prada y-fronts?

Fimbo Wed 26-Aug-09 13:51:16

Is this for real??

How on earth can you just write out a bill, it is a computerised system is it not?

ilovemydogandmrobama Wed 26-Aug-09 13:53:07

Oh dear.

Credit cards are a really expensive way of borrowing money, so perhaps a loan was a better option? Suppose it depends why you're in debt? Is it day to day stuff that's a problem or a major expense?

At least you're talking about money though.

BarbieLovesKen Wed 26-Aug-09 14:10:52

I think its really strange how many are coming down on OP and not mentioning about dp being deceitful re credit cards.

It was a joke, maybe didnt turn out to be funny in the end but the intention wasnt bad so dont think OP deserves such negative responses.

DireS - At least he came clean and you can work through it now, I can understand how you would be hurt about being kept in dark and now worried bout finances, it was a stupid thing to do on his part but I too would imagine he used it to spend on the family and not for selfish purposes as didnt want to worry you about money so think you should definately forgive him.

Are credit cards much? -at least now you can through the 1000 straight back of loan.

ChocHobNob Wed 26-Aug-09 14:14:20

You're saying she is partly to blame for the debt as they "got into debt together" ... She didn't get into debt, he did. He was in the wrong for running up the debt and hiding it from her.

You cannot pass the blame onto someone who had no choice or say in the matter.

That's like telling a wife who's husband had an affair, you got into this sorry state together as you're a "team" and should take some responsibility.

I don't really think it's very important what he run the debt up on, whether day to day expenses or gambling etc ... it's that he felt he could do it behind her back that needs to be addressed. The first hurdle is out of the way though, he has told you. Now to plan how, if possible, you can tackle the rest of the issue.

Yes, the joke got seriously out of hand. But like someone said, something good did come out of it.

skihorse Wed 26-Aug-09 14:23:11

Oh please - you just have to read around to see how many women do a runner the minute the cash runs out!

I am not suggesting for one moment that this might be the case with OP. It is (imo) very much dependent on where the money has gone. Will she cease to love him if he used the creditcards to do the weekly shop at Tesco and pay the phone bill? Which seems more likely to me given the fact he totally freaked over a 1000 electric bill.

I for one will be very surprised if he's "wasted" money on "coke & whores"!

HecatesTwopenceworth Wed 26-Aug-09 14:26:39

Big shock, but really it's probably for the best. Now you know there are financial problems, your husband can't bury his head in the sand and together you can get it sorted.

Don't let him make your joke (which was a daft thing to do but hardly evil!) the focus. What matters is not that you played a daft joke - because let's face it, the only reason it got that reaction was because of these actual debts, which he has been concealing from you! What matters is you have debt and that needs sorting out before things escalate and there are serious problems!

ChocHobNob Wed 26-Aug-09 14:26:45

You can generalise about all women running off when the money runs out ... but the thought that he might have wasted the money on something not directly involved with the family is absurd? I don't get it.

I think she has every right to be angry that his actions have resulted in the family having to deal with this debt. Obviously it also depends on the amount of debt.

Hopefully they can sort it out.

mumsiebumsie Wed 26-Aug-09 14:34:00

Even if the "D"H was using the credit card to buy household items - if he found it was all getting too much and he couldn't cope he should have said something! Not just going on racking up the credit card willy nilly. Sounds to me like the DH lost control financially and thank goodness the OP played this joke otherwise she may never have known until they received a letter from the bank saying they're repossessing the house!

OP - you and your husband need to work together to sort this out but nothing you've said suggest this is your fault.

bronze Wed 26-Aug-09 14:46:13

Message withdrawn

skihorse Wed 26-Aug-09 14:52:05

Yes, there is clearly a communication error here - but it takes two people to communicate - whichever way you want to look at this problem - there are problems within this partnership - whether they be financial or communication.

bronze I'd like to agree but I see far too many threads on this site alone where "some" women expect a certain standard of living to be delivered to them... and a good old stamping of feet ensues when this is not the case. Lots of princesses around here.

PlumBumMum Wed 26-Aug-09 14:53:02

Hecates is right, the focus should be about the debt and your dh can't be angry at you for the joke he's just deflecting from the real problem

And skihorse our bills areshock too!

bronze Wed 26-Aug-09 14:56:13

Our bills wre shocking but since finding out we are now worse than the broke I thought we were Ive worked even harder on it
Ski out of interest how long did that bill cover?

ChocHobNob Wed 26-Aug-09 15:00:49

She wasn't privy to any communication breakdown because he hid it from her.

The financial problems which are apparent through this thread are down to her partner. Not her.

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