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Old 01-15-2008, 06:04 PM   #1
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Unhappy When do white lies become more than just that?

I'll give you a quick assessment. We've been married for almost two years and together for almost 4. We have a great relationship for the most part and plan on attempting parenthood soon. I'm 34, and she's about to turn 30.

Our biggest issue is money. We are in debt and it's troubling to me. Certainly moreso than her. It keeps me up at night and to her it seems like just a nuisance that won't go away.

I work OT at work all the time in an attempt to dig us out of debt and the wife finds new and creative ways to keep us there. Lately I've been uncovering bills to credit cards that I didn't even know we had. She opened them for only "one purchase" and has been paying on them for months without me having a clue. Obviously, this got me pretty upset to think I'm working my *** off and she's spending money we don't have on the side. It's not a ton of money but a few hundred here and there that all adds up in the end.

There's been other things where if shes thinks I'll get ticked off about something, she'd rather just shelve the idea of telling me the truth rather than face up to being uncomfortable telling the truth. One example would be that I asked her to make me a deal that if we ever ran into someone we had "been with" before that we'd immediately tell the other to avoid a really uncomfortable situation before it begins. Like finding out from another source. Well that of course happened and I found out from a another source that she was with this guy at one point and he's the brother of her best friend who we see quite often! I mean really. If I would have known from the get go, it's not an issue, but you attempt to conceal it because "it was really nothing" and then the problem begins to spiral and issues become far bigger deals.

Can I not trust my wife anymore? There is no malice in what she does but to me it's just such an immature way of handling things. Kids hide the truth that will get them quote unquote "in trouble" NOT GROWN ADULTS. I've already told her that she's opening Pandora's box by fraying the fabric of trust and she seems to understand this yet things like this continue. I'm no saint, but I face the music when it's being played. Any advice would be appreciated.

 
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Old 01-15-2008, 06:18 PM   #2
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Re: When do white lies become more than just that?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sofa King View Post
One example would be that I asked her to make me a deal that if we ever ran into someone we had "been with" before that we'd immediately tell the other to avoid a really uncomfortable situation before it begins. Like finding out from another source. Well that of course happened and I found out from a another source that she was with this guy at one point and he's the brother of her best friend who we see quite often!
I would leave a man for concealing a truth like this. I would find it hugely humiliating.

I will return to your thread at some point tomorrow Sofa King, for the moment it is 1.15am and I need my bed!

Does your wife work by the way? Maybe you'd give us some details about how much she contributes to these bills she keeps running up? I'd be interested to hear that.

 
Old 01-15-2008, 07:02 PM   #3
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Re: When do white lies become more than just that?

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Originally Posted by Laylah View Post
I would leave a man for concealing a truth like this. I would find it hugely humiliating.

I will return to your thread at some point tomorrow Sofa King, for the moment it is 1.15am and I need my bed!

Does your wife work by the way? Maybe you'd give us some details about how much she contributes to these bills she keeps running up? I'd be interested to hear that.
I agree about the humiliating part. It's funny you mention the fact that a man typically does these things. She's a girly girl with tom boy tendencies like that. She does things that guys do. She can be really sensitive about some things, and completly oblivious or insensitive about other things.

Anyways, to answer your question, she does work now. She's had problems finding solid jobs. She's been into high risk/high reward jobs but they haven't panned out (sales mainly) Now she's into an hourly, low risky steady income job (finally!) and we are doing pretty good for a change. I've been secure in my job for 14 years now. However, I still pay about 80% of the bills and I leave her to pay mainly her credit cards (that I know of) She swears that there is nothing else and that she's sorry for misleading me.

 
Old 01-15-2008, 07:28 PM   #4
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Re: When do white lies become more than just that?

you can contact your credit bureau and get a copy of your credit rating (its free) and any cards she has signed up for will show up.

I don't know how to get past this. I used to be an addictive spender - i would lie, cheat, and manipulate people to feed my addiction. I've changed now, but it was through many years of self-pressure and maturing that change occurred. I have said exactly what she did - this is it, its all in the open, only for one purchase, etc. I was thankful (at the time) people believed me, but how many times I said that and it wasn't true - ! god, I am thankful that I wasn't given up on. Short of cutting up her cards and controlling her access to money (which, many times, I wish people would have done for me, but then I guess I would have never eventually learned the way I am learning now). Thankfully, I have excellent credit and a high income, so I was saved, but boy I could have easily brought myself to bankruptcy if I had no self-restraint. She has to want to change.

If you stay with her, I would make sure she is financially stable for at least a year before you have kids. kids make finances take a major nosedive. its bad enough when you both have common financial goals, but when one person is no open and honest about finances, I can't see any good coming out of it.

ps. and the ex bf thing is humiliating, I agree with laylah and don't have much more to add on top of that.

Last edited by jozi209; 01-15-2008 at 07:29 PM.

 
Old 01-15-2008, 07:40 PM   #5
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Re: When do white lies become more than just that?

Two red flags here - the spending and the lying. I don't know how to advise you, just tell you that I have known a person like this and it ruined her partner's life, credit rating, career and marriage. Check out borderline personality disorders, particularly narcissistic PD. Be careful! While things are good, they are OK, but if it goes down, she will drop you and yours right in it to weasel out and will go on without a care, leaving your life trashed.

 
Old 01-15-2008, 07:55 PM   #6
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Re: When do white lies become more than just that?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jozi209 View Post
you can contact your credit bureau and get a copy of your credit rating (its free) and any cards she has signed up for will show up.

I don't know how to get past this. I used to be an addictive spender - i would lie, cheat, and manipulate people to feed my addiction. I've changed now, but it was through many years of self-pressure and maturing that change occurred. I have said exactly what she did - this is it, its all in the open, only for one purchase, etc. I was thankful (at the time) people believed me, but how many times I said that and it wasn't true - ! god, I am thankful that I wasn't given up on. Short of cutting up her cards and controlling her access to money (which, many times, I wish people would have done for me, but then I guess I would have never eventually learned the way I am learning now). Thankfully, I have excellent credit and a high income, so I was saved, but boy I could have easily brought myself to bankruptcy if I had no self-restraint. She has to want to change.

If you stay with her, I would make sure she is financially stable for at least a year before you have kids. kids make finances take a major nosedive. its bad enough when you both have common financial goals, but when one person is no open and honest about finances, I can't see any good coming out of it.
The credit rating is no problem because we just purchased a house. However, the addictive behavior you mention when it comes to spending is pretty apparent. This is the first time in our marriage that I've been seriously questioning it's stability. I keep wondering how she can let some needless purchases threaten the sanctity of trust in a relationship that is otherwise in very good standing? Is the compulsion THAT overbearing?

Last edited by Sofa King; 01-15-2008 at 07:56 PM.

 
Old 01-15-2008, 08:06 PM   #7
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Re: When do white lies become more than just that?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seraph View Post
Two red flags here - the spending and the lying. I don't know how to advise you, just tell you that I have known a person like this and it ruined her partner's life, credit rating, career and marriage. Check out borderline personality disorders, particularly narcissistic PD. Be careful! While things are good, they are OK, but if it goes down, she will drop you and yours right in it to weasel out and will go on without a care, leaving your life trashed.
Thanks for insight however, I certainly wouldn't call her narcissistic. There's nothing malicious about her. I despise those types and wouldn't have married it. She's a very caring person who seems to have issues with self control and discipline. Also, she avoids confrontations like it's the plague and sometimes arguing is a good thing to avoid bigger situations such as we have now. I can't drive that home to her.

 
Old 01-15-2008, 09:29 PM   #8
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Re: When do white lies become more than just that?

Sofa..

Do you love her? The way you "came to her rescue" in the last post makes me think you do. You even said she is a caring person who hates confrontation and has a few issues with self control....I can think of MUCH worse.

I understand you anger. I do. But maybe approach this as a problem she has that you need to support her through. Of course, she has to see that she has the spending problem before she will change...but if she is not being malicious, as you said you don't believe she is, than maybe seek out counsel. Maybe she didn't tell you about the other person because in her head it really is no big deal, not to hurt you or hide anything from you...just her best friends brother. Is she honest with you in other areas? Does she make you happy? Is your life better because she is in it? If the answer to these questions are yes, than I would hate to see you throw it away over an old flame and a credit card issue. You are young in your marriage...there are going to be things that come up that drive you nutty about her...and she is going to find things that drive her nutty about you. She is going to have her issues and you will have yours. You will both stretch the truth...because you are both human.

Tell her how her actions and decisions affect you. "When you didn't tell me about ______ it hurt me. It made me wonder if there are others. It made me insucure in our marriage." "When you won't stop spending and you lie about opening accounts, I worry about our future, how we can have a family if you aren't careful with spending?" "I worry about ________________." Then suggest a middle ground, "We can afford _______dollars a month for you to blow on whatever you want. Is this a reasonable number to you? Will you promise me you will not make a purchase over ________dollars without us discussing it first? I know you work and have the right to spend money, but if you could help me in this way, I would feel more secure in our future." If you feel comfortable, you can even add someting like, "I am worried your spending might be spinning out of control. If you feel you need help to get it under control, I will do whatever is needed. If you feel we would benefit from going to a counselor, I am willing-I just want us to be able to work through our problems and trust each other." If you approach the spending problem in this way and agree to work on "the relationship-'us' " she in less likely to see it as you attacking and accusing her of a spending problem...then she won't try to shy away from a confrontation with you.

Sorry this is so long. Been throught the spending thing. We women are a little nutty when it comes to clothing and shoes .

 
Old 01-15-2008, 10:31 PM   #9
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Re: When do white lies become more than just that?

well my spending got to about $4000-$6000/month for pleasure things (for 5 years) - not including housing, food, school, bills etc. And my parents are not rich, we are from a middle class background. so that was a lot of money and i think if anyone in my family actually knew how much i spent they would have a heart attack. i had to be sneaky. An it honestly made me feel really bad but yes the compulsion was that big. The thing that made me want to get out of spending like that was when I went on a date and a guy told me he had debt (student loans) I found that so unattractive I couldn't imagine anyone finding that debt or not even that, but my spending habits in general, an attractive quality. thank god my debt is relatively low so I'll have it paid off quickly.

anyway, if someone would have had approached me, i think the way i would have appreciated would be like this: "I notice.....and its making me question our direction of starting a family, and in fact, the relationship itself. do you want some help with this like : (specific examples like cutting up her cards)" She may be too ashamed to ask like I was.

and reassure her that you love her. maybe also try to do more stuff with her that doesn't involve money. she may just be bored and filling her time with shopping, but maybe a nice walk, some quality time with her husband, would reinforce the relationship in a way that does not revolve around $.

It really is an addiction and its humiliating and shameful when other people find out, but if she can talk to you about it, she may really love the support. I wish I could have talked to someone about my spending. I hate confrontation too (we sound alike) but i'm generally better in confrontation when someone gently pushes me (rather than me initiating it or someone getting angry). When people are straight up with me and I see that instead of consequences (yelling, etc) I can get help and support, it makes me more comfortable to be straight up with others.

oh and BTW department store credit cards, etc. bring down your credit rating a bit.

i also wouldn't doubt her feelings toward you or the marriage based on her spending. it is a major compulsion. i smoke too, but if someone gave me a choice to smoke or spend money, i'd take the money. kicking smoking is peanuts for me compared to how hard its been to kick spending. Doesn't mean I don't have feelings and want to treat people well. It kinda reminds me of an overeater on a diet who will sneak food at 2 am and no-one is looking...the shame and guilt that person feels is probably akin to what I felt when some people saw my bills.

i hope some of this helped.

Last edited by jozi209; 01-15-2008 at 10:35 PM.

 
Old 01-16-2008, 05:11 AM   #10
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Re: When do white lies become more than just that?

Hi Sofa King. What I'm thinking is that if somebody is earning half the money they ought to be paying half the bills. I think bills should be split proportionately according to who earns what. If you are earning half the money but paying 80% of the bills you are actually facilitating her crazy spending wheather you realise it or not because you are freeing up a large percentage of her wages which she can (and will) then choose to be reckless with (and of course you'll end up hit with the fiscal fallout of that too in the long run; i.e. interest rates etc)

On the subject of her dishonesty by omission; I meant what I said when I maintained that I'd leave a partner for that. Did you see to it that your wife understands exactly the severity of that situation? That she knows exactly what that does to a partners trust, confidence in the relationship and general sense of content within the marriage? In short, does your wife even know how lucky she is that you're still around after having put you through that humiliating and degrading crap?

 
Old 01-16-2008, 08:22 AM   #11
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Re: When do white lies become more than just that?

I wouldn't stand for the lying no matter how trivial it seems. My first marriage was based on so many lies and cover ups that any sort of "white lies" literally make me sick to my stomach. I am remarried now and my husband and I are all about "brutal honesty". Our motto is it is easier to deal with the truth then to get over a lie.

The money issue wouldn't sit well with me either. Marriage is suppose to be about partnership and working together. My sister was much like your wife and would hide spending like you wouldn't believe. They actually lost their house and had to file for bankruptcy. She has gotten a handle on her spending and is now working (she wasn't during all her spending) and contributing a decent amount.

Shopping and spending is an addiction. Does your wife feel that she has a problem? Perhaps you should suggest that she try to get a handle on it before things spiral out of control.

The most important thing is that you really have a heart to heart with your wife. I'm sure you two love eachother very much and don't want money or stupid lies to come between you. Try to work together and reassure her that she can tell you anything. Nothing changes overnight, but with some effort you can get things more open between you.

 
Old 01-16-2008, 11:48 AM   #12
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Re: When do white lies become more than just that?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyFlower View Post
Sofa..

Do you love her? The way you "came to her rescue" in the last post makes me think you do. You even said she is a caring person who hates confrontation and has a few issues with self control....I can think of MUCH worse.

I understand you anger. I do. But maybe approach this as a problem she has that you need to support her through. Of course, she has to see that she has the spending problem before she will change...but if she is not being malicious, as you said you don't believe she is, than maybe seek out counsel. Maybe she didn't tell you about the other person because in her head it really is no big deal, not to hurt you or hide anything from you...just her best friends brother. Is she honest with you in other areas? Does she make you happy? Is your life better because she is in it? If the answer to these questions are yes, than I would hate to see you throw it away over an old flame and a credit card issue. You are young in your marriage...there are going to be things that come up that drive you nutty about her...and she is going to find things that drive her nutty about you. She is going to have her issues and you will have yours. You will both stretch the truth...because you are both human.

Tell her how her actions and decisions affect you. "When you didn't tell me about ______ it hurt me. It made me wonder if there are others. It made me insucure in our marriage." "When you won't stop spending and you lie about opening accounts, I worry about our future, how we can have a family if you aren't careful with spending?" "I worry about ________________." Then suggest a middle ground, "We can afford _______dollars a month for you to blow on whatever you want. Is this a reasonable number to you? Will you promise me you will not make a purchase over ________dollars without us discussing it first? I know you work and have the right to spend money, but if you could help me in this way, I would feel more secure in our future." If you feel comfortable, you can even add someting like, "I am worried your spending might be spinning out of control. If you feel you need help to get it under control, I will do whatever is needed. If you feel we would benefit from going to a counselor, I am willing-I just want us to be able to work through our problems and trust each other." If you approach the spending problem in this way and agree to work on "the relationship-'us' " she in less likely to see it as you attacking and accusing her of a spending problem...then she won't try to shy away from a confrontation with you.

Sorry this is so long. Been throught the spending thing. We women are a little nutty when it comes to clothing and shoes .
Wow. Great post happy thanks. It has me deep thinking! To answer a few of your questions, yes I absolutely love her and she does make me very happy for the most part. I realize that these little "white lies" are intended on her part to keep my blood pressure from going through the roof and to avoid confrontation. However, she doesn't realize that covering things up is a worse problem and creates distrust. We may need counseling.

 
Old 01-16-2008, 11:50 AM   #13
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Re: When do white lies become more than just that?

Thanks Josi. Your post did help. Thanks.

Last edited by Sofa King; 01-16-2008 at 11:52 AM.

 
Old 01-16-2008, 11:59 AM   #14
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Re: When do white lies become more than just that?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laylah View Post
Hi Sofa King. What I'm thinking is that if somebody is earning half the money they ought to be paying half the bills. I think bills should be split proportionately according to who earns what. If you are earning half the money but paying 80% of the bills you are actually facilitating her crazy spending wheather you realise it or not because you are freeing up a large percentage of her wages which she can (and will) then choose to be reckless with (and of course you'll end up hit with the fiscal fallout of that too in the long run; i.e. interest rates etc)

On the subject of her dishonesty by omission; I meant what I said when I maintained that I'd leave a partner for that. Did you see to it that your wife understands exactly the severity of that situation? That she knows exactly what that does to a partners trust, confidence in the relationship and general sense of content within the marriage? In short, does your wife even know how lucky she is that you're still around after having put you through that humiliating and degrading crap?
Nice suggestions and the thought of the disparity in bill pay does seem to perpetuate the situation.

** UPDATE **

I managed to find my way into her credit cards online. I had asked her last week where her debt totals were at in order to kinda gauge our progress. She told me a certain # and now I find out today after seeing the actual evidence that she short changed that total by 5K. Not to mention, she's paying $50.00 to a travel membership that she swore to me she stopped paying for in October.

I'm feeling ill. I just spoke to her on the phone and she knew I was distraught. She was at work and I didn't want to bring it up but I did. She started crying saying she needs help and that she's truely sorry. We are going to have that heart to heart tonight because right now I'm not even sure that I know who my wife is right now. I feel betrayed and yet because I know she's not being malicious about this I feel pity and just want to help her. She's knows that this could be a deal breaker in this marriage.

Last edited by Sofa King; 01-16-2008 at 12:02 PM. Reason: spelling

 
Old 01-16-2008, 12:46 PM   #15
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Re: When do white lies become more than just that?

You're certainly going to need to get her professional help Sofa King, and she's going to need to be serious about taking it. I mean, 5k??? I'd hit the * ing roof. You're lucky you intercepted this when you did. 5k can grow to 25k with alarming rapidity. I think you should use the same terminology in speaking to your wife as you have here and tell her that her refusing professional heap would be a "deal breaker" in your marriage. I know she has said she feels she needs help now, but these convictions can lost their potency when the 'dust settles', so to speak. I wouldn't be putting up with any changes of mind here if I were you. Good luck.

 
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