(Closed) The afterglow is gone-need advice on how to handle irresponsible hubs

posted 9 years ago in Married Life
Post # 3
979 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

I’m so sorry! this sucks. It may be hard to talk to him but that’s what will solve the problem… communication. It might be worthwhile to have a 3rd party manage the communication so that you can understand each others’ needs and wants.

How long did you guys date? were you aware of his debt before you got married? I mean if you were with him for awhile, did you notice the money flowing?

Post # 4
1194 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

Do you work and/or earn independent income?  If so, I’d start putting that paycheck into a separate account so that he doesn’t have access to it.  You also need to sit down with him and have a major discussion about your current expenses and income and where the money is meant to be going. Set up things on autopay so that bills aren’t late.  Maybe you can take over the management of household finances for a little while until he gets back on track.  Either way, I would be checking and double checking what he’s doing with money/bills, because now that you’re married, and likely on all these accounts, it’s not just his credit that’s going down the drain.

Also, figure out what his best learning style is; is he a visual learner where he needs a list to check off or is he okay with just being told something once?  If he needs a list, then make a list together with things that need to get done that week, who is meant to do them, and then that list needs to be crossed off at the end of the week.  This way, he can visualize what his tasks are around the house.  Try to divide the work based on what you like to do (or least dislike to do) so that it’s not a horrible chore each week.  

Post # 6
6317 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: December 2013

I would make it clear that you’re going to divorce him unless he gets his ass in gear – and fast.

The last thing you want is to be stuck with half the debt. If you were to get out fast then I think it could be proved that the debt was accrued before you married, but if you stay with him for years, it may become yours.

My parents divorced due to finances, and my last relationship also ended because of them. He’ll only change if he wants to. It’ll only get worse if he doesn’t realize the magnitude of his actions.

I don’t really have any good advice on how to make him better since I tried for years to get my ex to pay his debt off… I tried EVERYTHING from ‘it’ll only take X amount of months’ to ‘once it’s paid off we can buy our dream home’. Nothing worked. In the end I just threw in the towel and I am so much better for it. He thought he accomplished something when he managed to get financed for a sportscar. He just didn’t get it. Pathetic.

All I can say is if this doesn’t radically improve in the next 6 months to a year, get out. You don’t deserve to live this way. I bet you could divorce him on grounds of fraud. Obviously you don’t want to hear this, but I can tell you from first-hand experience that if he doesn’t want to change, you can’t do anything about it. So don’t waste your life.

Post # 8
121 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

I’m very sorry you are going through this. There are two options in this scenario:

1. He realizes that he has to change. He will do what it takes to clean up this mess. Get a job or even a second job, start being frugal, start diligently dealing with all of his bills.

2. He does not want to change. Then the only option you have is babysitting him, taking care of your personal finances, and anything that is joint (though being married, legally it is probably all joint).


So this is one of those situations where the person has to want to HELP THEMSELVES and nobody can make them if they’re not ready. Sort of like an addict that hasn’t accepted yet that they are an addict. You can’t make them go into rehab. It probably won’t work.

So since it does not look like he wants to change at this point, the only option you have is babysit him. Perhaps at the same time have an “intervention” of sorts and hope that he will see the light soon.

Post # 9
3968 posts
Honey bee


I’m sorry you are facing so many issues – but, you are not alone!  Money issues and household responsibilities are HUGE issues within a marriage.

My suggestion to you are this:

1) Take over the finances 100%.  If you can’t, get a financial planner to help you come up with a plan and/or consult friends who are saavy to help get you on track.  Take a look at Dave Ramsey’s site online to see his 7 steps to get out of debt – mostly, focus on the debt snowball.  

You can DO this.  It will take a TON of work, a TON of communication, and a TON of effort – but it IS possible to get yourself out of debt.

DH has to be on board with coming to terms with his spending.  That’s the most important part of this equation.  There’s no sense in trying to pay off debt if he continues to accumlate more.  That’s where the communication comes in – he’s got to understand that he isn’t made of money and has to figure out a way to curtail his spending.

You have every right to be concerned  (since it DOES affect you!) and he is clearly not capable of handling finances right now!

2) re: the house – short of communicating with him and telling him you feel the burden of all the chores and would like him to do something specific, I would almost just focus on the finances and get that squared away before you tackle something else!  The approach I use with my DH is to ask him to do something specific:  ie:  can you fix ‘x’, or will you do ‘y’.  I usually feel like I end up with the brunt of the housework… it’s when I start feeling resentful that I address things with DH.  Sometimes it helps and sometimes it doesn’t (meaning, accomplish the result I desire).

Post # 10
592 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

@canarydiamond:  Also agreed.

I hear where other folks are coming from…that it’s going to take a lot of work and communication and jumping through hoops to get y’all moving in the right direction one day…

I’m not sure that I’d spend too much time hoping he’s going to change.  You have hopes and dreams and it sounds like you are hanging all of those on a man who has basically pretended to be something he’s not for the past 3 years.

I’m really sorry you are in this position.  I can’t even begin to imagine how devastated I would be.

Post # 11
4134 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013 - The Liberty House

I’m so sorry you’re going through this. In my experience, people like this don’t change, and it’s not like he doesn’t know how. he spent money he knew he didn’t have. I’d divorce him if I were you, and I know that is way harder than it sounds, but you won’t be able to respect him at all going forward, especially since he won’t clean up his habits. Where there is no respect, there is no relationship IMO

Post # 12
1181 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

View original reply
@oracle:  +1

I’m so sorry you’re in this situation.  It is really tough because you’re doing all you can but your husband hasn’t stepped up to the plate.

I hate to suggest this since it hard to involve other family members/close friends but is there anyone that you can talk to that could help sit you guys down and go through your finances? 

Post # 13
466 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2017 - Vegas Wedings

@secretmarriedagent007: That amount of consumer debt and interest rates is scary, especially when you take into account the fact that whatever accrued since the wedding is legally your problem. I dont know if you are as hard lined about money stuff as I am but this is what I would do. Sit him down and say ENOUGH. Either this stops now, and we start cleaning up the mess (financial and personal counseling) or Im outa here. Im guessing he will want to work on it.


1) Have both your checks deposited into an account he doesnt have access to. Cut up credit cards.

2) Freeze his credit with a pass code only you know.

3) Get a Dave Ramsey book. Make appointments with the 2 counselors.

4) Begin saving, then snowballing. Websites that might be helpful: the YNAB forum and the Baby Center We’re Debt Free forum

Post # 14
628 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2012

I am sorry you are going through this.  This isn’t fair to you and what he’s doing isn’t fair to your marriage.

I would suggest finding a place in your area that offers Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University.  It’s a lot of work, and it will probably be difficult to get him to buy into that right away, but it is something you would go through together to take a look at your finances and be honest with each other on your financial goals and how to get there.

With the house stuff, I really don’t know.  I would suggest couples counseling for that as well.  It’s one thing for him to admit that he messed up, it’s another thing from him to learn from it and not repeat the behavior.

Also, what are you going to do if he isn’t interested in changing?  Is this a deal breaker or will you have a plan in place to stay married and protect you?  Would you want to have to be his babysitter for the rest of your life?  That doesn’t sound like a marriage to me.

ETA: Bee above me beat me to the Dave Ramsey plug. 🙂

Post # 16
1338 posts
Bumble bee

I don’t have anything to add that hasn’t already been said, but I wish you the best of luck moving forward. 

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