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Sunday, 25 March 2001

Q & A: Driven to Emotional and Financial Bankruptcy

Written by  Dr. Louise Klein

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Q & A: Driven to Emotional and Financial Bankruptcy

QDear WholeFamily Counselor,

My husband (41) and I (37) are just now completing our first year of marriage. It's the second marriage for both of us. Until just last week, I was hopelessly in love with this man and considered him my very best friend. We had great communication (I thought), he was kind to my small child and we enjoyed being together.

However, through the past year, he has displayed extreme lack of common sense financially. Last week he went on what was supposed to be a three day vacation with his brothers. We had no money for this but he told me his brother was paying everything for him so he could go. He was going to drive about 700 miles to this place, splitting the gas cost with a local friend. He and I set a financial limit of $100 since everything but gas would be paid. He was to be home Saturday night in time for Easter activities the following day which had been planned long before this trip.

What actually happened was he returned late Sunday night, has spent over $600, and didn't even bother to leave a number where he could be reached. I know it wasn't an affair -- trust me on this. It was blatant disrespect, bald face lies and complete disregard for the consequences.

While he was away I also was made aware of the fact that he hadn't changed his tax deductions (which cost us $2400 in taxes this year) though he'd promised he had over a month ago and I received a letter from a creditor that he had apparently been aware of over six months ago. This comes weeks after another creditor was in touch with us for another issue that was over a year old.

I feel VERY deceived and conned. He's gone through my money from savings, run up the VISA I had paid off and now has us further in debt due to the tax issue. Fortunately, I've been keeping up on all loan payments and we are not overdue on anything with my name on it.

I love this man (though right now he is far from lovable) and I don't want another divorce though I will not tolerate being driven into bankruptcy by his selfishness and immaturity. I don't know what to do. Right now I can't even stand to look at him or talk to him. I feel genuine hate toward him for doing these things and for putting our relationship in this situation.

Help me!

ADear Driven to Bankruptcy,

This man has a serious problem with money! Serious!! If this is the stuff that you know about, I'm afraid of what else he might have hidden from you. He's already run through your savings and gotten you in debt. He's lied to you repeatedly. You've just crashed into the tip of the iceberg here!

The first thing to do is to separate all of your finances. Protect yourself and your child. He may be kind on the surface to you and your child but if he's acting like this then he does not have your best interests at heart.

It wouldn't surprise me if this man's ex-wife tells you similar stories to your own. I'll bet that he also doesn't have many old friends, either, as it's likely that he's also taken advantage financially of other people. It's not uncommon for a person such as this to look you in the eye, make all kinds of promises to reform, and then go on spending money like you never had that conversation. Be aware that that's part of the profile of this personality.

This man may genuinely love you but you have to ask yourself what price you're willing to pay for his love. After talking to your accountant and maybe an attorney (about how to separate the finances and protect yourself legally) you should call a therapist and get some help in sorting out your feelings here. Nothing is ever as simple as black and white. There are a lot of issues here.

I'm not advising you on whether or not to divorce him, only you can know what's right for you. But let me say this, I can understand your reluctance to be divorced a second time. You're probably thinking that you'd feel so ashamed, that you wouldn't know how to explain it to your family or friends. Don't let these thoughts hold you back from taking care of yourself. If you decide to divorce this man, the people who truly love you will respect your decision and support you. You must do what's best for you and your child.

Dr. Louise Klein

Last modified on Wednesday, 16 March 2011 14:30
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Dr. Louise Klein

Dr. Louise Klein

Louise Klein was born on the West Coast of Canada but lived for many years in Los Angeles and Philadelphia. She has a doctorate in clinical psychology from Widener University in Pennsylvania. Dr. Louise Klein is an experienced therapist in insight-oriented talk therapy. She has worked with individuals, couples and groups for many years. Her experience with families includes stepfamilies, adoptive families, nuclear families and families dealing with illness or death. Dr Klein is also trained in thought field therapy and regression therapy and has taught and worked internationally. Louise Klein lives in a rural community with her husband and St. Bernard and has a stepdaughter in college in New England.

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