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What at Tangled Web

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

My husband handles all our money and pays our bills and with his getting sick all the time it worries me because he has total control of our bank accounts and all of our credit cards. I don't even know how to get into the bank accounts and I have brought it up many times during his hospitalization and since September he has been admitted well over 20 times so it's been a big concern of mine. During one of these stays I received a message from our car financer saying that there wasn't enough money in the checking account to make the payment. Apparently my husband’s process is to transfer funds from the savings over to the checking before the payments become due but obviously since he was in the hospital and during this time he was actually in an induced coma he could not make that transfer. According to the person on the other end there was plenty in the savings account but I had authorize it to be transferred over and if I didn’t not only would the payment be late but a late fee would be added. I agreed to that transfer and she asked me if, while we were at it, did I want to make the upcoming payment as well so I said yes, because since the money was there and I didn’t know when and even if my husband was going to survive this hospital stay, I just didn’t want to have to deal with it until I was ready or was forced to start handling our money should he die…


After my husband woke and before he was discharged out of the hospital I told him what had happened which really upset him saying I should have just paid my car payment and let him handle it the next time it was due, that I may have put us in a "bind". But this is the conundrum with the uncertainty of his health and life at the moment, how was I to know to even transfer the money before the next payment would become due, he was in total control of our money and I was and I am at his mercy.


I'm insecure about our funds and where we stand financially and don’t like that he’s handling the money because quite honestly I don’t trust him. As far as I know all our bills are being paid and we have “some” money in the bank but I know that things are really tight, especially when he starts telling me to switch to using a different bank card (we have 2 banks with debit cards) and depending on how much is in the either or both accounts at any given time he gives me instructions like “Don’t use bank #1 for awhile, until I can build it up with money, for now start using bank #2) But the real reason I don’t trust him is not because I don’t think he is capable of handling things but because if things start to go bad he will try to hide it from me and won’t admit the truth and then when things start snowballing he will get us into a situation in which there is no way out and lie to me the whole time saying “The lights are on, aren’t they?” so his frame of mind and thinking is I have to be confident because we have electricity or phones or the Internet is working that everything else is okay. You would think that should be enough but I know that we have so many credit cards it would make the average person’s head spin and he is always robbing Peter to pay Paul.


Over the years my husband has lied to me on many occasions but more so when it comes to financial manners. He tends to live for the day rather than the future, which means credit cards in hand, shop now, we will worry about paying when the time comes. My husbands complains to me a lot because he claims I don’t or won't forget things. I mentioned in other posts how it’s hard for me to be forgive and forget and that’s pretty much the way I was raised. I feel like everyone expects me to forgive and forget but yet they go on holding against me my every thought, my every statement, my every action forever and they never let me forget. I remember all my mother’s severed friendships because some (usually German) lady said something about her or repeated something she said about one of her friends. Once those friends were gone, they were gone forever. Either my mother determined these people were no longer to be bothered with or they (her former friends) made my mother pay for whatever it was she said or did, never forgiving her and she was the same in return, never forgiving them. My elderly brothers were much the same, once wronged you or they were damned, scorned forever. So it is hard for me to forgive and forget because I don’t believe that anyone has any compassion for me. One slip of the tongue, one wrong thing said or done and I’m considered a “snake” as one person posted of Facebook when they referred to me as a “snake” and I will never forget that person making this comment about me. Even if we were ever to talk again all I would ever think whenever I saw or talked to them again was the “bad” experience between us and I will remember and never forget. I will remember forever because I think that is the same respect they will give me. No one ever seems to forgive or forget those things I do or say wrong whether said or done by accident or on purpose so why should I ever forgive and or forget them for the same. Sorry about all that rambling but it makes me angry to think there will always and forever be a divide between anyone I ever meet and knowing I will always have to expect something to happen that will fall under the category of “never forgive and never forget”.  


So something I have long forgiven but will never forget is about about 20 years ago, maybe 1997 just a couple of years as we bought our last house, that rental house whore I described in another posting, I came home from work one day thinking everything was fine only to find my husband sitting our kitchen along with his rich sister whom he had asked to be there to support him and the whole scene was very reminiscent of the day when she arrived at my house to lay down the law to let me know in regards to her brother she came first over me, that their relationship was stronger than mine and his could ever be, and what she was about to tell me seemed to be further proof of her claim since obviously he could go to her with our troubles but was too fearful to come to me.


They both had very somber looks on their faces and my husband stood silent as his sister spoke. She told me at the time that my husband had asked for her to come and talk to me because apparently, without my knowing, things have gotten so bad financially our house was in foreclosure and we were about to lose our home. Not just a first warning but we were literally within a week he had been hiding it so long, hoping to fix the problem without my ever being aware.


There was really no resolution to the Foreclosure except one, I needed to get to a lawyer right away (me personally because my husband had already taken care of his responsibility by secretly filing bankruptcy with the help of his sister, understand that he was not my (legal) husband so we by law we were joint tenants of the  house but not a married couple so he had no obligation to me when it came to disclosing what he was doing financially).


I had no choice, I had file bankruptcy and within a week otherwise we would lose our house. I have no idea where or how financially our lives had gotten so bad because as far as I know (now recall this quote: “The lights were on, electricity was paid, the Internet and cable were still working”) but apparently things weren't being paid the way I thought they were being paid. So having had faith in him to handle our money because after all he had as much to lose as I did (and mind you my husband is a shopping freak so every other day he was going home is gobs of items he either found at that Good Will Store or on clearance, always a bargain. He bought junk that we would never use or would ever need because the price was right, so with this kind of spending why would I ever question or finances?) Despite my husband spending so much money on for examples a child’s scooter (I will never forget that buy) when there is no child in our house or boxer shorts underwear that neither of us wore (again because of the great price he bought like a dozen pairs) not to mention nick-knacks and bric-a-brac galore, all throw aways donated from people to charity. How could I possibly think we were in financial death throws when he spent money so freely?


I thought we were doing well. I mean, really well. This news from this rich woman sitting in my kitchen was a big surprise to me but what came as a bigger surprise is when she told me "I" had to stop spending so much money, that I was at fault for our financial situation. My husband told her that I was at fault for our expenditures but the only example she could give was my bookclubs. You see I belonged to a few bookclubs, (the Science Fiction bookclub, the Doubleday bookclub and probably one or two others that once a month would send me a card for the selection of the month. Sometimes I would buy that selection of the month, (one or two books...maybe...but most months I passed on the book offerings because they weren’t that interesting to me, admittedly once or twice I forget to mail the cards and got a book I didn't want but we are talking $8 here or $15 there... and only every so often, I was entitled to this one indulgence, was I not?). So I was being reprimanded once again by my sister-in-law being told I was irresponsible and a spend-thrift because (occasionally) I paid maybe $8 to $20 for a book. They both blamed me for all our financial troubles, despite there being bags of Good Will items in the next room that my husband had accumulated over the months, some of which he simply never opened, once he bought the stuff and put the bag in a closet or spare room he usually didn’t even take the time to empty the bags later when taking the time to peruse I would often hear "Oh I forgot I bought this", but suddenly everything was my fault, remember I'm guy that didn’t even know how many credit cards we had or how much money was in the bank so at minimum I was at fault for not following up and being more diligent when it came to our finances, I trusted my spouse.


If anything I was irresponsible because I didn’t harp on him relentlessly to make sure that our money was being handled responsibly but no, all the blame was put on me and my book clubs.  I don't know what else our money was being spent on even how bills weren't being paid because while not rich, I was not ashamed of the money we were bringing home, I was making more that I had in my entire life and I just assumed that our lifestyle was the reward of my family's income. Even at that time we were making half as much than we make today so today there should really be no excuse for financial insecurities.


So I obtained a lawyer and went through (if I recall) the months long process to meeting with a lawyer, filling out forms and finally appearing before a judge whom I remember noticing my tiny diamond earring (a Christmas gift that my husband had given me in the 1980’s, the smallest of diamonds, and I have worn it ever since he had given it to me and still to this day, even right now, wear. I’m sure it can’t be worth more that $100 to $150 dollars) so I had to hem-and-haw while I tried to explain that I was not trying to rip off the government by not claiming the earring, I was not simply trying to get out of financial obligations, I explained had merely forgotten the earring as I had been wearing it (never taking in out) for over 10 years by this point and it had just become a part of me. Anyway the proceedings were concluded and while we were forgiven most of our debt we still paid a lot of it off in installments, our car and house, and at least one loan because the loan officer (a friend at the time) had put her neck out giving us the loan so there was no way we were going to let her get in trouble for approving such risky borrowers. I didn’t know then but that loan was one of the many tools my husband used to rob Peter to pay Paul, techniques that my husband had become quite expert at doing while I played my PS2 video games and drank my beer in the basement thinking life was wonderful all the while he was allowing us to get further and further in debt (blaming me all because I bought maybe 5 books a year through my book clubs…. Yes you can tell I am STILL bitter about being blamed (never forgive, never forget) for nearly losing our house. Books I would use after going to bed at night reading about some time-traveling or space-traveling teenager (iPads and Kindles didn’t exist at this point). So in the end we did end up paying back about 80% of our debt the 20% left over being places department stores and such like Macy’s or Hutzlers (a long defunct department store chain).


So in the end we kept our house and his sister went home.


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