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Do You Know of Resources For Those Who Are At Odds With Their Spouse About Debt?


Back in December, a writer for a national magaine asked if I would put a little announcement on my blog asking if anyone would like discuss problems that they have with their spouse about debt.

It turns out that quite a few people find my site when they are looking for help about their spouse. They have left comments on that posting from December and since it is an older article, I wanted to bring this up to the front for discussion. My husband and I have pretty much been partners in getting into our debt, so I cannot relate.

I’ve tried to do some searches for resources that can help people who are having problems in their marriage due to debt, but I can’t seem to find anything. Even a forum where people could gather would be beneficial, but again, I can’t seem to find anything.

So I am asking you if you know of any resources or websites that may be helpful to those who are at odds with their spouse about debt. I’ve reprinted a few of the comments below.

“I am a poster child for your subject. Over the 15 years my wife and I have been together (married for nine) she has gotten into deep credit card debt several times, with me bailing her out every time. I just found out last night that she has been hiding $10,000 in debt on another credit card. I have asked her several times to get financially educated and responsible with no action ever being taken. We are in a financial position where we can address this debt, but I don’t know if I can get over my pain and feelings of betrayal this time. Any suggestions or information would be greatly appreciated.”

“I have been married 3 years and my husband just found out I have racked up $1500 in credit card debt. I am an admitted shopaholic, I have given up all my credit card. My husband has one foot out the door as well. I am glad to read I am not the only woman who has lied, and I still think my debt is small…….”

“If anyone knows of any good resources for spouses of “shop-aholics”/”debt-aholics,” I’d be so grateful if you would post them. I’ve had very little success finding such resources. The closest I can find is that for spouses of alcoholics. I think shopping addiction is so much harder to be involved in because you can’t just never shop again (whereas you have at least some hope of never drinking again). I also wish I had better understood about enabling, etc. much earlier on.”

“I have only been married to my current husband for seven years. My first marriage was a 22 year one. We are both fifty years old and had to basically start over. Three years ago I found out that he had overdrawn our account. He had even drained our savings. It was all because the shaky company he was working for was not paying him and he didn’t want to tell me so he was playing the lottery! I was devastated. He swore to me he would never do that again. It has taken three years for me to trust him again. I only added his name to the new account I had to open about a year ago. Well, he is working now BUT I got our statement yesterday and one thousand dollars is gone!!”

“My wife has said she believes she is a shopaholic and now says she wants to get help. She also says she wants to get a second job now to pay the debt. I am totally at a loss as to what to do now, I am worried about possibly losing my home if God forbid, I have any change in my sales numbers at work. Right now I’m having a good year and still just barely starting to make an impact and that was before the additional $11,000 [that my wife charged]. I have never felt so alone in my life, as I feel like I cannot trust even my own wife and may never be able to again. I would really like to speak to others who have a similar situation if at all possible.”

I’m hoping that we can at least find a place where these people can get together and talk about their situations. Some sort of support group would be great as well. If you know of any good resources for those looking for help about their spouse in debt, please leave a comment below. Since you may be leaving links, my commenting program may think you are leaving spam. If you will be giving more than one link, please contact me with the info and I will add the links for you. Otherwise, my spam program may eat your comment.


  • Reply Ryder |

    I’ve had problems with my partner’s debt, so I can certainly relate. It’s very difficult to get out of debt when your efforts are undercut by the ones you’re closest to.

    I can’t recommend any resources, but I could use some help myself on this, so I really appreciate you asking your audience. After seeing your post, I’ve posted a request for info on my blog, so will forward to you any information I get.

  • Reply Mrs. Micah |

    Wow. I think this is a really good idea. Fortunately, Mr. Micah is onboard with my debt reduction/finance stuff, even helped out with the NetworthIQ. He wouldn’t be this organized on his own, but he’s not actively destructive. But I’ve known other couples like the ones who wrote to you. Kudos for wanting to help them out!

  • Reply Brent |

    Marriage counseling wouldn’t be a bad place for some of these people to start. Going to your pastor or an actual counselor is a good place to start.

    For finding information on help with an addiction calling your insurance company or even church would be a place I would start.

  • Reply happy |

    I don’t know of a support group for spouses of shopaholics but now of one for people ridden with debt. Ivillage has a pretty good Debt Support message board. Of course a lot of the cases both partners don’t see eye to eye in spending habits, so some support can be found on that as well.

  • Reply MVP |

    First, these couples have some serious problems that likely require serious marriage counseling immediately. Not to preach Dave Ramsey, but I think his Financial Peace University, or his one-day seminars, can do wonders for couples who are butting heads about money. It can really help get a couple on the same page. Another thing is, the more financially savvy partner should be cautioned against pushing their spouse out of their comfort zone too quickly. These things take time, patience and sensitivity. The couple needs to learn and walk together through their problems. The first comment is evidence of that: “I have asked her several times to get financially educated and responsible with no action ever being taken.” He should be walking ALONGSIDE her on their journey, not expecting her to just catch up to him.

  • Reply Rob in Madrid |

    I’ve been very lucky that way, my wife and I have been generally on agreement on spending money (ie we’re both shopaholics) but one too many financal crisises finally brought both of us to our senses. We on the path to frugal living. When my wife wants to spend I remind her that it will come out of our house fund, something she wants more than anything.

So, what do you think ?