My soon to be ex wife and I went bankrupt in May 2008, mainly because of her excessive spending, gambling and check writing. She is now over 35,000 in debt again and trying to hit me up for large sums of money (I do not have) to bail her out.
I dont know anyway for her to get out of this mess. Between personal loans, 20 payday loans, and check floating everywhere it is a mess. If not for our 9 year old son, I would let her go to jail, but that’s not an option if we can avoid it. Is there anyway she could consolidate debts or get help?
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This is a classic example of why most money problems are the symptom and not about the money. Your soon to be ex-wife has an addictive illness that is causing here to spend past her ability to repay. Unless those underlying addictions are treated with counseling and drug therapy, this cycle will simple repeat itself.
Bailing her out will only enable her behavior. Unfortunately, this is much like a drug or alcohol problem. Until the person recognizes they have a problem and agrees to to seek treatment for it, you can’t solve this issue. Truly what you need is an intervention. She needs to understand how her actions are impacting others and leading her to harm others.
You may need to get your son out of there until she is ready to face this issue.
I would locate a local mental health professional that specializes in the treatment of addiction and explain the situation to them. You can then work together to invite your ex-wife into treatment.
As her access to money gets choked off, she will become more and more desperate. As evidenced by her bad check writing. It is not uncommon for people in such a situation to fraudulently open credit cards and loans in the names of family members to get more money to feed the compulsion or addiction.
All I can say with certainty right now is that your wife has an adrenaline addiction and it is either an escape to mask something else or it is chemically feeding her brain to allow her to reach a state she wants. Compulsive shopping, where the person does not return the items, and gambling are both exhilaration exercises.
Even getting your wife to see help through either Debtors Anonymous or Gamblers Anonymous would be a beneficial first step if she is ready to admit she has a problem and take some action.
Otherwise, the best thing you can do is let her crash and burn and be there to help her get treatment. Her compulsion is strong that your ability to reason with her.