My Husband Does Not Want Us to Pool Our Income to Pay Off Our Debt. – Melinda

“Dear Steve,

I work part-time and my husband has full-time income, but my husband does not want to put all the income together to pay the bills we have coming into the household.

With my part-time employment, I do not make enough money to pay my bills every month!! We have 5 creditors that we could pay off by June 2013, but my husband does not want to “take his money” (his words) to pay off any of our creditors, he wants to continue to make monthly payments on these small balances we owe.

His 2 creditors total $2,160 and my 3 creditors total $3,060. We make $5,500/month in income and he will be getting an inheritance in May 2013 from his deceased uncle totaling $18k and he already has most of it spent (boat, camper, etc).

What should I do? I am seeking full-time work and should I do that?


couple fighting

Dear Melinda,

What we have here is a case of financial dysfunction at it’s worst.

I’ve got to be open with you, when I read your question my first reaction is your husband is a jerk. Hopefully he has other redeeming qualities.

Maybe I’m old school but I think if people can be in a long-term relationship and swap bodily fluids, then they can put their money together and manage their finances like equal partners.

And in the case of found money, like the inheritance, I also believe in the law of thirds. I think a third should be invested, a third should be saved, and a third should be spent having fun. But from what you’ve shared, it’s all his to do what he wants to. That just does not strike me as fair.

If you are married to someone and the language is about mine and yours, then you don’t need me first, you need a marriage counselor.

As I say, debt is nothing more than a math problem wrapped in emotion, and this is a classic example of it.

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Your household credit card debt could be eliminated in just a couple of months but your husband is letting you sink in your own debt for some reason. Does he think he is punishing you for some reason or is he just being selfish?

This situation is not about the debt, it’s about the underlying issues that may have been cause by resentment or selfishness.

More troubling is the fact you might not have an open line of communications about the household finances. Financial separation creates financial secrets. And financial secrets create big problems and lead to financial infidelity.

Maybe you can shed some more light on why he feels compelled to approach your household finances like this. Do you have a guess why he might be like this?

Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.


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Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
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