My Husband Doesn’t Know About My Cheating. What Should I Do? – Lynn

“Dear Steve,

I am in trouble and my husband doesn’t know it. I have $8,000 in a credit card – $1,500 in Walmart card – $1,500 in quick cash – $22,000 in unsecured loans. I has come to the point where this month my bills will not be on time. I cannot let my husband find out because he will leave me and we have 2 boys.

Is there a debt concolidation firm that I would not have to include my husband?


Dear Lynn,

If these debts are in your name only then you could take action that does not require him to be involved. But, and this is a big but, that doesn’t mean that he won’t find out.

A credit counseling program will leave you paying just about the minimum payment you can’t afford to pay right now. That’s not going to work for you or get you out of debt.

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So the best and most effective option would be a bankruptcy in your name alone. Bankruptcy will cost you money and it will be on your credit report. If you apply for something in the future that requires both of your social security numbers, if may come out. But then again, so might the credit counseling.

I understand your fear of coming clean on this but I can tell you that in all my years of helping people with money issues, since 1994, that what happens is that the things get tense and cool for a week or so and then the couples come back around and repair the relationship.

Think about the consequences here. Let’s say that he finds out about your debt cheating or financial transgressions at some point in the future. And the other souse usually does. How do you think he will react then? He’d probably be more hurt and angry.

If these debts are in your name alone, go talk to a local bankruptcy attorney, get the facts about bankruptcy and then approach your husband, come clean, and tell him your plan to deal with the debts. He will be upset for a short time but relived that the issue can be resolved and you are taking responsibility for it.

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The bigger issue here is what was the reason you felt it necessary and go out and open the secret credit accounts? That issue does not go away just because you are maxed out. I think the chances are fairly good this debt was the result of stress relief shopping or a bit of retail therapy that made you feel better and helped you deal with some other part of your life that you are not happy about.

One last think to think about why coming clean works better, you don’t have to live in fear the rest of your life that he might find out.

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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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