My Wife Committed Financial Infidelity

Steven’s wife has committed financial infidelity, accumulating $50,000 in debt over the past several years. They make $140,000 a year and owe $90,000 on the house, along with $10,000 in car debt.

QUESTION: Steven’s wife has committed financial infidelity, accumulating $50,000 in debt over the past several years. They make $140,000 a year and owe $90,000 on the house, along with $10,000 in car debt. Dave and Steven walk through how to address the issues, money and otherwise.

ANSWER: The sense that she has that you are controlling about money is part of why she did this. She really has to have a vote in where the money goes that is real. You have a much better new plan, which is, “We are going to do everything together. We are going to work through this together by cutting our lifestyle. We both get a vote, but we have to clean up this mess. We need to have the goal of paying off this house.”

For right now, I would work on the relational and behavioral issues before I start doing anything major. I would pay off both cars today. It will still leave you with a nest egg and increase your cash flow. You guys need to do a written budget every month that both of you have a vote on and that cuts your lifestyle severely. Then you’ll start knocking those credit cards off. Let’s learn what harmony looks like. Let’s get some unity there.

You’ve got a fabulous income, and you’ve got the ability to be completely debt-free. Just watch what you’re doing with this. But you’re going to have to cut lifestyle. It’s the penalty for being stupid. Her shame and guilt may be enough repentance to change the direction. That’s the good news.

Lying to your spouse is not okay. Little white lies are lies. You drive a wedge in your relationship and destroy trust and intimacy. You lose the ability to win like you could win before in your marriage.

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