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Ask Dave

How Do I Get My Spouse On Board?

Jennifer can't get her husband to sit down and do a budget even after taking Dave's class. Dave thinks Jennifer's husband is acting selfishly and doesn't listen to her.

QUESTION: Jennifer in Kansas says her husband started his own small business three years ago and signed up for a credit card to cover supplies. He owes $2,000 on that card and also bought a car with a payment plan. Jennifer can’t get her husband to sit down and do a budget even after taking Dave’s class. Dave thinks Jennifer’s husband is acting selfishly and doesn’t listen to her.

ANSWER: I think your husband does whatever he wants to do. I think he’s arrogant, and he controls every part of your life. I don’t think he listens to one thing you have to say. I think you need to see a marriage counselor today. You don’t have a money problem; you have a serious marriage problem.

The guy you’re describing to me is as narcissistic as he can be. This is all about him. I love that he goes through a class on how to handle money and his response is “I’m intrigued.” That’s so stupid it’s humorous. It reeks of arrogance.

He has some serious stuff going on. He listens to no one. He’s got it all figured out, and yet he owes everybody on the planet, including the IRS. In the middle of this, you keep trying to tap the brakes and get him to listen. He doesn’t listen to a thing you have to say. You’re going to hit the wall, and your life and marriage are going to disintegrate if you don’t do something about it.

I suspect he won’t go to marriage counseling because I suspect he won’t be intrigued by it. You need to go without him, because you need to get some direction on how to deal with him and whether or not this thing is going to last. I hope it does. I hate it when marriages break up. But when someone is this whacked, I don’t give this much hope for the future unless he changes.

Either that, or you become the classic codependent. That means you put up with crazy 24/7 and walk around acting like it’s not crazy. That’s codependent, and that’s kind of where you are right now. You need to go see someone and get some guidance and some help. I’m only qualified to recognize the symptoms because I’ve been doing this a long time, and they are all there.

I’m so sorry you’re in this mess. You are going to have a long year ahead of you. There is going to be a lot of pain and a lot of emotional things to deal with, but it’s way past time to deal with them. You guys have got to do this.