{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "I love my husband. He’s kind, sexy, fun. We have a good time together. But he’s become a real financial mess during our marriage. Huge debt because he’s in and out of jobs. Including tax debt. He also has children from his prior marriage who are expensive and greedy. What would you do?", "post_id": "61965b4ed5e1f0002ff31ea4", "reply_count": 48, "vote_count": 3, "bowl_id": "5da60c126e5f0d001f32f497", "bowl_name": "Women in Law" }

I love my husband. He’s kind, sexy, fun. We have a good time together. But he’s become a real financial mess during our marriage. Huge debt because he’s in and out of jobs. Including tax debt. He also has children from his prior marriage who are expensive and greedy. What would you do?

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Marriage is tough and kids/family and money are the toughest of issues! If you work towards it together it will get better over time, but people need time to improve. The biggest question is if he is willing to try to improve the situation and himself. Decide what you want and what you are willing to “give” and communicate that to him. Be flexible but don’t let too much time go by where the resentment becomes too much. That’s my advice - different facts in my marriage/life but I had similar feelings. After 16 years of marriage my husband now makes more than me! Money is definitely not important but what matters is whether you two truly like each other and want to make it work.

My first thought as a business person.... look at the therapy. That's expensive and throwing more therapy actually will exacerbate the situation. Look at the therapist... they all have specialties. Find one with marriage with emphasis on financial. Also, find one that will be honest and tell you that's all they can do if you both don't or won't do certain things. I've come across a few who are extremely honest but they are rare. With the kids, teach them they have their stuff at their mom's and stuff at yours. Teach them that you want them to always feel welcome which is why they keep clothes etc at your place. This will stop buying new stuff every week. You both will also need to look deeply at your spending. Judge will be looking at that. Most I've seen think you need to give up everything to put kids in private school. Put a budget together laying out everything you both spend money on. See where you can reduce or cut costs. Stick to that revised budget. Since he's great at his job... what about consulting? He could have a few startups that he consults for so when one drops not all the money is gone and then he only has to look for another company to help. This may be helpful as he gets older and his price won't be as high since he'll be doing it for several companies. This is a tough road and wish you the best of luck.

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Did you really just call your step children greedy?

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I think so! Oye.

likefunny

I’m confused are these minor children he’s paying child support for or adult children asking for money?

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Yes are these minor or college age children? Adult children from prior marriage can also factor in (inheritance etc) but that’s less of a support need. But if the kids are in reasonable need of support then calling them expensive and greedy is the red flag for me. And children ARE expensive. I’m telling you — the drive to procreate is real! It makes us do things that are definitely not in our best interest otherwise! 😂. “Kids make things financially easier,” said no one ever.

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Can your husband drive? So he can Uber. UberEats. DoorDash. Lyft. Post mates. SHIPT. We are living in a time where you can find work pretty easy. Whether that’s freelancing, minimum wage work, etc., especially online. Social media has opening so many doors for income. Marketing. Advertising. Selling shit. Offering a service. Picking up on duties/chores around the house so you can work more. Coupon clipping.

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Temp agencies can give him work when he’s in a down slump and then he can say “ok, I’ve got something now and will let you know when that ends and I can take on more temp work.” This is what I did when I was in between jobs for a hot minute long ago. My husband used the same temp agency to pick up extra work beyond his 9-5 for a bit and when his normal work had a weird two months off at the end of each year. It was actually kind of fun because the work varied so much.

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I don’t understand how he’s developing tax debt outside of a job? I would control the finances. Children are expensive. I don’t know what you mean by greedy but they are children (even if they are grown) so consider it a part of the deal?

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We have explored the unemployment thing. It’s a combination of factors. He’s in startup marketing and they naturally have a cycle. He does great work but he’s an expensive employee and when the startup can’t find funding he’s out. He’s getting older and it’s a younger man’s game. Oh, and, please don’t judge me about the kids. unless you’ve stood in my shoes. They don’t mean to be greedy but they have been taught to be greedy. Anyway. If you guys can’t be kind then just stop.

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I think you may want to try and step back and look at this objectively as an outsider, which I think is the perspective you sought by posting this. If he is “a great but expensive employee “ and knows he has child support obligations , has he developed a plan for saving up in the busy times to ride out the lean times? Has he considered other side gigs that are provide a steady income stream? Is this a new development exacerbated by Covid or other unexpected issues, or has this been his status quo since you met? To me, it sounds like maybe he and you are both making too many excuses for him. I’d see a financial advisor together to figure out how he can best manage these ups and downa

likesmart

One thought if you want to stay together/work on your marriage is to look into a post-nup to protect yourself and your finances.

likesmart

I have a friend whose husband was in a similar situation - he was only interested in a certain type of field of medicine and was having a hard time finding a job in that field in New York. His wife/my friend was pregnant and needed to be in NYC at a big law firm. At the end of the day, you get married to support one another. If your career aspirations (or lack thereof) are causing financial distress, it’s on you to get your act together and find something else. I can’t imagine my dad putting his career ahead of his family if he knew they were having money issues because of it and it wasn’t going to pay off.

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Ok. I’ve been offered 2 helpful ideas: therapy for him/us and take control of the finances. We do therapy and he does therapy and I do therapy. I have taken over the housing expenses so we can keep a roof over our heads and not lose our home (at least for now). The others who just want to criticize please leave. Any other ideas?

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This thread is the cheapest, best therapy you will ever get.

smart

There are a lot of unanswered (yet important) questions here raised by others in the comments and I've seen a lot of 'more therapy' or 'new therapist' comments. But I would suggest sitting down with a financial planner who can look at your incomes and expenses objectively and provide advice that may make more of an impact than traditional therapy. The problem here seems to be job stability or a willingness to choose an inherently stable job. Perhaps it's time your husband got out of the startup game.

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Thank you all for your ideas. Financial planning is a great one. Also a postnup. I’m on it

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Ok guys if you insist on hashing this out: the mother sends the children here with no clothes and we have to buy them new stuff nearly every weekend. Which they invariably take back to their mother’s house. The mother has created trumped up learning symptoms that are costly to have reviewed by experts. And she is insisting on private schools for all of them. Who in this thread would be able to afford private schools in NYC for three children? We are in litigation over that issue which is also costly. But my question has been sidelined by all of you. I really appreciate the supportive comments. Thank you. The rest of you can leave. By the way I love my step children. They are just their angry revengeful mother’s pawns

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Is there something more at play here? Curious as to why he’s unemployed for large stretches of time. Is he going through some kind of depression, alcoholism, etc? Maybe consider these things if he suddenly became this way.

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We live in NYC. He’s had to take money out of retirement accounts to pay for the children’s support. Because he is often unemployed for long stretches of time. It’s very upsetting

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He was successful in lowering the child support. Honestly it’s not the child support that is the problem. We can pay that. He still makes decent money. But he can’t afford the litigation costs and private school expenses.

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You call his children greedy. You have your answer about how you truly feel about him

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I haven't read through all of the comments so I don't know what criticisms or productive advice was given. Just here to send you hugs and let you know you can DM me for judgment-free discussion.

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