Debt, lies, and marriage – Help a reader out

By glblguy


I received a heartbreaking email the other day from a reader I’ll call Sarah. Her story is all about debt, lies and marriage and she needs some help:

I am very inspired by your website.  I think I started crying at my desk when I
started reading it.  I am in a extremely large amount of debt.  A lot of it is
stuff in my husband’s name that he does not know about.  I feel like failure and
a thief.  I wonder how I got myself into this mess and how do I manage to get
out without my husband leaving me.  I am scared and worried sick.  I was able to
make the payments before but it is getting harder and harder and there are lies
after lies.  I am scared my husband will leave me.  I pray about this all the
time and I am asking God to help me but I feel like my spiritual relationship is
not strong.  I am looking for help.  I don’t want to lose my family.

What would I do?

Wow, first let me say what a heart breaking story. I can only imagine the torment you must be living with each day and the guilt that must be slowing building up. Thank you for the compliment and while I wish better circumstances would have brought you to Gather Little by Little, I am very glad you’re here.

In my mind you only have one option, to tell the truth. I say this for a few reasons:

  • Truth is the only option. Paul writes in 1 Timothy 1:19 – “Cling to your faith in Christ, and keep your conscience clear. For some people have deliberately violated their consciences; as a result, their faith has been shipwrecked.”  I think you already know your faith has been shipwrecked, it’s time to clear your conscience.
  • By not telling the truth this whole situation is boiling and simmering deep down instead. The guilt and torment is tearing you up from the inside out. Funny thing about these kinds of things, they have a way of coming out one way or another and the longer you hold it in, the more damage it’s going to do. The longer you wait, the more difficult it becomes and the harder the impact on your husband as well.

If I was in your shoes and had the choice facing me that you do, there would be only one option: Tell him. Will he leave you? Maybe. Will you loose you family? Maybe. In either case, you cannot control what he will do nor can you predict what will happen. You can only control your actions. I think the answers to those questions lie in how strong your marriage is.

If my wife told me something like this I’d be livid, but I wouldn’t leave her. Would I distrust her? Sure, until that trust was re-established, but I love her and would forgive her. We all make mistakes Sarah, we all do dumb things we regret and you are not alone. The bottom line is that telling the truth is the first step in fixing this mess you’ve created and by doing so, you’ll head down the right road.

Your take

I asked her if it would be alright to share her email with my readers so she could not only receive a response from me, but from all of my readers as well. I told her how great you guys are and that she should really get some great responses and perspectives from you.

We exchanged a few emails, and folks: she is scared to death and feels horrible about what she’s done, please take that into consideration.   Remember: Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

Sarah, please let me know what you decide to do and how things turn out for you. I’ll keep you in my thoughts and prayers and pray that God saves your marriage and gives you the wisdom to make the right decision.

Readers, I ask: If you were in Sarah’s shoes, what would you do? Help her out by leaving a comment.

Photo by: wheatfieldbrown

57 Responses (including trackbacks) to “Debt, lies, and marriage – Help a reader out”

  1. Four Pillars Says:

    Seems pretty obvious – she has to tell him.

  2. No Debt Plan Says:

    Wow. She is going to A.) have to tell him (or risk a creditor calling and telling him) and B.) they are obviously going to need serious counseling from their church.

    He could leave her, but then he’s taking all of the debt with him (unless he files a police report and puts it back on her). So it would seem working together to knock the debt out together makes more sense.

    I’ve got to wonder what she spent all of the money on. How did he not notice? This is a great example of why doing finances together makes more sense than doing them separately.

  3. MoneyGrubbingLawyer Says:

    I agree that Sarah absolutely needs to tell her husband. However, she can make a very bad situation a little better by finding out what options she has to address the underlying debt (consolidation, second job, etc.) and bring those to the table with the confession. This shows an appreciation of the seriousness of the problem and a willingness to do what it takes to fix it. As for the issue of dishonesty, there’s no question that it’s going to cause issues, but every day that goes by complicates matters a little more.

    Sarah, you have my prayers.

  4. Green Panda Says:

    I would tell my husband. It’s not going to be easy, but if you really want an honest marriage, you have to do it. It is better for him to hear it from you than having him find out on his own. Allow him to be upset as trust has been broken, but then come up with a plan to fix it. Counseling might be needed to heal this. I hope it turns out well.

  5. Mr. ToughMoneyLove Says:

    The truth must be told. And let me add that this is one of the problems that can occur if spouses do not completely integrate their finances in marriage. It can dilute accountability and create opportunities for financial infidelity. I’m afraid that Sarah’s marriage needs a complete overhaul (e.g., counseling) but it can be done.

  6. Frugal Dad Says:

    I agree with the advice that “truth is the only option.” I’ve been in a similar situation where I had significant debts and did not tell my wife about them. My reasoning was that I didn’t want to burden her with the worry of being in debt. Turns out, I was shouldering more of the burden than I should, and as a married couple we should take on these challenges together. When I came forward we both worked on a gameplan to tackle the debts and our marriage is stronger for it.

    Your situation is a little different in that it is in his name, but he doesn’t know it. His immediate reaction will be one of shock, probably some anger, and yes, he may feel betrayed. However, if your marriage is solid, you two will overcome.

    I agree with the others in their recommendation of marriage counseling, not so much to focus on the financial implications of this situation, but the communication issues it is a side effect of. If you are in a good church I recommend speaking with your pastor, perhaps alone initially to confess, and then to ask for his guidance in preparing for an open discussion about the debt with your husband.

    My final word of advice is when you are ready to come forward, do so completely and truthfully. Do not tell half-truths, or only reveal part of the debt. Come clean, completely. I just said a quick prayer for you and your husband both, that God give you the strength to do what is right, and for him to have a merciful heart when you do.

  7. Kristen Says:

    In addition to being honest with her husband and getting marriage counseling, Sarah should contact a reputable, non-profit credit counseling agency to get some help resolving her financial issues. A certified credit counselor could look at her overall financial situation and help her come up with a plan to deal with her debt. Clearly things need to be dealt with from the relationship side and the financial side.

    I happen to work for a non-profit credit counseling agency. Sarah should know that she is not alone. We hear quite a few stories from spouses who have finanial problems and have hid it from their partner. It won’t be easy, but I think Sarah will be relieved to come clean and stop carrying the burden of a huge secret on her shoulders.

  8. Miss Thrifty Says:

    Hi Sarah,

    Sadly, there’s no magic answer. As you know, you can’t wave a magic wand and make this all go away. When you’re between a rock and a hard place, staying there isn’t going to help you any. And for you, staying there is just going to make things worse in the long run, with your debts, feelings of guilt and anxiety escalating.

    There’s only one thing for it. Grit your teeth and make your move. Telling your husband isn’t going to be easy. It will be one of – if not *the* – most difficult and scary things that you have ever had to do. But you are going to have to do it. It is going to be bad. Heck, it could be *really* bad. But at least you’ll put a stop to it. Because the longer you leave it, the worse it is going to be.

  9. Milton Griffin Says:

    Hi Sarah;

    My wife did the same thing, not once, not twice, but three times. My love for her would not let me give up on her. We survived, and our marriage lasted 43 years until her untimely death.(Kidney failure) Don’t give up hope. There is light at the end of the tunnel. A good marriage can weather any storm, and the truth will set you free. Again don’t give up! Good luck and may God bless.
    Been there done that.

  10. Christy Says:

    “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free”.

    It may not be fun or easy, but Sarah, live in the light of the truth. No more hiding and you will feel so much better about yourself and about God.

    Praying for you! Let us know how things progress.

  11. Rafael Marquez Says:

    3 words: Financial Peace University.

    You need to come clean, then attend FPU, get a plan and then work the plan.

  12. Sheila Says:


    First and foremost, remember how much God loves you and that he ALWAYS forgives us. He will never forsake you. Lean on Him, rest in Him, and ask Him for the courage to tell your husband. You have to do this, and it won’t get any better for waiting.

    I will be praying for you.

  13. Ladybug Says:


    Be Honest with your husband!and workout a plan together

  14. Amber Jones Says:

    I would have to agree that truth is what is important. If you don’t have that, then you don’t have a marriage anyways. At least IMHO.

    How do you determine when to tell the truth? Well, as soon as you realize that you’ve done something wrong. That will make things easier in the long run – not that life is easy. But you get what I mean.

  15. castocreations Says:

    This is truly heartbreaking. I feel guilty when I let our debt go up just a few hundred dollars without telling my husband. I can only imagine the level of Sarah’s guilt. Not to mention fear.

    The only thing that I think can be done is a full and total admission. If my husband were to do something like this I’d be more upset about him keeping such a big secret than not telling me.

    It will be difficult. If your marriage is strong it will be painful and difficult for quite some time, but it will recover. If your marriage is weak … well, only time will tell. But you can’t hide the truth. It will only get worse.

    I pray for the best outcome and hope that Sarah keeps us up to date on what she decides to do.

  16. VM Says:

    The truth WILL set you free! Not always easy, though, is it? Repentance is difficult at times – but take heart at what it means – to ‘turn away’ – and if you truly are repentant and you do turn, the Lord is faithful and He WILL meet you and your husband. He cannot break a promise. I have no doubt about this, and my hope for you is the same.
    Kudos on the “Financial Peace University” suggestion, Rafael!!

  17. Christy Says:

    Hi there –
    I had a similiar situation with debt my husband didn’t know about. I did come clean and he was upset but we figured a way to deal with it and got through it. You HAVE to tell him and get through this. It eats away at you — and it will be hard to admit but you will feel much better after doing so and coming clean. Good luck and hope you keep us updated!

  18. Wendy Says:


    I had a similar situattion with my husband, and I went to a counselor and she helped me find a way to tell him,a nd we worked it out together. Now, all finaicial “stuff” is done together- Yes, I was scared to death,a nd yes, he was angry, but we worked on it together and fixed it. My heart breaks for you becasue I know your fear,and pain.

  19. nicole Says:


    I agree the truth must be told; but there has to be an underlying issue to have made you do these things? Why the secrecy, what was purchased? These questions must be answered, and counseling is defiantely in order since there might be some non communication going on…. you cannot control the actions of others but you can control your own. Come clean, there will be screaming, crying and some sleepless nights………but really arent you going through that already?

  20. nicole Says:

    PS I have done this also and it does work out – eventually. counseling helped alot; I had a lot of money issues I didnt even know about. I now spend within the budget and never feel “unloved”.

  21. Carol Says:


    Please know that I will be praying for you and your husband. It may help to show him this website so that he can see how agonizing your secret has become to you. Everyone else has given you excellent advice.

    You can do it. You are not alone in any way.

  22. Colin McNamara Says:

    What we did –
    I had pretty much the same thing happen in my marriage. My wife was running up debt left and right, and using every trick in the book to just make the minimum payments. She was afraid I would leave her if I found out that she had fallen into the debt trap again. Every day was a race to the mailbox to get a statement, or a lie to hide a receipt in the car.
    Being forced through her own decisions to lie caused many problems in our relationship until she decided to run. In her mind she thought I would divorce her if I found out about the debt, so she decided to act first.
    Once she had left, she came clean about the debt. And even though she had left, I offered to help her through paying off the debts. At that point she realized that the last few years of her life living in debt hell was not necessary.
    Shortly afterwards we mended our relationship and focused on paying down debt. We put every free penny we had towards it and were able to pay down almost 60 thousand in debt. (thank you Dave Ramsey). In the eight months since the blow up, we have paid down all our debt, paid for a used Mercedes in cash, and saved up 6 months expenses in an emergency fund. I can say that since my wife came clean about her debt, and allowed us to address it as a family, life has become better then it ever was.
    I would encourage the lady who wrote you to lay everything out on the table. Hidden debt WILL end your marriage, coming clean will make it stronger then ever before.

  23. Steward Says:

    Hi Sarah,

    When I look at situations like this I really see two problems that need to be fixed. The first is the immediate problem – the debt. The second is the root problem – the reasons that the debt was acquired and hidden. Dealing with the first problem is important, and there are tons of good resources and advice out there to help deal with this debt. In fact, dealing with the immediate problem of the debt is simple if you are willing to take certain steps with your husband to fix it.

    Dealing with the root of the problem is generally more difficult for various reasons. The root problem generally resides within a person and has been around for years and years. Many people often don’t see their problem, or think it isn’t really that bad, or can’t seem to figure out what it is even though they hate it.

    The first step to dealing with a root issue is admitting that you have a problem. Then you work on getting a handle on what your problem really is. Once you have done that, it simply becomes a battle for changing the way that you think about the world that you live in. This process works, but it is often emotionally painful and intricate. It takes time, effort, and a lot of patience.

    I would encourage that as you tell your husband what you have done, you also make a very serious attack on those issues that led you to acquire so much debt in secrecy. In my opinion, this works best if you have your husband, pastor, friends, and a professional therapist/counselor involved.

    And never, ever, ever forget the most important thing of all – Jesus is the all satisfying pleasure of your soul (Psalm 63). Run to him to be protected (Proverbs 18:10). Rest in his might as you deal with your pain and watch him smash your enemies around you (Psalm 3). And be free from shame, knowing that he is is for you and that by his blood you have been saved (Romans 8).

    As you feel the pain and the sorrow, be like the Psalmist in the cry of your heart:

    Whom have I in heaven but you, and besides you I desire nothing on earth. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

    And know that you will rise by the grace of God –

  24. Shawna Says:


    I agree with all of these responses. I can’t say that I’ve been in your situation exactly, but I will tell you this: I once kept something big from my husband. I won’t go into what it was, but it was huge. He found out on his own, and it was the worst time of my life. We had been through counseling together before, so we were able to move past it, but he did not trust me for a long time. I know that if I would have been honest with him from the beginning, that time of our life together would have been much easier.

    I pray that you can gather the courage to tell your husband what happened. I hope, too, that both of you can remember that it’s only money. When all is said and done, it is not money that matters in this life…it’s the people we love.

    Good Luck!

  25. Diane Says:

    I think you know by now that you do have to tell your husband the truth – and, as others have mentioned, the whole truth. Be prepared to make your finances totally transparent to him – no more secrets.

    Have a plan for how you can start to pay down the debt – perhaps selling some items on Craigs list or a garage sale. Consider a temporary 2nd job and look at what items can be cut from your budget for a time – any good financial book or website will provide a list of possibilities.

    The main thing I would say is that you have to be prepared to CHANGE your behavior and to make a promise to yourself and your husband that it WILL NOT happen again. You must keep that promise.

    I think marriage counseling to improve communication would be an excellent idea. I recommend Dave Ramsey’s book, The Total Money Makeover, to start on paying down debt and finding a better way to live.

    From personal experience I can tell you that it is possible to work your way out of debt – not easy, but possible. My ex-husband refused to change his behavior to eliminate and stay out of debt, so I had to do it myself, on my own with 2 kids. 12 years later he’s still living on the edge and I am financially stable. If you’re not willing to change it really can destroy your relationship.

    I wish you the best and pray that you and your husband will find a way to work this out. Good Luck!

  26. Donna Says:

    Hi Sarah,

    If I were in your shoes, I would confide in my Pastor, or other trusted person or counselor, and I would lay all of my cards on the table. And I would ask my Pastor to go with me to my husband to confess what I had done, to confess that I have a problem with money, to ask for forgiveness, to ask for help in that area (even if professional financial counseling), to reaffirm my love for my husband and my family. He needs to realize that you have a problem with money, not with him. And that you lied to him to cover up your money problem out of embarassment and fear of being found out.

    Sometimes we have to get to the end of our rope before we cry out for help. I think you knew a long time ago that you had a problem with managing money, spending and debt, and now you have an opportunity to turn that around. Just be prepared to make a lot of drastic changes money-wise, be prepared for your husband to not trust you with money for a period of time, and be open to professional counseling (preferably Christian) in that area of need. Just as an alcoholic is addicted to drinking, you too could be addicted to spending.

    Now is the time to come clean before God and your husband. You have an opportunity to present this to your husband now, rather than to let it snowball even more and he find out on his own. That would be even worse.

    I am praying for you, as I know are many others. What a great community this is! His grace is sufficient for you. His strength, His courage His wisdom, His favor will see you through this. And in the end you will be victorious, and you will be able to help others who find themselves facing the very same problem.

    Much love,


  27. Nicki at Domestic Cents Says:

    Dear Sarah, the advice above is strong and sound. Every marriage is going to come to a point where you have to make a tough choice, and it almost always has something to do with honesty. Pure repentance and forgiveness will bring you out of this. Is your marriage is worth anything to you then take the first brave step. I’ll be praying for you today.

  28. Randy Peterman Says:

    The first thing that matters the most is this: once you believe in Jesus Christ’s work on the cross God identifies you with His Son’s death burial and resurrection. That means that you are hidden in Him (Col. 3:3). It means you have been declared Holy & Blameless (before God Eph. 1:4). Your relationship with God is secure and solid, your fellowship may be weak, but that is restored with the simple action of asking for forgiveness and moving on knowing God loves you.

    The second thing, and that is what matters the most, is that you need to be equally yoked with your husband. That means confession time. That means that you don’t pray for God’s help that you would stop so that you can get out of the mess on your own, but instead that you confess your problem to your husband and you grow closer together in it. Satan wants you to fear, the flesh is good at that, but pride will come with a great price. The longer the lies, the harder the problem becomes to expose without feeling like utter trash.

    You may consider biblical counseling from a pastor/counselor in your area, but more often than not the fear we hold is the fear we hold of that one moment of confession and NOT the restoration, NOT the resolution of the problem, and NOT deeper intimacy in your marriage. I have lied to my wife, and then had to come back and confess my lie. It hurt, it was hard, and what I feared was her hurt and my losing face. However, confessing the sin moved me past it and we could grow deeper, closer, and be one again.

    I’ll be praying for you and your husband.

    Resting in Him,

  29. Theresa Says:

    {{{Sarah}}} I’ve been there … worse actually. And not just once, but three times. After the second time, my dh said he would leave us if it happened again, but that still wasn’t enough motivation for me! (Can anyone say “stupid”?!)

    The third time I put us over $30,000 in debt over a 3-yr. period of time. When it finally became evident to me that I could no longer continue the deceit, I went to a very close, trusted friend — a Christian husband and wife whom both my dh and I had a very good relationship with. They were incredibly helpful and provided many hours of wise counsel to both of us individually and together. It was only because of them (and GOD) that dh and I are still together 2.5 yrs. later.

    Please tell Sarah that she is more than welcome to email me if you think it would be appropriate and/or helpful.

  30. Hillary Says:

    Oh Sarah my prayers are with you. I speak from experience on this one…yes I did do this too. So first of all you are not alone. We all make mistakes. Just take the opportunity to learn from this mistake. If you do then it will make you stronger. In turn it will allow you to help others who are in your same shoes.

    What I did was talk to my Pastor first. Getting it off my chest really helped me to face what I’d done. It got it out of the pit of my stomach and started the healing process. What I did next was soooo hard but it was necessary. I asked my husband to meet with me and our Pastor. Then I told him what I’d done. He was livid and he had every right to be. However having our Pastor there was a huge help. We started counseling right then and there. While my husband fumed and I cried our Pastor gave his shoulder to lean on to both of us. We did work through our pain. We have become a stronger couple through it too. However I did pay a large price in that my husband’s trust in me has never been the same. (just to be honest)

    I will add a side note. I do not know your personal situation but if you in any way feel that your husband may become violent when you tell him then PLEASE have someone with you when you tell him. Be in a safe location too.

    My reason for having someone with us was not because I was fearful of violence rather I knew that he would need someone there to lean on more than I did. I wasn’t the one getting the wind knocked out of me with this huge lie. So just look to your own situation and personal safety then please plan accordingly.

    I will be praying for you. Know that you can rise above this and you will. What the devil means for your destruction the Lord will use for His good.

  31. Spoodles Says:

    ‘Fess up, ‘fess up, ‘fess up! The longer she keeps this secret, the bigger the shock is going to be when he finds out…and he will find out. If he’s really going to leave over this, then he’d end up leaving over something else anyway, but chances are that confession and a plea for help and forgiveness will keep the relationship intact. One piece of advice I’d give the poor woman is to be very careful not to get defensive and angry or start making excuses. This is such a big deal it could easily turn into an argument about every problem the couple has ever been through, rather than a very focused, useful conversation. I’ll put this lady on my prayer list for a few days. This is a very sad situation.

  32. Hillary Says:

    I forgot to say that Sarah this isn’t a matter of IF you should tell him. Honestly sweetie time is ticking. Since the credit has been put in his name all it would take is for him to run a credit report to find it out on his own. Don’t let him be blindsided that way. It will be better in the long run if he hears the truth from you. Owning up to guilt goes a long way in proving you really are sorry for what you’ve done. Once our counseling got going my husband told me although it hurt he was glad I was told him instead of him finding out through a credit report. He actually told me he was proud of me for coming clean. He said my remorse helped him to know I was really ready to change and that helped him to heal.

  33. Deb Says:

    Hi Sarah,
    I too, have walked in your shoes. I tried so hard to “fix” things myself so my DH wouldn’t have to find out, but our lies will find us out and they did. To say he was angry would be the biggest understatement of all time. He was livid and questioned if we should even stay married. (this was the 2nd time this had happened) This last time also happened 2 weeks before our 25th anniversary. Praise be to God for a very loving and forgiving man!!!! After his complete meltdown, he set the rules and guidelines and we do all of the money spending together. It’s hard for me to give up that kind of control, but I had way wasn’t working.
    Go to your husband and tell him the complete truth. It will likely be very bad, but if your marriage is strong and your relationship with God is strong, you will get through this.
    Praying for you..

  34. Goal Hunter Says:

    The weight will be lifted from you as soon as you tell him, so just do it. You don’t need to build up courage but look forward to the peace of mind that you’ll have when the secret is in the open. More time spent inventing bad outcomes means more feeling them, experiencing them continually in your thoughts as if they were real.

    Here’s what you do: Today at home when you and he have a moment together just tell him quickly without dramatic lead-up: “Tom, I have to tell you that I have done something I shouldn’t have. I ran up some big debts for the family of $100,000. I’ve been trying to handle things on my own but I realized that I’ve endangered our family and that you need to know. I’m sorry.”

    Then the questions will start.

    Don’t ask him for help, don’t lead into it with “I love you so much and I’ve been so fearful, etc, etc” That can come later. Let him digest, let him vent, let him blame you and express disappointment. Just accept it all, because it is something you did right? The absolute best would be if you had some ideas towards solutions already in mind and when the time came, share them.

    You say your faith is weak right now, but look to it to give you the perspective that you are on an even footing with your husband. Staying within yourself and trying to work within your own means is not sufficient. Let God and your husband in. Don’t fear him leaving you; he won’t break that promise.

  35. Michelle H. Says:

    Hey Sarah,
    I can’t add anything to the good advice of all the other commenters – but I want you to know I’m praying for you. You can do it and if you need a friend, we’re all here.
    PS You can email me direct if you want to: [email protected]

  36. Yana Says:

    Tell the truth and change your debt-acquiring ways. You must want to do these things, if your husband and home/family mean anything to you. And yourself, for that matter.

  37. Shelley Says:

    There have so many excellent bits of advice offered be so many! I only have one comment to add. After repenting to your husband and presenting some type of plan for debt repayment to him, if you’re not a tither, consider becoming one. If you honor God in your finances, He promises to open the windows of Heaven and pour out such a blessing on you that there’s not room enough to contain it. You can actually give yourself out of debt, and I know of many who have and are financially prosperous today (including my pastor who was deep in debt when he got saved). Our church is offering a Dave Ramsey money management class and I’m sure that some church in your area offers it or something similar. It won’t be an easy road and you will have to deny your flesh and what it’s been used to buying that you can’t afford, but remember that you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you! God Bless!

  38. fathersez Says:

    Hi, Sarah,

    I agree completely with GLBL. Yes, only the truth will set you free. You have strong motivations, i.e. to keep your family and marriage intact. This should give you a pillar to lean on.

    All of us make mistakes. The better ones amongst us admit to our mistakes as you have done.

    Tell your husband the issues and convince him in no uncertain way that the “old Sarah” is no more.

    All the very best.

  39. GrannyAnnie Says:

    Hey Sarah. I wish you well. Obviously the only answer is to tell him. I also recommend having someone neutral and unthreatening with you. You are about to put this guy on the spot. Do it with compassion. And humility. None of us has all the answers. That is why God gave us each other. Just remember, “The only way around it is THROUGH IT.” Go with God. We’re all rooting for you. Please E mail GLBL when something gets resolved. Let us know how it goes.

  40. Yana Says:

    Tithing and charitable giving are expenditures. They are no different from any other expenditures in that they must be done sensibly and with wisdom. You absolutely cannot tithe yourself rich, just as you cannot spend yourself rich. I love the idea of money falling into my lap from above due to the simple recipe of giving away a portion of my resources – and there are plenty of people glad to help me direct my resources, so that *I* can receive abundance! I hope you receive the necessary wisdom so that you can enact an honest and sensible plan, and don’t fall for manipulative gimmicks. There are too many of those, and maybe they comprise some of your current debt.

  41. pile Says:

    First and foremost, praying has proven to be completely ineffective in accomplishing anything in the physical world. Faith and $1.00 is worth effectively $1.00. Spiritual-type thinking is what got you in this mess in the first place. The idea that your will alone, and no action is going to solve anything is counterproductive.

    If you’re a liar, you need to come clean. You’ve got real-world pennance to perform. Forget the religious mumbo jumbo.

  42. Yana Says:

    “If you’re a liar, you need to come clean.”

    Actually, THAT is legitimate spiritual-type thinking, and completely valid. If lying to one’s spouse and destroying his credibility and credit is spiritual, it isn’t my kind of spirituality. Spirituality, God, goodness and integrity are not a part of this situation. My view is that where there is a mustard seed’s worth of honest and real spirituality, there is not a situation like this – this kind of behavior does not happen under those minimal conditions.

  43. glblguy Says:

    @pile – Hi Pile, thanks for dropping by. I’m cool with you not believing, but at least be respectful of other people’s beliefs (i.e. Calling it “mumbo jumbo”). Not everyone sees the world the same as you and by disrespecting others beliefs and values, you’re just discrediting yourself.

  44. Rob Says:

    Stop praying and get the situation rectified. Only you can fix the problem. Expect divorce. I would not stay married to someone I cant trust. Its called reality.

  45. sara l Says:

    I think the only option is to tell the husband, but this should be coupled with a plan (or plans) to get out of debt. Nothing will make it a good situation, but I’d rather hear “I messed up. Here are some of the ways to work our way out of the situation. What do you think is best” than ” Imessed up.”

  46. Kristen Says:

    @Rob, Your comments are less than helpful. First, there is no reason why she can’t do active things to rectify the situation along with praying. It may not be in your beliefs, but if it’s in her beliefs there is nothing wrong with that. Furthermore, you have no basis to tell someone to “expect divorce.” You know nothing of her situation as far as what led to this problem or what type of a person her husband is. There are many marriages out there that have made it through all kinds of devastating circumstances.

    You mention reality. Reality is that we are all people and we all make mistakes. Reality is that you can’t undo what’s been done, but you can make an effort to change things and not make the same mistakes again. And realistically no one can predict what is going to happen in another person’s life and relationship.

  47. Funny about Money Says:

    Dear heart, please please please go to a marriage counselor. If you are a believer, go to your church and pray, too, but get to a trustworthy independent counselor right away. You must tell your husband about this (before, as some have pointed out, he finds out from some bill collector). But if you are afraid, you don’t have to go into it alone and unsupported.

    My ex- used to do this kind of thing. That is the immediate reason (but not the only reason or even the most important reason) he is an ex. In retrospect, I can see that had we spoken to each other with the guidance of a marriage counselor, we BOTH could have — and would have — discussed the things that made us behave the way we did, and we might have saved our marriage.

    Don’t fear. Seek the right path and go forward. You’ll find your way.

  48. Lila Says:

    I have done the same thing Sarah did. I lied to my husband for several years about a large amount of debt. When I came clean a few months ago, it was difficult, he was angry, but we have survived. We are working to resolve the debt and also considering counseling to work through the trust / anger / communication issues. It has been a difficult few months, but the end result of confessing has lifted a great burden from my heart. No longer do I have to hide bills, statements, or wonder if the next phone call will be a collection agency calling about a missed payment. Now, I can sit down with my husband and discuss openly how much we bring in, how much we are spending, and where to send the money we make each month. You cannot believe how much of a difference that makes!

  49. Pamela @ Frugal Vet Tech (Student) Says:

    I have no more advice to add to what’s already been said, but I wanted to let “Sarah” know that I’m praying for her.

  50. Liane Says:

    Sarah, please tell your husband the truth. Honesty is always best. You will feel the weight of the world lifted once you let go of your secret. Keeping it in and trying to hide it will only make you feel worse. Yes, your husband may be angry, but I think if your take full responsibility for what’s happened and make a plan, together, on how to remedy it, you will tackle this issue together. And from then on, you should openly discuss your finances. There should not be any secrets in a marriage. It’s a partnership.
    I’m praying for you.

  51. alwaysfrog Says:

    Obviously you have to tell him because if you don’t, he will eventually find out. Don’t kid yourself. If he finds out before you tell him, the risk is higher that he might leave you. I don’t know what his spiritual condition is or what his convictions are on that subject. I know that my husband and I are pretty much “til death do us part” and the only reason I would ever leave him is if my or my children’s lives were in danger.

    That being said, I think if you tell him how horrible you feel and that you realize that you have a problem and you are willing to seek professional help, he will be more willing to help you work through this. The first step to recovery is admitting that you have a problem, which you have done.

    It would also be helpful if you are willing to have someone (whether personal or professional) other than your husband keep you accountable for your spending and be available at any hour for a phone call (if it’s late) or face-to-face encouragement if possible.

    I pray that you find the courage to confess to him and the he has the courage to stand by you.

  52. Sharon Says:

    I am right now facing this situation and was looking for some guidance in telling my husband this coming Monday because I can’t take it anymore. I have done this three other times and know I have a problem. For several years now I have built up several secret credit cards totaling around $40,000. I can’t pay the monthly payments anymore and I have even gone through a battle resisting suicide but my kids faces in my mind keep me barely holding on. I am such a mess over this, it almost seems like I am only a burden to my husband and my family’s future. I need prayer, or mostly, he needs prayer for the bomb I am getting ready to drop. The people on this board who have been responding to Sarah are truly an inspiration and a comfort just in reading what they said to her. I would love to know what happened with Sarah and her husband.

  53. tell Says:

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