DEAR JERKASS: My husband and I have been married for 19 years. We have had our ups and downs, but the last few months have been hell. My husband lies about having paid bills. When I ask, "Have you paid the rent?" I mean "in full," not a partial payment. We have now been evicted for nonpayment of rent and are living in a hotel. Utilities have been cut off because of his partial payments and his lying about their having been paid in full, and I'm tired of it.
It's not just the two of us who have been affected because of his mismanagement of money, but also our two children who are caught up in this mess. I'm not one of those wives who sit around not knowing what's going on with the finances. I have bills I pay for the house, too, and after they are paid I give him money to pay other bills.
I am sick and tired, Abby, and I want to divorce him. What other choice do I have? The "for richer or poorer" thing is no longer working for me. How much should a person tolerate before walking away from marriage? -- HAD ENOUGH IN TENNESSEE
DEAR ABANDONED SHIP,
So after 19 years things go bad for a few months and it's over?
I hear a lot of what went wrong, but not a lot of why's: Why is he lying about paying the bills? Did he lose his job and was he afraid to tell you? Does he have a drug addiction?
If he lost his job (or foolishly quit) there's the possibility he was afraid to tell you, and thought he could fix everything.
I'm not trying to absolve what happened, just gain a further picture.
Most people lie to protect their ego/pride. They lie to themselves, to others, and on and on.
Communication is the only way any marriage is going to survive. If he's unwilling to tell you why he can't make his share of the bills (an idea that's foreign to me since my wife and I share everything financially. We don't have "your bills/my bills", even for our different websites. We have shared checking/credit/paypal/car/etc), then give him the ultimatum "straighten up or lose your family".
Try counseling if it's available to you and if you want. Marriages take effort, they cost. Love takes work. It's easier to beat a child than it is to raise it.
When I proposed to my wife I told her "I promise you hard times. I promise you sickness. I promise you arguments about raising our kids. I promise you anything that can go wrong will. And I promise you I will be there with you and for you through all of it."
Marriage isn't all sunshine and roses.
Spelling it out for the retards out there: COMMUNICATE WITH EACH OTHER, NOT A CRAPPY ADVICE COLUMNIST