Control wife's spending before filing?

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Control wife's spending before filing?

Unread postby bigweather » Wed Oct 18, 2017 1:58 pm

Married 15 years, together 27. Me 58, she 61. No kids. Separated 6 months. I left the house. Found that I could not work through our problems together, nor take care of myself in the ways I've been needing to, while living at home.

It's been a very difficult, trying 6 months. I've had to learn how to set boundaries and adhere to them, one of which was no contact for 2 months. She tried to violate that boundary, but I did not respond. I'm much stronger and clearer now, but still struggling immensely with the weight of everything.

One of the most difficult aspects of this is that our finances have been going down the drain since I left, not from anything I am doing, as I am living rent free and live extremely frugally. She has been spending upwards of an extra $5K/month above what I can cover with my income. She doesn't work. Most of it has been on medical stuff, therapy, and house maintenance/repairs of which I am at a loss as to what she is doing. Lot's of home depot and laborer checks going out. We are now $30K more in debt than when I left. She uses a credit card of which I am the primary, and access to a couple of others. I know I can remove her or shut the cards down at any time. All of our bank accounts are joint, with little cash, accept my personal business account. She wants access to that, which I haven't granted her.

After the 2 month no contact period, I reached out to her to let her know I was willing to go back into counseling together. I also let her know that our financial situation was not good and needed to be addressed immediately and suggested we go see a mediator or financial planner to work out a spending plan while we try to work things out or figure out it's time to move on apart. That was a month ago. She speaks of being open to it, but we haven't been able to pin it down. She tends to dominate the counseling sessions, time runs out, and we are not speaking in between our weekly sessions.

She is not showing any signs of owning any responsibility toward the dysfunction in our marriage, appears to be terrified that I'm "going to leave her out on the streets." Her behavior is generally aggressive, combative, and coming from a place of being a victim. Everything is my fault, and all the money she is now spending is absolutely necessary because of "what I've done to her" by leaving.

I'm at the end of my rope both as a marriage and financially. I have been hoping that in counseling I might miraculously see some movement from her toward owning something other than being "right" about everything, but that is not happening. She gets defensive when the counselor calls her out on things, then accuses her of attacking her and being negative.

I need to move on. I've spoken to a lawyer a couple of weeks ago and got some good info. I asked him whether I should shut down accounts or not. He didn't really have any advice other than if I wanted to do that, to certainly do it before I file. I'm on the verge of pulling the trigger on filing. Trying to determine whether I should shut down the credit cards and send her a note letting her know that I'll fund our joint account $1000 for the coming month to cover her food and auto gas and medical, but no more credit card spending. I will pay for everything else, which I've been doing for years now. My concern is that she might go off the deep end as it were. She is, and has in the past, shown signs of emotional volatility. I don't think she will do anything harm herself, but I'm concerned.

The other option as I see it is to let things be as they are, what's another week or so overspending, and simply file and let a temporary order get in place to dictate what the temporary spousal maintenance will be, and let her excessive spending be on her when things settle out.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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Re: Control wife's spending before filing?

Unread postby Trevor » Wed Oct 18, 2017 2:29 pm

What state?

Leaving the house is probably a big mistake. Move back in immediately - it's your house. She can drag out closure for a very long time when you're not there. The financial leakage that's going on will continue unabated unless you return home, cut off access to your money, and implement austerity in your home. Now.

Oh, buy an mp3 recorder and have it on at all times whenever she's around. Not a VAR and not your phone. See the Technology forum for threads on the best recorders.

Why is she not working? That was also a huge mistake. You need to cut off access to your credit and your money now.

There are no such things as miracles. Stop with your wish-thinking and get a strategy planned. Here's what you need to do before filing.

Move back in, cut off her access to money, cancel cable and internet, and stop working overtime. Do the grocery shopping yourself, put gas in the car, but no cash. She wants to get her hair did? "Get a fecking job, lardass." Nails? Job. New shoes? Job.

You have a long-term marriage and will be paying alimony, in all likelihood.
"Personal density is directly proportional to temporal bandwidth."
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Re: Control wife's spending before filing?

Unread postby BartSimpson » Wed Oct 18, 2017 2:40 pm

What's up with the boundaries, and not talking or communicating with her for two months? Why was that necessary?
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Re: Control wife's spending before filing?

Unread postby bigweather » Wed Oct 18, 2017 2:51 pm

Every conversation was combative, emotionally abusive, extremely stressful, and I was finding it more and more difficult to manage my own emotions and not get triggered. I was responding in ways that I wasn't proud of. Saw a therapist and was diagnose with PTSD. Next day ended up in the emergency room with an acute panic attack. The boundary was about taking care of my personal health and my body and mental state was telling me that I needed to do this for my own good. It worked for me. I got healthier, stronger, and clearer about what is and isn't okay with me in relationship and what I am and am not willing to live with. My wife would lose her ability to keep space, call and leave a string of voice mails. I let her know up front I wasn't going to be listening to any voice mails. I listened to a few and was quickly reminded why I needed to go no contact.
Last edited by bigweather on Wed Oct 18, 2017 2:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Control wife's spending before filing?

Unread postby bigweather » Wed Oct 18, 2017 2:52 pm

FYI, state is Arizona.
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Re: Control wife's spending before filing?

Unread postby BartSimpson » Wed Oct 18, 2017 2:59 pm

Were the police involved in any of your "triggered" incidents?
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Re: Control wife's spending before filing?

Unread postby bigweather » Wed Oct 18, 2017 4:12 pm

There was no police involvement.
The only police involvement during this period was two weeks ago when she left a voice mail asking me to call, that there was an emergency. I called her back and she was hysterical. This was in response to me having sent her a letter saying I wanted to move forward with divorce and was giving her an opportunity to go the more amicable route versus adversarial, that I needed to know by a certain time or I would file myself. That certain time came and that's when she called in an utter panic. She was pulled over in the car, screaming and desperate, that she couldn't drive, she had no support, etc etc. She did not say that she was considering suicide, but I became concerned for her well being. I was worried she might drive off the road going over a mountain pass in our area. I called 911. The sheriff tracked her down, amazingly, and called me back saying that she was with someone and seemingly in a better state. I had also called her back and asked what I could do, short of coming to be with her. She asked that I give counseling another try. I agreed. She asked if I was going to file. I stated I don't know and got off the phone. It's been two unsuccessful counseling meetings since then, after several failed attempts in prior times.
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Re: Control wife's spending before filing?

Unread postby BartSimpson » Wed Oct 18, 2017 4:44 pm

OK.
I am trying to balance what you described as her prior behavior with what you are describing as her current behavior, they do not seem consistent.
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Re: Control wife's spending before filing?

Unread postby bigweather » Wed Oct 18, 2017 4:59 pm

In a way her behaviors aren't consistent, otherwise I wouldn't have lasted 27 years. Things are way magnified now, and she seems to be operating entirely from a place of fear. So her more challenging behaviors - domineering, controlling, invalidating, blaming, etc..- are super pronounced, versus occasional during our marriage, usually when I challenged her, or we had a disagreement about something. Also, although her spending has always to my mind been excessive, it has been within control - I could cover it with my income. Since leaving, she's spending a lot more, not on blingy material things, but doctors for problems that are obscure and hard to diagnose, and lots of therapy (which doesn't appear to be having any effect), and house projects that she has, IMO, an addiction to, and, of course, she's making all of these house upgrades or whatever they are without consulting with me.
And her attitude is,"you did this to me, so therefore I have no choice but to spend this money."
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Re: Control wife's spending before filing?

Unread postby BartSimpson » Wed Oct 18, 2017 5:05 pm

She plays the game much better than you do.
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