Poor skills and relationships
I've not seen this addressed on a quick scan through the memories section. Look, when you're living on the edge financially, it strains relationships, I know. I think many of us know that. I've done a lot to address bettering myself financially, using a lot of the tips and tricks addressed in this community. My problem is that I get continually undercut by my partner. We each have a checking account (I learned years ago that a joint account didn't work for us--he would simply empty it and leave me with nothing). I balance mine each month to the penny. He only has a hazy idea what is in his. Whenever he writes a check, he looks at the account on line "to get a general idea of what's in there," but of course, he forgets things, and then he bounces checks. He has been charged hundreds of dollars in bank fees this year, money we don't have! He has mental health problems. Problems that meant the failure of his business, and being fired from one job. I've just learned that he has received a warning from the managers of his present job--one more slip up and he's out, and we don't have more than $500 in emergency savings. I have gradually taken over more and more of the bill payment. I pay the mortgage, insurance, and all the credit cards--including his credit cards since he was always late on them; he gives me the money for them. He pays groceries and utilities (which is why our phone keeps getting shut off). He screws up his money so often that I want him to give me control of his checkbook. I've told him I'd balance it and make sure he has money every month he can spend. But he won't agree; he says he wants to "stay in control," even though he's NOT in control of that check book. Doing taxes every year is a nightmare, always up against the deadline, because he is such a procrastinator that he can't get the financial paperwork pulled together until the very last millisecond, and I CANNOT do it by myself, because it involves the remnants of his small business that he has on the side (which is mostly a money loser, draining us with expenses every year). He keeps putting stuff on credit cards (his credit cards; I can't close 'em) and now wants to refinance the house again, rolling the credit card debt into it, so that I'll be paying interest for the next twenty years on groceries he put on the credit card bill. I am so frustrated, and what's more, I feel so utterly alone, because I don't feel like I can talk about it with anyone. I certainly don't feel I can tell people that he's in danger of losing his job. Yet again. People who know us, including my family, if they knew this, would simply say, "Divorce him." That is not helpful. But there is no doubt about it, marrying him was the worst financial mistake I ever made. I have told him I want to go to a credit counselor and he has agreed to go. I guess I'm not asking for advice, exactly (particularly not "Divorce him." Please, please, don't), but I want to hear about your own experience. Have you ever struggled with a partner who just continually made bad money decisions? How did you handle it? And mostly I just want to know that I'm not alone. Edited to add: Thanks for the thoughtful replies, everyone. It does help to know I'm not the only one who has gone through this. As far as more information, yes, my husband is being treated for his mental health, with counseling and medication. I don't need to get into the particulars of his diagnosis, but it affects his memory and his judgment and his ability to see other people's points of view. He is also, as I mentioned, a terrible procrastinator. He has other quirks, too (like refusing to use a telephone.) Yes, we've been through counseling. *Sigh* many times. We also took a couple's money course together. One thing we learned about the attitudes we picked up from childhood: I grew up in a household that was pretty comfortably situated. Not ritzy, but I didn't have to worry about money. He, however, grew up really poor, and it seems that the attitude he learned from that was, "I'm never going to have any money anyway, so why worry about it?"