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Topic : 06/10 Marriage Crisis: Drowning in Debt

Number of Replies: 78
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Created on : Thursday, December 04, 2008, 12:01:38 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1
(Original Air Date: 12/08/08) Money is the number one reason why couples say they get divorced. The country’s current financial crisis has resulted in more and more households getting buried in a landslide of debt, which takes its toll on a marriage. Meet Chris and Pam, a couple who after 10 years of marriage face a financial disaster. How did they rack up $624,600 in bills? Pam, who entered the marriage with very little debt, says Chris is responsible for 75 percent of their deficit. Should she have seen the warning signs before they got married? Chris admits he spends money very easily but says he’s tired of his wife placing all the blame on him. After spending thousands on unfinished household projects and allowing his adult daughter to live with them for free, is Chris to blame? Pam is heartbroken that they may lose the house that she bought with her own money before she tied the knot. But that’s not the only reason why she now wants a divorce. Find out what she’s trying to avoid. Can this couple save their house and their marriage? Can they dig themselves out of the red without filing for bankruptcy? Financial expert Amelia Warren Tyagi weighs in. Plus, don't miss tips for getting out of debt. Join the discussion.

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December 8, 2008, 9:44 am CST

12/08 Marriage Crisis: Drowning in Debt

Quote From: fionnuala

I'm no expert, but looking on as an observer, it seems to me that a lot of these people who remortgage their homes and have severe credit card debt are in many ways responsible for the actual financial difficulties the US as a nation is experiencing and (by snowball effect) the rest of the world. It seems perhaps very simplistic to say this but everyone participates in one way or another in our society. Debt has no limit. Those who go into bankruptcy (in my opinion) are a strain on banks and other financial institutions - someone eventually has to pay the bill. The debt incurred doesn't just disappear. I think it's highly irresponsible for people to live beyond their means and to spend money that simply isn't theirs to spend. I think people should get realistic financial advice from banks, etc., and credit card providers and lenders should be made more accountable. More people should be means tested (before being allocated a loan) and if that means setting up a national data base on people's incomes or credit ratings, it will unfortunately be at the expense of personal liberties. Tough decisions will have to be made, the honeymoon period is over.

Not all of these cases are people spending beyond their means! Yes most are, but take me for instance. My husband and I are going to have to file for bankruptcy this year because I had to have brain surgery in Sept and still have not been able to return to work. And my husband is in the construction business which has slowed down and he  also has a work related injury so his pay has cut drasticly. And we are no longer able to pay all of our bills. So we have to decide what bills to pay each month. I have 6 medicinces and my son has 1. So of course we dont pay the credit cards. Of course we have to pay the electric and gas. And we have to have the phone and the tv for the kids to have something to do. So now we have to lower our heads and go to food pantries the last 2 months, which I have never done in my whole entire life. It is quite embarceing to tell you the truth. So not all people are just spending and living beyond their means. And my husband and I only have about $6,000.00 in Credit Card debt. So please think of others before you post something like this, it could hurt alot of peoples feelings. LIke you posted, you are no expert!!!!

 
December 8, 2008, 9:57 am CST

12/08 Marriage Crisis: Drowning in Debt

Quote From: noxgaak

Christmas is when this always gets us.  Even though we just by for the kids, we also include the neices, nephews.  We both come from small families and the rest of our families are having it tough.  2008 has been rough, i lost my parents this year, not even 4 months apart. I'm the youngest and my silbings more or less count on me for a lot .  I know this is off topic, but I need to get it off my chest. because my parents had no wills, doing the paper work for administrator of their estates is tough.  my siblings know there is money and they are seasonal workers, and do not have any income, as they didn't  get enough hours for employment insurance.  i've already divided up $ my mom left, and that's all gone.  Now christmas is near and I feel obligated to do for them, even though I can't really afford too. HOw do you say no to your own family.?  suggestions?
Hello, For the first time I had to tell my 3 nieces and 2 nephews parents that I couldnt buy x-mas for them this year, but they all understood because they know what we are going through. They are my family!! You should be able to tell your family that you just can not buy for everyone this year. If its the adults you cant buy for then just straight out tell them you cant buy for them. I told the adults last year I wasnt buying for them and they all agreed we wouldnt buy for adults last year. You just have to be honest and up front in these kind of stituations. Good luck and Happy Holidays.
 
December 8, 2008, 11:12 am CST

do yourself a favor if you are in debt

Please go to Dave Ramsey. com

 

This is a guy that has been thru bankruptcy and recovered to write tons of books, develop what is called FPU -Financial Peace University. He can help! find out what local radio stations play his call in program. Type in Dave Ramsey on YOU TUBE and see what its all about. He helped me pull thru.

 
December 8, 2008, 11:13 am CST

Been there done that, it's not fun

Though I never owed quite that much, if I hadn't of walked away from my husband I too would be in a similar situation. The worst thing you can do sadly this day and age is trust your partner to take care of these things. Be involved in every decision, right down to your next mcdonalds trip. Watch for warning signs...I think they are both responsible, but Chris is the one who made many bad decisions. No admittance to anything, that is the sad part. He needs a reality check. Pam is a victim in many ways. She is abused in a way by this. Holding the step child over her head, because she has problems? Give me a break. She is the same age as my brother and they could be married, cause neither one knows anything about real world responsiblity. Pam trusted Chris to make the right choices, and he chose not to resolve the problems. Why should she lose her home? In my state she wouldn't have to. She should Divorce him. He does notihng but sit around, eat, make excuses, and let his daughter leach off his marriage. SAD!

 

My first husband committed suicide over his lies and debt, that most of he neglected to tell me about. I knew about some of our money probs but not till he died did I get the full scope. I filed for bankruptcy too. I just paid hopefully the last back tax bill for that time frame. I now have a home, and a husband who I can live with becuase he is resposible...but I don't lay a blind eye to it any more. No man is worth the lives of my four children, nor the stability of being in a home with food on the table. If he is unable to get it together, then he needs to go. I won't mother any man ever again...

 

Pam you got my vote..lose that sorry excuse of a man!!

 

AO

 
December 8, 2008, 11:40 am CST

Bills and more bills

We have been married 33 years, and had our share of ups and downs, like everyone else.  We learned early on that credit cards could be a huge trap, and never, never charge more than we can pay off the next month.  We never charge meals, and if we don't have the disposable cash available for a large purchase, we sit back 30 days and wait to see if it is something we still want or need, saving for it during that time.  By "saving for it," I mean that we pull back on doing/purchasing other things to see if the large purchase is really a priority, or just a momentary desire.  I recently had a tag sale, and looked at the driveway full of "stuff" and was appalled at my own family's wastefulness.  With everything out there, my house should have been EMPTY, yet unless you looked in closets and attics, there was very little difference!  So here is our clutter-free Christmas plan.  Each of our adult children are submitting 2 bills they would like paid in January--car note, insurance, power, water, internet, whatever. Wish we could offer rent, but just can't stretch that far.  We will either cover 1 bill for 2 months or 2 bills for 1 month--their choice.  While the grandchildren are getting toys and books, the bulk of what I would have spent on them is starting savings accounts that will be added to on birthdays, holidays, celebrating good grades when they are old enough for school, that sort of thing.  We asked our kids to take the cash they would have spent on us and add to the children's accounts.  We all have too much STUFF, and at the end of our lives, or in really hard times, that stuff doesn't amount to anything. One son balked, saying he just couldn't NOT give his mom something for Christmas--we agreed that he could buy me a movie pass, since I love to see movies and it is one of the things we don't do very often. The other son agreed to limit his spending to a modest restaurant card, so we could go have dinner after the movie.  Holidays don't have to create financial stress-they just need to be approached with common sense.  Debt is the same way--if you don't have it, DON'T SPEND IT. Finish one thing before moving on to another. Always hold some money back for a rainy day, for those days will surely come.  Work hard, save hard, have some fun along the way, and don't think you have to have everything you see.  Works every time!
 
December 8, 2008, 1:11 pm CST

circumstances

Quote From: zipperheadmom

Not all of these cases are people spending beyond their means! Yes most are, but take me for instance. My husband and I are going to have to file for bankruptcy this year because I had to have brain surgery in Sept and still have not been able to return to work. And my husband is in the construction business which has slowed down and he  also has a work related injury so his pay has cut drasticly. And we are no longer able to pay all of our bills. So we have to decide what bills to pay each month. I have 6 medicinces and my son has 1. So of course we dont pay the credit cards. Of course we have to pay the electric and gas. And we have to have the phone and the tv for the kids to have something to do. So now we have to lower our heads and go to food pantries the last 2 months, which I have never done in my whole entire life. It is quite embarceing to tell you the truth. So not all people are just spending and living beyond their means. And my husband and I only have about $6,000.00 in Credit Card debt. So please think of others before you post something like this, it could hurt alot of peoples feelings. LIke you posted, you are no expert!!!!

Everyone has their own set of circumstances that lead them to debt.  The previous quote is from someone who had extensive medical procedures and job loss occur in their family.  Thankfully there are government and other programs to help people who need some support.  If the US government continues in debt like it is, we can only hope these domestic aid programs will continue to be available in the future.  The US gov't is in debt too, huge debt!  People need to do what they can and get help where they can when hardships occur.  No one should be embarassed to ask for help if help is needed.
I don't think that is what most of the posts here are about.  I think people who do manage their money well, and who have not had hardships as mentioned above, are frustrated with people making bad money decisions - simply purchasing (using credit & extensive loan amounts) more than they can afford, or more than they can afford to pay off in a reasonable amount of time.  Bankruptcy affects everyone in the long run.  Unnecessary bankruptcys are ones that occur mostly due to bad decisions.
 
December 8, 2008, 1:43 pm CST

It's not fair though.

I realize that things happen that is beyond our control that sometimes people cannot bounce back like medical or loss of job.  BUT WHAT MAKES ME SOOO MAD is the people that live in big fancy cars, big fancy houses, nice furniture, nice schools for the kids, dresses like they stepped out of vogue, always have big Christmas' and always acting like they are big dodo all on credit cards.  They should not be able to file bankruptcy for living high on the hog with money they don't have.  I don't feel sorry for them.  Dang it - it's not fair.  I live in a modest home, used furniture ( some new) drive my cars until and after they are paid off, and live within my paycheck every week.  I do live paycheck to paycheck.  I'm not saying that I don't.  I have a wonderful husband of 32 years and three grown successful sons and I raised them to be the same way.  NO credit card debt.  Yes to student loans.  People look down on us like we are not as good as the "rich" folk who are faking it.  I'm probably happier than all of em put together.  No pucker factor.  No rolls royce either.  Suck it up and pay for it, if you wanted to live the high life then do it on your own dime.  Not mine. 
 
December 8, 2008, 1:51 pm CST

Sorry if I hurt your feelings ...

Quote From: zipperheadmom

Not all of these cases are people spending beyond their means! Yes most are, but take me for instance. My husband and I are going to have to file for bankruptcy this year because I had to have brain surgery in Sept and still have not been able to return to work. And my husband is in the construction business which has slowed down and he  also has a work related injury so his pay has cut drasticly. And we are no longer able to pay all of our bills. So we have to decide what bills to pay each month. I have 6 medicinces and my son has 1. So of course we dont pay the credit cards. Of course we have to pay the electric and gas. And we have to have the phone and the tv for the kids to have something to do. So now we have to lower our heads and go to food pantries the last 2 months, which I have never done in my whole entire life. It is quite embarceing to tell you the truth. So not all people are just spending and living beyond their means. And my husband and I only have about $6,000.00 in Credit Card debt. So please think of others before you post something like this, it could hurt alot of peoples feelings. LIke you posted, you are no expert!!!!

Hello,

I'm sincerely sorry for your troubles and I hope that things will improve for you and your family. Your health is your number one priority. I must remind you that I did not say everyone was spending beyond their means. I was in fact referring to former Dr Phil guests of about a month ago who went bankrupt twice and still continued to spend and spend. I'm aware that not everyone is so irresponsible. You yourself say in your second sentence that most people are, so you do agree with me in some respects. We don't have any credit cards at all as a matter of fact. We only spend within the limits of our bank account and never a penny more. But what do I know, I'm no expert!!!!
 
December 8, 2008, 1:55 pm CST

trapped

        I have recently discovered that my husband has taken 43,000 in cash advances out on credit and has gambled it away.  This transpired in less than one year and incidently began right after we bought our first home, which has a huge mortgage.  I feel like he is a noose around me neck.  He has always been irresponsible with money and on several occassions I have bailed him out by the thousands, even before we were married.  Yes, I'm an idiot.  I feel like I too, am in a parent child relationship, feel no love for him and certainly have no desire to be intimate with him.  Pretty much everything the wife said on the show.  I will be getting an inheriance soon, and I don't want his grubby hands getting near it.  I should divorce him, of course, the problem is, he has a five year old daughter, my stepdaughter, that I love as if she came from my womb.  She has been a part of my life since she was one month old.  She loves me just as much.  If I divorce him, he will be certain I never see her again, even if to her detriment, as well as mine.  I'm sick every day over this.  I feel alone, scared and trapped.  I have often though of writing Dr. Phil, but I know my husband would have no part of the Dr. Phil show.  I live in a common law state, so what his is mine (his debt) and what's mine is his (my soon to be inheritance).  I don't have any clue what to do so every day I am in in pain and anguish over his betrayal and the thought of losing my little girl, who is the center of my universe.  Somebody help me.
 
December 8, 2008, 2:01 pm CST

premarital debt

Quote From: anneke86

My husband and I have just celebrated our 2nd. wedding anniversary and I'm not a happy camper.  He makes very good money, but racked up a hefty $80,000.00 before we were married buying one new car after another.  I've never had a new car in my life.  On top of that he has two adult, single offsprings who are totally dependent on Dad and are playing havoc with our happiness.   I need to go back to work , but hesitate doing so, because my hard earned cash would indirectly go to those losers, or pay off his stupid, irresponsible debt which I never benifitted from!  This situation is really stressful and ruining our relationship.   What is the answer?  It's too cold to jump off a bridge, but sometimes I'm tempted.  LOL
Just an FYI, the debt that he racked up prior to your marriage is his problem, not yours.  In the event you divorce, you are not liable for it.  As far as going back to work to support them...go back to work to support yourself.  Establish your own retirement account, savings accounts and spend money on what you want.  I'm so angry  at my husband for what he'd done that if I could afford it I would put myself on a plane for a spectacular vacation, but I am not working right now.  Believe you me, once I find a job, my vacation savings begins!
 
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