BarbBrooklyn wrote: ↑Sun Nov 24, 2019 11:35 am
goodenyou wrote: ↑Sun Nov 24, 2019 11:22 am
This is financial infidelity. It has the same destructive power as sexual infidelity. Protect yourself first by seeking legal advice. Then seek marriage therapy if your believe it is salvageable.
The thing is, this isn't the first time. The OP has been down this road before with DH. He promises to change and is a "good boy" for as long as she is checking up on him. (Oh, wait. He drained the HELOC while preparing false spreadsheets for her to look at.)
This IS financial infidelity and financial abuse. OP asked for FINANCIAL advice. Being/remaining married to this guy is
a huge financial liability, because he has proven that he is a serial liar, at least when it comes to finances.
Maybe the OP is financially naive and doesn't see how much their current lifestyle doesn't line up with DH's and her income. Or maybe DH IS hiding a a very large boat or another child/family [maybe THAT'S what he means when he said it wasn't for HIS benefit...] somewhere.
I'd get myself to a lawyer, a forensic accountant and maybe a PI in her shoes. But first and foremost, I would be getting advice from a lawyer who was putting MY best interests upfront and who had access to all the facts.
This is indeed financial advice.
There is no point rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic as it sinks, or pretending it isn't going down. I don't know what the passengers on the Titanic could have done to protect themselves and which is way beyond the scope of this discussion, except as a metaphor for what is within the scope - which is that the OP's ship is going down. And that rearranging the metaphorical deck chairs or pretending it isn't going down will keep her from what she can indeed do - which is protect herself.
Start with a divorce lawyer. If the lawyer agrees with an accountant (possibly forensic) and/or a PI, then do as he/she suggests. I'm guessing the lawyer would have accounting and PI professionals he/she works with regularly and can recommend. This needs to be coordinated and a divorce lawyer can do that.
At this point the situation is this: The OP has been warned before that the husband will cause financial chaos and ruin. He is a serial (or perhaps chronic) financial deceiver of his wife. The husband's behavior has persisted for decades and the OP (wife) knows this. Yet she has not involved herself in financial decisions, learned about finances, or even remained aware of what has been going on. The OP either has chosen this path of leaving the serial/chronic financial deceiver in charge, or has felt at least emotionally bullied into remaining ignorant. On the other hand, maybe the husband is a great guy who makes bad financial decisions and hides them from his wife who tacitly agrees to remain ignorant, while he wants to uphold his image as a good provider and protect his wife from anxiety, and the wife colludes with him in leaving him with the burden. Who knows.
But whatever the dynamic, whatever started it, and whatever perpetuates it - the wife can choose to protect herself or can choose to try to rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic while the ship goes down.
Again - start with a divorce lawyer. Don't start with a confrontation, accusations, or anything of the sort. Just get a divorce lawyer. Yesterday would be a good time, tomorrow will have to do. No point in giving the husband more time to do whatever he might do with the remaining assets or whatever he might do as far as creating more liabilities, or even getting his own lawyer - which he may already have, we don't know.
Keep in mind that getting a divorce lawyer and getting whatever he/she recommends in the way of accountants, PI's, or whatever, does not commit the OP to divorce. It puts her in a place of whatever knowledge and power is available to protect herself. I do not see how this can happen in the absence of getting a divorce lawyer and following his/her advice toward that end (protecting herself.) Divorce may not be the best or only way to do that - I don't know but a lawyer knows and can advise her.
As that part gets started and well underway, the OP could benefit from learning about financial matters herself. Once she gets the lawyer engaged and gets whatever the lawyer needs available to him/her, then she should start learning about financial matters, not just the family financial matters but how it all works (Social Security, pensions, investing in and out of 401k's and IRA's.) No benefit to remaining ignorant.
I would make no significant financial moves until the lawyer - which OP should get by tomorrow - advises it. Otherwise, there will be no more protection for OP than there is now, and the Titanic will continue to sink as she rearranges the deck chairs. And she won't even know where the lifeboats are.
(Edited for spelling.)
I don't know anything.