Expecting Verbal Abuse

Postby BT-7274 » Wed Sep 19, 2018 8:43 pm

Currently undergoing my first real anxiety attack in years! I missed a bill payment, one, for the first time in a long time. Total accident. I have been doing our bills for over a decade. My wife saw this and, in her own way, suggested she take over the paying bills. Now, I have no problem with this. What I have a problem with is any time my wife reviews anything that I do, there’s always a verbal lashing about how I did it, what I did wrong, why I did it this way, how could I have missed this... you name it. Now she’s going to have access to our credit card and see how much is on there (I’ve never told her), and I know she’s gonna flip out. We aren’t supposed to be using it. However, we’re down to one salary and I’ve had no choice but to put things on it like med bills, DMV fees, etc. No purchases really other than paying bills. She’s already in a bad mood today and wants this info now, but I’m stalling to give it to her to give myself enough time to prepare to explain every single line item on the credit card statement; because it will be scrutinized. She’s gonna wonder why I haven’t told her about these things, but frankly it’s becaude I just handle it and don’t think to involve her. Do I have any leg to stand on when it comes to my decision on how I used the card?
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#1

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Thu Sep 20, 2018 7:13 am

BT-7274 wrote: We aren’t suppose to be using it. Do I have any leg to stand on when it comes to my decision on how I used the card?


The short answer, no.

If I’m your partner and having agreed the card is not to be used, but then unilaterally you decided to run up a bunch of debt and call that “handling it”, I would consider it a major violation of trust.

In fact, in a past relationship I found myself in a similar situation. My partner worked at a bank, so it was reasonable that she handle the checking account, pay the bills, etc. She handled the finances. We had two salaries, both of us just out of college, and a benefit of my job was an apartment rent free. After a year or so some discrepancies surfaced so I asked that we balance the finances together. Similar to you, she delayed. A few months passed as somehow I was never around when she paid the bills. Eventually, I discovered we were in debt and she was using one credit card to pay another. I had entrusted her with our finances. Did she have any leg to stand on?

The only defense...and it is a horrible one...is to say, “Well, you shouldn’t have trusted me.” I mean, what other defense is there? There is trying to use the line that they should have known or, “How do you think that new XYZ” appeared in the bedroom? Another is, “Well if you think you could do a better job!” All weak, all unacceptable excuses. When a person is entrusted with the finances, that is that.

My advice, don’t try to explain. Don’t try to find a leg to stand on. You have nothing. Just hand over the bills, apologize and try to move forward. Don’t agree to go through line item by line item, justifying your decisions. In my opinion that will just make it more difficult to move forward, because it will be defensive. Instead, just say that you violated the rule to not use the card, that every charge should have never happened, and that it was just one massively bad choice to start using the card. That way you reduce your bad decision to ONE bad error instead of arguing over hundreds of individual decisions one line item at a time.
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#2

Postby BT-7274 » Thu Sep 20, 2018 6:49 pm

Rent-free? Nice!

Great advice, Richard. Just own up to the whole thing as one big fault on my part, and don’t let either of us get caught up in the minutiae of what is on the card.

Thanks!
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#3

Postby MaryAnderson » Fri Sep 21, 2018 5:19 am

I completely agree with Richard, just stay calm and be patient.
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#4

Postby BT-7274 » Fri Sep 21, 2018 7:18 pm

Thank you. In no way was I attempting to deceive or hide anything from my wife. It was just my way of handling the bills coming in without stressing her out since she’s under a lot of pressure. We had the discussion, she is very concerned, but is now going to take over 100% of our finances so I can’t screw up again.
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