Do You Lie to Your Spouse About Your Credit Cards?

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We have a family member who constantly lies to her husband about her credit cards.

He thinks they have a great credit rating because he occasionally takes out “Six months same as cash” deals on furniture or electronics.

I know that they have a great credit rating because she has six credit cards that she’s had for years, and always makes the payments on time.

I dread the conversations where he advises me “All you have to do is take out a few six months same as cash loans, and then pay them off – it worked for us!” Inwardly I groan. We’re repairing our credit after bankruptcy, which is a serious ordeal. I don’t think a few six-months-same-as-cash loans (which we qualify for in our dreams) is going to fix anything for us.

So, I grit my teeth and cry a little inside. Not just because I know better, but because realizing their true situation makes me a party to the lie…

Yes, paying off those loans probably helped them, but it’s the wheeling and dealing going on behind his back that makes up most of their score. So I was thinking about it, and I wondered, “Is this normal?

I mean, in our pre-bankruptcy days, I’ll admit that I occasionally made purchases and did not inform my spouse of the amount, but I was the one that handled the money.

So, does my family member who’s hiding her cards feel the same way? She handles the money, so there’s no harm done?

After we declared bankruptcy my husband and I made a promise to be honest with each other, and to both try to handle the money together so that we really could have a fresh start.

So far, I’ve kept my promise. I don’t put much money on my credit cards, but when I do, my husband knows about it. I don’t give him the amount to the penny, but I do say “It was about $60” or whatever.

I think this policy has actually helped our marriage, and we have better control over our money than ever before. I can’t help but wonder though, are we the exception? Are you honest with your significant other about your debt? What about when you first met?

After I spent some time thinking about this, I surfed around a little online, to see what I could find. I came up with a few excellent articles that I wanted to share with you – in case you were interested too:

So, how about you? Have you ever told a “white lie” to your spouse about money? Do you know of family members who lie to each other about credit card debt? Are you ever caught in the middle? Tell us about it in the comments section below – It’s fine to be anonymous.

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Photo Credit: CommittedMarriage.com

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5 Responses to “Do You Lie to Your Spouse About Your Credit Cards?”

  1. 4Shiggles Says:

    Hi-

    Barring all cases of bipolar psychological disorders or extreme domestic abuse, HIDING DEBT from your spouse is in the SAME category as CHEATING! It is a deception, a breach of trust on the same scale. No, your spouse does not run the risk of bringing home cooties, or getting some bimbo knocked-up as in the case of an adulterous affair. However, your spouse will most likely bring home hardship, disgrace, instability, struggle, distrust, great expense, and the ringing of bill collectors all day and all night. Oh yeah, and don’t forget all of the missed opportunities that go by while your working two jobs to pay back credit card companies at 29% interest. Worth it? C’mon people, has the collective character of our great country stooped so low in recent times? Are unnecessary goods, services, and keeping up with the Jones of more importance than the psychological, financial, and emotional stability within your very home?

    I am what you would call a saver. This is the fashionable distinction to make these days; either you’re a SPENDER or a SAVER…whatever. Let me just say that I think this distinction is a load of crap. Either you are a responsible adult accountable for your actions, or you are behaving like an out of control child. The laws of money are based on simple mathematics that you learned in grade school. Apply them and you will reap success, forgo them and you will suffer more or less like those other fools out there right now getting foreclosed on. The banks and credit card companies don’t care how emotionally needy you were while you drank your $6 latte’s, bought a hummer, or just had to impress the neighbors with this, that, and the other thing. Unless you file for bankruptcy, you are basically on the hook, a slave to the lender. And another thing, the banks and lenders are smarter than you, they hire finance MBAs and PhDs who will work 80hrs per week figuring out how to get you in debt and keep you there.

    How do I know this – EXPERIENCE. I was married to just such a person; she duped me three times in our 8yr marriage. Each time with a promise to change and that it would never happen again. I bailed us out of it each time, and when enough time went by and I let my guard down, she did it again. This third and final time I am forced to file bankruptcy, attempt to sell my house in a down market (all offers have been less than I paid for the home), my credit is ruined because she put my name on some of the cards which she never intended to pay, and to forfeit all of the sweat equity that I put into this home over the past four years of back breaking renovations that were done on nights and weekends after my 60 hour work week.

  2. Jenna Says:

    4Shiggles,

    Thank you so much for your incredible comment. Let me take a minute to respond to what you said.

    “Either you are a responsible adult accountable for your actions, or you are behaving like an out of control child.”

    Yes. I totally agree with this. The older I get, the better I learn it too. I think a lot of people want to feel that someone else is responsible for their debt (or for paying it off). Our bankruptcy pretty much jerked the blinders off for us on that one.

    I don’t know what it is. If it’s just not wanting to be responsible, or simply not being able to control yourself, or plain stupidity. I think a combination of the three is what happened to us. We’re learning, thankfully, but still…

    “And another thing, the banks and lenders are smarter than you, they hire finance MBAs and PhDs who will work 80hrs per week figuring out how to get you in debt and keep you there.” Yes, that’s very true too. It starts young too – with ads like this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ETOnpBtN25c (Barbie: Shop on Credit Commercial)

    “How do I know this – EXPERIENCE. I was married to just such a person; she duped me three times in our 8yr marriage.”

    I am so sorry to hear this. You know, I don’t think there is anything I could ever say that would make things better, but I can say that I’m glad you are no longer going to be in that situation. Very glad.

    It is hard when one spouse is undermining the other, and it’s pretty impossible to fix things if they refuse to stop.

    Thanks again for taking the time to leave a comment and give us the benefit of your experience.

  3. Sharon Says:

    I’ve never lied about my credit card balance.

  4. suzett herbort Says:

    can a cc still charge late fees and interest on a closed account.

  5. Wife Lied Says:

    My wife has her own credit card, and part of our JOINT goals agreed upon was to never carry a balance, and use the ONE joint card we have and pay that to zero each month. Common knowledge: carrying credit card debt is the most stupid thing you can do financially. Each month has been a struggle to make our budget. We typically raid savings in order to ensure all debts are paid, including our credit cards.

    So I take on a second job, cut spending everywhere I can, and let my wife know how important it is to me and how stressed out I am about our financial situation. She says all the right things, and seems to be making an effort to curtail spending. Then things get worse – an adjustable rate mortgage on our home has to be converted to a fixed rate now, or risk the negative equity from allowing us to do it later. Net effect – $800 more! During the closing, I see her credit card on the bank paperwork indicating a $2033 balance. The same card we agreed jointly would never carry a balance.

    The simple truth is, she can’t control her spending, can’t honor a joint financial commitment, and would prefer to lie about it than take the heat from me on our monthly budget. Did I mention she hasn’t worked in a few years and I handle all the bills?

    Recently she started working part time – not enough to make a hill of beans difference in our monthly budget, but every little bit helps – considering the mortgage is going up $800 a month!

    How do you handle a spouse that lies about credit card debt?

    Sincerely,

    Frustrated over wife’s lie.

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