Okay, so my wife has been reading all these baby message boards lately, and usually nothing exciting is ever going on in there. At least to me – a guy – who hasn’t a clue about the female body and all its twists and turns it goes through to produce such amazing little angels in the end. (Now I’m a *master* of the body BEFORE the pregnancy starts, of course (ow ow!), but I never pretend to understand what she’s going through afterwards. And for good measure ;))
Despite this, the wife still likes to send me snippets of gossip going on in those places and half the time I just smile and nod and say things like “Wowwww, that’s crazy!” or “Awwwww, so sad :(” Or even, “That bastard! I’d never tell you you’re fat, guys can be so mean!” Etc etc.
That was, until she forwarded me THIS:
“So, I’m hiding something from my husband…. I have $18,000 in debt.
I went crazy with credit cards, making so many mistakes, and I’ve never told him anything. I’m responsible for all our money and everything in the household, but we just weren’t making enough. I’ve paid rent late a few times and he’s never noticed. I’ve kept everything to myself.
I feel horrible. He thinks we have some money saved up, but we don’t. I wish there was a way out of this before our baby is born. Anyone else dealing with massive debt? I’m so scared.”
DANNNNNNNG!!!! $18,000 in debt and the husband has no idea?? O.M.G. How is she going to fix this?? And HOW does the husband not know?? Does he not pay attention to anything??? What’s he going to do when he finds out?? Aghhhhhhhhhh!!!
And just like that I’m sucked in, haha… And really started thinking about what I would do too, if in her shoes. How the heck could I tell my wife – who I’m now about to have a baby with – that we’re being crushed with debt??? And can barely afford to pay rent?? And in a way where she won’t go and do something drastic now that she knows this horrible truth?? (I don’t think it’s unfair to say that hormones during pregnancy can be incredibly off the chain. Rule #1 is that you never mess with a pregnant woman!)
All kidding aside though, it’s a horrible, horrible situation to be in. And one I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. ‘Cuz not only do you obviously have money/budgeting issues you’re dealing with, but you also have problems with communication and more than likely *trust* too. Which is never good when you’re about to start a growing family together :(
BUT, all that being said, it IS fixable! (Hooray!) It’s just a matter of finally letting the cat out of the bag and then *dealing with it* once and for all. You get it out there, allow time for calming down and sinking in, and then you *both* work on FIXING IT. Together.
I know, I know – as if it were that easy.
It’s not. And who know what will come of it once the truth’s finally set free, but I guarantee it’ll be a lot better than keeping it inside and eating you up 24/7. That’s no way to live either, and you know damn well it’s just a matter of time until it’ll come out anyways. So you rip off that band-aid as fast as you can, and then you prepare for the hell (and work) that’ll soon follow.
Going back to what I’d do though… And I sure ain’t no therapist:
- Come up with ideas on ways to FIX IT before I even deliver the news. Maybe 2 or 3 game plans or ideas so that when the news IS out of the bag, at least there’s somewhere to go next with the talks. The worst is getting bad news with no bright future to look forward to – however far away.
- Tell my wife I have something super important to tell her when she has the time, and that it’s not something good. This would hopefully a) give her time to prepare for the whopper, and B) get her thinking it’s possibly something worse than it really is. That could lean on the mean side, I’m not too sure (any therapists reading this?), but I feel like it would help soften the blow a little, or at least get her thinking about all the possibilities first so it’s not quite a shock when she finally learns the truth.
- Put on my patient pants and get ready for the blast of emotions! The anger, the tears, the frustration, the loss of hope, the bad words she’ll later take back, etc.
- Hug/kiss/love the crap out of her as soon as it’s safe to do so. This is an important one, and I stress again *when it’s safe to do so.* Everyone reacts differently, and needs different amounts of time to calm down/get their heads wrapped around everything, but once appropriate you remind the other person as fast as you can how much you love them and why you guys are together to begin with. There will be tons of problems in your lives, but love is supposed to conquer all :)
That’s what I’d do anyways. Again, no expert here… (Nor have I ever BEEN in a similar situation). In a way though, I feel like it may be easier to deliver the bad news that it is to receive it? If only for the ability to prepare beforehand? Of course it’s worse to be the one *at fault* too for such bad news – a double whammy – but at least you have the chance to think before you react. And again – it seems to me there’s some fault on the husband’s side here too, unless she’s been lying to him straight out the entire time when he *does* ask about the finances? THAT would even make it worse!
I don’t know what will happen with this new mother and her family, but I wish them all the luck in the world and pray it works out in the end. If my wife keeps me in the loop, I’ll be sure to let you guys know how it ends :) And something tells me she will, considering my immediate attention to her baby boards now, haha… What can I say, if it has to do with money it has to do with me!
What would you guys do in her situation? Have you ever *been* in a similar one before? Are you hiding something right NOW from your significant other??
Tell us in the comments below, and hopefully this will help everyone else reading this too who’s going through similar situations. This soon-to-be mom isn’t the first person to make a mistake, and she won’t be the last either. So spill your thoughts, and pray everyone who’s looking for it gets some help!
[Photo cred: Suus Wansink]
Jay loves talking about money, collecting coins, blasting hip-hop, and hanging out with his three beautiful boys. You can check out all of his online projects at jmoney.biz. Thanks for reading the blog!