Newflash: It's not going to get any better. That's is the only advice I can give you. You have been dealing with this man for years, through the lies and deceit, the selfishness but you thought maybe a ring would change it but it didn't. You allowed a man that did not contribute one red cent before or after dictate what kind of home you would purchase? Then you went on to have a baby by him, basically tying yourself to this man for a lifetime all while you worked and he reaped the benefits (I'm almost dizzy). You have cashed out your 401k, you continue to enable him by giving him money when he ask, you have never put your foot down and shown any kind of backbone that he would respect then to top it off, you say you don't want to leave. I'm not sure what kind of advice you are looking for here. Did you just want to vent?
In situations like this, where kids are involved, I always wish people would take their feelings and emotions out of it and think about your kids. Is this how you want your kids to grow up behaving or patterning their lives after? Do you want to give them any kind of inkling that this kind of emotional, finanical relationship is okay? It is exactly what you are doing. Your children deserve better, you deserve better and no man can give you that because it comes from within. Good luck to you and whatever you decide.
This subject is touchy. I too believe in commitment and a long lasting marriage as I've been married 19years now. Having said that. You seem to be the only one committed to the marriage. It takes 2. Having kids together is not a good excuse for staying together. When you look at it another way, kids learn from their environment and although we as parents try our best to safe guard our babies from seeing any type of negativity or stress in a relationship, finances has always been at the top of the list for stress and eventually divorce.
You've already admitted to marrying him KNOWING that he was not fiscally responsible and keeping secrets from you, why do you think that will change? As your kids become older, neither of you will be able to hide his indescretions. Things will become more and more vivid to them. In addition, they could potentially follow in the same footsteps of either parent when it comes to Life Lessons 101. I would think of them first. The debt that he's secretly building will become yours the longer you stay in this marriage. If you're not getting anything out him now that will not change. He didn't care before you were married and it sounds as if marriage and children doesn't mean enough to make him change those ways. Save yourself and kids. Don't be the doormat that he sees in you, but a woman who preservered through a troubled marriage. Need moral support? Tony A. Gaskins, Jr. Look him up, read his books. I'm sure this may not be the response you were looking for but what's great about this forum is that it is truly a great support system. I don't think you would be here if you didn't feel the same way.
OP, I want you to know that I sympathize. Marriage is not always easy and leaving is not always the right answer.
I also want you to know that when people broach the subject of leaving, they aren't doing so flippantly. You are in dire straights. You have straight-up blown money that should have been funding your living expenses for retirement. You didn't use it to fund your living expenses now - you (pl) used it to cover whatever the heck he's doing with HIS money and not telling you.
It is not likely that he will change. I won't rule it out, because I don't know him personally and I don't believe in certainties. However, the probability is that what you have been going through to this point is only going to continue, and likely get worse.
I am a divorcee. My ex-husband is the one who asked for separation, and then I asked for the divorce. I would never have gone on my own (separation) - I was too determined to make it work at any cost. I don't have children involved. But it was harming me severely. I stayed for an extra 18 months trying everything I could think of to make it work. It ultimately didn't.
If you are absolutely determined, you can
* insist he go to counseling with you.
* go to counseling yourself, regardless of whether he goes with you or not. (I recommend this highly. Please do this.)
* offer to attend credit counseling with him.
* spend 1 hour per day going over his financial situation together, then 1 hour a week doing something fun together to get your minds off things.
Then you could say you did something. However, I'd say you've already done a whole lot. Read your post again. How long has this been going on? More than 3 years, on my reading. Read again every action you've taken to try to remedy the situation.
Frankly, it sounds exhausting. And trust me, I don't say so judgmentally. I say so because I've been there (just that my situation wasn't financial), always having to chase someone down for answers and for help, always being left out of the loop.
I encourage you to start with a counseling appointment for yourself, and to consider joint counseling. It may or may not fix your issues with your husband - he may or may not agree to go at all - but it may elucidate some things for you in the process.
Remember that even a healthy car needs a tune-up sometimes; nothing has to be "wrong" with you to seek counseling from time to time.
Best of luck OP.
We need a hug button to along with the kudos button for threads like this. I wish I could give the OP a hug. Hopefully she will come back.
Things need to be transparent. He needs to come clean and you all together set a budget. If he can't do both of these things its time to plan your escape. The first Mrs Backwoods made great money but could spend it even faster. At that time I owned a very seasonal business. It made good money BUT I had to find new ways to make money in the off season because she had already spent my whole years income and had nothing coming in for several months. I became a nervous wreck. I felt much better after I left.
The DW and I have been married 18 years. It takes both giving 100% not 50/50.
If the both of you are not on the same page, you will never win with money, OR win at anything else for that matter.
I agree on the counseling. Just keep in mind he may not be willing to go which would be telling in itself. You might also mention to him about the forum here and see if he is willing to join it. He may want to change but doesn't know how to ask for help what to do. Also you need to protect yourself by making sure you have your own credit history and consider a good credit monitoring/ id theft service if you can afford to do that.
I would recommend seeing if he is willing to combine your finances, but all under your name. Does he work a regular job? Yes I'm still a young student but I've seen things get better with counseling and combining finances. Best of luck OP, and I do hope for you, him, and especially the child(ren) that all works out for the best.