From reading this, the OP should definitely take full control of her money and credit cards to stop the damage and bleeding. However, please be careful as the spouse could flip on her as Bungalow mentioned. This is a possibilty. I hate to see this relationship play out but its more common than you think. At this stage, you are looking out for your kids wellbeing, even if it means leaving him.
The spending is a symptom of a bigger problem. Him. I am currently cleaning up my life after financially ruining myself after years of substance abuse. I can only equate this to something similar. I used substances, your husband uses shopping. He just can't help himself. It would have been similar to handing me a bag of dope and saying "Hey, don't shoot this.". What would I have done? I would have shot it. For your husband it's shopping. You handing him credit cards and saying "Please don't use these" means nothing. He gets instant gratification. It's money to spend. He may get a high from it. You will not make him financially responsible. Isn't going to happen. The only way he sees the light is to admit there is a flaw in him somewhere that needs to be addressed. Unless you are going to babysit him 24/7.
The way I see it is this. You have options
-Ignore it and keep going as you are
-Therapy. For him. Not couples therapy, but there is likely depression there that needs addressed.
-Take all finances out of his hands and hope for the best.
Now, I am not a saint, and I am not Mr. Flawless Credit. But through my own problems I have experience in what personality disorders and addiction can do to someone. Drugs, gambling, shopping, it's all the same. Different symptoms, same problem. He likely does not want to hurt you, but he just cannot control himself. Addiction issues put your own needs before everybody elses.
I hope everything works out for you OP.
I only have one word... budget.
If for 1 week you can keep track of how much you are spending and then sit down and go over your [Wants & Needs] and then times it by 4 this will give you an idea of how much you are spending and then you can decide on which bill is more important to pay. I had to go thru this when I went from $700,000 a year to $200.00 a week. It was a terrible shock to me not having all the things I thought I needed and it put me in a deep depression. If you are noticing these problems, you should take over the finances if you can and put him on a strict budget and yourself. After I went thru my depression and kept track of my wants and needs I realized I didn’t need to be paying a $800.00 per month cell phone bill for my teen daughter, also $350.00-$400.00 for all the cable channels. You dont want to get to a point where you are loosing your home, your car, having to change cell phone companies because you cant pay the bill. Also, dont be ashamed to buy one of those pre-paid cell phones and get on a budget of paying the same every month, a lot of those online cell phone places have plans for more the one phone.
I hope this helps and good luck.
I keep thinking that surely there are other people that have this figured out. But we always seems to be drowning. .... It shouldn't be this hard.
Big hugs offered to you! That's a really stressful thing.
What other people have "figured out" is when you're partnered with someone who's being responsible, the financial stuff can be really easy. My fiance and I have been through MAJOR financial changes--him primary breadwinner, me primary breadwinner, renting, living on the streets, with family, medical bills, etc. He liked to be spendy as a stress reducer, and when he suddenly found himself dependant on my SSI income (which is purposefully designed to not be enough for one person to live off of, let alone two) he had to learn QUICK not to spend. So, I taught him.
The difference is he actually listens. He learns. Not because he wants to, but because he loves me enough and hates debt enough to be willing to put in the hard work. He made a few mistakes along the way, and he learned from them and resolved to not repeat them.
This is the factor I see missing from your posts. It's the magic ingredient. And if he's not willing to bring that magic ingredient to you, then there is no hope for change.
I'm so sorry.
<SNIP!>The difference is he actually listens. He learns. Not because he wants to, but because he loves me enough and hates debt enough to be willing to put in the hard work. He made a few mistakes along the way, and he learned from them and resolved to not repeat them.
This is the factor I see missing from your posts. It's the magic ingredient. And if he's not willing to bring that magic ingredient to you, then there is no hope for change</SNIP!>
You're correct!!! The main ingredient is, INDEED "L-O-V-E"... if it's no longer there, run! Also, just WHO does he love and what does he love comes next - if you're his first answer, your problem is solved - your money and your credit is simply off-limits...PERIOD. To me, if I were in the same situation he was in with my one and (so-far) only TRUE love, it's a no-brainer...I'm with my queen and love of my life 100%.
I put certain people on as AU to help build their scores but I ALWAYS cut up the cards and they do not use the cards at all. That has worked for me.
I feel your pain. I used to have a spouse like that....