We need to sell the house.  DH will not talk about it.  Yesterday I found out he had not paid last year's Real Estate Taxes...we are now fined and charged interest which we can't afford. AND this year's real estate is coming up!  A couple weeks ago our electricity was turned off because he did not pay the electric bill for 4 months....not telling me.  He has his messy horading in (what once was) 2 beautiful sheds, 1 garage and a large office.  How do I get the house ready to sell?  This accumulation of mess is WAY beyond my ability to clean up.  He rents 2 warehouses/machine shops that are draining profits from his not so profitable business.  They are filled to ceiling with dirty messy stuff.  ie:  He told me he took his truck to bring our old carpet to be disposed of a few years ago....instead I found out he is "storing" it at his shop so that he didn't have to pay for the disposal. He is not willing/able to clean it up himself....he doesn't SEE it?  Any suggestions?  Are their agencies/professionals/people who can help with this type of thing?  PLUS the fact that he will not admit that he is not paying even HALF of our expenses?  PLUS the fact that he has a separate checking account in his name only that he uses as a cash clearing house for himself? I am in a financial pickle. I feel like such a fool. I don't know how to get him out of his mess....and now it is MY mess to pay for his messes.  Melissa, tell me.  How much am I supposed to do/not do for/with him? What professionals can I find to have some peace of mind and help me clear things up?  I am drowning and it feels like he is using me as a floating device!  How do you partner financially with a person who is not able to partner with you?  AND not become their mother or co-dependent?  ALL my boundaries have been crossed multiple times.  I can't retire by myself because of social security inequities for moms/wives.

so sorry

Hi Jenna,

Just read this and want to tell you, first: I am so sorry. I know that you are going through a pretty tough go of it. So your DH, his finances, and the mess sound pretty out of control. I hope you can extricate yourself before he takes you down the financial tubes--would it be worth the retirement (SS) to have him completely destroy your credit and plunge you into debt? Or what about a legal separation (my understanding is that it would allow you to share health coverage and benefits but designate which financial responsibility is whose)? Can you go see an attorney for advice? No one has to know until you make a decision. It may help you understand fully what your legal options are. My opinion is, if you have been trying for this long to get him to listen, and he won't, then you have more of a need to take care of yourself, and your future, than you have an obligation to help him straighten this out. 

If you want to get your house or shared spaces ready to sell, can you hire a few people from a moving company or a college or something to just come in and do that? Put it in bins and take it away--to a storage facility, whatever?

Thinking of you and best of luck to you. Hugs. 


Legal separation

From the little I have explored, in a legal separation I think the judge determines who gets to live in the house (so he would HAVE to leave) and how money is appropriated for you and the kids to live on. Maybe he can be in charge of his warehouses and other expenses that you don't want to carry? Let him lose them, and then you don't have to clean them up. And that goes for anything else he won't clean up. Possibly you could ask a charity to come weekly and carry away things you set out on the curb if he won't come get them? At least you'll get a tax deduction. I couldn't get one ex out for two years after we divorced. Finally I just started setting his stuff by the curb and told him I wasn't going to be responsible for what happened to it. He came and got everything.

Sounds like you are really in deep, but to get things straightened out, you may have to get him out first legally. Good luck.

Maybe you could call your

Maybe you could call your city or county social services agency and talk to a social worker.  I'm wondering if getting the involvement of a governmental "helping" agency might (1) take off some of the legal pressure for the taxes; (2) force help on your husband.

For JennaLemon

I think you are getting some good advice here.  My opinion is:

  • talk with a lawyer about your rights and potential next steps re: the marriage or separation or whatever you are considering.  Your lawyer may also be able to give you some advice about how to protect yourself financially,,,
  • talk with your town about the taxes to find out if there is a way to get onto a payment plan or something
  • talk with your realtor about options for getting the house ready to sell (they usually have some ideas and resources for this sort of thing).  There are a bunch of options, including getting Pods or storage spaces and just moving all the junk out (keep what you need in a closet or something)  You can also use a dumpster, and use FreeCycle to give things away to others who want the stuff (for free, but it doesn't go into the trash stream, at least).  Hire some local high schoolers for the carrying and packing if you need to.

Another resource might be Stephanie Sarkis, who specializes in helping those with ADHD manage their finances.  She has a book out on the topic and would likely send you in the direction of other resources if you contacted her.

Make sure you have a good "support net" of friends or family in place.  I suspect you are going to find out some more things about what your husband has been doing financially that will be a shock and may need the moral support.