My new book, The Emotionally Destructive Marriage, has been doing very well. Thanks for getting the word out to people who need to hear. Keep up the good buzz because word of mouth is the best way to market a new book. If you tweet, I can email you some key phrases to tweet if you’d like. Just e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can send that to you.
I will be doing a free seminar on The Emotionally Destructive Marriage on Friday evening, October 25th in Allentown, PA. Look for this week’s newsletter for more details. I would love to meet you.
I am also going to be offering a second 2 hour Focus Group starting late October. I know some of you missed the cut off of our first focus group so I wanted to give you a heads up that the opportunity would be coming up again. Watch your mailbox for more details. Space will be limited.
My husband is on disability. He is a video game addict and is bipolar, verbally and emotionally abusive and deceitful. He is also very bad with money. Because of this, I have had control of the finances.
He absolutely refuses to work with me, but will only have me or him in charge of the money. I can't trust him to pay bills and provide for our needs. I work and go to school full time. We have teens and a 7th grader.
I heard you on the radio and you claim it is abusive to control the finances; however, any time I allow him to use money, he squanders it and I have to figure out a way to make ends meet with what's left. I do not hold all the money, but I do tell him to pay this bill and that bill and go with him to be sure he pays it.
When I haven't, he does not pay the bill. Then when I get a shut off notice, he acts like he paid it and doesn't know what happened. He constantly asks for more money to spend and asks me to buy him things. He even tries to pressure me into buying him lunch with my scholarship money when I go to school and eat at the cafeteria. He flunked out of college because he was lazy and addicted to gaming and didn't do his homework. So my question is, what is the right way to handle this?
Answer: I share this question because it’s so easy to take something someone says out of context. I have said when one person in a marriage controls all the money and delegates the other partner to the status of a child or slave, that marriage is destructive. Yet when one of the partners is behaving like a child and is unwilling or incapable of assuming adult responsibilities, it is not abusive to control the money. It may be the wisest choice you can make for the welfare of all people involved.
I’m so glad you are taking steps to educate yourself so that you will be able to get a better job in the future. It sounds like you carry the full weight of the family responsibilities with no support from your spouse. Those who suffer from bipolar often do have problems managing money and, during a manic phase, can spend large sums of money putting the family in peril.
I have two questions for you. First, where are you getting support? Do you have family who is around that helps you? Friends? A church community? You are carrying a heavy load, friend, and sometimes as women we take care of everyone and everything but neglect ourselves. Please make sure you are taking good care of you. If you get sick or fall apart, your kids will not have a functioning parent.
My second question is, what example and influence is your husband having on your children? They see a grown man playing games all day while their mom works full time, takes care of the house and them and goes to college. They see their father be verbally and emotionally abusive and regularly lie with no consequences. What is this telling them about how men behave, how father’s treat their children or men treat their wives, or what women should endure or tolerate? Do they have good friends who have healthy dads so they get a different picture of what’s “normal”?
There are no easy answers here. It is a very real problem many women live with. Friends, what words of encouragement can you offer her about ways to get support, how to take good care of herself in the midst of all she does, or the effect this might have on her children in the future.