Wife lies about credit cards

Dear Dave,

My wife and I have been married for six years. I listen to your radio show often and we’ve done the budget and cut up the credit cards, or so I thought. It seemed like everything was coming together, but I discovered my wife keeps secretly getting new credit cards. As soon as I discover one and cut it up, she secretly gets another. How do I change her mentality of “I’ll just go get another credit card?”


Dothan, Ala.

Dear Ron,

I don’t think changing your wife’s mentality, or even the credit cards, are as big a problem as the fact that she’s willing to deceive her husband. Marriage counselor Gary Smalley says sometimes a good way to communicate how you feel about how someone’s actions have impacted you is to do a reverse word picture. Dream up something that would be offensive to her if you were doing it with the level of deception that she’s doing this.

For example, ask her how she would feel if you told her you were working late and she found out you were actually at the bar with your buddies getting drunk? She’ll probably say it would make her angry because you lied to her. Explain that this is how it makes you feel when she lies to you about the credit cards. She needs to realize that lying is damaging to your relationship and will eventually destroy your marriage.

Ron, I’m also going to guess that you’re a pretty serious tightwad. There is no excuse for her lying, but I’d guess some of this is probably rebellion because you only put 22 cents in the clothing envelope. You need to let her have some real input in your “budget committee” meetings and loosen the purse strings a little bit. If she wants to increase one budget category and, in doing so it reduces another category and makes you a little uncomfortable, you probably need to go along with that. You need to come to an agreement on how your money is spent instead of trying to force her to spend the way you want.

Many times, issues like this aren’t just the fault of one party or the other. However, lying is one of the worst things you can do to mess up a relationship. If you can’t come to some agreement on this and not be liars, you’re going to need to get some serious marriage counseling.


Keep my small business or take a new job?

Dear Dave,

I own a small repair business. I’ve committed to $14,000 in phone book advertising over the next year and I’ve won a couple of work agreements with local apartment complexes to pay for that. Last year I made $17,000 in net profit on this business. Now, I’ve been offered a job working for another company four days a week for $35,000 a year. I like the opportunity the new job offers, but I really like the prospects my business offers as well. Should I take the job and what do I do about my obligations?


Boise, Idaho

Dear Rich,

If you like the prospects for the new job, you should take it. You could try to transfer the new work agreements to someone else who does the kind of work you do and get a fee in return. That would help you pay for the phone-book ads.

However, if you really like the work you’re doing, and it sounds like you do, why can’t you do both? You mentioned that you would only be working four days a week at your new job. What if you spend the other three days fulfilling your work agreements? You could use the money you earn to pay those advertising fees. In addition, that would give you more opportunities for your future. If your business doesn’t work out, you’ve got a steady job to support you. If your business takes off, you might decide at the end of the year to dump the job and work for yourself full time again.



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