I have decided that I need a way to share the mistakes that I have made with you, hoping that you will learn from them and maybe avoid them. I also hope that there might be someone out there who is in the same situation that can help me along the way with the things they have learned.......Maybe we can figure this out together.
I had been keeping a secret from my husband for quite some time about our financial situation. I had let him live in a worry free, blissful existence while I was falling apart inside. I thought I was going to be able to get things under control, but this week I finally realized that everything was OUT of control. (I will share more details in a bit) I knew I needed to tell my husband what was going on, but I was so scared. I couldn't eat or sleep thinking about what his reaction would be. (And let me just say, I deserved just about anything at this point) I had thought about waiting a week until the pressure of his job eased up after some deadlines. But then I realized something. I realized that I couldn't hold it in any longer or I would break in two. My heart felt like it was beating a mile a minute and my hands were so shaky I could hardly hold on to anything. That's when he got home from work.....
I was scared.
I took some tylenol for a headache and he noticed this.
His comment was "you seem to have had a lot of headaches lately. Are you ok?"
This about killed me. Here he was showing empathy and compassion and I was about to crush his world. Pull the rug out so to speak.
I couldn't take it anymore, so I grabbed his arm, pulled him into our room and told him that I had something terrible to tell him.
Again came the concern from him. I have never felt so undeserving of his compassion and here he was worried about why I was falling apart.
So I told him. I was scared, but I did it.
"We have about 20,000 in credit card debt that I haven't told you about. If I pay our house payment, all our obligations, pay the minimum payment to the credit cards, scrimp on food and we don't eat out or go to movies anymore, we have about 200 dollars to our name each month."
I was prepared for him to yell and scream. Not speak to me for days. Accuse me of being deceptive.
That isn't what happened though....
Our conversation went something like this...
Him: How did this happen? (in a very loving tone)
me: We really have never been able to afford our house. I just kind of payed with a card here and there, until I looked and realized today just how bad it is.
Him: (Thoughtful silence)
me: I am so sorry, I know this is my fault. I should have been more responsible, but now I have gotten us into a mess.
Him: It is not just your fault. I am responsible too. No, we cannot afford this house and we should never have bought it.
me: I think it is time for me to get a job.
Him: No, I don't want you to do that. I want you to stay home with the kids. You can start doing your coupon thing. (more on this later) That will help. We will be o.k. We will figure this out.
At which point he reaches out to hug me and yet again console ME!!!
I am married to a man that amazes me at every turn. Yes we have our problems, our arguments and our differences. But this wonderful man that I married, who I really thought would explode and not speak to me for days, showed me once again what an incredible person he is.
I can't even begin to describe the relief that I felt. First for finally telling him and getting it all out in the open, but mostly for knowing that he still loved me. It felt like the flood gates opened and all of the worry washed out and the relief filled in.
Yes, I am still stressed and worried about our finances. But now I have my partner to share the burden with me. One that he could have just said, "This is all your fault...deal with it!" He has let me know that we are in this together and we will get through this together.
I would like to write this and tell you that I am just as much of a Saint as my husband. But I can't. I realized over the last week that much of my frustration and stress has been directed towards my children. I have not been abusive by any means, but I have been short with my words, impatient, and too flustered to sit with them and help them or listen to them when they need my time. I have been frustrated when they don't pick up after themselves or they leave the lights on.
So, last night I decided that I needed a way to air all of my stress. A way that I can rid myself of the negative. A place to put it, so that I can be like my husband and respond with love.
So folks! This is it. This is the place that I will put my stress and work through my frustration. This is the place that I will bounce off ideas and hopefully come away with a better perspective of what I need to be doing.
I am making it public so that if anyone out there has a similar situation, or an idea of how I can right my wrongs, we can all share and walk away feeling a little better about ourselves.
There you go, in a long explanation. This is the beginning of what I hope to be a really good thing!