dougfir

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About dougfir

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    Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

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  1. dougfir

    Honesty Problems in Marriage

    That is great that you are open and honest about your behavior and that you have progressed together. Thank you for the ideas!
  2. dougfir

    Honesty Problems in Marriage

    Great comments - thank you!
  3. dougfir

    Honesty Problems in Marriage

    I agree that I need to love her as is. I'm not counting on her changing. I want to figure out how to change my feelings and love her more anyway, warts and all. I don't think she is going to sink us financially at this point. She knows that I'm watching and I do the bills now. But I can't seem to stop distancing myself when I catch her in another lie, big or small. It happens all of the time. Separation and divorce are too harsh. Not worth it to me. The devastation to her and the kids (even though they are grown) would be worse than the dishonesty, even if it is ongoing. Thank you for your comments!
  4. dougfir

    Honesty Problems in Marriage

    I agree with your statements but I can't come up with a good answer to the problems. I have established a clear boundary but there's no penalty other than her having to see my displeasure. I don't know what a good penalty would be without feeling like a mean and controlling husband. I want to treat her like an adult. She doesn't seem to care how I feel about her secret debts. The first credit card took me 8 years to pay off working a second evening and weekend job (we didn't have the money to pay it off at that point in our marriage). I missed all of my kid's Saturday sports events, a lot of family events, etc. I don't think she understands how hard that was for me. She really hasn't said anything about it and to this day (if the topic comes up which is virtually never) she says she used the credit card to pay family bills because I didn't make enough to cover them. This is not true at all. She was buying extras on the credit card and then couldn't pay family bills on time because of the card payments. Thanks for your thoughts!
  5. dougfir

    Honesty Problems in Marriage

    I agree completely. I know it's an emotional pick-me-up. She also buys some stuff for our kids that she knows I would not want her to because she is looking for approval. She wants to be the champion in their eyes. I know there is no magical solution. I now react to her behavior much better than I used to. But I still feel emotionally distant because of the pain I feel. Wish there was some way I could erase all of my negative feelings and get close to her like a good husband should. I feel like a bad husband most of the time. My mom has cancer right now and my parents think I'm a golden child because I help them a lot. They aren't perfect either but I feel a bond with them that I don't feel with my wife. But I also don't live with them. Thank you for your response!
  6. dougfir

    Honesty Problems in Marriage

    It is tough being married but allows for growth!
  7. dougfir

    Honesty Problems in Marriage

    Anatess2 - I have thought of this continually and have really tried to be better about my reaction to her dishonesty. In the past I would get pretty upset but that was almost 20 years ago and I have changed my approach. When it comes to the lies I usually just ignore them. I understand that it is an integral part of her personality. Her parents do it and so do her siblings and don't think it's wrong unless someone gets hurt. When it comes to her financial dealings I have established clear boundaries but separation and divorce are NOT an option for me. I haven't established a consequence for her dishonest financial dealings and am not sure what it should be. I want to treat her like an adult. Like I said in my post, she did the finances for the first 10 years of our marriage with very little interference from me although before we were married and over the years we have had countless discussions on finances and she knows exactly where I stand on credit cards and other things. But she has continued to use them secretly anyway. You are right that she disagrees with my approach. She wants to spend more money than we have in the budget. We actually do quite well financially and she has a large monthly free spending amount. I have repeatedly tried to include her in budget discussions over the years although the discussions happen less often now. She usually looks completely uninterested and won't offer any input when I ask for her opinion on it. If I push harder for her input she gets angry and then I feel angry and just have to drop it. Thank you for your input. I realize that it's tough to know what advice to give when you've never actually met the person and don't know my character. But I hope to learn and apply ideas from forum participants so I appreciate your response.
  8. dougfir

    Honesty Problems in Marriage

    Hello, I've been married for nearly 3 decades and am still struggling with how to deal with my wife's dishonesty. She is dishonest at times to cover up silly things she has done, bad spending decisions (credit cards, etc.), dishonesty in public and private conversations and so on. I can never trust that what she is telling me is accurate. My kids all notice it now and are equally frustrated by it. Our first 10 years were pretty good before I started noticing these problems in a big way. She did all of the finances and I rarely got involved. But then the first large credit card balance was discovered and I started noticing all kinds of things that I had been oblivious to. It has really affected my feelings for her. I have gone to counseling a couple of times and have come away heavy hearted because the counselors tell me that where there is no trust there is no love. I do love her but I don't trust her which encourages me to detach emotionally. I avoid talking to her because I never feel like I get the straight scoop. She is very secretive and guarded anyway and it really has been hard to have a deep, close conversation as a couple, almost since Day 1 of our marriage. I did not notice those things before our marriage. Looking back to when we were dating I realize that I did most of the talking in what I thought was a deep conversation and she would just respond with pleasantries. I feel like I always have to watch our finances because things disappear and I worry that she might start using another credit card. We have been down the secret credit card road 3 times and she doesn't seem to be sorry for doing it. I think she feels entitled because when cornered, she cites reasons why she had to use the card. My ongoing question is: How do I improve our marriage when these trust issues are ongoing problems? I want to be a good husband but I am often detached and indifferent toward her. I feel like I can forgive her for these things but they keep going on and I don't think she realizes that she has a problem. She doesn't seem to care. I feel super guilty when I go to church and hear lessons on loving your spouse and forgiveness. I am in this for the long haul but I don't know how to change my feelings of distrust in the face of ongoing dishonesty. Any ideas or thoughts are welcome.