How do I get him to lay his cards on the table?
January 16, 2009 6:30 PM Subscribe
Getting married in September but my husband-to-be won't come clean about his finances.
posted by anonymous to human relations (79 answers total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
My fiance is all-in-all a great guy. The most recent example: He rode several miles on his bike in the middle of the night in 20 below weather to get medicine for my cat that he doesn't even like that much---three times.
Despite his myriad good qualities, we have a major problem. He refuses to divulge how much debt he is in (I know he at least has student loans he's not paying by his huge stack of unanswered mail), nor his exact credit status which he has admitted is bad and on top of that, he appears to be in dutch with the IRS.
Neither one of us make a lot of money but we get by okay and are generally quite happy. We are looking forward to getting married but I need to have our finances straightened out (not necessarily completely paid off, but just have a plan) in order to feel secure doing that.
I know he fears my reaction when I find out the extent of things but I am sincerely not interested in judging or chastising him. I've been where he's been and know how scary it is. The difference is that I made the decision at 25 to clean up my act and be financially responsible while he's 38 and still acting like he's too cool to be concerned about such things.
I'm still working on getting my credit back but I am willing and able to be completely transparent with him about my financial status. When I try to get him to talk about his stuff he always attempts to put it off or make me feel bad for nagging him.
I'm not going to love him less if he's a million dollars in debt and has a credit rating of zero. I just need to know where we stand financially as a couple so we can make a plan to get to where we need to be.
The IRS thing is the most pressing concern for me. In 2007, he made a lot more money than he normally does and ended up owing taxes on it for which he was (surprise, surprise!) not prepared. After April 15 I asked him if he had filed and he said no, that he had gotten an extension till October. So I asked him from time to time up until the middle of October if he had filed yet and the answer was always no. I was, admittedly, a little miffed because I felt like he was procrastinating himself out of the free money that was the economic stimulus package. Technically, the money was his to do with as he wished but it still seemed unfair to me as I had spent my tax refund and stimulus bonus on furniture for the both of us and sort of assumed he would do the same as we desperately needed furniture. In addition, it just seemed emblematic of his financial irresponsibilty.
Finally, after the second filing deadline had passed I asked him again if he had filed and the answer was finally yes. I accepted him at his word and let it go. Fast forward to a couple months ago when he receives a thick letter in the mail from the IRS--addressed to the apartment we had moved from in July, long before he had supposedly finally filed.
At this point I am pretty sure he lied to me about filing and told him as much and asked to look at the letter from the IRS. He refused and insisted I let him take care of the tax situation himself. I told him all of the things I stated above...that I just wanted us to be honest with each other...blah blah blah, but he insisted it was a point of pride for him to take care of it on his own. I told him that he needed to take care of it then and I would need proof it had been taken care of and he agreed.
Currently, he claims to have asked his parents for a loan to pay his tax bill. I have no idea how much the bill is for and have no way too verify that he did what he said he did other than to call his parents and humiliate him which I won't do.
At this point, I really doubt he has done anything about his taxes and I'm feeling deceived, though I have no proof. I think he's just hoping the problem will go way on its own or I'll forget about it.
I don't want to lose an otherwise great relationship because of this, but I can't just stick my head in the sand and marry him.
This is obviously an ego issue for him and a practical and trust-related one for me. How can I get him to realize how important this is before I have to ditch him at the altar?
Also, any online resources or advice regarding the combining of finances, financial couples counseling, etc. would be greatly appreciated.