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Ended up in a bit of a pickle

Community Member

Hi here ,my first post here. I'm in a bit of a pickle.

Mid 50s bloke. Married with 3 grown up kids, 1 still at home. IT since the 80s. Made good money most of the time, over 100k often 175k. We're shocking with $. Gets frittered away. We rent a nice house near the water in QLD. I last drove a car worth than 6k in 2003. She went back to study as a counselor a decade ago, works in the field (now earning 90K +) We have personal loans which were are a problem.

I've lied to her about how much money was coming in, due to panic about not having enough & blind hope things would work out. Not proud of it. Given up hope of being secure financially but would do anything to not having to panic about it constantly. I've been with her since we fell pregnant when we were 24. The only time I ever looked at another woman was 4 years ago with someone who was actually fairly famous 'back in the day". My wife found our e-mail - including the ones were we decided that we'd stay loyal to our spouses. I'm the "baddie" for lying to her about money and for having looked at another woman. Our living conditions are are atrocious. Sadly my wife isn't a great housekeeper. I help where I can but I've almost given up. We live in a chaotic clutter that I panic & despair at. The house often looks like it's been ransacked and all the bedrooms have piles of washing & clutter The response about this is "you should be doing more." I have bad asthma and suffered a heart attack when I was 45 which has left me with heart rhythm problems. (Family has no history of cardiac problems aside from me.) Beta blockers and meds for blood pressure, and now medication for the stress. I've been to two counselors. Basically told get the hell out of the situation for me own sake, but I love my wife who is a lovely woman and don't want to do this.

I'm suffering from near constant anxiety about money with panic attacks and feel a failure despite having what most people would call a successful career, live in a beautiful house that I dread coming home to because of the mess AND I get to be the villain. I'm not a bad bloke. I feel like I've willingly given my life to be a good husband and father but am now worn to a nub. I used to be able to get relief from things when I traveled for work and was away from home but the dread of coming back home is following me around. So much for the sob story and I openly admit that the situation is entirely of my own doing.

I'm really at a loss at to what's next.

1 Reply 1

Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Justsomebloke~

It sounds like a mess, but I'd be very very surprised if things can't improve a lot. From the sound of it a huge trigger is your financial situation and your wife's reaction.

Having not been straightforward over money matters with your wife was probably rather silly, however I've no idea of the circumstances, or the pressures you may have been under to keep everything going smoothly. No doubt your wife will have found the true situation a surprise and you may not be regarded as reliable by her as a result. Nevertheless she does have her own resources.

With the emails, I think the fact you decided not to have an affair is a pointer to the love you have for your wife -anyone can be attracted to another, however thoughts are just that, thoughts, not actions. Hopefully your wife can see that in time.

I loved the way you said " since we fell pregnant", again I think your partner is in some ways at least pretty lucky.

Both of these hassles are two-person problems. Can I suggest that rather than going to counseling by yourself you see if you can persuade your wife to join you in fixing both of these things - irrespective of if she feels she had any hand in their causes?

One of the big blockers I've found in myself is guilt, which tends to stop me taking steps to remedy things and at the same time stops me from seeing if others would want to help. While that may apply to you with the financial mess, perhaps it applies to your wife too with inability to budget, a dislike of doing things around the home, and perhaps even a little self-blame that for a moment you were tempted elsewhere.

I'm guessing, probably complexly off track. However she may have reasons that hold her back. Talking together may well be what turns the corner for both of you - what do you think?