"Stories" from the Collective (YOU)

Love, Trust... And Money!

by Bruce

My long-term relationship is in jeopardy over money, trust, and poor communication. And I'm not sure what to do about it...

QUESTION: Wife Not Being Honest and Thinking Of Leaving!...

MORE FROM Bruce...

I just found out on the weekend through friends that my common law spouse was planning on moving out of our house. She was away for the weekend with her sister at the time, and I guess one of our friends phoned her and she then texted me that she was in fact planning to move out.

We have been together for about 13 years, and have lived in a house that we purchased while together for about 7 years. At the time of the house purchase, I could not qualify for a mortgage because I was self employed, and did not have a lot of credit history. The house is therefore in her and her brother's names.

I put close to $20K in cash into the house purchase, and she contributed about the same amount at the time of purchase. I have made most of the mortgage payments out of my income for the past 7 years.

Since the weekend, we have had a long talk, and agreed to give things a couple of months to see if we can put our relationship back together. In her opinion, we have grown apart, and that is partially true.

She told me about 6 weeks ago that she was re-mortgaging the house to take advantage of the new low interest rates, and to pay off a couple of her small personal bills so that her pension would provide enough funds that she no longer needs to work.

I have now discovered, only by finding the new mortgage statement laying on the dining room table, that she has in fact increased the mortgage by over $40K, and I assume put most of the money into her savings account.

I am in a dilemma! I don't really want to throw the relationship away, but I don't want to cause a huge argument by calling her on the $40K increase in the mortgage. I am quite sure that I could secure my position on the house through legal channels, but do I want to go there at this point?

Has anyone got any suggestions?


Overcome Your Insecurities: Here's How!


Comments for Love, Trust... And Money!

Bite the Bullet
by: Paula Renaye


If you look at the facts you presented, you already know where you stand. She's agreed to give it a few more months, but why? Does she want to work things out? Or is she feeling guilty for what she's done and is buying time to avoid a scene? I don't know, but I bet in your heart you do.

If you want to work on the relationship and you're both willing, do it--fast--and get professional help. You two aren't likely to solve this thing in a healthy way on your own--there's too much mistrust and tough things that need to be faced. You need a third party to help figure things out. Find a good therapist and get to work on this quickly.

As for the money, well, given the circumstances, what can you really do about it? You can ask her to reimburse your down payment from the loan proceeds--she might. Or you could try to sue her. If you're in a common law state then you can probably force her to go through divorce proceedings. Talk to an attorney to find out your options.

Whatever the case, there's no point going through the accusatory drill and making things contentious. You know what she's done and you also know she had reasons for doing it--even if you don't know what they are. You do know, however, if she had long term plans for you, you would have been involved in the house deal.

The worst case scenario seems to be that you would walk away with nothing--except, of course, your dignity, pride and an opportunity to find someone you can trust. You're in a tough situation and it sucks--big time. So, get mad--it isn't right, it isn't fair--then get over it. Accept the situation for what it is and deal with it in the best way possible.

Our true natures come out when we're under pressure--you've had a glimpse of hers. Remember, however, no matter what she does, you always have choice on how you respond. Stay calm, rational and fair--you'll be glad you did.

Take care of yourself and stay strong!

Paula Renaye
Hard Line Self Help

Return to Your Relationship Q&As.