ADHD Marriage and Money — Financial Loop De Loops

That night, I saw his face beaming with pleasure, pride, and bemusement as we praised and lovingly skewered his "other half".  It is indeed hard to think of one without the other. Together and individually, Chris and Tommy have made huge and  unceasing contributions to ADHD literacy and advocacy.

“Money issues within my marriage are what drove me to the ADHD spouses support group, and what drove my husband to treatment. This season in our dual-AHDD marriage was long, and it was terrifying. It nearly drove us to divorce, twice.”  So says Taylor J.

is it you, me, or adult a.d.d.?

Welcome the “You Me ADHD” Virtual Discussion

Have you been reading along with Taylor J., in these chapter-by-chapter essays based on reading my first book? Is It You, Me, or ADHD? Stopping the Roller Coaster When Someone You Love Has Attention Deficit Disorder

This is my way to offer a virtual discussion — open 24-7, wherever in the world you are.  Right there in the comments.

You’ll find a linked list of other chapter essays at the end of this post.

Below, Taylor J.  continues to describe  the immense impact this chapter had on her dual-ADHD marriage—and the rest of her life. Her yet-to-be-diagnosed husband spent money with abandon—and then declared she had to work more. With four young children, all of whom had sleep and digestive challenges.

Was he being financially abusive — or was he stuck in denial of how ADHD symptoms were adversely affecting his money management? Or both?

Chapter 4: “It’s Only Money, Honey!”

—  Gina Per

Our ADHD Marriage Money Woes

By Taylor J

Chapter 4 explains why ADHD can affect finances so negatively, but let’s start with the jaw-dropping statistics.

ADHD & Money Survey Says:

  • At least $67 billion, and possibly up to $116 billion is lost in workplace productivity each year due to untreated ADHD.
  • Household incomes average more than $10,000 lower for high school graduates who have ADHD, and more than $4,000 lower for college graduates.
  • Only 34% of subjects with ADHD were employed full time, verse 59% of controls.

I believe every one of those points. We’ve lived them all in our marriage.

Gina gives a breakdown of how ADHD symptoms add up to negative numbers in the bank account, along with some heart-wrenching stories. (My favorite was the lady who overspent the joint credit card by $8,000—then complained that her husband was judging her.)

Biggest ADHD Money Challenge: Poor Working Memory

Yet, what contributed most to the financial roller coaster in our marriage was actually the “poor working memory” from chapter three.

Despite his brilliance, my husband couldn’t connect the “cause” (his under-earning and out-of-control spending habits) with “effect” (our poverty-level lifestyle). He thought that I just needed to improve my domestic and thrift skills, and maybe get to work on that novel.

No one in our social circle would have believed that I was the financially responsible one. I’m obviously hyperactive in public and can be impulsive in conversations. There was also a stereotype that women are the shopaholics, and men sit helplessly by as their wives drag home bag after bag of shoes from Macy’s!

Here Is The Ugly Reality:

I worked the night shift (from home), breast-fed to save money, and went without basics like medical checkups and dental cleanings. I learned to sew, cook from scratch, scour yard sales and thrift stores for our furniture, plan grocery trips around sales and coupons, and barter for baby needs and toys. It was practically a full-time job, just to live within our means. Did I mention we had three young children (now four)?

No one in our social circle

would have believed that I was

the financially responsible one.

I’m obviously hyperactive

and can be impulsive in


Yet, I would come home from the thrift store, excited that I found a dresser for our kids for only a dollar—all it needed was a coat of paint and some hardware—and find my husband opening a $70 ratchet set. “I needed the metric kind,” he’d say, “and they were 15 percent off.”

He’s not a mechanic; he’s a math professor! He didn’t “need” this ratchet set. He wanted it.

Stories like ours happened weekly. They happen in many other ADHD marriages, too.

His Actions Countered His Words

I couldn’t understand why he’d buy expensive tools for his hobbies (or camping gear, or musical instruments) and yet had no problem with me getting public assistance when we “qualified” for it. I often wondered if I was the only wife in the food stamp or WIC line whose husband had a PhD, some great guitars, and no food in the house.

ADHD Money When he finally got a great, unviersity tenure-track job offer, he forgot to figure into his take-home pay taxes, insurance, and the cost of commuting forty miles. He was actually making less than he’d made as a graduate instructor.

“Well, I can’t work another job,” he said. “It’s in my contract. We have no other options but for you to work.”

He opposed childcare on principle—no stranger would raise our children! So it “only made sense” for me to keep working that nightshift call center job. Besides, we wouldn’t be paying for daycare, so that was a real benefit, right?

I don’t think I slept for years.

Did I mention, we had three children under 5 years old, two with medical issues that required constant monitoring?

The Chronic Summer Heartbreak

What broke my heart each year was the “Summer Issue.”

Every single year he would assure me that he would get a teaching job to cover our summer income. Every single year something came up that meant he simply couldn’t work.

Then, because there was “no other option,” I should work more and he would stay home with the kids.

But every single year, we would end up deeper in debt. Because there was no way that a sleep-deprived stay-at-home-mom of three could make the kind of money that a math PhD could. This meant that every single year, he would still want to be on the 9-month salary plan, to cover our expenses. “Besides,” he said, “I worked really hard to get that PhD. I shouldn’t have to be delivering pizzas or working at UPS!”

He never understood that I also worked really hard to earn my degree and that working a nightshift call-center job wasn’t exactly my career dreams come true.

I tried so hard, and in so many ways, to spell out what was wrong in our budget—and in our spending habits. I was a Dave Ramsey fan and loved his budgeting tools. But we could never stick with any system.

For example, despite my best attempts to explain it to him, Dr. Math couldn’t understand why we couldn’t afford to keep the girls in a private Christian school. Finally, I said, jokingly, “The only way we could make this budget work is if I either worked 60 hours a week or home-schooled and worked 40 hours a week.” He thought for a minute and said, “I think homeschooling and working 40 hours would be easier on you. There would be more variety.”

This was all “abstraction” for Dr. Math. He couldn’t see the day-to-day reality.

Was Suffering Like This Part of God’s Plan?

Even worse, we belonged to a church that emphasized that God created marriage with certain roles for women and men. The woman was always to submit to her husband, in every circumstance. Even if the husband made a wrong choice, God would honor the woman for obeying her husband, because she was actually obeying God.

I really thought God had it out for me!

Oh, and speaking badly about your husband to friends was considered gossip, and was a sin. This meant no one in my family or friend group had any clue what was going on.

When I grew physically and emotionally broken, I saw a therapist. She realized that I’d not told a soul about our financial problems. Before we met again, she said, I should talk to two friends and explain exactly what was going on in our marriage.

My friends became enraged.

“Does he think he’s in high school, where he gets summers off for the rest of his life?”

“You’re already working a full-time job as a mom.”

“It’s not like you’re in LA wanting to be a screenwriter. This is awful—when is it going to be your turn?”

I woke up after talking to my friends, and realized my life wasn’t mine; it was a juggling act, trying to make all of the circumstances work for someone else’s ideal life. That person never once reciprocated to help make a single one of my dreams come true. If I dropped even one of the balls that I was constantly keeping in the air, our whole life could come crashing down.

The Next Summer, I Set Money Boundaries

Summer was approaching again, and I asked him if he’d looked for a summer job. He got angry. He told me again that he shouldn’t have to be delivering pizzas or working for UPS with a math PhD.

Thanks to the strength my friends gave me, I was able to say, “No. You either start actively looking for a summer job, or go move in with your parents until you are ready to.”

(Those were the hardest words I’ve ever said in my life. I get knots in my stomach just writing them out.)

After eight years of dealing with this financial hell, he looked at me and said, “You mean I go without a job for one summer, and you’re going to kick me out?”

Um, no.

By then, our consumer and student loan debt was equal to twice his yearly income. I’d known for almost a year that he had ADHD. He did not agree, however,  and refused an evaluation.

I stuck to my guns—and Mr. Math PhD got a summer job delivering pizzas.

ADHD & Connecting Time With Money

If I ever need a reminder that he actually loves me, and that his behavior was a biological problem, then I need to remember that he got that job.

He didn’t want to lose me. He thought I was being completely unreasonable, and he couldn’t understand why I was making such a big deal about money. But he went and got the job anyway!

I’ll never forget the day he sat at the kitchen table in his buttery-smelling pizza uniform, with a stack of dollar bills in front of him, and said, “I worked ten hours, and this is what I get in exchange for that. This is the first time in my life I’ve ever connected time and money.”

ADHD and money

By the end of the month, he tried one of my Ritalin pills without me knowing about it. Finally he understood that ADHD was affecting his judgment and ability to connect things. He scheduled an ADHD evaluation that week.

(Unfortunately, they tried to diagnose him with depression! If he hadn’t tried my Ritalin—and had an amazing, instant response to them—they would have prescribed something entirely different. That something risked exacerbating his ADHD symptoms. Please be alert and on guard as your partner is evaluated. This happens more than most people can imagine.)

A New, Happier, More Solvent Life

Two years later, I don’t recognize our life.  Yes, we are still in our dual-ADHD marriage. But we now have money.

Dr. Math stayed with that pizza delivery job for a year. After a while, he actually enjoyed it!

He also tutored some of the other employees who were taking high school and college math classes. “Avoid student loan debt,” he told them, laughing wryly that they didn’t want to be where he was in ten years. He set a great example by working harder and longer than any other driver, chipping in to do dishes and bus tables when deliveries were slow. When it was time to move on, everyone in the restaurant offered to give him glowing job references if he ever needed one.

And I finally slept.

Believe it or not, Dr. Math has even become an excellent money manager. Right now we have money in the bank. I’m sitting here in a coffee shop, writing our story wearing good-quality clothes, with a handbag and messenger bag that’s in good repair, sipping a nice cup of coffee.

And he just got a job offer in another state for twice what he’s making at his current job.

But don’t forget, folks: ADHD isn’t real. It is s a Big Pharma conspiracy. All we need is better self-control and patience.


ADHD Marriage and Money: What’s Your Story?

Please share your experience in a comment. It might do you a world of good!  It might also let others know they aren’t alone.

  • Is money a struggle in your ADHD marriage? According to Gina’s ADHD Partner survey, 20 percent of ADHD couples have no problems in this area!
  • How have you or your partner responded to money issues? Denial? Minimizing? Black-and-white thinking? Learned helplessness?
  • What role have you taken to stabilize your financial life? Do you handle all the bills, develop budgets, dole out cash envelopes, etc.?

Read More in The You, Me, ADHD  Series:

And now for the preview of the chapter-by-chapter lineup: the book’s table of contents.  Chapter titles appearing as hyperlinks correspond to an essay in the Book Club. Click to read. 

We stopped at Chapter 20. Would you like to submit your own essay to the Book Club?  We welcome it!   “Finding Your Voice” is an essential part of slowing your ADHD Roller Coaster.   

—Gina Pera                          

Part One

From the Tunnel of Love to the Roller Coaster: Could Your Partner Have ADHD?

Section Introduction

1    Who Has a Ticket to Ride? Spotting ADHD’s Surprising Signs

2    Laying the Track’s Foundation: What Is ADHD, Anyway?

3    Deconstructing Your Coaster: Why Each Is Unique

4    Financial Loop-the-Loops: “It’s Only Money, Honey!” (this post)

5    Driving While Distracted: The Roller Coaster Hits the Road

6    Peaks and Valleys: ADHD in the Bedroom

7    More Mystifying Twists and Turns

Part Two

Roller Coaster Whiplash and G-Force Confusion: How Many Plunges Before You Say, “Whoa!”

Section Introduction

8    First Plunge: Explaining the Inexplicable

9    Second Plunge: Managing the Unmanageable

10  Third Plunge: Breaking Down in Illness—Or Through to Truth

Part Three

Your Relationship and the Art of Roller Coaster Maintenance: Four Success Strategies

Section Introduction

Success Strategy #1: Taking Care of Yourself

Introduction: The Amusement Park’s Emergency Room

11  Strategies for Right Now

12  Solving ADHD’s Double Whammy

Success Strategy #2: Dealing With Denial

Introduction: Roller Coaster? What Roller Coaster?

13  Psychological Denial: The Fear Factor

14  Biological Denial: Not Unwilling to See—Just Unable

15  New Ways to Broach “The Conversation”

16  More Solutions and Strategies

Success Strategy #3: Finding Effective Therapy

Introduction: Calling in a Consultant to Help Retrofit Your Ride

17  Why the Wrong Therapy Is Worse Than No Therapy

18  Therapy That Works for ADHD

19  More Solutions and Strategies

Success Strategy #4: Understanding Medication’s Role

Introduction: Tightening the Brakes on the Roller Coaster

This post from Jaclyn at The ADHD Homestead touches on a range of issues within this section on medication

20  Making Connections Between Brain and Behavior

21  Rx: Treatment Results That Last

22  Maximizing Lifestyle Choices, Minimizing Rx Side Effects

23 Catch Your Breath and Take Five

Appendix A:

Adult ADHD Evaluation and Diagnosis

Appendix B:

“But I Heard That…”: More Background for the Unconvinced

Appendix C:

Three Views from Decades on the ADHD Roller Coaster





20 thoughts on “ADHD Marriage and Money — Financial Loop De Loops”

  1. Taylor wrote: “realized my life wasn’t mine; it was a juggling act, trying to make all of the circumstances work for someone else’s ideal life. That person never once reciprocated to try and make a single one of my dreams come true. If I dropped even one of the balls that I was constantly keeping in the air, our whole life could come crashing down.”

    PREACH. IT. This is so my life right now.

    Financially we are at a point now where the income is more than enough to cover the bills. We have all our necessities on autopay and I don’t have to worry about overdrafting. I realize that I am in a very privileged position in that regard. It wasn’t always that way, though.

    HOWEVER–our current situation doesn’t mean that my ADHD partner and I are immune from financial issues. When we first met, he had just charged $5,000 on a credit card for custom gaming computer. What the what?!?!?! He had other consumer debt, but then once we were married and had two incomes, we managed to clean it up pretty quick.

    Long story short, we hit rock bottom in 2007 because he started a business and failed. Like Taylor, we found Dave Ramsey then and managed to become 100% debt free. It meant selling our house, which was a huge emotional blow for DH and still is (he made some comment the other day about wanting to forget that period of our life). DH managed to stick to the program because there was a goal–no debt. It was easy to watch the numbers go down and see the progress. We even managed to stick to the plan long enough to save up a downpayment again and were able to become homeowners again 6.5 yrs ago.

    However, once we were debt free, there was nothing to work towards except savings and that wasn’t flashy enough for DH. We started slipping into debt again and we’re still there now. But he justifies all of it. “Oh, this is good debt because ______.” He recently got an inheritance after his grandma passed and I used part of it to pay off a very small balance and he wasn’t happy with me. I want to use the rest of it to pay off the debt but we can’t agree on it so we’ve done nothing. The money has been sitting in our account for a few months and will probably just get eaten up by his purchases. So far it’s been a PS4, a new receiver, PS4 games and headphones, and who knows what else.

    Having an honest discussion about budgeting and spending is SO HARD because he is the breadwinner and feels entitled to spend what he wants. Thankfully, most of the time it’s just the impulsive spending on his fast food addiction. But if he would actually look at the numbers and realize what he’s doing, he might realize that we could quickly and easily eliminate the rest of our debt. While we haven’t had huge expenditures like the ones mentioned in this chapter, here have been a few larger purchases in the past. One day I came home to find him sitting in our family room playing his new bass guitar. $1000 purchase that I knew nothing about. He recently talked about buying ANOTHER bass, but thankfully a friend talked him out of it.

    DH will complain “ugh, we need a new deck (or insert any home improvement project) but we can’t afford it.” Yes, we do. And honestly, yes we can. But he can’t get past the complaining and move to researching how much it would cost and what it would entail. Nor will he make the financial sacrifices necessary (cutting back on his eating out) to make it happen It’s frustrating because I have taken over the budgeting and checkbook balancing so I see the numbers. Having a budget meeting just leads to more fighting so I haven’t confronted him about it lately. We tried giving him spending cash and for him to NOT use the debit card but that didn’t last very long. He still needs the debit card for gas (he has a long commute and fills up frequently) so he would just start using it for fast food when the cash ran out.

    It’s tax time and he does the taxes so the door is open for the discussion again. We use the program YNAB (You Need a Budget) for budgeting and they just moved to an all-online format, so it might be easier for us to both use and access now.

    1. Hi Deb,

      How frustrating. To get to the “debt-free” point and then to have him fall off the wagon.

      That is such a common phenomenon. I address strategies to maintain motivation in my new book, for couple therapists. It’s so important.

      Thanks for sharing your experiences. You surely aren’t alone.


    2. Yes, so terribly frustrating. And it makes me feel like a failure because I let it happen. I know in my head that it’s not my fault, but it feels different in my heart, ya know?

      The hardest part of controlling your spending, budgeting, and debt reduction is saying no–and I didn’t say no to him firmly enough. I just always made other concessions in the budget to allow for his spending.

    3. I know, Deb. It’s hard for most people to comprehend the “psychological pressure” that can come to bear.

      Perhaps thinking of you two as a team – instead of him as the breadwinner – could shift the perspective.

      You’re in this together.


  2. Pingback: Chapter 9: Managing the Unmanageable - ADHD Roller Coaster with Gina Pera

  3. Mom of 3 Struggling with ADD

    Love hearing that I am alone, but not hearing how irresponsible it sounds when you talk about your spouse with ADD! I self diagnosed at age 41 and even still trying to find out the right meds, I feel like I have woken up from my haze of overdraft notices, fear of checking the bank statement and am now craving a system that allows us to prioritize our financial goals, make wise choices and know where we stand.

    Problem is, my husband, although not an ADDer is very casual about money and has no budget system like Quicken or Mint in place for our family. So now this is falling on my shoulders, and I am TERRiBLE at it! I am a SAHM again after going back to work part time for 2 years. Made great money at that job but we didn’t even have a budget to save that extra income. That extra money was great but was there and gone now. I am committed to implementing a new system for us and would love some real thoughts about how to even get started!

    1). We do pay online bills every month, WHAT DO I DO WITH ALL THOSE STATEMENTS?
    2). I am thinking about going to to organize our finances but already have the Quicken software purchases and sitting unopened in the box from 2 years ago. Which is better?

    Thanks for any thoughts getting started…books, websites, etc. AND for the inspiration! Wish us luck!


    1. Hi HHD,

      I’ve heard that is basically a customer-harvesting tool. Not sure about that, but it wouldn’t be surprising.

      I looked into it but didn’t find it that useful.

      As for the statements, I download those and store on my computer quarterly. I do it quarterly so it takes less time; I can download 3-4 at a time.

      You might want to start with good ol’ pen and paper first. List your expenses and income. It will be simpler to do this without having to learn software, too.

      If you don’t have a business or other reasons for tracking expenses, you might find Quicken overkill.

      The main thing is to start with that list.

      I’m planning some online courses, for clinicians and consumers, so stay tuned. But don’t wait! 🙂


  4. And people say there is no such thing as ADHD? The troubles with finances alone can be so impairing.

    It is so helpful for the public to know how ADHD can affect everyday life.


    1. Dear Sandra,

      My sweet sister. Thanks for reading my blog and commenting!


  5. Finances in our household is far from ideal, but with the systems we have in place, we got it to a mostly pain-free place, even before my 40 year old husband had been diagnosed almost a year ago.

    First, I’m a bit of a geek when it comes to personal finance, and he was more than happy to let me run the show when we got married 3 years ago. I don’t mind one bit and he’s not one bit resentful, either. I feel so grateful that he accepts it and he feels really grateful to not have to do it. Harmony and bliss!

    Prior to our marriage, his biggest issue was simply failing to keep track of anything. He never opened his mail, and he didn’t have any kind of an intentional budget plan. However, he’d learned to put all his bills on auto-pay, refused to get a credit card ever again (he’d had one get out of control in his early twenties), and he even set up his direct deposit to have 10% of every paycheck go to a savings account. When he realized he had credit issues that partly stemmed from having too little credit, he took out a secured loan against his savings, didn’t use it for anything but to pay itself back. He came into the marriage with a sizable savings and no debt at all, but still fairly mediocre credit.

    It wasn’t a perfect system, though I’m amazed he managed to shelter himself as well as he did.

    He’d run into trouble when there were expenses that weren’t recurring. Any one-time bill that came in the mail, such as a balance from a medical appointment, never got seen and went to collections. In addition to not opening his mail, he also won’t listen to voicemail or answer the phone for a number he doesn’t recognize, so these collections would get out of hand. Since he didn’t keep a budget or track his debits, he would check his balance online to make sure he had one before spending. This meant that he had no idea which auto-pay bills were still pending in a pay period, and he tended to overdraft by small amounts quite frequently.

    Late fees, overdraft fees, and collections of course meant he lost quite a bit of money over time. Add to that of course many overdue traffic tickets and high insurance rates from accidents and violations. He also has a habit of freely loaning others money he often doesn’t get back, and picking up the tab when someone is having a bad day, even when he can’t afford it without dipping into savings. He’s quite the impulsive gift giver. He can rationalize impulsive spending if it’s for others, though he keeps a tight rein on shopping for himself. He can rack up lots of little impulse buys, and he can be pretty oblivious to the impact of that, but he’s been really strict with himself about purchases larger than $20. He’ll research large items to death to find a good deal, and take a long time on those kinds of decisions, thankfully. But since he never kept track of that savings account he wasn’t aware how much it was hemorrhaging to all the above. It had steadily grown in spite all this, but I’d guess it would be 4 times as much if he’d had the rest under control over the years.

    And then there was that time he wrecked a brand new car, was entitled to a full settlement, but never claimed it because filling out forms is just something he wasn’t able to make himself do…something like $12,000 down the drain. He simply bought the same car again, essentially paying for it twice.

    He is underpaid for his work, reflecting about what the statistics on ADHD are for a high school grad (he was kicked out of college 1st semester for lack of participation).

    But HEY, knowing how much others with ADHD struggle with money, I’m well aware he’s done pretty good, considering. He’s lost a ton of money over the years, and remains somewhat oblivious just how much, but he’s never been in real trouble. No debt, and substantial savings. It could be so much worse.

    Now that we have a budget, he has no trouble sticking to it. Sometimes I have to put it in very simple terms…more or less giving him an allowance, and taking care of everything else. We have joint checking, and he doesn’t run amok with the debit card.

    The final horror is that he never once filed a tax return. We are still in the process of getting that addressed. He badly wanted to fix this himself, but I’ve done as much leg work as I can and got him connected with a good tax lawyer to get it settled. We’ve got enough socked away that whatever happens there, even if he owes with penalties, it will be covered and all will be well going forward. He sees this process as a huge benchmark of getting treatment, and is very excited about celebrating the end of financial chaos once that finally wraps. I’m excited for him, too.

    Overall, this has never been an issue for our relationship. Thinking about it mostly just makes me ache with compassion for him. Obviously it has an impact, but we’re lucky that he put in place the systems he did on his own in the old days, and lucky that neither of us mind letting me handle things going forward.

    1. Chloe, thank you so much for providing such vivid details. So many examples are “textbook” and no doubt will ring true for other readers.

      And hey, how lucky was he to find you? A “geek” with money yet still compassionate for his past struggles.


  6. Hi Heather,

    I’m glad the article has helped you. Definitely, there are ADHD-focused strategies to contain the hemorrhaging.

    Don’t give up!


  7. Hi, Mine is my son who is 23 he has a problem with the money and job thing. since he has to work first then get the check he thinks he’s working for free or something …. its the delayed gratification that is hard for him to handle…. he loves when he receives his checks but working for it is a drag and painful…too funny.. but he is learning.. When i was young i was a waitress and i received cash that day and a paycheck once a week so it worked perfect for me and my instant gratification feelings..

    1. Hi Kim,

      That is an interesting point and helps me to understand the allure of restaurant serving for many people with ADHD: the immediate cash! Also, the structure and routine.

      Maybe your son can come up with some creative ways to make the day’s pay more “visual” and “real” — toting up the dollars on a whiteboard or something.

      Thanks for your comment,

    2. Yes, delayed gratification is really, really hard. Some of the “independent contractor” and “work at home” sites I worked at showed you what you invoiced after each day, and that really helped. I could anticipate an exact amount at the end of the invoicing period.

  8. Wow, Taylor, I don’t know how you did it except that you didn’t have much choice. I’m so glad things are better.

    DH has the ADHD, inattentive, and I don’t.

    I’ve been at my job for about 31 years now. DH is on SSI disability for his mental issues. He pulls in about $700 per month. We’ve been married 15 years. No children, or this house of cards would have probably collapsed.

    When we got married, I knew he was on SSI, but since my job supported me just fine, I wasn’t worried. It did turn out to be more expensive than I thought it would be to support him since, as you can imagine, $700 doesn’t really cover his share of household expenses including his clothing, shoes, gadgets, etc.

    However, the thing that has worked is that we’ve kept our bank accounts separate. He is somewhat afraid of money and so is not a big spender. I keep hold of his checkbook (after he lost 2 of them) and credit cards.

    It would just amaze me that credit card companies would give him credit and refuse me. I had bought a home, owned my car and worked a long time at the job, but his pitiful SSI income would qualify him for credit. BTW-I’m the one who pays all the bills. If it were up to him, he’d never remember to pay them.

    When I want his share of the household expenses every month, I get out his checkbook and make him write me a check. We just got him a new bank account that doesn’t include any checks and are going to get me set up on an automatic withdrawal payment to my account. Then we can toss the checks.

    So, things have been working for us because I have a decent job, control the purse strings and we are able to live mostly within our budget. However, as I face retirement, I’m starting to wonder if we’ll be able to make it without me having to work at least a part time job. I don’t expect him to ever be able to work and that’s just the way it is.

    1. Thanks for your detailed comments, Penny! I appreciate your participation in the book club and know your comments will provide “ah-ha” moments for readers in the years to come.


    2. Thanks so much Penny. 😀 I certainly felt like I didn’t have a choice most of the time, but the sad truth is, I knew that, if I *did* leave, I may have qualified for a lot of state aid until I got back on my feet. I knew that *something* wasn’t right, that something was “off” in the way he approached money (verses how he approached other areas of life) and that he was committed to being a good husband. If, despite the work, he had *never* seen the disconnect, I don’t think we would have made it. But he did. 😀

    3. Hi Taylor,

      Interesting point, about the state aid. Often, the public sees this kind of assistance as a “lure” to break up families. Instead, it can be a lifeline. But how much better it might be to help ADHD-challenged couples identify the core source of their struggles.

      Thanks again for another fantastic post.

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