How do I deal with a financially irresponsible wife?


How do I deal with a wife who forges my name on checks, applies for credit cards in my name without my approval, hides the bills when they come in the mail, and then makes it my fault for what is going on financially? I am torn because I have a 9-year-old daughter whom I love very much. Please help.


"Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh" (Genesis 2:24).

It appears that though you are married, you and your wife have not made much progress in becoming one -- at least not one financially. I detect, from how you worded your question, that your wife's name is not on your checking account, else why would she need to forge your name? If I guessed correctly, she might be justifying these antics because she feels you are not giving her enough freedom to accomplish her tasks.

I don't know either you or your wife. Perhaps you are holding tight control over your family's finances because your wife has proven herself to be fiscally irresponsible. However, instead of solving the problem, you have managed to drive a wedge between you and your wife.

The only reasonable way to solve this problem is for you and your wife to sit down together and develop a budget together. You will have to learn to develop trust in your wife's judgment and she will have to develop self-control in her spending. Talk about your goals for your family and how you are going to reach those goals.

One method that works well with free-spirited spenders is the old fashion envelope system. Determine reasonable amounts for food, clothing, household items, and the like for each month. With each paycheck, place the appropriate budgeted amount into each labeled envelope. The agreement is that the money in each envelope will only be spent on that particular need (no raiding other envelopes) and once the money is gone, that is all can be spent until the next paycheck.

It will be rough at first, but the visual clues as to how much money remains will provide dampers on her spending habits. Many people overspend because they don't know how much they have or how much debt is currently outstanding, thus they have no motivation to restrain impulse purchases.

If your wife refuses to restrain herself, then you need to seek marriage counseling. She needs to see that she is jeopardizing the well-being of her family. Study Proverbs 31:10-31 with her and let her know that you want to be able to praise her as this husband did his own wife. When she moves in the right direction, shower her with sincere praise. Encourage her to become the best that she can be.

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