Retread, I wanted to stop hijacking the other thread.

My wife did massively overspend in the past. All our savings. Ran up huge credit card debts. Hid it and lied about it. Then she kept spending after her misbehavior was discovered.

Our current financial problems are not caused by her overspending. Eventually I got separate checking acocunts and she gave up all her credit cards. She now lives on a strict allowance. Every so often she falls off the wagon and buys something that was not authorized. Maybe she takes a credit card out of my wallet and buys something online. Or she uses an online account tied to one of my cards.

But these days the financial problems are my fault as well. I do not insist that we live within our means. I threw big parties for my son and daughter and put them on credit cards. I could not bear to not "keep up with the Joneses" as to my kids. Those 2 parties are half our credit card debt.

Another 1/4 is when I weakened and gave Mrs. Hold back a card for a few months last year when we had finally paid off (10 years later) most of the debt from her first fiasco. My fault for not standing strong and insisting she live without them permanently. Yes, she chose to overspend. But I made it possible.

At this point, I am not willing to cut back on our lifestyle to the point where we can pay off the debt quickly. So I am as much to blame as she is. A big part of this is my guilt over not being as successful as I should be. I feel I should be able to afford to live the way we live.

We live at the low end of our community. I do most of my shopping on Ebay or at Walmart and the Dollar Tree store. I pick berries and make jam. We have cut way back on going out to dinner and cook almost all our meals at home. I make my son buy much of his sports equipment used. I cannot bear to cut back further. But since I don't have enough money to pay the electric bill this month, we may have to. Now I am going to have to tell my wife to turn off the air conditioning in August? And I am not supposed to feel like a failure?

When you can see it coming, duck!