I love my husband dearly. We dated when we were in our early 20s for a few months and he cheated on me. Ten years later, we reconnected and then married within two years.
His mum has always been a nightmare and is manipulative. I don’t have anything to do with her and he visits her alone.
Since he was a toddler she forced him to call another man dad, even though he regularly saw his real father. This is a lie he lived all his life. I didn’t have a clue until two days before we were due to marry.
His mum rang to tell me not to marry him and to inform me he’s a compulsive liar, then told me his dad isn’t his real dad.
Since then, he has got into debt without telling me and had his car repossessed (luckily our finances aren’t linked). He lied about having a £15,000 deposit for a house, but the truth only came out when I found a bailiff’s letter about his car. Even then he lied until I pushed him to be honest.
He took £6,000 of my savings and a year on I’ve found out he hasn’t paid rent for two months or the council tax. He said he’d saved up £1,500 of what he owes me, but that was a lie, too!
Am I crazy for staying with him, or is no relationship perfect and it’s part of taking the rough with the smooth?
Lastly, he is never remorseful unless I’m nice to him, and he makes me feel as if I’m the one in the wrong.
Please can you help?
No relationship is perfect, but these are pretty big issues and unless they’re sorted, your marriage won’t last. These problems won’t go away – they’ll only get worse.
You need to make it clear that unless he confronts his debt and takes proper steps to sort it out and ensure he doesn’t get into the same position again, then you can’t be in this relationship.
I’d also recommend he gets in touch with a debt charity such as StepChange (stepchange.org, or call 0800 138 1111). They can provide financial advice as well as devise a debt management plan to help him pay it off at a more manageable rate.
Trust is crucial in any relationship, so he also needs to confront his lying and why he feels unable to share anything with you. All relationships, even the most solid ones, go through peaks and troughs but you have to be able to face challenges as a team.
I’d suggest relationship counselling so each of you has the opportunity to talk in a controlled setting with a mediator, and to work out if you can move on and make a fresh start (visit relate.org.uk).
As for his mum, she sounds emotionally immature. But I think it’s up to your husband and her to sort out their relationship. You should focus on saving your marriage if that’s what you decide you want to do.
More of our agony aunt Coleen Nolan’s advice on your sex, family, health and relationship problems