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Husband's Money Management Has Put Marriage in the Red

DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have been married for 19 years. We have had our ups and downs, but the last few months have been hell. My husband lies about having paid bills. When I ask, "Have you paid the rent?" I mean "in full," not a partial payment. We have now been evicted for nonpayment of rent and are living in a hotel. Utilities have been cut off because of his partial payments and his lying about their having been paid in full, and I'm tired of it.

It's not just the two of us who have been affected because of his mismanagement of money, but also our two children who are caught up in this mess. I'm not one of those wives who sit around not knowing what's going on with the finances. I have bills I pay for the house, too, and after they are paid I give him money to pay other bills.

I am sick and tired, Abby, and I want to divorce him. What other choice do I have? The "for richer or poorer" thing is no longer working for me. How much should a person tolerate before walking away from marriage? -- HAD ENOUGH IN TENNESSEE

DEAR HAD ENOUGH: You say this has been going on for a few months. Where is the money going that isn't being spent on bills? You say you give your husband money. Is he bringing in any, or is he jobless? Before you decide to walk away, you need to understand why it is that your husband has been lying to you, particularly if this is recent behavior.

If you are better at handling money than he is, then you should be handling the finances and paying all of the bills. That would be a solution to your money troubles. But reading between the lines of your letter, it appears there may be a lot more going on between you and your husband than you have disclosed. And if that's the case, I'd recommend marriage counseling before I'd recommend divorce.

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