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Man Drains Family Savings to Fund Failing Enterprise

DEAR ABBY: My husband of 23 years, "Gerald," quit his job to start his own law firm. He told me about it only after he had quit. I have tried to be supportive, but seven months down the line, he has spent all our "rainy day" cash and earned only one paycheck. We have two teenagers, one who will be going to college in a year.

I took a high-paying job a year ago to help pay down our mortgage and fund our son's college expenses. Gerald claimed the bonus money he received when he quit his old job belonged to him to fund the new venture.

He's now saying that seven months is too little time to make any huge decisions, but we are now going to start liquidating our 401(k)s. This is where I draw the line. He needs to get a job. I have worked every year of our marriage and never quit.

I feel like I'm living with a selfish stranger who calls me a "money-hungry stereotypical female" when I ask when he'll get paid. Is it time for me to take off the rose-colored glasses and file for divorce? -- STUCK IN HIS MIDLIFE CRISIS

DEAR STUCK: Your husband should have discussed his career change with you before he quit the law firm. Do NOT allow him to push you into taking money from your 401(k). Because your husband hasn't yet reached retirement age, when he liquidates his, there will be a penalty for early withdrawal. Consult an attorney -- other than your husband -- about what your next steps should be to protect yourself and your children because your spouse does not appear to be making rational decisions.

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