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by Abigail Van Buren

As Girlfriend Becomes More Distant, Woman Feels Despair

DEAR ABBY: My wife has gotten herself into more debt than she earns in a year. She finally confessed to me that she can make only the minimum payments on her credit cards.

She has asked me for help, but she refuses to allow me to monitor her progress paying off her debts. I have refused to help her get out of the hole she has dug for herself unless I have access to her credit card statements. She had the gall to be upset with my request. I no longer trust her to manage her spending. Am I wrong to feel this way? -- NEEDS ACCESS IN TEXAS

DEAR NEEDS ACCESS: No, you are not wrong. Your wife has a serious problem and is refusing to take the "medicine" that's required to fix it. I'm not sure what kind of help she expects from you, unless it's money to bail her out of her situation.

Some people shop for the "thrill"; others do it to cope with depression. I have mentioned an organization, Debtors Anonymous, in my column before. It's for individuals who are unable to control their spending. The website is debtorsanonymous.org, and you should look into it. However, if your wife continues to refuse to allow her spending to be monitored, for the sake of your own financial future, you should consult an attorney.

Read more in: Money | Marriage & Divorce