My Husband Has Been Financially Abusive for Years. Now the Tables Are Turning.

Pay Dirt is Slates' money advice column. Have a question? You can send it to Athena or Elizabeth here. It can be anonymous!Dear Pay DirtMy husband and me have been married for eleven years. We have been together for 14 years. After having our three children (the oldest will be 8 years old), I've been a stay at home mom. My husband was always financially abusive. He used to share an account but would only deposit money if I asked. He would only put in the exact amount and it was limited to certain items like groceries or clothing for the kids.AdvertisementTwo years ago, we were going through some hardships in which my husband not only cheated on me but filed for a divorce, closed the shared account, and cut me off completelyfinancially and otherwise. From that point on, until I found a job, I was completely dependent upon my mother and sister for my money. He only continued to pay rent because it would embarrass him if his children were homeless.AdvertisementAdvertisementFast forward to two years and I've decided to forgive him. He filed the papers for the divorce. I have found work, I have saved money, and I can pay my bills myself instead of relying on him as before. He is currently having financial difficulties and I could offer my assistance with my savings but I don't want to. I'm still angry at what he did to me, and I want my money back. He believes that any money I lend him is his money due to all the years he has provided for us. I wouldnt mind paying it back. Is it fair to withhold the money from my husband if I really want to make our marriage work?AdvertisementOnce Bitten, Twice SweetDear Twice Bitten, Once BittenKeep your money, girl. You want your marriage to work. But it won't if you continue to fall back into old patterns and habits. It was wrong for your husband to do the same thing as before. This was financial abuse. Even worse, he used their children's well-being against their mother. It is your responsibility to ensure that your children are taken care of. Not him. You also have to ensure your financial security, which was not his priority.It is a red flag that you don't trust him and want to save the relationship. You are worried that he will cut off your communication again, and that you'll find yourself in the exact same situation as before. While I won't tell you to get rid of him, I will suggest that you both seek marriage counseling right away. If you want to move forward, it is important to have healthy communication. This doesn't mean you should punish each other. Good luck.AdvertisementDear Pay DirtMy family has become suspicious of my sister's manipulation of our mother in order to get back into their home. This is a lengthy story, and it reads like a book villain. The gist is that my sister threatened to move our mother into a nursing facility against her will and to sue for control of their home. Our parents are now elderly and disabled. My sister has been slandering my mom's relatives and encouraging her not to include them in the will. She also tried to get back in. My mother is extremely superstitious and will not talk about death with us. My sister's worries are not something Mom will listen to. My father might, but my mother is the boss, so she speaks her mind. What can I do to help? What can we do to protect them from my conniving sis? What are their options?AdvertisementAdvertisementHelp save parents from Scheming their daughtersDear SaveIt's frustrating and difficult to watch. It's a horrible situation. Even more frustrating is the fact that your parents are adults and will do whatever they want, even if it means listening to your sister. But, here are some suggestions.To help your parents, first make an appointment to meet with an estate attorney. You may be eligible to file for power-of-attorney if your parents are unable to take care of themselves physically or mentally. This would allow you to manage their financial affairs as well as their medical care. Join a support group. Aging Care has a range of resources that can help you have these difficult conversations, as well as information about housing and law. Even if your sisters continue to follow you, it is important to know what you can and cannot do so that you are ready for whatever comes up.AdvertisementSubscribe to the Pay Dirt Newsletter for Money Advice from Athena & Elizabeth delivered weekly. Signing you up was difficult. Please try again. To use this form, please enable jаvascript. Email address: I would like to receive updates on Slate special offers. You agree to our Privacy Policy & Terms by signing up. Thank you for signing up! You can cancel your subscription at any time.Dear Pay DirtUnexpectedly, I have accumulated a lot more money than I need to live comfortably. Although I would like to give it to my friends and do things with them that they couldn't afford otherwise, I feel like I am being too extravagant by offering to spend money on their behalf. On the other hand, I feel a bit selfish if I don't offer money to friends to fix their problems. My wealth is only known to my closest friends. How can I be wealthy without being a jerk?AdvertisementPlease, Can We All Have Nice Things!Thank you for your kind wordsSudden wealth syndrome can lead to a lot of stress and guilt, which can make it difficult to make informed decisions. This is not a common problem for lottery winners. Money is personal. Everyone has their own opinions and approaches to money. However, there is a name that describes what you are experiencing.AdvertisementHow can you make friends feel good about yourself and move on? Spread the wealth but be careful. There are many ways to do this. A tab can be picked up at a bar or restaurant every now and again. This is a great way to share an experience and create a lasting memory. You can get the most luxurious room for a special occasion or trip with your friends. My goal is to eventually pay for my family's stay at California Adventure at Disneyland. A surprise upgrade is wonderful and not too extravagant. Gift cards, flowers, and other gifts can be given to friends to show appreciation, express gratitude, or acknowledge their victories or challenges. You can also offer money, but only if a friend is expressing hardship privately. Although you don't have to give a lot of money, you can ask for a utility bill, groceries for a week, or other expenses in an emergency.AdvertisementAdvertisementAdvertisementTreat your friends with kindness and generosity. Do not allow others to use you or view you as an escape. You can still do more if you feel you have the desire. Make sure to consult a financial advisor about how to best invest your windfall.Dear Pay DirtMy mother was required to co-sign all of my loans because I was too young to go to college. Now, more than ten years later, she refuses to give me access or any information to help me pay back the loans. Although they have been in forbearance several times, she has continued to make small payments. My siblings will soon have student loans and I worry about how this might affect my credit scores. What are my options? Can I get my name removed from them since she won't allow me to access them? My mom is my best friend and we have a wonderful relationship.AdvertisementRetention of loansDear Loan DetentionBecause student loans come in many forms, it can be difficult to find the right one. The first thing you should do is to find out where your loans are located. To find out all government-owned loans currently in your name, go to the federal student aid site. This will let you go through each loan and determine who the servicer was and how much you owe. Next, visit the servicer's website to create a user account. This will allow you access to your loans and provide more information, such as rates and payment history. It may be more difficult to find private loans. Another option is to look at your annual credit reports to see which loans are available. Then, contact the lenders. Spend some time researching to find out if there is any relevant information.AdvertisementWhile some lenders allow you to remove your name as a cosigner from certain loans, others do not. If your lender allows you to remove your name as a cosigner, they will guide you over the phone through the process so that you can submit the proper documents. This will not only save your credit, but your mom will also be left on the hook. You can avoid further credit damage by working with the lender to create a repayment plan if you are unable to get your name removed from the loans. Once you have a plan in place, make regular payments with the full amount owed. Your mom doesn't have to be there to help you with your student loan mess. All you need is a plan.AthenaSlate has more adviceThree of our children are in elementary school. Our middle child has some delays and public school doesn't seem to be the right fit. We are considering moving her to a private school. It is exactly the type of school you would want for your children. We can only afford one tuition and it feels like we are taking away two amazing opportunities. How can we get over the guilt?