Phil talks about his family's financial situation.

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Felice and her husband, Phil, say their financial problems are causing friction in their marriage. "I don't know what she's been spending her money on. I can't tell you. I've got a credit card out there that's got $10,000 on it, and I don't know where half of that stuff came from," Phil says. "I fear if she continues to do what she's doing, she will get us in a situation where we won't be able to pay the mortgage payment anymore."

Felice says she doesn't want to sell their house, but she also doesn't want to go back to work. "I want to stay home with my kids and be a mom," she says. "I'm totally scared. I don't want to give up stuff. It's the way I've lived my whole life. My whole life I've had stuff."

Phil says he feels hurt and disrespected. "You give your wife responsibility to take care of the family with the funds that have been given to her and then she's spending it frivolously on things that really are meaningless because she's wanting to make an impression of what she looks like," he says.

Felice says she didn't realize what she was doing. "I didn't think I was disrespectful but it is very disrespect[ful] there. I hide things from him. If I spend something that's $200, I'll tell him it's $100 or $50."

Hiding and lying about money is a behavior their children are also emulating. "Even the children hide things from me because Mommy says, 'Don't tell Daddy we bought that. He may be upset with me,'" he says. "So I hear them in the room once in a while talking, 'Don't tell Daddy we bought these shoes today. Mommy said not to tell him.' What are we teaching our children? We're setting up their marriages for failure because that's how they'll act with their spouses."
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FROM: Money Interventions: The Mom Who Shopped Her Family Broke
Published on January 01, 2006

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