I am writing because of a recent situation I have noticed. Let me preface this was some history. I have been with my fiancée for almost 6 years now. We used to live in a major city and we moved to a suburb of a small city a year and a half ago. We moved out here to help take care of a relative who has ALS. I think we both are experiencing some mild depression with being out here, I know I was for a while because of how hard it was for me to find a job. I think my fiancée has some mild depression for a few reason. She is generally not happy here, we take of her relative and it’s like having a big baby that can’t go out. She is not as happy with her job here as she was in the city. Again I think we both are a bit depressed.
For the past 4 years we have shared a bank account and all of our money is in one pool. I have typically paid all of the bills; it comes easy to me how to take care of it. This has never been a problem and we agreed on this early on. I don’t hide anything form her, all of our accounts are open books for her.
She recently starting using an old credit card that she has never used before. It’s the only card I don’t have access to. Now before the thought that this is going to be a control issue, it’s not. I don’t want or need access to this card. It really does not matter to me, as long as it gets paid before its do and we don’t have any APR to deal with I’m good.
The issue is I believe she is using is using it with the intent of hiding what she is using it on from me. The other day she was off from work and had some running around to do. I asked her when I got home what she did for lunch. She said she did not eat lunch, she busy and didn’t really get the time to. Then it was too late so she figured shed wait until dinner. Then later in the evening I was putting a bag of chips in her car for her lunch for tomorrow, and I saw a bag of trash from McDonalds. There was a receipt on top of the bag with that day’s date on it and the credit card she used was the one I don’t have access to. On the floor of the car I saw a receipt for a restaurant for a week or two ago. At this point I was very confused and so I looked at it, and it was on that card too. Right next to that was her lunch bag from the day before and the sandwich she took was still in there.
I am by no means saying she couldn’t go grab lunch once and a while but when I was looking over our finances and asked her to set that card to pay so I can balance the account, she said her credit card bill this month was almost $400 and she immediacy said it was groceries. Yesterday I checked the history of our credit cards and the bank account and I believe I can account for all the dates we went food shopping. Even if some of it is groceries there’s no way we spent that much on groceries this month. I know that she’s also still using the other cards for things she knows are common, like gas. So to me that means she’s making a conscious decision to use what card and when.
I know that we are adults and we can both decide anytime we feel like grabbing something out for lunch but this seems out of hand. We are supposed to be watching how much money we spend to try and save as much as we can for a wedding we are planning. On top of that there used to be no secrets, if I grabbed something or was planning on doing so, I’d just say so. She would do the same. No anger was expressed, no questions.
The worst part for me is that she lied to me.
While I don’t want to come off as if I’m snooping or accusing her of something, because I don’t want her to get defensive; I need to figure out a way to confront her about this. For one I don’t want any lies or secrets between us. And I also don’t want her to keep spending this kind of money every month. That’s just a financial burden we don’t need.
I am not sure what the best way to approach this is. Do I ask her why her credit card is so high? That it seems out of whack to me? Do I ask her about the McDonalds or the other receipt? Again I don’t want to come off like I’m snooping or trying to trick her or demanding access to her credit card. I just want to know what she is thinking and how can we work on it.
Any advice would be appreciated.
A Concerned Fiancé
Yep, you're right, the worst part of the entire issue is that she lied to you. You have admitted mild depression and it's perfectly normal to feel 'out of whack' after moving to a new environment, particularly when you have no security (career) to go to.
Your fiancee may be using 'junk food' as comfort to help cope with her unhappiness.
However, if you have enjoyed a solid 6 years together, then you need to communicate your concerns to her using the way you have always used to maintain an open and caring relationship based on trust.
You need to disregard your fiancee's actions with her credit card and look beyond that and ask her why she feels she has to betray this established trust.
Once you do that, then you will discover the real reason why she lied to you.
OK - so she's eating on the run . . . chargeing it.
So she's on the road . . . where is she going that could cost $$$?
Is she a gambler?
She would not be the first one to sooth her depression by gambling.
Being that your fiance is going through some depression of her own, it is starting to have this "affect" on your pockets, which in turn, Will put sagas of strain on your relationship as well. This could Possibly be something like----bi polar mania.
When she was depressed, moody, out of sorts, Suddenly out of nowhere, she gets this "Impulse" and surge of new life to use "an old credit card she has never used before." She starts to go on these wild shopping sprees, because this is making her happy and feel better, but she can't help herself, so she does these impulsive, carefree moves and---that includes hiding this from you. It's fun to see if she can get away with it. It's a challenge.
As far as the food for thought goes, she went on a "happy go lucky" eating binge at McDonald's, Also finding this a circus to keep this from you, and a restaurant that apparently was more to her liking and More expensive than----"her lunch bag from the day before and the sandwich she took was still in there."
You have the start of a problem on your hands, and if she doesn't seek some medical help, this will only get worse. You need to sit her down and have a serious talk with her. You may have to use some psychology on her, and explain to her that you think it might be a good idea if Both of you seek a professional for your depression. This way she won't fight you, and you may get "more bees with honey than with vinegar."
For now, gently tell her that the credit card bills are more than you can afford, and that you would prefer that she don't use this card until you have a chance to pay it up. In the meantime, keep an eye on your "shared bank account." When she would get this "shop till you drop" mood, you don't want to be horrified at even More than---400 dollars in new clothes or other material things.