Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Mistaken Blame

This was sent to Aunt Babz via email...

Dear Aunt Babz,

I am in bad need of some advice to solve a problem I am having;

My husband took some money from one of our dear friends for an investment in a home. Our friend was hesitant but my husband convinced them. Needless to say the investment is still working and our friend has wanted out for some time now. He said he will for go any profit and just wants the initial money he put in and they have had some profit. My husband has taken a majority of the profit for his own use. I have been so sick over this and not been able to sleep because my friend calls me and tells me how bad they need the money. I confronted my husband about this and he lied to me about the amount of money that was owed to our friend which really angered me. I also found out how bad our finances really are. We have been having a lot of problems lately and decided a trial separation would be best. However, our friend wants me to pay him back from our money because they believe my husband is going to go under and have to file bankruptcy. Then, they will never get their money back as well as the fact that we are separating. If I leave, they feel they will also not get their money back. So do I pay my friend? They really mean a lot to me and I don't want to burn that bridge and am also moving very close to them and do not want to have any bad blood between us. I know my husband will be furious if I pay them so please tell me what to do I want to do the right thing here . Please help me decide what to do I want to sleep at night what do I do?


Dear Kayla,

I have been in a similar situation, actually, even closer to home. My husband borrowed $1,200 from my son. My son, Bill, had received a settlement on his 18th Birthday and it didn't take long, till my husband decided to ask, to borrow money. He is not my sons Father. Thus, when he didn't pay him back, I most certainly was plagued with guilt. It took me some time, grappling with the confines of starting over, after leaving my husband, to pay my son back. It actually took a couple years, with small payments from tax returns, Management Bonuses, etc..

Was I the one who should have paid that money back? I'd say no. Should I have felt the guilt, that went along with taking money from my 18 year old son? Possibly and I most certainly did and still do. I saw my husband as an extension of myself. At the same time, you are an extension of your husband, an agent of his estate. Do you owe this money? Oh hell no! Your hook-n-jive ex-hubby, clearly owes that money. Would I feel obligated to pay this money back? Yes, unfortunately, I would. But again, I do not feel you owe that money. What to do?

I do not know your financial situation. I assume, it's not the best it could be or should be. You are caught in the middle and it is not fair of the friend to ask you, for money. At the same time, I can see, they must need the money or they'd not ask. Now, it doesn't sit well with me, that this friend placed you in the middle. He clearly went in, on this deal, with your husband, adult eyes wide open. No one held a gun to his head and demanded money. Furthermore, his financial problems, at this juncture, are surely not your problem. I do believe, he'd be in his own dire straits, regardless of this house deal. What would he do or say, if he didn't have you as the fall guy, for his own monetary dilemma? Well, I'll answer that for you; He'd have to pull himself up by his own bootstraps and dig in, find the money and solve his own problems. No, instead, he has come to you, hoping for a handout, for money you don't owe. That stinks to me, I can smell it all the way to Long Island. But you still have guilt and you'll still feel somewhat responsible, huh? What to do?

I can understand that you are the Peacemaker here, right? As it stands, none of this is fair to you, least of all, your husband, for deviating from the facts. It seems you're damned if you do and damned if you don't huh?

Having said all this and I do say what I mean, mean what I say and always try not to say it too mean, I choose my words carefully and write with intent, I'd like you to reread it and allow it to empower you.

The facts are that you are separated from your husband. Why do you really care, that he will be furious? No, I think it's time you allowed him to understand that he has been less than honest, he's played dirty pool and it has now placed you in the middle. That alone, should be enough to piss you off. Somehow though, I have the feeling that your hubby will act as if he's pissed off, "The nerve of that bastard for asking you for money, I don't owe him." This is, of course, a ruse to cover his guilt. So, knowing his reaction ahead of the program, I do recommend that you write him a note, left in a place, he's sure to get it. mail it, if you have to and tell him that you do not appreciate his under handed business practice with, what he used to call, a "Friend." You then interject, "What happened to the idea, that a man is as good as his word?" You then proceed to tell him, that this is his baby and as a man, he needs to deal with his affairs and make an attempt at righting "HIS" wrong. You make it clear that it is not fair, for you to have to even think about this. "Did I make this business deal, with this man? Did I have control of the money from this house? And most importantly, "Am I responsible for all this?" I would then ask him to step up to bat , as a man and take care of business. "These are our friends and he did invest money, didn't he? Even if you don't agree to the amount he states you owe him, do you not owe him something, even the amount you say, is the right amount? Do you not feel, as a man, that you should at least make an effort to take care of your business? If you can't pay him, don't you feel, as a man, you should tell him this? Don't you feel, as a man that it is your obligation, to handle this, instead of your wife?"

Once upon a time, a man was as good as his word and only as good as his word. I think a carefully written note, using this exact wording, I have laid out, will make him look at his stand, on the matter. He will have to look in the mirror and see himself, as the man he is not. Or at least question his own ethics and just how unfair this is to you.

In the event that this does not work or you are a bit fearful to challenge your husband in this manner, I suggest that you carefully put all this into perspective for yourself. If you must or you feel the absolute need to pay this debt, I feel they have no choice but to take a payment, a good will gesture. I dare say, you should not be put out, do without and making a small payment, in hopes that your hubby will buck up, is plausible.

I do hope, you will evaluate how you've been placed, smack dab in the middle of this. I hope you will look at and evaluate your "Friendship," as well as your relationship with a man who doesn't or won't honor his word. I do believe you've looked at this, already and your separation, if nothing else, will make your husband look at his principles. Stand your ground.

Lastly, as I am a huge proponent, a true believer in the vows we exchange, on our wedding day, never think I am in any way, encouraging you to throw in the towel, on your marriage. If nothing else, I hope you will take this situation and make an example out of it. Play for keeps, my friend. Take a stand and say what needs to be said. Force your husband to look at his mess, his behaviors and his business practices. When it's all said and done...what do you have to lose? But you do have everything to gain, huh? If nothing else, allow this to empower you by asserting what's right is right and what's wrong is wrong and none of your wrong.

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