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Husband secretly drains kids' college fund to keep up with her luxury lifestyle. UPDATED!

Husband secretly drains kids' college fund to keep up with her luxury lifestyle. UPDATED!


"AITA for not offering to pay for my husband and his kids leading him to spend all his savings?​​​"


For a while now my husband, John, has been getting more and more angry over little things and generally moody and distant. I had finally had enough and approached him about separation. This conversation led to a big blow out and him revealing the state of his finances.

My husband and I have always kept our finances separate. Also although we call each other husband and wife and had a wedding we are not actually legally married. This was primarily for inheritance purposes because we each have older children from previous relationships.

Anyway John revealed that he had basically no savings left. That all the money he had saved for retirement and for his kids schooling was gone. Furthermore he said it was all my fault since he used all his savings up to try and keep up with my lifestyle.

There was never anything crazy in terms of bills or anything like that and we always split it all equally. The house we live in I own outright as well, so there wasn’t a mortgage payment.

However I have always liked to travel a lot on fairly extravagant vacations. I would invite John or John and his children to join on trips, but never made them feel like they had to come. That’s said he was expected to pay for himself and for his kids.

Except for recently he accepted every invitation. I would also give my kids things he considered “extravagant”, but I considered “normal”. So he felt like he had to give similar things to his own kids.

John said with all the spending to keep up his savings dwindled very fast. I expressed that I couldn’t understand how or why he would spend all he had when he knew he couldn’t afford it. He said it was like keeping up with the Joneses only worse because it was at home so he couldn’t block it out.

John thinks since I knew his job I should have had a basic understanding of his finances and realizes this wasn’t a lifestyle he could maintain. That the kind thing would have been to offer to pay for the trips and other things instead of dangle them in front of his and his kids faces.

Looking back I probably could have realized that this spending didn’t make sense for his salary, but I wasn’t thinking about it. I don’t think it was my responsibility to keep his finances in mind here. We had agreed from the beginning to keep our finances separate so to me that means paying for things separately.

Edit. We do not live in a state with common law marriage.

Here were the top rated comments from readers in response to the OP's post:


NTA. John blew through his finances all on his own and that because his fragile ego couldn’t deal with you having more money than him.


Exactly, if he’s capable of complaining about it now, one wonders why he couldn't say anything then. There's something so cringe about an adult unable to take responsibility for their own choices.


NTA. What on earth? He couldn’t use his voice to raise concerns when finances were an issue? That’s on him for keeping up with the Jones’ to the point that he liquidated his children’s education funds. He’s not even paying rent/mortgage costs so he’s getting a free pass there.


NTA. You housed him and his children rent-free. If he wasn't comfortable with your lifestyle, he should have talked to you like adults, instead of trying to keep up and sinking himself financially.

That being said, you never agreed to support him beyond free housing, and it's not fair to expect you to deny your children memorable experiences because he can't afford the same (as long as your kids aren't acting like assholes and rubbing it in his kids' faces).


NTA. I think he was upset about not being the man and not making as much money than you, so he felt he had to spend the money to keep up his pride. At any time he could have talked to you about you both spending less money on things, but he didn’t. That is 100% his fault.


I feel like if the roles were reversed the verdict would be different. I think she’s being really inconsiderate!

The OP responded here:


We would discuss the trips, but he rarely had any input or would suggest anything. I just assumed he didn’t like planning things.


Esh - you sound like friends with benefits. You don’t have shared finances, YOU go on vacations and do things without him and while you say you give him a choice of going or not, if he wants to spend time with you, he has spend money to go, money he clearly doesn’t have.

That said, he should have communicated with you that he would prefer if you had similar lifestyles and should never have got “married” if you don’t. In this instance, I think you should get divorced because you don’t seem to want to be part of each others’ lives, except for “inheritance” purposes. You both screwed this up.

The next day, the OP returned with an update.

"UPDATE: AITAH for not offering to pay for my husband and his kids leading him to spend all his savings?"


After reading all the comments on my first post I realized I needed more time to think about things. I also thought with the situation how it was it would be best that we spend the holidays apart to avoid and controversy. He wasn't a fan of the idea, but I eventually got him to agree to go.

Last week things settled down so we met up to have a more detailed discussion about the state of his finances. A few more things were revealed. I found out that he had lost his job earlier this year and didn't tell me.

He got a new job in October, but he went over 4 months without one while pretending he still had one. During that time he only got a small amount of money from unemployment, so he started putting everything on his credit cards.

His new job doesn't pay as much as his old one so he hasn't been able to pay more than the minimum towards his debts which are now substantial. I feel like if he had just brought up all these issues earlier this could have been avoided or we could have worked something out.

Now I really just feel like I can't trust him. I can't trust him with money and I can't trust him not to hide things from me. I just can't see going back and trying to make things work him at this point.

Since he doesn't have a place to take all their things I've agreed to store their stuff in my garage until he gets more settled. Which means I won't be able to make as clean of a break as I would like right now, but for the most part it's over.

Here were the top rated comments from readers after this update from the OP:


It seems like separation was the correct choice. Should be easy considering y'all aren't legally bound.


I totally get how you’re feeling. All I had to do was be honest with you. And well, yes, I get your looking back and thinking…Gosh, I guess I should’ve been able to figure out that if he made less he probably really couldn’t afford some of the trips.

But… As an adult… He literally could’ve just said that and told you to go ahead and have a good time. And then he would go on the next one with you. And then, to not even tell you, he lost his job and went for four months without one. All of this points to him having a pretty fragile ego. And that is not your problem, although they’re at the end, he sure was trying to make it your problem.

Suggestion I might if you can afford it, I would literally pay for a storage unit for six months and have them move all of their stuff there. Pre-pay it for him and let him know that you have six months.

That is more than enough time for him to find a place and get settled. And if he needs to go through things and get rid of some things so that they will all fit into his new place, it gives him time to do that as well. That way, you are still helping, but it doesn’t involve continued contact of any kind because you’re storing their stuff. It is a one and done sort of thing.


"I found out that he had lost his job earlier this year and didn't tell me. He got a new job in October, but he went over 4 months without one while pretending he still had one."

I will never understand this logic. This is an immediate relationship killer as it should be. I would never be able to trust a partner who goes this route. Someone else commented and I agree. If you can afford it, I'd put their belongings in a storage unit. That way he doesn't get complacent and your garage isn't full of junk.


Do yourself a favor and get a storage unit, pay for it for 3 months and be done with him.

Two months later, the OP returned with an update.

"FINAL UPDATE: AITAH for not offering to pay for my husband and his kids leading him to spend all his savings?"


For anyone who hasn’t read my previous posts there’s two of them exposing what happened under my username. I liked the suggestion I was given when last posted of paying for a storage unit for their things for a few months.

My ex however did not agree to it. He said it would make things too difficult because the closest storage location was too far out of the way. It definitely felt like he was still trying to cling to things.

Since I couldn’t get a storage unit in his name without his approval I talked to a friend, who is a lawyer, about the situation. He helped me right up a notice that told him that he had 30 days notice to get their things or they will be disposed of. After 30 days notice was up he still had only picked up a few things.

I ended up calling his ex and asked her if she or their kids wanted anything before I got rid of it all. Well, they had been left in the complete dark about our relationship being over. My ex had been lying to them saying I was sick and then he was sick with Covid and that’s why they hadn’t been able to come over. I’m was not at all surprised this point.

I figured she didn’t know about the rest of it either and told her. She is livid. Especially about the money for their kids education since it was part of their divorce agreement.

Anyway the kids all got what they wanted and I had a charity come and pick up the rest. It feels a lot better now that there is a completely clean break. Yes I have gotten the locks changed and blocked his number.

Since there is no reason for me to have contact with him anymore this is probably the last time I’ll be posting. I think I’m there future I will probably look for more transparency when it comes to financials in any serious future relationships.

With how much he was lying I can only imagine what else he may have been lying about. Had I known more I don’t think he would have been able to hide things. I am just so grateful and relieved that I was able protect myself and my children.

Here were the top rated comments from readers after the OP's update:


I'm glad you called his ex. Well, nice to know he didn't just lie to you.


Absolutely. The kids didn't deserve to lose their things just because their dad is a dick and the ex deserves to know what's going on.


Sounds like he’s a liar. He lied to you, his ex, his kids, and maybe even himself. It also sounds like he can’t accept responsibility for anything, attempts to blame others and then keep lying to cover his tracks. Congratulations on not legally marrying this guy.


I’ve been following from your first post. I’m not surprised. He lied to his ex as well. It sounds like you did the best thing for you. Best wishes for your future and good luck.


NTA. Your ex sounds like a manipulative liar and you did the right thing by getting rid of his stuff. So sorry you had to go through all this, but glad it's over now! Good luck in future relationships, transparency is definitely key.


Maybe he has some gambling addiction since he spent even money for his kids education. Op you should check your credit score if he didn’t open any card on your name.

The OP responded here:


I do have a lock on my credit, but I will check.


What a fragile ego on a human being. There was no partnership in his eyes, only competition. I’m happy you are able to now move and and heal from this nonsense. I hope his kids had no ill will towards you.

So, do you think the OP is in the wrong here? What would you recommend in terms of this relationship and the children involved?

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