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Author: agg97 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 308881  
Subject: Re: Debt Hell in Oct Date: 11/7/2006 3:36 PM
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Her stress is through the roof. This is a bunch of change and a bunch of talk about change that is really getting to her. She said she was scared about applying for Super Target (never having had a real paying job in over 13 years). She is very worried about house, Honda, trust, debt and when I sent her the life insurance information she just about had a panic attack. So, I need to give DW a little time to process everything.

SD - It still sounds like DW doesn't want to change much. While I commend you on everything you've done so far, I think it might be time to stop nudging her along, and start pointing out the "dead end" sign in front of you two.

The one thing I think your DW does not have right now is perspective. She knows a lot has to change, but she doesn't know how much or how quickly. So, she naturally tries to keep doing what she's always done until you tell her not to, because she doesn't know where that limit is.

I think you realize how much both of your behaviors have to change. You seem to have the perspective and 100% on board with it. I commend you for that. However, if you continue the "nudging" strategy, I fear it will be years before you get there. In the mean time, there will be hurt and resentment along the entire way.

I say, why not just lay out all the cards on the table, so she sees the size of the mess you're in? Why not let her be a part of the solution? Even though you know what needs to be done, let her realize it and figure it out on her own, giving helpful hints along the way. That way, she owns the solution as much as you do.

Some strategies that might help:

1. The trust. For now, forget about the trust. Pretend it doesn't exist. It seems like that's all your DW can focus on, and it's a relatively small piece of your problem. Can you make it without it? You say you're getting $1,400/mo from it. Great, I think you count that as income. But for now, don't worry about satisfying the requirements of a trust 4-5 years from now. Worry about staying out of bankruptcy now. Don't let that be at the forefront of her mind. It is the one tree in the entire forest that she cannot see past at the moment.

2. The house. I think you put this perspective on the house: unless MAJOR changes happen within the next 6 months, it HAS to be sold. So, all of a sudden, she has a choice: does she want to change now and try to keep the house, or does she want to just ride it out per the status quo? Ultimately, that's up to her. You can give her options either way, and there isn't a guarantee that even if there are drastic changes, that the house will not need to be sold anyway. But, you aren't knowingly leading her to a cliff while building up resentment along the way. That just doesn't make any sense to me.

I truly think the best thing you can do for her right now is giving her the gift of perspective. Maybe others can help out and give more examples.

-Agg97
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