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What can I do about my husband with hiding money?

6 answers | Last updated: Apr 28, 2013
1999 Tinkerbell asked...
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Caring.com User - Helene Bergman
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Helene Bergman, LMSW, is a certified geriatric care manager (C-ASWCM) and owner of Elder Care Alternatives, a professional geriatric care management business in New...
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Maintaining control over ones finances is a struggle for Alzheimer patients especially at early stages of the disease. It represents their sense of self esteem and self determination. They may See also:
TIP: Someone With Dementia Who's Used to Carrying Money

See all 302 questions about Difficult Behaviors
go to the ATM, remove hundreds of dollars and not remember where they hid it. Without a caregiver, they may go every day and deplete their funds. Caregivers, like yourself, are challenged with the dilemma of how to sustain their spouse's sense of power while protecting their vulnerability. This is a difficult job and there are many options. Since each individual is unique, you need to identify which will work best with your spouse.

Firstly, accept that your spouse will hide money and try to learn his hiding places. This will help you recycle the monies effectively. To avert him taking money from your wallet, keep it either in a locked drawer or away from view. It is always recommended to safely store important papers, medications, and monies and leave items less valuable available to someone with memory loss. Valuable jewelry is replaced with costume jewelry and all credit cards (and insurance cards) are copied and laminated with the original safely put away. The key is not to get into a confrontation about 'lost monies' but instead to anticipate and avert agitation.

When eating out, you can 'discreetly' speak to the waiter and prepay the dinner by giving your credit card. That way when your husband goes to pay, the waiter can just say "paid already" or you can distract him at the time of bill paying. Or before leaving the house, you can 'discreetly' check his wallet and put in an adequate amount of money to cover the bill. If your spouse dines with friends, you can also avoid embarrassment but having them say, "this is on me."

If, as you said, talking about this issue with your spouse upsets him, avoid such discussion and make the adjustments needed without his knowledge. He will be happier to 'be in control' and you will have less stress.

 

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thelioness51 answered...

Ok - I don't know what planet you guys are living on....hiding your wallet from someone who you're supposed to be able to "trust," hiding credit cards....switching out real jewelry for costume....tucking MORE money into his wallet so he doesn't feel embarrassed (or whatever your reasons are)....WHAT the WHAT?!?!?!?

The old folk taught me a lesson early on: "Romance...without finance...is a bad chance!" MARRIAGE with financial SECRETS has an even WORSE chance of survival! Money secrets in a business, family, friendship or marriage is comparable to knowingly building a house on a cracked foundation. At some point the house begins to lean, shift and finally, can no longer pass inspection because the foundation is no longer in the place where it was intended! Once the foundation of a house(marriage) shifts (dependability, trust, thinking of what will best benefit both parties and not just one's self, working together toward a common goal rather than living together, but maintaining separate lives) instability has an open invitation into the house(relationship). (It is just so ironic that we share our most intimate selves and moments with our spouses, but fear to discuss money....it's absurd)!!! The Bible says that "money is a shelter." In another verse it says: "money answers all things." Married persons with messed up money issues that they refuse to confront, will either live the rest of their lives with a tremendous amount of angst and anxiety, or, end up paying even MORE money to the divorce attorney!

Money is a foundational building block that many times has the potential to destroy a relationship quicker and more permanently than an indiscretion. This man is either ignorant (no disrespect intended...we are each products of our environment). Many people who were never taught while growing up to handle money, become adults skillful at hiding their fiscal ignorance, unless or until they're confronted.

This man is either: squirreling away money for reasons that he doesn't want to share with you (not good..,if he wants to have money of his own so he doesn't feel like he needs your "permission" every time he wants to buy a candy bar, the adult thing to do is to just say so), gambling, doing drugs or, seeing another woman. Painful considerations all, but very realistic possibilities.

By joining in on his deception thru hiding your knowledge of the truth, you become complicit AND duplicit. Do not enable his behavior. Let him know that you want to talk about it, lay all of the cards out on the table so no one is left in the dark concerning the other parties actions or intent....and work on building up the trust level from there.

There is an excellent game called "The Un-Game" that you might want to play with just him, as a way to get the conversation started. Steel your nerves, don't back off, be the big person in this for the sake of the marriage, and who knows....you two might create a rage among other married couples who are going thru the same thing.

Find a way to deal with this and converse with (not confront) him, but by all means don't put this off any longer.

 

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ljn11 answered...

the lioness - it appears you do not have much experience with dementia. The gyst of your answer would be correct if both parties were in full possession of their faculties. But that is not the case here. At the onset of my mother's dementia I kept getting advice to not confront or redirect attention and I felt like it tantamount to being deceitful with my parent which is not something I was prepared to do. I have learned that I can have wonderful, reasoned conversations with her about finances, disposition of goods, etc. and we come to agreement only to find that she has no memory of the conversation a few minutes later. And yes we both get frustrated. But now, I just make the decisions and if she I asks I will tell her what's going on but avoid confrontation. Because she may not remember what we argued about but she does remember the bad feelings. I would rather have her feeling loved and cared for.

 

1999 Tinkerbell answered...

to The Lioness- YOU ARE WAY OUT OF LINE AND IF THESE ARE ANSWERS I GET FROM SOMEONE LIKE YOU DON'T BOTHER. i HAVE BEEN VERY UP SET ABOUT THIS. i DO NOT WANT TO CONTROL OR ANYTHING ELSE. I H AVE TO OR WE WILL BE BROKE. hE IS HIDING AND HE NEVER DID THIS BEFORE. HE HAS ALZHEIMERS AND NEVER DID THIS BEFORE. iT IS SOMETHING THEY DO. i DO NOT THINK YOU HAVE ANY EXPERIENCE WITH EITHER DEMENTIA OR ALZHEIMERS( HOPE YOU DO NOT) IT IS NOT FUN.i LOVE MY HUSBAND SO MUCH AND IT HURTS TO SEE WHAT IS HAPPENING. THANKS Ljn11! for your input! HUGS!!!

 

Emily M. answered...

Thank you all for sharing your advice with 1999. We love seeing our community members supporting and helping other members.

I just wanted to remind you all of our community code of conduct which states that, "Personal attacks are never allowed. Differences of opinion are welcome, as long as they're presented respectfully." If you'd like, you can also review our full Community Code of Conduct, here.

1999: In addition to Helene Bergman's wonderful expert guidance, another resource you may find useful is our Steps & Stages program. With Steps & Stages, you'll receive a newsletter for your loved one's stage, a Custom Care Guide with tips on dealing with symptoms you are seeing, and access to our support forum Stage Groups.

If anyone has any further questions, please feel free to contact us at support@caringinc.zendesk.com.

Take care, Emily | Community Manager

 

recorderist answered...

My husband is, thankfully, still able to be aware and reasonable about finances. However, in the interestes of avoiding future confrontation, I've gently arranged to pay all bills online so he doesn't have to worry about envelopes, stamps, finding postal boxes, etc. I show him online what's been going on whenever he asks to keep him comfortable with this. He's unable (though formerly very facile with computers) to grasp the particulars of online banking. He can and does still withdraw cash from the bank, and he does have a tendency to give away $5 or so to about anyone he likes or thinks might have need or whatever. I try to discourage the amount of this going on as it depletes our resources. But I also have Durable Power of Attorney which I will take advantage of if things ever start to get out of hand. Since we are together almost 24/7 now, and since I am doing more and more of the driving when we go out, and since we have a good and trusting relationship, he asks me about withdrawals and I'm there to answer. If this becomes a problem, I'll figure out some new way to work with it.

 

 
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