I lost interest in my wife and became a compulsive spender. Instead of depositing to our joint account, I was the one who spent the most money. Time after time she begged me to light the fire in our relationship, but instead of listening to what she wanted, I continued spending more and more money each day, all the way down to the last penny in our bank account.

One day she couldn’t take it any more, and violence erupted. It was horrible! Never before had I done physical harm to anyone, so when I hurt her, I felt worse than ever. I wanted to die, and I asked myself over and over why I had money to spend on unnecessary things, but I didn’t have it for the things she wanted. I never paid the slightest bit of attention when she would tell me about a problem at work or having to do with her health, and I now regret all that I have done wrong.

Dear Friend,

Fortunately your conscience has been able to do its job, and you feel guilt and regret for the ways that you have hurt your wife and yourself. You have been in a downward spiral of bad decisions and wrong actions, but your conscience is telling you that it is time to change directions, make amends for the harm to your wife, and begin to make healthy and positive decisions to rebuild your life.

Violence does not belong in the home. We do not know if you have children who were witnesses to what you did, nor how badly your wife was hurt, nor if she has left you. You say that you had never hurt anyone before, and we sincerely hope that you are telling the truth. However, we believe that women (or men) who are physically abused should notify the authorities and take measures to protect themselves. You have given your wife a good reason to be afraid of you and to mistrust you. You can’t expect her to get over that very quickly.

Any person who compulsively spends money, but wants to change the habit, should give over all the cash, all checks received, credit cards, debit cards, and checkbooks to the spouse who doesn’t have the problem. Figure out how much you need each week for necessary expenses, and ask your wife to give you that much cash. She can handle all the rest. Major expenses can be decided between the two of you.

You have been selfish and self-centered, not only with money, but also with your attention. If you want to save your marriage, you will begin to show more interest in your wife’s life. Set aside five or ten minutes each night for her to tell you about her day, while you listen intently to what she says. After she has had time to talk, ask some questions and give her a chance to answer while you still listen carefully. Don’t give advice unless she asks for it, and don’t criticize her for what she should have done or should not have done.

It will be very difficult to change the man that you have become. But there is Someone who wants to help change you from the inside out. If you are truly sorry for the ways that you have broken God’s laws, ask Him to forgive you for all your sins, in the Name of His Son Jesus Christ. He will erase the record of all you have done wrong and will pardon you from the eternal punishment that you have earned. However, He will not take away the natural consequences that you still need to face in repairing the relationship with your wife or in repairing your financial situation. God can also guide you in taking steps each day to regain your wife’s trust.

We wish you well,

Linda and Charles