How Do I Handle My Shopaholic Husband Who Is Always Racking up Debt?

The Japan News

Dear Troubleshooter:

I’m a part-time worker in my late 40s. I’ve been concerned about my husband for some time now. He has been a shopaholic for the last few years or so, but I tolerated it because I thought shopping would be a good stress reliever.

Ever since I started working part-time, my husband has been spending about the same amount of my salary every month on things that he wants to buy.

I lost my temper once and made him go see a doctor. I manage my husband’s salary, but we don’t make ends meet because he uses a credit card to buy things. So I have to dip into our savings to pay off the bills.

I’m left to take care of the housework and raise our child. Perhaps he’s working hard at his job, so he lazes about at home on his days off.

He doesn’t listen to me properly, and we live separate lives under the same roof now that I’ve lost all affection for him. Our child is still in elementary school and I don’t think it’s good for them to continue to feel my bitterness and negativity.

Please tell me how to handle and talk to my husband.

A, Chiba Prefecture

Dear Ms. A:

You asked me to give you advice on how to handle your shopaholic husband, but you need to change your own attitude toward him to change your husband.

You must have something to say to your husband as he does not take care of the housework and your child, but shops as much as he likes and spends his days off relaxing.

Tell him exactly what you want to say. Your husband is only spoiled because you so rarely complain. Don’t spoil him anymore.

Take steps such as not letting him rely on your part-time salary and not letting yourself pay for his bills out of your savings. It’s also important to learn how to develop your career so that you can survive on your own in the future.

Although it may make your life a little difficult, you should prepare to be able to support yourself even after you leave your husband by reducing your part-time hours to study. If you talk to your local government, they can help you find ways to continue working even as you get older.

In any case, it’s not good for your mental health to live with a husband who is unwilling to change as he ages and remains dependent on you. Please think about prioritizing yourself.

Junko Umihara, psychiatrist