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Annie’s Mailbox: Daughter ran up credit card debt

Thu., May 12, 2011

Dear Annie: Our 35-year-old daughter, “Keri,” stole one of our credit cards and ran up a bill of nearly $30,000. She did this just after we signed for a new car for her – on which she has discontinued making payments.

Keri has a good job, and we don’t understand where her money goes. My husband had to put off retiring this year in order to meet her obligations. He is afraid to cut her off, because each time we get into an argument about not being paid back, Keri threatens to keep us from seeing our grandchildren.

What can we do when she repeatedly promises to make good on these debts, but continues to fail? – Heartbroken Couple in Indiana

Dear Indiana: Keri uses the grandchildren as leverage because it works. Unless you want this situation to continue forever, you must be willing to call her bluff. (You might remind her that she stole your credit card and you can report her to the police.) Keri could benefit from talking to a credit counselor (nfcc.org), who will help her set up a budget she can live with. After all, you will not always be around to bail her out, and it’s time she learned that (to avoid bail her out/figure it out).

Dear Annie: This is in response to “Tired of it All,” whose husband developed erectile dysfunction about 15 years ago and stopped wanting sex.

I could have written that letter. My husband didn’t want to touch me or have sex. We also tried hormone testing. Well, it turns out that there was nothing wrong with his hormones and he had been having lots of sex – it was just with men.

For years, I believed I was somehow at fault. I never knew why he didn’t want me. Now it all makes sense. I found help through the Straight Spouse Network (straightspouse.org). “Tired” should look into the possibility that her husband is gay. – No Name, City or State



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