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Need your perspective on a change of attitude
April 14, 2004
8:58 am
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petitefour
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Everyone-
Sometimes I feel have a warped perspective on what a healthy relatiionship should be. Lately, I question my every thought and feeling. I need a clear, unbiased opinions from any of you out there.

I have been married for almost four years. My husband and I both work full time. He has kids (that don't live with us), I have three that do. I moved into my husband's home soon after we were married and my name is not on the mortgage. For the first three years of our marriage, we filed taxes married (joint) and shared the tax liability (50/50) to the government and state.

Out of the blue, yesterday (for the 2003 tax year), I was informed by my husband that I would now be totally responsible for any unpaid taxes to the government (according to his calculations) and he would owe nothing. If I file married (separate) I would owe more because I do not have any interest (mortgage, etc) write offs. I was devastated! I do not have this kind of money. I am struggling to get by as it is! Am I warped in thinking this is wrong? I am hurt by his change of attitude. My gut feeling is that he believes that since I live in a house (in his name only) that I owe him something (besides the household $$ that I already give him every month and the groceries that I buy for all of us). I got very upset when I was given this news last night and now he is treating me and my children like garbage, because I had the nerve to cry last night. I guess I will have to call my parents for money again to cover this unplanned tax debt (-$2K). This sounds like nothing in the big picture compared to what you are all are dealing with on a daily basis, but I would appreciate someone's perspective on this situation.

Maybe there is a side I cannot see, because I feel so bad. Please let me know if I AM REALLY CRAZY! Sanity check, please!

April 14, 2004
9:42 am
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Zinnie
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If you have always filed joint returns, unless you two previously discussed it - there is no reason why you would not expect to file a joint return again. Sorry, that is just not right.

Marriage is a partnership. Sure, I would love to file a single return - my husband makes five times what I do, giving us a much higher tax liability, but we are married - and we file jointly.

Does he do this often? If not getting his own way, does he act like this? Perhaps it's time for marriage counseling?

Z.

April 14, 2004
11:17 am
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eve
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If this is new and out of the blue - I'd think that there is something else behind it.

Have you talked about money, mortgages, joint taxes, houshold money for the kids, money for maintenance, and work in the household/repairs of the house and so on? You should, and agree on something, and write this down. But you should do this when you (and he) have calmed down again. Don't talk money when you are emotional. This is hard bargaining, and you should leave love out of the picture - its business and should be treated as such.

April 14, 2004
11:31 am
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lindalee
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Ok, I'm guarding my words here becuase I dont want to cause you undue pain....having said that I would say this is a 'MAJOR RED FLAG'.
It would be my guess that something is really up somewhere else in his mind. He is wrong to sping this on you. As someone else said, marriage is a partnership. You dont 'owe' him anything. Period, in the way of money. What does he think you are " a roommate?" What the heck?!!
Consider this, to most men...money=power and if the house is'his' and the deductions are 'his' then he's treating you like much less than the 'partner' that you are.
Sit him down and ask him point blank..
"What is this really about?"
If he hedges, it'd be my guess that he's not thinking long term anymore.
Please consider that I could be way wrong and maybe he's just a real 'money grubber' but it seems like you would have known this before now if that were the case. Be wary , be alert and be on your guard. All if this is just IMO> Let us know how things go.

April 14, 2004
11:31 am
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petitefour
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Zinnie- Hi!
My husband is an alcholic and has problems with anger/excessive control (he will not accept either of these)and was hurt deeply by his first wife (of only 4 years) who cheated on him. I provide this background, because I feel that has something to do with the way he deals with me/ourlife/our marriage. Yes, we have been to counseling, to no avail.

We have always filed jointly before this year. He says I can only file with him and to take the benefit of his mortgage interest payments as long as I take full responsibility for the entire tax liabilies, (in contrast to all the years prior when we shared the tax burden 50/50.) He says he feels that providing a roof over my head and my children's head(s) should be be enough and I should be grateful that he is only asking me to do this! I am floored! (By the way, he WAS NOT drunk when he told me this last night, but sober). I have learned the difference between conversations that will be forgotten tomorrow and others.

Ultimately,I know I have no choice with this one.....I have to come up with this $$ very quickly though and then wonder what is coming next. I am so confused and hurt I am having a difficult time weeding through my emotions to get the real facts of the matter. I respect and welcome your insight. The crying has stopped, now I am just numb.

April 14, 2004
11:35 am
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Zinnie
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Hi,

Get on-line and file for an extension, which will give you until August of this year.

OR file and not pay it, but call immediately and set up payment arrangements with the IRS, they will do that with you. The interest and penalties will be there, but they are not excessively out of control unless you owe a lot of back money.

There are other issues at play here, and I will be happy to talk more about them with you later - however, I have to get to work. Ironically? At the IRS.

Talk to you later.

Z.

April 14, 2004
11:40 am
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petitefour
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Thanks, Z!!!!

April 15, 2004
10:04 am
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Zinnie
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HI Four,

Sorry I did not get back to you earlier.

The web site is:

http://www.irs.gov

You need to file for an extension which will give you until August 15 of this year.

OR, you can go ahead and send them in and just call and make payment arrangements on a monthly installment. You can pay them directly via monthly check or money order, they can draft your bank, or you can have them take it directly from your check.

I hope this helps.

Z.

April 15, 2004
10:15 am
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petitefour
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Thanks, Z. How are you feeling today?

April 15, 2004
10:34 am
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Anonymous
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PF,

At the very least you should request that your husband do a quit or quick claim deed. This will put your name on the deed of the house and give you protection in the event that something should happen to him.

In my previous relationship I made 2 times what my partner did but what was mine was his. I took the info to the accountant and we calculated the taxes three ways 1. I claimed all of the interest 2. He claimed all of the interest 3. We split the interest 50/50. We then went with the avenue that provided either the most money back or the least out of pocket, (our pocket).

Something is wrong here. You need to get to the bottom of this and quick.

MILO

April 15, 2004
10:38 am
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Zinnie
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Hi Four,

So so right now. Just had treatment and these are always my rough day.

How are you? Did you try talking to him?

April 15, 2004
10:50 am
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petitefour
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I am sorry this is one of your rough days...........I am sending good thoughts and white light to you, Z!

As far as my husband is concerned, it is too late to discuss anything (from his point of view), as today is April 15. He will NOT agree to request an IRS extension, he just demanded a check from me. Begrudingly, I wrote one. Just one more chapter to an already ailing relationship.

Deep down somewhere, I know this is only a "red flag" to something much more serious and devastating than just money/taxes. I just don't want to face it. It hurts too much for words.

As I have said, he has problem with drinking and won't get help. I am a newly self diagnosed CODA. This site has helped me through a difficult week.

All of you have been like guardian angels who have heard me, listened and responded. A gift I have not had much of lately. Thanks to all for letting me vent!

April 15, 2004
10:53 am
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Zinnie
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Anytime...

But, if you were to file seperately - then there is no reason why you cannot request the extension for yourself.

Yes, there are some other things at work here - and much as I hate to say this, because I'm not one to advocate divorce, except in cases of abuse or infedility - start making plans to leave. You and your children do not deserve to be treated like second class citizens.

I'm so sorry this happened.

Love,

Zin

April 15, 2004
6:29 pm
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Anonymous
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Petitefour,
You definitely are not crazy. Marriage is a partnership. It is not solely your responsibility to pay the taxes for your family. It sounds like he sees himself as being separate from you and your children. Don't let him convince you that he is doing you some sort of favor by providing for you. He is your husband and that is his job. You may not make as much money as he does, but I am sure you pull your weight in other ways.

This situation cannot be good for your children. His alcoholism is only going to negatively affect their development, not to mention the fact that he seems to perceive them as boarders in his home. You need to examine your relationship with your children in the forefront of your mind. You may be able to suffer through your husband's abuses, but are they? You deserve to be treated better than he is treating you. But, if you don't believe that, you must at least recognize that your children deserve better treatment and a better role model for their future relationships.

From my experience the more you give into control freaks the more they will try to control you. He will never learn that his behavior is unacceptable unless you make it clear that it is. Unfortunately, you will have to do more than just tell him how you feel. He needs to know that continuing his behavior and remaining with you is not an option.

Let us know how it works out. Good luck! I know it can be difficult to confront someone who has anger issues. Stay strong!

April 16, 2004
1:16 am
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Sam7
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Hi,

I'm not married so I don't have any experience with the marriage end of thing, but reading your posts, by jaw dropped and I started talking to my computer.

It IS awful. You aren't wrong. To me it sounds like he's thinking divorce and is trying to separate "his" assets from "your" assets so he won't lose as much. Could be totally paranoid ,but if you file separate returns where you acknowledge no ownership of the house, would that help it in divorce court? (I have no idea about American law...someone else will have to address that). But that's insane. It's completely and totally ridiculous. You guys are a team, and if he wants to change the rules, he should at least be willing to talk about it with you. I think you may need to get ready to leave, so start thinking of your assets and how you're going to provide for your children, especially if he's unwilling to go to counselling. Good luck!

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