Your Dilemmas: My husband wants to take out crazy loans to fund Christmas

In her weekly column, JOAN LONG, a Bishopstown psychologist and psychotherapist, answers readers’ queries
Your Dilemmas: My husband wants to take out crazy loans to fund Christmas

"My husband is now in a stubborn mood and I heard him telling the kids the other day their mum hates Christmas!"

Dear Joan

I don’t know what to do , my husband and I are constantly fighting about Christmas.

We have four children and barely make ends meet all year, but then comes Christmas and he goes way in at the deep end.

We only finished paying off for last Christmas in September because he got two loans, one of which involved 70% interest. I do not want the same thing this year.

Our kids want iphones and ipads and the truth is we cannot afford this kind of spending.

I know lots of people get loans every Christmas but I have never agreed with it because you end up paying for it all year.

My husband is now in a stubborn mood and I heard him telling the kids the other day their mum hates Christmas! I know this is a dig at me and so unfair. The kids asked me later when he was gone out with his friends to the pub if it was true, I had to tell them their dad was joking.

We are not talking for the last few days and today he sent me a text asking what are we doing for the kids’ Christmas? What he is really asking me is if we will go ahead with these crazy expensive presents. If I don’t agree, he will make my Christmas miserable.

Dear reader,

How right you are! Yes, we need to live the rest of the year too. After all, Christmas is basically one day.

We need to live according to our means but you are in a difficult dilemna. You are correct in how you are reading the situation, in my opinion, because is it really worth getting expensive gifts we cannot afford? Do children need the biggest and best? I think not.

If kids are getting the latest in technology because that is what they want, and even if their friends/neighbours have such gadgets, does that mean we have to borrow and do the same? I think not.

What are we setting our children up for if we give them all they want? What will happen to them out in the world on their own? Are we honestly preparing them to be able adults? I don’t think so!

I think we are setting them up for failure if we keep providing them with what they “want”. There is a difference between needs and wants.

I think you and your husband need to go outside of your home in a place where you can have a private conversation about this without the children present, and discuss honestly how you feel and hear what he feels. Please listen to his point of view, give him space to say how he feels and how he thinks you can afford what he is proposing.

If you both listen to each other, that would be a really good start. Tell him how you feel when he passes the comment to the kids. Try not to be mad with him, just let him know.

If you cannot talk together, maybe you could involve a good family member or friend.

You need to get to place where you can agree on what you need to spend and how you will finance this spending.

What is most important for children and families is that there is love in the home and there is security within their four walls.

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