Thank you, Hold, for answering my questions. I don't think you give yourself enough credit for your outstanding patience.

She doesn't steal or lie anymore. So I don't think having a joint account where both your salaries are deposited and bills paid from is unreasonable anymore. I know it once was.

Also, involving her in its accounting would be reasonable, now. With separately maintained savings accounts--so that presents to each other come from there, with a budgeted allowance from the central account going monthly to each.

My DH was a shopaholic for many years. I didn't have it nearly as bad as you or Orchid did. Mostly because of my AO's and DJ's, my DH was afraid of me. Still...we've battled it throughout our marriage. Funny he conquered it himself, he got some self-confidence. And when I stopped attacking our marriage through justifications and AO's and DJ's and all the rest...well, it helped, too.

The switch comes from gaining the good dopamine drops from not spending greater than the ones for spending. Also, when we did have to make a larger purchase item, I would ask him to do it--the research and eventual purchase. That helped a lot. Along with the admiration and appreciation he received from doing it so well.

I had to own up to being a miser, too. He would get false self-acceptance and confidence from spending; very much like a substance addiction. I would get it from being falsely virtuous for not spending--sacrifice and pride from playing victim. Talking about it, as it happened, doing those honesty drive-bys really made the difference.

Your DW seems to talk to you more now than back when. What if you asked her to tell you every time she wanted to make a purchase and didn't? Would that be of interest to you?

I'm happy your goal is to stay married--you can't make her want to stay married. You know that. It's what you tell yourself. You're getting closer to empty nest--and easing of the huge monetary obligations--and I'm looking out for the marriage. It's a big change. And further--when you have lots of time together. Our goal was to retire together. Now what?



The Paradoxical Commandments

Married 28 years/Together 30
Recovered 10 years