Dear Ms. Vicki,
I am a military spouse. My kids and I relocated with my husband. Since the moment we moved, my husband has used our Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) to purchase a vehicle. Every month we have been here, there have been eviction notices on the door from the apartment complex. Also, our utility bills are not being paid.
I found paperwork that stated my husband has taken out more than $2,000 in loans, but he could not tell me where the money went. He has now taken out an interest-free loan from the Army to meet October's rent.
I tried to reach out to the finance department at the base. I wanted to see if they could just stop placing the BAH on his check. But they told me they were not allowed to discuss that with me, and suggested that I Google my questions.
My family and friends are thousands of miles away, so I have no one here to offer me any financial support. I am thinking of leaving my husband, but I have no way to make it on my own.
Do you know if there are any resources from the Army that can help me if I choose to leave my husband? Would he get to keep the BAH even if me and the kids decide to leave? I pray this message reaches you. Any info you can offer me I would be grateful for.
This is a difficult time because you are young in your relationship and you are a blended family. Your marriage can survive, but financial stress can ruin any relationship.
You say that your husband is overspending, and major bills are not being paid. Because you are home, you are the one who first receives the eviction notices and other bills. This is stressful, so stressful that you just want to leave your husband.
You raise another good point: If you leave, you won't be able to financially support yourself. For this reason, I think you and your husband should go to budget and financial counseling that's offered on base.
Also, this is a good time for you to consider full- or part-time work and continuing your education. There are many certificate and diploma programs that when completed can lead to a good salary and career.
It may be difficult, but I suggest that you and your husband pick a time to discuss all of the bills and his income so you can give a better account of where all the money is going.
You mentioned that you discovered that your husband has taken out another personal loan. In this case, he is adding fuel to the fire by hiding things from you and increasing your debt.
This is not good. Because of this, I would recommend marital therapy. Start by calling Military OneSource at 1-800-342-9647. Hopefully, your husband will agree but, if he doesn't, I think you should still ask for individual therapy to help you sort through some of your concerns.
-- Ms. Vicki