Protect your credit rating; it would be better if you handle the money yourself

Two months ago, I married “Aiden” after more than a year of dating. He’s a loving husband and I am happy. The problem is, Aiden’s financial life is a mess. He owes back taxes, has credit card debt and forgets to pay his bills.

Dear Annie: Two months ago, I married “Aiden” after more than a year of dating. He’s a loving husband and I am happy. The problem is, Aiden’s financial life is a mess. He owes back taxes, has credit card debt and forgets to pay his bills.

I’m extremely organized with my money, pay all my bills promptly and have money saved. I don’t owe anybody a dime.

How can I protect myself from Aiden’s messy financial life? Will this affect my ability to get a loan? As a married couple, is our financial life now “one”? Please help me. — Worried in Hawaii

Dear Hawaii: If you have combined accounts, you may be legally responsible for all of Aiden’s debts.

It might be wise for you to keep separate accounts until Aiden’s credit cards are paid off and his taxes are straightened out. His credit rating also can affect your ability to buy a house or get a loan in the future.

Until Aiden can learn to be more financially responsible, it would be a good idea for you to handle the money. The two of you also should get some credit counseling so you can set up a budget while pulling Aiden out of debt.

Dear Annie: This is in response to “Desperate Alcoholic,” the still-suffering 48-year-old woman who can’t stay sober.

Having grown up in an AA family, I realized at age 35 that my social drinking had progressed to alcoholism. As high-functioning alcoholics, my late husband and I tried quitting a few times, but mostly just continued on in our merry way.

After he died five years ago, I finally decided to get treatment, since there was a nearby facility that would accept Medicare.

Tearfully, I asked the counsellor if I was too old to get well.

She replied: “I just have one question: ‘Is your heart still beating?’”

I have had numerous relapses, but they are less frequent and of much shorter duration (the last one was barely 24 hours), and I gain a little something with each sober period.

I count my blessings and always remind myself that as long as my heart is beating, there is hope.

God bless you. — Grateful Recovering Alcoholic

Dear Grateful: A tremendous number of readers wrote to support “Desperate’s” efforts to stay sober. We hope it will help to know so many people are on her side.

Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to anniesmailbox@comcast.net, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, P.O. Box 118190, Chicago, IL 60611.

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