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A heavy angry fist slammed down on the desk. To say the least, anyone near that room would have definitely understood that things were not going well with the owner of that fist. Wouldn’t have to study the scowl on his face, or hear the frustrated cursing that erupted from his mouth.

Larry was married going on 23 years. He and his wife Marsha had a son finishing his education at the local university, and their daughter was turning seventeen next month. They owned their nice home, and Larry had a good job. Marsha also worked part-time at a clothes boutique in their town, where she loved taking advantage of her employee discount.  

In the eyes of Larry’s neighbors, their family life seemed solid and they were financially doing well. But neighbors usually know so little about the truth inside the house. All they saw was his friendly demeanor to them, and his obvious devotion to his family. And Marsha’s attitude gave nothing away, either. She portrayed a woman who, although not wealthy, was certainly not living in want. Relaxed, a little introverted, but accepting and at peace with herself and her life.

So why the heavy angry fist slam? Larry was sitting at his desk at home, paying the monthly bills.

Never an enjoyable experience for anyone. But so much worse for someone existing in a cesspool of debt from overspending. Dread, depression, anger, fear and hopelessness had moved in to sit on his chest like a four-hundred-pound elephant, making it hard to think and even harder to breathe.

Making it all the more impossible was the fact that he kept his wife and kids in total oblivion. He loved his family and wanted them to have everything. No worries for them. So, every maxed-out credit card was quickly rolled over to another one, and every harsh phone call or unpaid bill was hidden.

But all this deception meant a double whammy for Larry. Believing that everything was fine, Marsha and the kids they spent as they wished, adding to his growing burden. The second part of that whammy was carrying that monstrous burden alone, mentally and emotionally.

You can easily guess the ending. That kind of stress takes its toll on the body. Larry’s stress eventually ended with a heart attack. Marsha’s began with his death, when in the midst of her grief, she discovered their impossible mountain of debt.  And suddenly had to deal with it all alone.

Husbands and wives, please, face it together. Whatever the problem, or the heartache. You may think that you are doing your spouse a loving favor by shielding them from the severe truth. But actually, you are accomplishing the opposite. While you are lone-wolfing the stress, you are setting up your spouse to have to do the same if you die from that stress.

And that isn’t fair to either of you. Learn to share the truth - and the stress. 

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