My Husband’s Christmas Gift Turned My Life Upside Down

I’m the primary breadwinner in our family because I am a doctor with solid hours, and my husband, Nick, is a freelancer who works from home. I control our home expenses because they come from my pocket, whereas Nick covers our son’s football training. MAnd I know that Nick has been stressed out by his work, or lack of stable work — he has mentioned it many times. It hasn’t been a problem because I’ve worked hard to get where I am, so looking after my family is a blessing. But it doesn’t stop there. Given our financial dynamics, I didn’t expect anything extravagant from Nick this Christmas. But after our Christmas breakfast of pancakes, Ben, our son, wouldn’t wait to dig into his Christmas presents. So, we sat in the living room, and I noticed that Nick seemed content with himself. Then, he handed me a little box with a beautiful gold necklace that probably cost more than my entire wardrobe. i was confused and a bit shocked. I asked Nick where he got the money for it. But he just shook his head and smiled. “No,” I said. “Tell me. We can return it, so you don’t have to worry about paying it back.” I said that because I wanted him to know I appreciated the gesture, but I didn’t want us to worry about paying back some excessive amount. It wasn’t necessary and not worth the stress.

“I’ll tell you everything,” Nick said. “But I need you to listen and understand.” I sat back and listened to a story that turned my world upside down. Nick had an account left to him by his parents, which had made him a millionaire after all these years. We have been married for eight years, and during this time, Nick was living a double life, pretending to work from home. Meanwhile, the truth was that I went to work every day, sometimes working double shifts — which caused me to miss out on Ben’s football games — while Nick had been lying to me. Instead of working away in his home office like he had made me believe, Nick was enjoying hobbies, meeting friends, and playing games on the Xbox I bought for Ben. But it didn’t even stop there. To make matters worse, Nick had always insisted that we sign a prenup, but he told me that it was because he valued me and my profession and wanted me to know that I would be protected, no matter what. But the truth was, the prenup was for safeguarding his money. Now, Nick says, “You can resign, Lisa. We can live on the interest I’ve accumulated all these years. You don’t have to be the absent mother at Ben’s games.” I was bewildered. I wasn’t an “absent mother” to Ben. I had made it for all the important events. It was only when I was working my double shifts that I missed out on the football games. Here was Nick, the silent millionaire, making me feel guilty about providing for our family. At that point, I was furious. I sat there, watching Ben play the new game we had bought him for Christmas, and I thought about all the times Nick claimed that he couldn’t afford things for our home or buy me a birthday or anniversary present. I thought about all the times he said he was too tired to help with the household chores or pick up our son because he was too busy “working.” To be honest, I thought that Nick was becoming depressed with his job situation, and that was why he kept shirking his responsibilities. I got him an iPad for Christmas because he said that it would help him work from anywhere and he would be able to get to Ben quicker. Nick said that he wanted it really badly, but he just couldn’t afford to buy it. t’s been a few days, and I’m at work between patients and feel like I have been living a lie. I told Nick that I needed some time to think about everything. I am torn and don’t know what to do about it. Nick has had all this money sitting around, waiting for him to use it. While I’ve been working my butt off just to make sure that we have everything we could possibly want. I’ve been wearing the gold necklace as a reminder that I must decide what to do.