Note: Please bear in mind that whilst this topic does canvass opinions, it is not a fight club. You may disagree with other posters but we do ask you please to stick to our Talk Guidelines and to be civil. We don't allow personal attacks or troll-hunting. Do please report any. Thanks, MNHQ.

Or is DH being controlling?

(81 Posts)

Me. Again. DH, normally lovely (bit flawed, has problems thinking things through, but true of most people?), & has been pretty good this weekend as I'm quite ill (on the mend a bit now). BUT:

It's half term, so no playgroups, pre school & other activities. Just 1 half hour swimming lesson. DD 3 & DS10 months old. Weather to be crap & soft play will be rammed, not a great deal else to do around here. I can fill a coue of days with baking biscuits, painting g, food shopping etc but decided it would be good to catch up with a close old friend who has a DS 3. Kids can play, we can chat & she lives at seaside (approx 45 miles away) so we can do bracing beach walk/shivery ice cream thing. I told DH & he went a bit cat bum mouth. I ignored it at first but then he said 'I know it's nice for you to see your friends, but...I'm thinking of the petrol'

My response was to explain how long a week with no planned activities can be in crap weather & that if he wanted to entertain 2 DCs (bearing in mind I have bronchitis & am getting 3/4 hours sleep in 24 due to cough), he could be my guest. He said, hmm, I think we need to talk about it, but not now (as it was bedtime).

I'm a SAHM. DH has good job, so although o.n one income it's a decent (although not massive) one. We (well him really) budget & whilst thi gs are tight (we think before we spend anything, have meagrely personal money & I sell anything that's not nailed down we no longer use, on eBay.

So aibu to do a 90 mile round trip as described or is he being a tight arse? Also for the first time in 11 years, feel he's being a little controlling.

My gut instinct is to say, I'm sorry you don't think it's important, perhaps you have some suggestions for what we could do? Then maybe you could have both DCs one Saturday whilst I take the train to visit x?

And uk don't think it's about driving. Friend could come here, he did suggest that, but where we live its be a drive to do anything fun with DCs & same issue re choice of activities. But friend lives by lovely beach. My kids love the beach, as, I suspect, do most!

AboutThyme Mon 11-Feb-13 01:32:11

Where are you in the country OP?

No martini or extra curricular shagging! smile

2 DCs, been off work for 3 1/2 years(ish), I think you're right thyme, it's been a gradual thing. He is exhibiting fil traits. Whilst this may sound flippant, I assure you it is not. Fil is a selfish, judgy, controlling nightmare. DH thinks this too.

He is def not a ltb, but I do think I am taken for granted. He's had the kids more as I've been poorly as he spent most of this evening telling about quirkily irritating character traits that I am more than aware of! Yet he does spend a lot of time telling me I need to be more patient. No shit!? But let him do it!

SW- Somerset

MarjorieAntrobus Mon 11-Feb-13 01:39:24

My take on it is that he doesn't want you to go, and the petrol cost is the excuse he is giving. A one-off 90 mile roundtrip is really not a big deal. Yes, it'll be about £15-£20 pounds, but you might well spend that and more on the extra activities you'll have to dream up in half-term week anyway.

I think he is being controlling, actually.

MarjorieAntrobus Mon 11-Feb-13 01:42:43

telling about quirkily irritating character traits

Was he telling you about YOUR irritating traits? shock

AboutThyme Mon 11-Feb-13 01:44:21

They often talk about how much they wont become their FIL or their own fathers, and then they do the exact same. Please be atuned to this.

Don't become that woman who says, ohhh he's a good man, a good father. Remember, a good father doesn't treat the mother of his children like the paid help. He wouldn't want his sons or daughters growing up thinking that women are slaves or servants. A good man would want his daughters to grow up knowing they were independent people who needed nobody to further their lives and knowing his sons were sufficient young men who wanted a female (or male) in their lives for love not domestic convenience.

If money is not tight you need to have a different kind of chat. What about a generous 'child activities' budget which you decide how to spend? If it doesn't all get spent it goes into an education fund. That way, you are motivated to be frugal and he has it in the budget therefore minimising the stress on him.

I regularly have 'don't turn into your personality disordered father' conversations with DH. He knows he doesn't want to. He also reminds me not to turn into my bossy mother.

* marjorie* no adorable dd's traits.

mrstp the kids activity budget does currently get lumped in with the 'other' one which I think does diminish it's importance. The little blightes have quite enough in their education funds though! Well, I suppose more couldn't hurt. Thsats not a bad idea. Normally I am extremely frugal & do more play dates/lunch swap v cheap aggro up things. This is unusual, but like I said, half term.

MarjorieAntrobus Mon 11-Feb-13 01:54:43

Following on from what MrsTerry said about a child activities budget, your DH needs to realise that this is going to be a recurring issue every half-term and holiday, ie that there will be extra expenses at those times.

MarjorieAntrobus Mon 11-Feb-13 01:55:40

Gosh, I'm glad he wasn't talking about you!

As for turning into our parents...I could do worse. DH could not! In fact that is what is so odd about this, it's so reminiscent of things he hated about his own childhood.

Anyway, hacking cough appears to have abated. Time for some sleep. Will check back tomorrow & update on what happens.

AboutThyme Mon 11-Feb-13 02:05:59

OP I certainly wasn't being nasty when I said about turning into the parents.

I would just hate for you to end up like so so many of us women here, if you are picking up on things early on then you have an excellent chance of changing things for the better. OR.

AboutThyme Mon 11-Feb-13 02:06:53

Do NOT ignore those red flags that pop up early on. They become huge giant flags later on.

MarjorieAntrobus Mon 11-Feb-13 02:07:32

And they already have education funds do they? Wow, that is quite far-sighted. Impressive too, and not something we ever managed to do.

My hunch is that he is very anxious about money all the time, even when there are healthy balances in all the pots. He is planning ahead to pay off more mortgage, save for the children's education etc. All very laudable up to a point.

MammaTJ Mon 11-Feb-13 05:05:48

Babies, I am now wondering where in Som you live and whether you are planning on visiting the seaside town I live in!! I may well bump in to you, if so. I have a friend visiting from Bridgwater today (not 45 miles from me) and will probably at some point go and visit the seafront, even if we don't make it on to the beach.

My DM however does live a long way from me and we do have to think carefully if we go and visit her, but we manage it sometimes.

The same bus journey would cost £7 for me, not sure about the DC. First bus do a daily adult ticket, which will take you all over Somerset all day for that. Worth a thought and your DC may enjoy that too.

MammaTJ Mon 11-Feb-13 05:07:44

Just realised your DC would not have to pay, so you may be able to get to your friends and back for £7.

Hi mamma thank you. Not far from your friend but my friend is in Devon and if I got the bus there would sadly be two changes & it would take approximately 3 hours with the timetable. The train is an idea, but the car is so much easier for nap time & DS is VERY grumpy otherwise.

Re education pots, we just chuck all the child benefit (or whatever it's called now, used to be family allowance) into an account t for each of them.

It's pils ESP fil who have made him anxious about money. Living at or to your means is a cause for failure (my poor parents are definitely patronised, something they deal with beautifully by the way, lots of 'I'm sure you didn't mean to be so rude' type comments from DM, I actually checked she wasn't on MN!)! He has grown up with this & whilst he declares their judginess wrong, he feels the need for intense caution at every turn I. Order to avoid the shameful situation of having no savings. Ridiculous I know. Btw DH does NOT judge people like pils do.

Whilst I do enjoy the security of this approach, and I do, I have been raised in a much more seize the day kind of way. My parents are, IMO too careless & I'm worried about what will happen when dad retires. DH & I try to find the middle ground, I just need to hit reset with him every so often.

On dwelling on pondering on this, he mentioned yesterday that we have very nearly enough to pay off the maximum we are allowed to off our mortgage in one year. I would just think, nearly? That's good. But he is genuinely a bit OCD about round numbers & in this situation it would give him great satisfaction to roundup rather than down. By my calculation, the reality is that we need to fi d a extra £400 by June but will have very little affect on our monthly repayments. I appreciate the thought, but ill be returning got employ intel years we have a long, long time until retirement (health permitting) so I'd rather not struggle quite as much now when we don't have to. That is what we agreed, but I wonder if he'll find the money from somewhere.

Numberlock Mon 11-Feb-13 06:15:00

Yes he's controlling and re-read your OP as you make a lot of excuses for him.

Buddhastic Mon 11-Feb-13 06:28:37

Sit down with him and talk about this after you get back from the beach. He doesn't sound bad but I think you're hearing warning bells and need to sort it out. Finding an extra £400 might not have any affect on your monthly payments but may make a significant difference on how many years of mortgage you have to pay. It sounds like you need to tweak your budget to include day trips and extras. I do agree that you need to have fun but the worlds in such a mess with so many people in financial trouble its worth trying to reach a compromise. You sound calm and sensible about it all so talk sooner rather than later, if I bottle it up I get screechy and that's not conducive to an agreement blush.

Apologies for garbling am on phone!

Montybojangles Mon 11-Feb-13 06:46:19

Just tell him your going. You want to see your friend and let the kids have a nice day by the seaside. As soon as he mentions petrol remind him of the other swimming pool he likes so much.
If he still goes on tell him very calmly that in future you will set a school holiday budget of xxamount per day, as kids need some fun on their hols. Show him a few prices for amusement parks etc and tell him that that's the alternative (so petrol and entrance fees).

Inertia Mon 11-Feb-13 06:57:44

The thing that strikes me is that it's easy to find petrol money for a 45 mile trip when it's for something he has chosen to do, ie taking the children swimming at the pool he prefers.

It's all very well saving for the future, but he has to accept that you need to spend some money. Child benefit was originally set up so that mothers would have access to money to pay for essentials for the children if the father would not share his wages - why isn't cb paying for what the children need now ?

Yanbu. He is being controlling.

LeaveIt Mon 11-Feb-13 07:17:30

What Monty said - very good suggestions.

Euphemia Mon 11-Feb-13 07:23:39

My DH was obsessed with paying off the mortgage. We had no foreign holidays, the cheapest cars, and did nothing to the house for ten years because of his obsession.

We paid off the mortgage just before we turned 40. This allowed me to leave the job I hated to retrain, and bring in next to no money for a few years. We moved house last year and paid cash for the house.

We have no debts, and loads of savings. But we had a pretty miserable 10 years to get here.

It's about choices: how you want to live now, and the effect that will have on the future.

Jambonfrites Mon 11-Feb-13 09:40:13

I definitely think you should go and stay with your friend. It's a great idea for you and the kids to have a good (and relatively inexpensive) time over half term. Stick to your guns, YANBU.

Longer term, you guys obviously need a chat about priorities for money. DH and I have similar calm conversations heated arguments about money and tbh haven't really reached satisfactory agreement yet. IMO paying off extra chunks of mortgage is a 'nice to have', but should only be considered after normal every day living costs (inc. activities for kids) are covered.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now