To be hurt by hubby's comment regarding being the only salary earner in our household?

(155 Posts)
Preezie Wed 04-Jun-14 12:13:20

This is long...sorry! We moved to the UK more than a year ago. I left a lifestyle & job that I loved so that my husband could get the promotion he desired. As he was already earning 3 times as much as me, and this was a position he was very keen on, (better salary, a more senior position) I decided to sacrifice the life I loved in the hope that this would be the best move for the family. I had been a Stay home mum for years before finally finding a job I loved & taking it on, but would not necessarily have gone back to work at all had hubby not been so 'tight' with his money. (Which he had plenty of!) I eventually grew sick of all his comments & questions with regards to every penny I spent & decided to start earning my own salary so I wouldn't have to be subjected to his unnecessary scrutiny all the time.

While I was working, I was initially not expected to contribute much to household expenses because my job was temporary & as we were expats with pretty much everything paid for, (apart from a full time helper which hubby paid for), my salary was more a bonus than a necessity. Hubby paid for most entertainment, & other small expenses, while I used my salary as I pleased, usually on things for kids, holidays, (he paid for most holidays too but I often booked short holidays at my own expense for special occasions as a surprise) and gave my mum money on a monthly basis as she had a job which didn't pay very well and needed (but never at any point asked for) a bit of financial assistance.

Hubby wasn't pleased about me assisting my mum often and as soon my job went permanent, he tried to convince me to give less to my mother & take over certain costs such as his car insurance, and requested that I contribute to our children's monthly savings as well...both of which I was happy to do, but I felt that me assisting my mum should not be an issue because I was not using money that we needed to run our household for this, and thought it was selfish not to help out when I was in a position to do so & still lead a very comfortable life. In other words, I was happy to contribute towards expenses & savings but wanted to continue to help my mum out. We argued over this because he felt that rather than give my mum a big amount every month, I should cut down the amount I was giving her & contribute a larger amount towards kids savings. I felt that he had done without any contribution for kids from me for years, so should regard anything I decided to contribute towards their savings as a bonus. I felt my mum needed the money more & didn't think it was fair to cut this amount down. We had these sort of disagreements over the way I spent my money fairly often, but I felt a sense of relief to no longer be dependent on him financially & to be in a position to contribute to household expenses & still have enough left over to do as I pleased.

Forward to our life in the UK. I am currently a SHM again. I had intended to start working this year but fell pregnant unexpectedly & have decided to put work on hold till after baby is born.

Hubby now gives me £150 a month for myself. He pays for all household expenses so I can use my money as I please, but I tend to end up spending it on things for kids or house that I know he would have an issue purchasing on his own. For example, I bought a shoe cabinet which I love using my own money because he wasn't keen on getting one & I thought it was necessary in order to avoid a clutter of shoes at the door. It's worked beautifully & looks great, but cost me £ clearly my monthly allowance is not taking me very far! I recently purchased a helium tank and decorations for a party we are throwing at our place & while I always use my own card for this type of thing because I know hubby will kick up a fuss over this, for some reason, it would not accept my card details (I have plenty credit) so I ended up using hubby's card which it accepted fine! When he found out I spent £80 pounds on this, he was furious! He made a comment about being the only person earning in the house. This has really upset me because I hardly ever spend any of his money & it's not like I'm sitting on my butt being lazy & not wanting to work...I do everything around the house including the cooking on most days (although not to his satisfaction) & had every intention of returning to work had it not been for my pregnancy! (We both agreed I should wait as although a second income would be nice, he earns a good salary already so can do without mine) We are in no way struggling financially. We just bought a 5 bedroom home in a lovely area & hubby has been talking about getting himself a brand new car worth over £30 000 in the next few months, so I really can't stand it when he overreacts when it comes to money issues.

As explained, I practically never use his money! For example, I bought all our Xmas presents last year for our family & my sisters family with my own savings. I knew he would argue over the amount spent if I used his card/money, so I chose to use mine instead. It disappoints me that I sacrificed so much to make the move here...a lifestyle I loved, work I loved, friends I loved, a salary that gave me the freedom to enjoy the luxuries hubby could afford but wouldn't let me have....I gave it all up to make him happy & yet I still have to put up with his "It's my money...I'm the sole breadwinner" attitude! I know some people might think, well why spend that much on decor, but I hardly ever have parties & wanted this event to be special. I was quite happy to have him take that money off the £150 a month he gives me, which I told him, so I don't see why it's such a big deal. Won't cost him anything more that way! Besides, apart from purchasing a few maternity clothes (which hubby bought as my Mother's Day gift) I almost never spend money on myself...I can count the number of times I've shopped for myself over the last 5 years on one hand! (Even when I worked, I splashed out on gifts for hubby, kids & other family members, but rarely treated myself!)

Maybe I am being unreasonable, but I don't particularly enjoy my life here...I find myself constantly wishing I hadn't agreed to this move, and when my hubby behaves this way over trivial matters, it just makes me regret my move here, and losing my financial freedom even more! Do you think I'm being unreasonable to feel disappointed & hurt by his comments regarding being the only salary earner???

maninawomansworld Wed 04-Jun-14 12:17:44

Errrr... what's yours is his and what's his is yours... it's called a marriage. Marriage is a team game.

fuckinglondonballs Wed 04-Jun-14 12:22:28

Yes it sounds like you're both treating your money as personally yours rather than family money. So when you were earning you were giving your mum YOUR earned money, and you didn't consider it family money and therefore you didn't think your husband should have a say. And now your husband is considering money earned by him as his. So I think you both need to have a good honest chat about this because you have both acted similarly and had the same attitude.

CurlyBlueberry Wed 04-Jun-14 12:23:58

Bill him for the cooking, cleaning, childcare and household management.

MaidOfStars Wed 04-Jun-14 12:24:22

He's a dick. And possibly a financial abuser. You "earn" less than a hired help.


Preezie Wed 04-Jun-14 12:25:09

Well actually manina...he has on several occasions told me that what's his is his...I feel so hurt by this because I also feel that in a marriage we are a team...I left a perfectly good job when my firsy child was born upon his insistence that we would manage with just his salary. If I had known he was going to behave this way, I would have never done so!

OTheHugeManatee Wed 04-Jun-14 12:26:01

Your husband doesn't sound very nice at all. Being this controlling about money is not healthy in a relationship.

Does he make you happy in other ways?

cafebistro Wed 04-Jun-14 12:26:08

YANBU. Are you happy in your marriage apart from the financial aspect? I ask because this probably has little to do with money and lot to do with his controlling personality.

Calloh Wed 04-Jun-14 12:26:52

I agree with balls and man, you need to talk about sharing the money and dividing leftover after costs and savings have gone out.

He does sound as of he has been a bit tight in some respects but try not to focus on past negatives but instead look at how things are going to work moving forward.

Agree. Sound as bad as each other.

I'm not surprised he baulked at £189 on a shoe tree. IKEA do them for about 30. It might not be the item per se he disagreed with. More your take on which one.

You are sounding a bit spoilt too. 150 is quite good for a month. I'm certainly 'surviving' on a damn site less. I guess you need to also reevaluate the differences between 'important' 'necessary' and 'want'

CSIJanner Wed 04-Jun-14 12:29:07

So he uses the "sole bread earner" stick to win any financial arguments. £150 in the grand scheme of things isn't that much in comparison to a £30,000 car. He's financially abusive if he's picking up on everything and if you're too scared to buy presents from the family bank account. Because if you're running the home and looking after the children, that's what it is. FLB has it - both of you stop treating money as yours and his and start treating it all as family funds.

bucketofbathtoys Wed 04-Jun-14 12:30:37

Shocked by his behaviour. Controlling and extreme and also putting you down. Me and OH have joint and own accounts - but cars / house / kids stuff sits very firmly on the joint pot. We put in joint most if our money

shoppingfrenzy Wed 04-Jun-14 12:30:44

I can't get over that you bought all xmas presents last year from "your" money, as he wouldn't approve of the amount spent.

Actually, it sounds as though you have two entirely different views on spending and spending habits - he doesn't want to spend much, but you do seem to spend a lot. £189 on a shoe cabinet seems a lot, and I wouldn't be happy if my DP went out and spent this amount on a shoe cabinet that I didn't even think we needed.

It also sounds as though you are resentful of moving back.

Both issues need to be discussed and I think compromise on both parts is probably needed.

When he says "what's his is his", but you have given up work to look after the DCs, then that comment does make him a dick, IMO.

runningonwillpower Wed 04-Jun-14 12:33:12

Your husband's idea of marriage is not mine.

Fortunately for me, it's also not my husband's idea of marriage.

All of our decisions have been joint. All of our contributions have been equal. OK, he earns more than me but we see it like this; I contribute 100%, he contributes 100%.

I have no advice. But I would be very unhappy with your husband's attitude. It is not the equal partnership that for me makes a marriage.

MaidOfStars Wed 04-Jun-14 12:33:24

I think if my husband had the financial means to secure a five-bed house and was considering a £30k car, while I stayed at home and cooked, cleaned and looked after children, it might be reasonable to expect more than £150 per month for discretionary spending. Of course, it's possible to survive on less, but not when your partner in crime is withholding and flashing the cash. That's not a partnership.

redskyatnight Wed 04-Jun-14 12:40:24

Difficult to tell whether DH is unreasonable or not without knowing the true state of your finances (yours meaning the family's). Do you know how much DH earns and how much your essential bills are? If he's balking at you spending money because he's a tightwad and thinks you should only spend it on what he wants then he's BU. If he thinks you spend too much on frivolous items and you don't have the money to do so, I can understand why he might feel that he has to "manage" your spending a little. Maybe the new house and the loss of your salary has stretched your finances more than you realise?

5Foot5 Wed 04-Jun-14 12:45:26

...he has on several occasions told me that what's his is his

Yes but in your OP you said that when you were working I used my salary as I pleased so it sounds as though you had the same attitude to what you earned.

Not saying I agree with his controlling attitude to money but I wonder whether some of his comments have come out of frustration if he thinks you have a careless attitude to money and spend more than he feels is reasonable.

MrsChickPea Wed 04-Jun-14 12:47:14

Preezie... your DH is unreasonable. Sorry. Yes, lots of people can live on £150 a month. However, no one would do this if they didn't have to. Your DH can obviously give you more each month. He sounds very controlling.

Preezie Wed 04-Jun-14 12:50:00

I'm quite happy to treat our money as 'ours' rather than his or mine...While I was earning I was more than happy to cover whatever expenses were agreed upon. But as far as helping my mother out goes, I should add that hubby also gives his mother money regularly (which I don't mind at all)...the difference is MIL didn't need additional money to run her household, while my mother was barely getting by on her salary at the time. I have a very close relationship with my mother and naturally didn't think twice to help out if I could afford to do so.

I will admit that the shoe cabinet was expensive, but I wanted a particular style which Ikea didn't offer (I did check for cheaper options there and elsewhere) and I knew hubby would think this was pricey which is why I purchased it on my own. He has clearly said that I can do whatever I want with the £150 a month he gives me, so I didn't see the harm in spending it on a piece of furniture I really loved! I will only be furnishing our home once after all...might as well be something I really want than something I settled for because it would save me some money. I am in no way unreasonable with my spending in general.

Preezie Wed 04-Jun-14 12:52:43

5Foot5...I said I could do as I pleased 'initially' because my job was temporary so my salary couldn't be relied upon...I was also working half day at the time, so not earning much to begin with. I only went permanent (full day) several months later, at which point hubby & I did discuss how I could chip in with expenses.

OTheHugeManatee Wed 04-Jun-14 12:59:31

Sorry but if you're buying 5-bed houses in naice areas, and 30K cars, £150 a month pocket money is fuck all. Especially if that has to cover more than magazines, skincare and the odd night out.

DH and I together earn a decent wage - his about 3x more than mine - and we pool our money then award ourselves pocket money. We both get 'paid' the same amount of pocket money and the rest is for house spends, savings, holidays etc. Given that we are equal partners in the relationship we both believe this is fair.

OP, I think your husband sounds like a total arse financially abusive.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Wed 04-Jun-14 13:08:22

So he gives a portion of family money to his DM too?

I'm always saddened by long term relationships that roll along with very fixed ideas about my money/his money and the jealously guarded finances.

Preezie Wed 04-Jun-14 13:15:02

Yes Donkey...he had been giving his DM money for years...well before I started giving my mum money. His logic was that the money would go towards maintenance of her home which he & his sister would eventually inherit. I never questioned this at all, even though he mum is financially very well off and certainly doesn't need any further money. My mum on the other hand was really battling to get by every month.

windchime Wed 04-Jun-14 13:19:16

Get a job. Send the childcare bill to him. Hire a cleaner.

TheEnchantedForest Wed 04-Jun-14 13:20:30

you would get a lot more of 'his' money if you left him.

I could never live with or be part of such a financially controlling relationship. The fact that you are at home with the children has meant that he has been able to be out earning -so all money is family money. Your contribution is just as important.

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