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How to be objective regarding money in (second) marriage

(111 Posts)
Interestingchanges Thu 18-Jul-13 10:31:24

Inspired by another thread on spending, I'd like to ask mns how they deal with the slightly trickier situation of being married second time round, with each having dc from former relationship.

Dh has 2 dc and I have 1, relatively similar ages, from resident (ds), 50:50 (dss) to regular contact (dsd).
Dh earns considerably more than me and contributes slightly more to common pot (own accounts), mostly though because he and his consume more (food, water, electricity, ...) then me and mine.

I think I wouldn't be asking if I hadn't made an error in judgement and bought a house with dh. We should have talked about the implications before but as we came upon a good opportunity we saw it as fate and jumped in!

As I used my savings and dh is paying back loan to (my) family member over very extended period, my present will sees ds as beneficiary, dh has however right to live there till he dies and house cannot be sold from under him (drawn up by solicitor who also cuts me out of any dh inheritance (which from gps will probably be considerable, which will go straight to his kids).

Please flame me if I'm being a selfish bitch, btw.

Dh has full knowledge of my finances, I have no secrets (and hes nosey) and always pay my half of things. But I feel he's being really petty by denying me insight into his finances, although its clear I don't want to take anything! I realize he got burned at divorce, but I can't help feeling insulted and marginalized. I looked after myself and ds as lone parent for years and am seriously great at budgeting/ saving etc.

I'd welcome any thoughts on this, particularly if experienced in the matter and somehow found right balance?
Many thanks

zipzap Sat 27-Jul-13 18:11:40

I think if I was in this situation I would be getting my sis to get the lawyer to tie down that he is going to repay the loan, sort out the interest rate that he is paying her and also I would put in the facility for him to be paying her back chunks of his bonus when he gets bonus payments from work...

At the moment it doesn't matter to him if he pays back or not as he knows you are guaranteeing the loan despite earning less than him.

On the other hand, glad to hear that you have managed to shock him by not letting his nasty comments have any power over you - long may it continue!

missbopeep Sat 27-Jul-13 16:10:16

Well, that was a good move! Changing your behaviour is the only way he will change his. You cannot make him change or become a different man.

Creating a nice home is not being controlling. But creating a home for step children to thrive in ( as well as your own) at the expense of your own happiness is wrong, as is propping up an emotionally retarded man in the hope he will 'come good'.

I just feel you have taken on this man as a project- and your goal is to remedy everything that is amiss with his psyche.

That's not what a marriage should be, IMO.

Everything you have said about his behaviour points to a man who has issues and remains immature in some ways.

Are you hanging in there for yourself, for the kids, or because this is marriage no. 2? Because it seems such bloody hard work, and all coming from you.

Interestingchanges Sat 27-Jul-13 13:24:25

We are both 47, have teen kids, and yes I'm used to that kind of behaviour, its just unexpected at 40+...
Little incident while shopping this morning, rather insulting "joke" made by dh, I ignored it, he immediately apologised for being rude and said he didn't mean it. I looked at him with what I hoped was a cross between pity and neutral and said I ignore those comments now and don't take them personally as I see he obviously can't help making such comments, I.e. he's somehow afflicted.
He was gobsmacked, like any naughty teen who had tried to shock you and couldn't.
Has been on extra good behaviour since. If I see retaliation I will point it out too. Have actually already done once before I now recall...
There is of course the possibility that I'm a hard headed woman, and I'd agree to the extent I like a peaceful life and want to create the atmosphere which makes this possible. That may indeed be controlling, and so I take responsibility for that, but also claim the credit for continually improving our home life so that dsc also comment on how welcoming our home is, so again, win win all,round.
I don't think I could be so selfish to only have things suit me, I feel guilty instantly when I do. And when I feel good about something I really love to share that too.

missbopeep Fri 26-Jul-13 22:46:28

Yes, agree it would help to know ages- he sounds 20s but assume with some older DCs he must be mid 40s or more and you too?

fabulousfoxgloves Fri 26-Jul-13 22:00:53

The obvious advice is that you cannot change a person, and you cannot influence their behaviour. How old is he? The man you are looking at is the man you have got, and will have in the future.

missbopeep Fri 26-Jul-13 21:42:31

pleasure smile
Sounds like you are making some progress even if it's simply just seeing him more clearly.

Great stuff about your new found confidence- that's a win-win thing whatever happens.

The comment about career/ you not pushing/otherwise he'd not do it, is classic teenage behaviour . No? Are the DCs teens yet? If they are you must recognise this! ie whatever mum or dad wants me to do, I'm going to do the opposite. ( even if I'm cutting my nose off blah blah in the process.)

You have to ask if you are a bit of a 'fixer' and a control freak too- because I recognise you from someone in RL - a good friend- who has spent years and years trying to fix her DH, and she admits it's all about control (hers) and getting what she wants , and not giving up.

On the one hand that's good but on the other......sometimes we have to recognise when it's time to call things a day.

When you said you are a 'mad and incurable optimist' maybe you could examine those words more carefully. Is it optimism or fear of change? Fear of failure? Fear of not being able to control a situation ? Is it optimism or a failure to live with the realities of life? Only you know.

Keep thinking.......

Interestingchanges Fri 26-Jul-13 21:21:51

I was just musing really, don't really earn that much to afford house/upkeep/ and pay back loan myself.
I'm always hoping for the quiet life, but realize that simply "owning" more than half the house would not solve my difficulties.
Even if he agreed, I'd still need him to pay towards utilities/ rent, and how would we fix that amount?!?

Divorce isn't seriously on the cards yet, but having a chat on the legalities if it would come to that did put my mind at ease.

What do i want/ need from him to make me want to stay? Honesty. In all things, but more important than money, I want to know what makes him act the way he does.
I've gained buckets of self confidence recently due to several ventures into "self improvement" (sports and driving again after 20 years) and I realize that as these progress I'm less anxious, more patient at letting things develop. And being more concerned now with me, I can detach a bit and see dh differently. Not so much through rose tinted glasses though, more like getting a clear view of the man I married.
We had a pleasant chat just now and he thanked me for not pushing him (job wise, he is competent and successful but not a careerist) because then he would not do it just to spite me. I'm not condoning what he said, it just proves to me that his thinking is skewered and I'm glad he can listen to himself saying such rubbish and may in time (when I hit him over the head with a Lundy Bancroft book, figuratively speaking of course) see how ridiculous he sounds.
Atm i want to get a clear picture, confront him with it and ask him to accept and change. If he matures enough to do that I'll be happy, if not ill draw the consequences.
But at least I ll be able to offer a post on how I discussed Bancroft with dh and the result I got (actually think there's one on here already).
Thanks again for all your time and interest, especially Missbopeep as you hung in there the longest, it is much appreciated.
I'm grateful to know there's someone out there that has been there and is willing to share their experience or advise the obvious that has become obscured, thanks

missbopeep Fri 26-Jul-13 17:08:11

Having er-read this, I think I now understand.

Have thought to ask dh to repay loan for him

You meant that you might ask your DH if you can take over the loan from your sister ( to him) and repay it on his behalf? Then the house would be yours.

But would it? In the UK if a couple divorce the home would not go 100% to one party simply because one of them had put more ££ into the property. The assets would be shared on need at the time ( home for kids etc) and the current and future income of each party which would enable them to start again.

But more to the point, why would you even want to be responsible for paying back his loan ? Do you mean at the point of divorce, or now?
Neither makes much sense to me as an option but forgive me if I'm being thick.

missbopeep Fri 26-Jul-13 15:31:03

p.s. I don't know why you had to shoulder half the blame for your first divorce- but surely now most divorces are 'blameless'?

missbopeep Fri 26-Jul-13 15:29:18

Glad you have seen a legal bod.
Bit confused by your final point here

Have thought to ask dh to repay loan for him, [ who??] but feel that would put him out, as it would be MY home then, not OURS. And no doubt he'd sulk then too... Still its an option I'd be willing to go for

.....the house would be yours? I thought it was already?
If you are divorcing does it matter if he sulks? sorry but this bit has lost me! I thought he was already repaying the loan out of his own income?

I thought- but correct me- that even if you reside somewhere else in the EU you can start your divorce in the UK under UK law- and I have been told by a close friend whose DH lives in the EU ( she doesn't- he commutes) that UK law favours wives much better than some EU countries. She actually petitioned against him to be protected by UK law than wait for him to divorce her possibly from his EU base.

In the UK I'd have thought that hiding/ not disclosing earnings and other examples of his behaviour ( being mean, expecting sexual favours after a night out etc.) could be classed as unreasonable behaviour and grounds for divorce.

Have you yet reached a stage where you have decided whether you are still trying to mend this marriage, or are you now looking at shutting it down and getting out?

If it's the first, what does he need to do for you to think it's worth your while sticking with him?

Interestingchanges Fri 26-Jul-13 14:50:28

Hi twinkle,
I've known my solicitor for years (he wrote my airtight prenup for first time round...) and he was most circumspect and polite but also clearly saying dh is an a*se for treating me like this. He probably sees me as attracting total douchbags but will kindly continue to protect my interests...
The payoff should be decided between ourselves primarily but based on initial house cost (without improvements) share/ amount on loan paid back.
Grounds? My point exactly! I asked for first divorce but had to legally shoulder half the blame, dh1 insisted on this even though both of us could have left it as irreconcilable differences... Probably same if I go through with it (don't want to yet, though).
I guaranteed my dsis loan so I would pay her back whatever happens.
Have thought to ask dh to repay loan for him, but feel that would put him out, as it would be MY home then, not OURS. And no doubt he'd sulk then too... Still its an option I'd be willing to go for.

Twinklestein Fri 26-Jul-13 14:24:12

I'm not sure the legality of disclosing earnings is relevant, it may be legal there, it may even be legal here I've no idea, but it's a massive spoke in the wheel of your relationship if he won't be open & honest with you, but expects full disclosure from you.

How much would you have to 'pay him off' if you divorced and on what grounds?

And what will happen to your sister's loan if you divorce?

Interestingchanges Fri 26-Jul-13 14:16:45

Clarity is right!
Back again for update after consulting my solicitor this morning.
In this country (EU) a husband/wife is allowed not to disclose earnings, simply to support a partner should the need arise.
Re house Im pretty safe in that should I divorce it won't be taken from me, but I'll have to pay him off, how much depends on good will of either party or judge can decide. I was told to leave him play silly buggers as I'm definitely in the stronger position here and to come back only if dh decides on some other clear demand that can be legally formulated.
Basically its not a legal issue, its a question of character... And this from a neutral party (!).
I'm doing well with the Bancroft book, there's an online guide for men, I think I'll print it out for him, we re going for a short holiday next week, just the two of us, to my home town, so no special sights or attractions and plenty of time for discussion and soul searching.

nkf Wed 24-Jul-13 16:38:45

I was married to a man very similar to the way you have described your DH. You sound as if you are getting clarity on the relationship. Keep thinking. Keep asking yourself questions. One day you will know what to do for everyone's best.

missbopeep Wed 24-Jul-13 16:33:18

If your DH can be kind and generous when he wants to be ( presumably to get some kind of power trip from it) then pulls the rug from under you and his children when he doesn't want to be nice- another form of control over people- then he's not worth bothering with. Really.

It's all about his ego. Why waste your life with someone like that? You are worth so much more.

Interestingchanges Wed 24-Jul-13 13:40:35

This is exactly what I want in a partner too, as I know I can offer the same.
I saw I had made a mistake marrying dh1 as he made no bones about being selfish and acting like a bachelor from the get go.
Dh2 has shown me how kind and generous etc he can be, but then decides to stop, for reasons only known to him.
Ill copy your list as its easier to access then the book (already spotted his behaviour on page 1!)
I don't think he's comfortable with himself, resents me for how I feel about myself (and women have plenty of issues to occupy themselves without make input..) and in that one sentence have just described my parents marriage.
My mum was super confident and practical and a real no nonsense type, and my dad felt inadequate for words (but homed in on my mothers need for romance and friendship and refused her that). They stayed together for 40 years and before he died he acknowledged her guts and said he'd not have married another. I don't want to sit at my husbands deathbed to hear that...

missbopeep Wed 24-Jul-13 13:06:40

When you stared this thread, it was all about money, mainly.
Now it's clear that although money is part of the problem ( or rather his attitude towards it), there are other aspects of his behaviour that are very troubling.

You must love him, otherwise why would you stay with a man who clearly has so many flaws and, from what you say here, is not coming over as a very nice person at all.

But even if you love him, what do you want and expect for yourself? It seems to be so very little and I feel hugely sad for you on the one hand and very angry on your behalf towards him on the other.

I've been married for decades, and my Dh has his faults, but if I were starting over again, this is what I'd want as an absolute minimum:
a man who was
- kind
-generous- with his time, emotions and yes, money.
-who cherished me and made me feel loved
- was my best friend and who I could rely on and turn to if I needed support
-was honest and hid nothing from me
-was fun to be with most of the time
-who gave me something more than what I could have with my girl friends or family.
-who didn't have issues or needed fixing in some way
-who was comfortable with who he was and understood himself

what about you? How far does your DH meet any of your needs or mine?!

Interestingchanges Wed 24-Jul-13 12:46:35

Thanks for book tip, its downloading on iPad as I write!
As I had previously suspected dh of ea I already got the other Lundy Bancroft book. Brilliant.

You're right, its me working at the marriage, dh is happy. Thankfully therapist reminded him both partners need to be happy.

If I had to put a number on it, I'd say dh is 50% narcissist, we can have a wonderful time together but you can see in his face when he feels "inferior" to me in some vague way and will then say or do something stupid to offend me.
I am self sufficient, he's like a little boy needs looking after
I make friends easily, he has none (apart from a work colleague, his brother and son...), but then I actually like people!
I'm sensible, about money, long term plans etc, dh less so
Im a bit cautious in general, dh is a hedonist (own words) re sex, food, any kind of sensual pleasure (fine with me as long as nobody suffers, but all dc now hand over leftovers perhaps before they're even full as he makes a point of being hungry. I've tried stopping this nonsense but he really feels deprived, not greedy). When I'm being greedy (chocolate)I make a point of it and can laugh at myself

I hate blaming mothers (doh!) but mil is so terribly self centered and I can't fix dh, I can't give him the childhood he would have needed.
He's not an ogre, but I won't let him pull me down either.
Thanks again for book advice, will start reading.

missbopeep Wed 24-Jul-13 12:11:36

Maybe you are the type of person who also likes to control and sees him as a challenge and something that you can 'sort' ? I mean that in a kindly way- not a criticism!

You said something a few posts back about being optimistic that you could sort the marriage etc - but do you think that the flip side of that is not wanting to admit 'failure' and allowing your boundaries to be eroded in the process?

You see in all of this, there 's no Mr IC coming onto Dadsnet wanting advice on how to make his marriage better, and be a better H - it's you doing all the agonising and work.

Have you thought about making a list of all the reasons why YOU are still there- forget the kids and the MIL because they are just passive beneficiaries -it ought to be about your happiness first and foremost.
Unless this man makes you feel glad to be alive, respected, loved, happier, secure, more fulfilled, and just great to be with for most of the time, then there 's a big ???? over it all.

There's a good book- Should I Stay or Should I Go- might be worth reading.

Interestingchanges Wed 24-Jul-13 11:26:58

Thanks for the moral support.

Dh had himself suggested he might have aspergers traits when I pulled him up on rude behaviour years ago. I told him then that it was bs and he should behave better. As his behaviour has not changed I was willing to entertain the possibility...

Yes, he's mean, and unfortunately not just with money.
I've read a bit on ea and the so called waiter- test, he has embarrassed me on countless occasions re waiters, cashiers and most recently my bank advisor. Looks down on our neighbours as working class, etc.

I noted his dc tended to bully my ds and it took some time to sort that one out (they are friends now that dad doesn't enable their bullying and my ds is made of sterner stuff then me anyway..).

Dh1 did treat me badly from day one, favoring his dsis (!) with respect and expensive presents with me an "also ran". I called it a day after 5 years when our home was but a hotel for him, remained single parent for 8 years. I met other men but lo and behold they didn't interest me.

Dh2 seemed so lovely, understanding and sensible when we met. Anything disturbing was made out to be ex fault (and she's so mad herself it was difficult not to believe him).
Therapist already pointed out that if it were true he was treated badly in his first marriage, he has clearly turned these methods onto me now.

After meeting mil, I do realize he was incredibly spoiled by her, became her mini spouse when their marriage turned sour (for appearance sake they're still together, but the passive aggressive atmosphere could on occasion be cut with a knife). She hated ex for not loving her son and using him, thinks I'm great because I look after him... Not that its appreciated in any way.

I was successful in pointing out that dh had been doing same to dsd and he finally relented and set boundaries. She is a changed person, very positive to me and has become more reflective in general. Unfortunately dh has become married to dss now... Same tactics, elevating child to adult status, putting me in my place. As I see this clearly now I react by ignoring him and doing my own thing and then he pouts for not getting to me.

God, that was long again.
Dh has no reason to grow up. Should we split he will be the victim and he will convince some other unfortunate of the horrible ex...

Ok, enough whingeing. I obviously know what's happening.
Thank you for your interest and asking the right questions to get me out of this apparent stupor. There is simply no way of tolerating his behaviour.
I'm not going to allow any abusive behaviour to go uncommented, I notice when I complain he mans up, but when I let things slide he's off again, all puffed up and entitled.

2rebecca Wed 24-Jul-13 10:17:58

If my husband insisted I have an orgasm I'd tell him they don't come to order and that although he meant well I found his approach controlling and likely to lead to fewer orgasms.
Your husband sounds really mean though. I couldn't have a relationship with someone who refused to spend money unless it was a present. Money is to be enjoyed. I'm not a spend thrift but your husband sounds rather joyless. I presume these financial issues weren't apparent before you got married.

missbopeep Wed 24-Jul-13 10:06:57

I meant to ask- did your first marriage have issues of control and dominance? Did you have very low self esteem? Because you appear to be ever so tolerant of behaviour that is frankly very odd- like each paying for yourselves when you go out socially, and this tit-for-tat giving of gifts, or not, as the case may be. This is not how most married couples behave. Is there a chance you are setting the bar way too low in what you expect for yourself in a relationship? cos you are putting up with a whole load of crap.

missbopeep Wed 24-Jul-13 10:02:44

Oh dear OP sad

Look- one nice evening out does not cancel everything else that is going on. And blaming yourself for feeling low is really losing perspective on what is going on here. These are long term issues of trust and mean behaviour- nothing to do with your mood. It's about HIM and his behaviour.

I am experienced in working with people with Aspergers and tbh your DH doesn't fit the profile at all. Might you be trying to find excuses for his behaviour?

TBH I think sex is the least of your issues. Yes, his 'insistence' that you have an orgasm is odd ( as if you can just pop one out to please him), but it depends how he goes about it all- some women would be happy that their man was concerned about them being 'satisfied'- but if he makes it HIS goal regardless of how you are feeling then it's all about control again isn't it?

Don't start defending him on the basis of one pleasant evening out- you'd be a fool to do this and clearly you aren't.

Interestingchanges Wed 24-Jul-13 09:33:41

We had a lovely evening out yesterday and I was trying to keep an open mind, perhaps I'd been feeling low,,or something.
I'm starting to feel that either dh is on the aspergers spectrum or he must be a bit unhinged.
Money may just be symptomatic here, he's not wealthy by any stretch of the imagination, I'd say we're comfortably off, so no need for penny pinching either. And yet that seems exactly IT!
It's like he's afraid that any unwarranted treats for me are a definite no-no and I must not be expecting them (I had suggested going out to concerts etc and treating each other to shared fun times instead of buying stuff, had read this in a magazine...). Then he says, Im glad you had a nice time, it was part of your birthday present (a month back), and I casually mentioned another, rather expensive event I had happily funded to set us off, and there was no reply. I.e. that means nothing (his bday coming up soon).
And please forgive me for appearing slightly gross now, but when we have sex he always wants to have me orgasm too, because otherwise it wouldn't be fair (I don't always want to and it seems to hang over him like an unpaid debt?!).
I always wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt because ex "cleaned him out". But after 4 years the problem is getting worse.
We have another counseling session in two weeks,,ill bring up this point and have the therapist deal with it.
Re his kids, he seems a lot tighter with them too atm, one gets pocket money from maintenance, the other from him.
I wonder again if there are control issues involved, he spoils them then takes splurging away for no known reason.
Keeps us all,on our toes I suppose.
I think I can safely bring this up on my own with him.
Will keep posting.

Twinklestein Tue 23-Jul-13 20:28:05

I missed the OP's post @ 13:11 about 'sexual favours' ---> shock

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