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Husband I'm separating from's obsession with money.

(81 Posts)
Doughnut123 Thu 10-Oct-13 13:58:02

I am separated from my husband, but we still live together at the moment. We are separating after 15 years of marriage and 3 children.
Our relationship has been in trouble for years, but now I've had enough and we are separated . He agrees that we cannot go on like this. We've had counselling, but there are fundamental differences in how we want to live/see life, that cannot be resolved.
We still get on as friends, and, at the moment, everything is amicable.
However, my husband saw a solicitor a couple of weeks ago and one thing he said about the meeting haunts me. He said that he had been advised that I would only have a claim on his pension if we divorce.
'But we are going to divorce,' I said.
I could sense that he was anxious about this, but he said no more.
What gets me , is that it all seems to come down to money with him, in the end. He told me that he still loved me when I pushed for the separation. How can someone supposedly in love with their wife, be more concerned about her getting her hands on any of his pension, than the fact that she's leaving him?
He is a very high earner and puts a huge amount into pension funds. We don't have a joint account, partly because I wanted to retain my independence with my current account. But, He told me how much he earns recently and I was shocked. It was really when my solicitor broke it down so that I could see how much he earns per month, that it hit me.
He is a penny pincher. He's not mean with the bigger expenses so much, it's the small stuff, day to day,that gets me, like refusing the children a bag of sweets each at the cinema, because he thought they were too pricey. There's a general angst about money.
He is very careful, and squirrels a lot away, in shares and savings, which , I know, is admirable. But, I feel that he's so wrapped up in money( his job is too- he works for an insurance broker!) that he misses out on living and enjoying it too much. There's no spontaneity. There is a protocol to be followed if we get any work done on the house. We HAVE to have 3 quotes before we decide who to go with!
I feel stifled. I'm not at all a spend thrift and love the simple things in life.
I live more in the moment and he plans meticulously.It also feels quite controlling. He pays me £400 per month, but I have a joint credit card that I get food shopping, clothes for the children, with. I don't know how much is in his account, but now I know how much he gets per month I feel angry. He frequently says that we need to ' watch the money ,' so I get worried about it.
I know that I am in a very fortunate position and I know and have worked with a lot of very poverty stricken people.
But, I think this also highlights for me his preoccupation with money, because it is unjustified.
He's never been poor, his family are middle class and his dad is a real miser. As a result, of course, they have a lot of money.
It is the end of our relationship and I can see he is heading the same way as his dad, so I have to get out.
Surely, a man who really still loved his wife, would give up all his worldly goods, if he could still have her love?It just seems, sadly, that this is what a relationship can amount to, in the end. I would love to hear your thoughts.

Doughnut123 Sun 13-Oct-13 11:17:51

I feel I just want to finally say that, I do not despise my husband, I do respect him and I am a responsible person, who has had a hell of a lot thrown at her, both in poor health, (though I'm thankfully fit and well now) whilst having 3 small children to look after, without much family support and in having to care long distance for my parents who have both died recently, within 15 months of each other, so, of course ,I am bereaved too.
All of this is bound to give me a different attitude to life and the future.
I stayed by my mum's bedside, in hospital, day and night, for a week and a half, until she died. And I could not have done that without my husband.
But it does give me a life is too short attitude
I do work, caring for the elderly and get £7.25 per hour.
It's easy to make a judgement about someone, based on a snippet of their life, but without having walked in their shoes, you cannot do this.

Breaking up from someone is always going to be hard and I know I have made unreasonable comments sometimes. But isn't that just how it goes in the end, like it or not? Until you have some distance between you, it can be very difficult. But I know that I will do whatever it takes to be fair to my husband and the children, financially and emotionally.
I wish all of you well and thank you for your input.

Dough [hugs] Like I said the ins and outs have a bearing.

Good luck, be kind to yourself. But remember, that sadly a divorce is largely an agreement about access and asset allocation, so forgive your DH if his talk is mainly about money. From now on it will have to be.

peggyundercrackers Sun 13-Oct-13 12:01:24

dough your right breaking up from someone is hard but no you don't need to make unreasonable comments, you are leaving him and are the one making unreasonable comments about him - you have no dignity.

HopeClearwater Sun 13-Oct-13 12:21:40

Eh? Sounds as if OP has dignity in spades. Every post has been measured and thoughtful.

perfectstorm Sun 13-Oct-13 15:47:28

I think there is one hell of a lot of projection going on in this thread - from both sides. It sounds like a sad but fairly average divorce to me, with the only unusual factor being the H's very high earnings.

If they aren't yet separated then the credit card and petty cash arrangements are fairly normal. They're our own, actually. If they are separated, then her H wanting to give her what is actually a pittance and expecting her to pay the rest via a credit card he can check is IMO both controlling and weird, and potentially even the result of legal advice (he can argue her lifestyle is inexpensive, for example, if he has a huge amount of £ squirrelled away she doesn't know about). His attitude to money sounds very sane to me, as it goes, but if it annoys the OP then that's probably a result of everything he does now annoying her - because they're splitting up and that's how most people get at such times. He's possibly grumbling that she is feckless and airyfairy. None of us know. It's the OP's situation to resolve and she came here for support, as far as I can see. Don't see how squabbling amongst ourselves and insulting her achieves that a jot.

This thread does not show MN at its best, IMO.

olathelawyer05 Sun 13-Oct-13 22:14:18

Offred - "Because they have split up and she is entitled to £1500 in CSA nevermind spousal support etc. That's why."

This just incorrect Offred. You are feeding the OP what YOU want her to think. The OP herself says they still live together in the same house, and so nobody is entitled to £1,500 Child Maintenance.

Pretty much every stance you have appears slanted from a "man bad, woman good" perspective, even down to blaming "Patriachy". How will arguments about patriachy help the OP?... They certainly won't help her in court and dare I say, its usually better to focus on facts...

In truth, everything the OP has said suggests that her and her husband are just very different people in their approach to money/planning etc - the OP herself pretty much admits this!!!...but you seem determined to just ignore it and instead tell her what YOU want her to believe.

The husband seems highly pragmatic, while the OP wants to be more spontaneous. This was always likely to cause an issue given the fact that 'he' largely earns the money. This is just reality. It does not make him an abuser simply because HE doesn't accede to HER life view. You should stop encouraging the OP to take on a victim's mentality, simply because YOU "feel" it, and because her husband apparently reminds you of your Dad.

Ask yourself this: If the OP was the 'big earner' (unlikely I know, given her lack of focus on money) and used her salary to pursue her more spontaneous ideals, would you say it amounted to 'abuse' if she didn't accede to her husband's request to save, invest, create pensions plans etc. for the future?

I suspect that you probably dislike men as a demographic and that is your prerogative. However, it doesn't make it OK to engage in this kind of intellectually dishonesty when someone else needs advise and clarity.

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