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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.

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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.

Like another poster I feel a bit sorry for the DH. Ok, so I don't know the ins and outs of the situation but from what has been written I see a man who has been told by his wife that she doesn't love him, wants to divorce him, oh and by the way he is a tight fisted old miser and she hates him for it. Despite the fact she has had immediate access to funds, and he has done his level best to keep the family financially stable with a comfortable retirement to look forward to. His financial approach may not be hers, but it isn't abusive, and if I were him I'd be feeling pretty low, depressed and hurt.

Offred Sat 12-Oct-13 13:12:03

To me it is that the op is upset that he values everything and everyone in terms of money.

Viviennemary Sat 12-Oct-13 13:09:08

You don't need to be poor to have a pre-occupation with money. Lots of reasonably well of people are penny pinchers. But sometimes cinemas do charge a lot for sweets and drinks far above the ordinary retail price so I can see his point there.

But I don't really understand what you are getting at. Is it the way the money is shared out at the moment you are unhappy with. Or is it the financial settlements re his pension and so on if you divorce. Because surely these are two separate issues even though they are connected in a way if you see him as being 'tight' with his money.

ImpOfDarkness Sat 12-Oct-13 12:58:08

But she doesn't have access to that money

Yes she does, she has a joint credit card. He sounds eminently sensible about money to me, OP sounds like she has her head in the clouds.

OP, you've told him you want to leave. He seems to have taken it in good part and agrees the marriage is over. i'm baffled as to why you are surprised he's relating to you about money not emotions. Isn't cutting the emotional ties exactly what you wanted?

uptheanty Sat 12-Oct-13 11:46:31

dough

You should continue getting legal advice and ensure that you are awarded everything that you are entitled too, you will need it.

I also think you should perhaps be much more clear with your dh.
Wanting your floors done be cause of the inconvenience of the slugs just before you put the house up for sale, may be giving dh the indication that somehow the divorce won't happen.

It also indicates further your lack of reality that you think his response to this is unreasonable. I would suggest to you that the indignity of living with some slugs for a few months may be the least of your challenges in the future. confused

It's not very often on these threads that I feel some sympathy for the dh, but i confess, i think you are being slightly unreasonable.

It's pretty obvious you no longer love or respect him.
You should put the house up for sale and find someone who makes you happy, you both deserve it.thanks

Wuldric Sat 12-Oct-13 11:26:30

You sound as though you are about 12 years old, OP. You have become literally infantile when it comes to money. Clearly this is something you have chosen to do. Financial abuse my arse.

Doughnut123 Sat 12-Oct-13 11:19:52

Nothing could make me want to stay now.! That's the thing. This is just one aspect of our relationship that I find hard. There are so many others, but, mainly, I don't love him any more, and when I think about growing old with him, it scares me.

MarshaBrady Sat 12-Oct-13 10:46:41

If he were to change his approach would you want to stay? If you got a joint account and a counsellor to talk through things.

uptheanty Sat 12-Oct-13 10:45:57

I feel very sad for you op, you seem like such a lovely person and i'm sure your Dh is too.

What is acceptable from both sides at one point in the marriage isn't usually so in years to come. We usually have to renegotiate emotionally in order to meet our needs.

Obviously what was acceptable (perhaps) in the earlier years you now find stifling and limiting?

Is it possible to renegotiate? Would you want to if you could rewrite your place/control within your marraige?

Offred Sat 12-Oct-13 10:44:19

Yes, I get that. About the approach to money and the emotions.

Op - honestly he sounds like my dad, measures everything/everyone in money. This would obviously make anyone miserable including him eventually no doubt.

I would advise that you take olgaga's first advice and get good legal representation (using marital assets if necessary) and get what you are entitled to because I don't think it is acceptable to take the view of "he will use it for the dc" you cannot guarantee that.

I always think it is a worrying sign of someone wants to retain control over all the money, especially if they value people in terms of money.

You need and want financial independence.

You need to ensure you get what you're entitled to because you need to make sure the children are able to benefit from it. If he is tight with them now he will be tight with them later.

MarshaBrady Sat 12-Oct-13 10:40:01

X post with you op. ok I have to get ready to go out. But I'm sure it's not nice for you to go through.

MarshaBrady Sat 12-Oct-13 10:38:53

The dh could just have a straight forward approach to money, he could be just listening to what the op says she wants and taking it on face value.

I think the for the op it is more complex and tied up in emotions.

But obviously can't know for sure.

Doughnut123 Sat 12-Oct-13 10:37:37

Sorry, I seem to have opened up a hornets nest!
What he said ,Offred, was that I would only have a right to some of his pension if we divorce.
He is being reasonable on most counts. He is not going to take all the savings and keep them just for his personal use. They are intended for the family's use, so I know that he will use them for the children.

Yes, I am out of touch with the realities of how much running a house and looking after the children will cost.
It was my choice not to be too involved with the financial side. I am not financially minded, but I am not frivolous.
My whole point about this post was an emotional one.
It's hurtful to hear that the person you once loved , now thinks of you in terms of money.
I know that is just how it is and of course, he is hurt by my wanting an end to the marriage. But it is not one sided. WE have not been happy for years, but, I think, like a lot of people, he would have just put up with it.

And I have not always had a comfortable life either. I come from a working class back ground and worked bloody hard in the NHS for years, earning a pittance in comparison to his wage.

What it all boils down to, is that we just don't want to be together any more.
I am not a mean spirited person. I respect his way of dealing with things, but I just can't live his way any more.

Offred Sat 12-Oct-13 10:33:54

I've not regaled anything as fact btw. Which is what the use of "I think" "IMHO" "I believe" denotes.

What is the basis for suggesting the op is coddled?

Some of the posts were really grim, "big fat settlement" <urgh>

Offred Sat 12-Oct-13 10:32:12

That's really my exact point. Where are you reading coddled from? That her husband is a high earner...

But she doesn't have access to that money...

uptheanty Sat 12-Oct-13 10:30:00

*dh

uptheanty Sat 12-Oct-13 10:29:35

offred again you're being very judgmental with you opinion -jealous? How do you know how much we or our ds's earn?

I think op is very coddled and niave. And i dare say dh has some issues too, but its not fair to make assumptions and regale them as if they're fact.

MarshaBrady Sat 12-Oct-13 10:20:54

And I have sympathy with being sensible on that salary. It all depends on where you live.

3 quotes sounds like a normal thing to do.

MarshaBrady Sat 12-Oct-13 10:08:13

So the op should have said yes to joint account. But yes divorce if it will even things up.

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