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Is my husband controlling? Or is he correct in his long term plan?

(132 Posts)
020523a Mon 20-Jul-15 15:40:49

Sorry in advance about the length of this post but I would dearly love some open opinions on my story. I am in a great marriage for the past 20 years and have a very loving attentive husband. We both have good jobs and a few years ago before the crash we invested in some property. We have a large house and our finances are in good order. To aid the payment of extra mortgages we take in lodgers to our house Mon - Fri where I cook/clean for them and my family (2 boys + hubby). I work from home, long hours with the US so my day can be quite hectic. My issue is that my hubby controls our money, I can't spend a penny (apart from supermarket shopping). He makes me feel so guilty ... BUT, I know we have over 250,000 in savings and we are fine! But he want's to save up 500,000 so that we won't have any mortgages when we retire and can live comfortably. We go on a holiday once a year, but we can never order anything over £10 on the menu as we have to watch our money. Myself and the boys can't buy anything ... he holds the purse at all times. I didn't really mind it too much until my father died a few months ago. Now, I would like to treat my mum to the odd sunday lunch out or go to a movie or something with her (we never eat out or go anywhere outside our 1 vacation a year).... but he is quite controlling on when I see her and would not approve of this. He also doesn't like me going out with friends, since we got married I have actually lost all my girlfriends and feel very alone. I don't know what to do ... he is such a good, loving husband and just wants to spend time with his family but I feel very claustrophobic at the moment. I love him dearly but whenever we talk about money he shuts me down and says I don't understand the "bigger picture". I have come up with other solutions so that we don't have to keep lodgers as we don't need them but he loves the cash coming in every week and doesn't want to give it up. I can see that this is selfish but what do I do ... I honestly can't see a way out of this. Am I the one being selfish? The only way I can get anything done in the house or as a treat is if I save up (unknown to him) £20 from the shopping each week. I even have to save to give the boys a bit of cash as he doesn't think they need it (they are 17 & 15). What can I do? I feel so lonely and I feel so lost ...... I can't do anything ... I wanted to join a gym £25 per month and he told me to go out walking .. much better for me! There always seems to be a cheaper way to do things and that's the way we do it ..... help!

boxcutter Mon 20-Jul-15 15:43:27

No, you are not the one being selfish. To be blunt, he sounds slightly crazy and is definitely controlling and unreasonable. This is also terrible behaviour for him to model for your sons.

Are you prepared to divorce him over it? And to tell him that clearly to see if he's honestly willing to change? What do you see as your options?

balancingfigure Mon 20-Jul-15 15:44:03

Yes he's controlling! His long term plan is good but you need to live a bit.

Does he spend any money on himself?

Anyway we can't you just open your own bank account and get your salary paid into that?

TokenGinger Mon 20-Jul-15 15:46:02

This man is financially abusing you.

What's the point in having so much money if you cannot spend it? This would drive me insane.

I have no advice re: financial abuse but I'm sure someone will come along to guide you x

BeautifulBatman Mon 20-Jul-15 15:46:50

Very controlling. I don't earn anything, my husband is the sole earner in our house and he wouldn't dream of telling me what I could and couldn't spend money on.

ltk Mon 20-Jul-15 15:47:28

Yup, controlling. And how the fuck dare he tell you how to spend your own money. Don't you have access to the family money?

RinkRashDerbyKisses Mon 20-Jul-15 15:48:52

He is being very unreasonable. I'd go as far as to say he is being financially abusive.

chairmeoh Mon 20-Jul-15 15:49:49

Wow, horribly controlling! How can two teens not need money? How can you not need some fun money?
I don't know how you deal with this, other than asking him to work with you to create a budget to achieve the 500k retirement pot.
Has he allowed for the DC's to have any money towards university if they wish to go down that route?
This would be a deal breaker for me, but I see you've put up with it for 20 years, so it's going to be hard to change his stance.
But I'd definitely be putting my salary into an account in my name and transferring a reasonable amount into joint account for bills etc.
Is your name on all the accounts?

8angle Mon 20-Jul-15 15:51:03

Hi OP, sorry to hear about your situation - many of the things you have mentioned sound like classic abuse - the controlling of the money is financial abuse, the not allowing you to see your friends or family is controlling and abusive.
Every time you try to bring up your concerns he shuts you down and belittles you with a "you don't understand the bigger picture..." he is basically saying "this is man's business don't worry your pretty little head!!"
You are working full time in a job and then as a domestic slave - both for your husband and your lodgers.
How you have survived 20 years of this and still think it is a "great marriage and he is such a good, loving husband" i do not know.

This is not how a normal, healthy, respectful, loving relationship works, i am so sorry to be so blunt, and i hope you can start to see the reality of what you are living.

Ohwhatfuckeryisthis Mon 20-Jul-15 15:51:26

Controlling not only financially, but cutting off from other social interaction. And having lodgers means you are tied to the home. Time for your own long term planning.

020523a Mon 20-Jul-15 15:51:50

To be honest I never see a bill, I don't know what our mortgage is I have no access to our online accounts and when I ask he tells me not to worry, he is looking after everything. Thanks for the responses ... I don't know how but I need to take action, but not sure what to do ...

fourflights Mon 20-Jul-15 15:52:11

Can you actually envisage retiring with this man.

He has cost you your friends, he controls when you see your mother, joint money is his. WTF.

He isn't your husband, he's your jailer.

FredaMayor Mon 20-Jul-15 15:53:23

Op, I think you are in a very vulnerable position indeed, both now and if anything should change in your relationship with your husband. IMO you should get some legal advice as soon as you can. You may have a 'great' marriage but that man is not your friend whilst he removes your social and financial autonomy.

Momzilla82 Mon 20-Jul-15 15:57:13

Definitely controlling. Family money is open access in our house, and we don't earn equal amounts. So what's to say OP the money is indeed in a bank account somewhere waiting for retirement? What if actually he's spent it. Or he's not actually working at all. How can you have lived 20 years without an interest in household bills and mortgage payments?

OuchLegoHurts Mon 20-Jul-15 15:58:18

That's a horrendous situation and he sounds mentally unhinged

tribpot Mon 20-Jul-15 16:00:20

I have come up with other solutions so that we don't have to keep lodgers as we don't need them but he loves the cash coming in every week

Cash which you earn. On top of a full-time job and doing all the cooking and cleaning? (And I bet laundry, shopping, everything else too).

It sounds as if you bought these properties at the top of the market and are heavily mortgaged, suggesting you're not nearly as well off as you might appear based on the money in the bank.

However, that aside, he's not the boss of you. This is a partnership of equals and as such, you have as much say over the long (and short) term financial plan as he does. If he says you're not 'seeing the bigger picture', let him explain what his vision is. You can then either agree or disagree. But I would suggest as a first step your salary is paid into an account which he does not control.

QforCucumber Mon 20-Jul-15 16:02:06

Why are you not at least getting your own Salary? It is not for him to remove your wages from you so you cannot even buy a coffee or a Sunday lunch.

Viviennemary Mon 20-Jul-15 16:04:49

This is absolutely dreadful. How you say you have been happy in this set up is beyond me. I'd get out of this abusive controlling relationship. You work like a slave and yet can't spend any money even though you have plenty. What on earth is the point in that.

AlphaBravoHenryFoxtons Mon 20-Jul-15 16:06:42

Are the investments in joint names?

He sounds awful and joyless.

Pinkcloud6 Mon 20-Jul-15 16:09:44

You do nt need anyone to tell you this all wrong!

Seriously remove the lodgers and you need an allowance. This is no way to live.

karigan Mon 20-Jul-15 16:09:51

It would drive me mental to not be 'allowed' to spend my own money. I've just finished a year of maternity leave and as such my husband and I are both heavily into our overdrafts- we've cut back on frivolous spending over the last few months but we still spend things, we went out for lunch on Sunday and I bought myself my favourite lunch to take to work on Friday and nothing was said. Because it's /my/ money too and whilst i'm sure if I went on a crazy amazon binge i'd be asked 'errr wtf?' in general I never have to explain myself over buying coffee, a book, lunch etc in the same way I would never ask him to account for his small 'fun' spending.

What does he do to share the additional workload of having lodgers?

PushingThru Mon 20-Jul-15 16:10:48

OP, I hope some of the responses here have illuminated how awful this situation is & how you've built up an immunity to it over years. It is not right. It is abuse.

mopthefloorwithme Mon 20-Jul-15 16:13:06

Yes, he is controlling and abusing all of you, and carefully manipulating so that until now you have thought it was OK and that he was just "looking after the family". Your eyes are beginning to open now.

Google The Freedom Programme - you can do a course if you find one locally - or online for something like £10. It will help you to understand what's going on.

Financially - just as a starter. Ideally a marriage's finances (whether or not both are working) should go something like this: Both parties pay their salary into a joint account. All bills and savings come out of here. Then, from what's left, both parties get paid equal amounts into their own account to do what they will. None of that is happening with you is it?

His long term plan: It might be sensible, or not, but the problem is not with the plan but with the fact that it should be a JOINT decision.

AlphaBravoHenryFoxtons Mon 20-Jul-15 16:18:50

Are you in the UK? And are you both British? Just wondering if there is any scope for money being squirrelled abroad.

MadgeMak Mon 20-Jul-15 16:22:50

He is controlling. This is financial abuse.

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