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Marriage and Money

(72 Posts)
tummyfull Wed 24-Apr-13 14:39:38

How does it work in your relationship when the DH/BF earns and you stay at home? Is it shared equally? Do you spend as you wish?

We live overseas so no bank account for me. DH earns, I have to ask when I every time I need money. I never get what I want, or how much I actually need. I am not high maintenance but never seem to have enough for what I want/need. I don't do anything really for myself but at times I like to go for a coffee or lunch - once a month sometimes, if that. I am not that good with money so it may just be me.

I am just so confused because I will ask for money for something, DH will give me a look or just go silent. The minute I see his look I say okay no problem, I won't do xyz or buy xyz and then he says no, it's okay, you can spend it. Of course I don't do it.

I feel a bit trapped as I don't really know where I can and can not spend money. Sometimes we seem to have money for really great holidays, at other times we don't have enough for me to go to the doctor's. I feel the only way I can justify spending is when it comes to the children. Not really for myself.

He tells me he gives me money every time he has some (he runs his own business which is very capital intensive). I don't doubt that but how long can this go on. I know I am being completely ungrateful and sound very spoilt but living like this for the past 5 years has really got to me.

Apologies if I am rambling (and sound slightly childish) but I am really struggling with so many feelings, the money aspect being one of them. I just want to know how it works with others.

sydlexic Wed 24-Apr-13 14:46:58

We have a joint bank account DH takes £200 per month and gives the rest to me, I organise the finances. I can buy whatever I want if we have the money, but I am quite careful.

Wilding Wed 24-Apr-13 14:48:35

You don't sound spoilt at all - it sounds to me as if your husband is financially abusive. Making it difficult for you to ask for money is not normal.

Shodan Wed 24-Apr-13 14:54:54

That sounds awful- I'd feel the same as you if my DH made it uncomfortable to ask for money.

DH is the sole breadwinner. He pays money into my account, I buy groceries, clothes, haircuts, whatever for my self and the DC. He pays the bills from his account. If I need more, I tell him how much, he pays that into my account.

Occasionally, if I've gone a good bit over (like this month, when I paid for some curtains and a tent on my current account), I'll tell him why it's gone over. He never asks, and only occasionally gives me a jokey shock face if it's a lot over.

But then, he trusts me not to go mad, and I trust him not to be a dick about money.

Your DH, though, is being a bit of a dick.

pinkpeony Wed 24-Apr-13 14:57:04

I have always worked so haven't been in that situation. But my mother was a SAHM most of the time, my father's earnings always went into a joint bank account that she had complete access to with cards, chequebooks, etc., as she had to manage the household and children from that account and all their assets are in both of their names.
Your husband is trying to control you through money and is being financially abusive.

Moanranger Wed 24-Apr-13 14:57:52

My situation is I always had and made my own money, so no help to you, but I suggest that you prepare a sensible budget and sit down with your husband and agree it. Include occasional fun money for yourself. Then agree a weekly/monthly payment to you. You really should have either your own bank account or a joint one.
He should trust you, and his behaviour is not of someone who does. After agreeing a budget and running it for awhile, you both can see where the money is going. At the moment neither of you has any idea of how much you are actually getting, and whether it is a realistic amount. Good luck!

TobyLerone Wed 24-Apr-13 14:57:52

We have a joint account into which DH pays an amount which covers the mortgage and all the bills. The DCs' maintenance goes into that account, too, which means there is always some left over. I am absolutely free to use this as I wish.

I don't have 'my own' money, as such, although I do do a little bit of cleaning for an elderly neighbour for which she pays me a small amount of cash in hand.

If I want/need anything, DH is more than happy to provide it. And he has offered to put a separate amount of 'spending money' in an account for me every month, but I really don't need that.

ilovepowerhoop Wed 24-Apr-13 14:58:14

we have a joint account and a card each. If I need something I buy it, no need for permission unless it is expensive and even then it is a discussion rather than asking for permission. Dh works, I don't.

Gillian1980 Wed 24-Apr-13 15:00:32

I work so I do have some income of my own but I earn a lot less than by DH.

We have our own bank accounts and I transfer a portion of my earnings to him to go towards the mortgage and bills. Then I buy the food from my money and whatever is left I can spend.

We are both very open with each other about how much we have in our accounts and will readily transfer money across to one another if we need to. Despite having our own accounts, we both consider it "our" money. I would find it quite anxiety provoking if I didn't know how much money we had between us ot wasn't sure if I could access it when needed.

I would have a frank discussion about your finances and tell him that you would like access to the bank account, or for him to give you a set amount each week. Whatever you feel would work for you.

I would be wary about making statements about it being "abuse" as I don't know enough, but I find it unsettling that he can be married to you but not be willing to be open, honest and sharing with money.

CockyFox Wed 24-Apr-13 15:01:15

Joint account, no asking, we don't tend tohave eenough money left after bills for splitting but just each buy what we need. I would hate to have to ask for money.

tummyfull Wed 24-Apr-13 15:05:48

DH says I have a hang up about money. That it should be no big deal to keep asking for it. I've seen his mother at times do it with my FIL.

Makeminealarge Wed 24-Apr-13 15:07:19

Before I started working part time, as a Sahm I still had a joint account with partner. I was free to spent what I wished (depending on what was left over after bills) and usually discussed what was reasonable for us both to spent for our ourselves or dc. Now I work all money goes into one account and all payments out of that one account. I don't really spent money on myself these days despite earning a decent wage due to the costs of living at the moment. But I see that my warning contribute to the overall running of house bills etc. it is hard when you can't spent money in yourself but I try to see the bigger picture -we have a decent house, kids are well fed and dressed, own decent furniture way reasonably and bills are paid for. For me this outweighs small luxuries or treats for myself.

Gillian1980 Wed 24-Apr-13 15:08:04

I would add that we are not particularly well off and had very little left after mortgage, bills, food etc.

So if it is a big purchase then we tend to discuss it out of courtesy and respect for one another, but it is a discussion not an asking of permission.

I would never tell my DH he wasn't allowed to buy something or vice versa, we may just discuss the best time to do it or work out if we need to cut back elsewhere to accommodate it.

DistanceCall Wed 24-Apr-13 15:12:07

You say that you're not really good with money. Is there any history of this in your marriage? I mean, have you ever overdrawn or spent too much or something like that?

I think Moanranger's advice is good - sit down with him and set a budget for both of you so that you have a good idea of how much money you earn and what gets paid etc.

And make it clear that you are not a child and should not have to ask him for money. Joint account.

Gillian1980 Wed 24-Apr-13 15:15:17

Also, if he has learnt it from his parents then he may genuinely not see a problem with it. So it would be worth explaining to him that just because its what he grew up knowing, its not the only way of doing things and you're not comfortable with it. Work with him to find a way which you both feel ok with.

Fluffy1234 Wed 24-Apr-13 15:16:16

We have a joint account which DH's salary gets paid into and all bills come out of. If either of us want a biggish thing for instance over £50 we would mention it to the other one just so we both don't spend what we may not necessarily have. I do all the car insurance/mortgage/bills stuff.

tummyfull Wed 24-Apr-13 15:18:38

Okay, so what is reasonable 'fun' money for me. What can I justify? I got a hair cut about 2 months ago and I wouldn't consider getting another one for another 4/5 months, as that money I would use elsewhere. I am suppose to go out with some friends next month so I know from the next food money, I'll keep careful so I have enough left for the lunch. I find it so frustrating to live like this.

I think DH has an idea of our finances but he works with other members of the family - brothers, uncles etc and they have some strange way of working. There never seems to be any money!

tummyfull Wed 24-Apr-13 15:20:27

I have never overdrawn or overspend. I am not a big spender though I like to occasionally get my nails done. I won't get my nails done for the next few months now as I need to go for lunch and do a few others things.

5 years of living like this as driven me insane but I really don't know if I am being spoilt or I actually have a genuine concern.

DistanceCall Wed 24-Apr-13 15:21:22

Look, this is a marriage, a partnership. You should know about your finances, and shouldn't have to ask for "pocket" or "fun" money. Your husband should trust you not to overspend if both of you know what is going on in your budget.

And it might be a good idea to disentangle your family's finances from your husband's family.

Otherwise, that's abusive.

DistanceCall Wed 24-Apr-13 15:21:44

And no, you're not spoilt. You're being a doormat.

"DH says I have a hang up about money. That it should be no big deal to keep asking for it. I've seen his mother at times do it with my FIL"

Couple of red flags there re financial abuse; this is being done to control you. Its about power and control; he wants that over you. He's learnt this from his parents so its deeply ingrained. Talking to him will likely not make a jot of difference to his overall attitude. You do have to keep asking for money and he keeps you quiet either by giving you a look or saying no to any reasonable request for cash. These techniques do work as you then don't do it.

Living like this for any period of time will become intolerable and you've had five years of this. I'm horrified for you.

Being overseas should not deny you access to a bank account.

tummyfull Wed 24-Apr-13 15:26:04

I have talked to him many times. He says when there is no money there is nothing he can do. He says once things start up/kick off there will be money. It's been 5 years.

To be honest, even when we had joint accounts I always felt like I was seeking his approval when I spent money. When I did work, he always earned way more then me - maybe that's the reason. Once he said to me that he earns more so I am responsible for the housework. This was pre children and when both of us worked. He also said that I don't earn enough to pay the rent or for any other major purchases but he is more than happy to pay for me. That still haunts me as wrong.

Maybe I do have a hung up about money....

tummyfull Wed 24-Apr-13 15:33:21

It's so nice to hear that I am not being difficult. I am so confused. Sometimes he'll go and buy me something really expensive (when we are back home) and then I'll starting wondering if I am being unreasonable about this whole money situation.

I have said to him, I need a certain amount each month. He said he can only give me what he has. Once he gave me a large amount and I spent it fairly quickly. Since then he has not given me a lot as he said he gave me a large amount once and I spent it too quickly. I feel like a child begging for pocket money. I want to go home in the summer but we may not have money for it. I feel trapped.

slug Wed 24-Apr-13 15:38:38

We have a joint account. We both have our own accounts as well. When DH was a SAHD, the process was this:

My salary was paid into my own account
Enough for bills etc was transferred into the joint account
Half of the remainder was transferred into DH's account (we used to refer to this as his beer money) If he didn't have a bank account, cash would be an appropriate alternative.

This way we each had our own spending money, however small, so we didn't feel the need to justify any small expenses. I personally don't really want to know how much he spent on my birthday present, nor does he need to know how much I spend on makeup. All I needed to know was that we were still solvent. Money would flow between all 3 accounts to even out peaks and troughs as needed.

Now that he's working again we put the same amount in the joint account, keep the same amount for personal use and save the excess.

Can you not work?
Even part time to get yourself a bit of pocket money?
Not sure how old DC are so not sure if this is possible or not?
Evening job when your DH is home to look after DC???

TiredyCustards Wed 24-Apr-13 15:45:06

Having money for holidays but not for you to go to the doctor is wrong wrong wrong!

Your situation would make me horribly anxious and afraid.

I live abroad, I have a part-time contract work job and am also mainly a SAHM to DD. I have pretty much always earned less than DH.

I have a bank card.
I have access to the online banking.
We have the exact same 'fun money' each month, agreed by both.
We discuss any big purchase or any 'spare' money.
I get to go home if I want on holiday, no question of money, there is always a flight if I want one.

Your husband is controlling and this is not OK.

Oh, and I am not responsible for all the housework because he earns more.

DistanceCall Wed 24-Apr-13 15:50:41

You may have little money. But there is no excuse for your not having access to the family money. You are not a child.

DistanceCall Wed 24-Apr-13 15:52:50

So, if something happens to your husband - like an accident, and he has to be taken to hospital - you can't withdraw money?

DistanceCall Wed 24-Apr-13 15:54:04

Or (the worst-case scenario) supposing you ever want to leave you husband. You can't because you have no access to any money.

tummyfull Wed 24-Apr-13 16:11:00

No, I couldn't leave unless I dug into the joint account in the UK or asked my parents for money. Once I had to tell my parents in law to tell DH to give me money.

tummyfull Wed 24-Apr-13 16:18:00

MrsTerry, my DH justifies all this by saying that he has his own business. He doesn't get a set salary.

I will look for work after the summer. It is the only way to do it. He doesn't want me to wok though so that would be another battle.

tummyfull Wed 24-Apr-13 16:27:15

What exactly is financial abuse?

flossy101 Wed 24-Apr-13 16:34:34

If he runs his own business can you look at the accounts?

What is the average coming in each month? Then sit down together and work out a budget and agree what money you both have each month after all the bills have been paid for.

I couldn't be asking my DH for money every time I wanted to do something.

I would also look at getting work so you aren't so dependant on him.

He can't not want you to work and not let you have access to the money, he can't have it both ways!

tummyfull I don't get a set salary. I do contract work and it varies. DH is aware of what I earn, all the money goes through a joint account we both have access to. Not having a set salary is a reason for a really good budget, lots of chats about money management and a good savings plan. It is not an excuse for controlling you.

I will let a more expert MNer talk about what financial abuse is.

This is from Women's Aid:

Financial abuse can include some of the following:

Forcing you to take out credit cards in your name for him.

Creating debt in your name.

Taking all your wages or benefit money.

Refusing to give you money for food or clothes.

Not allowing you to work so you have no income of your own.

Forcing you to put all your money into a joint back account which your abuser closely monitors.

Tying up finances in joint ventures such as a mortgage or business.

Refusing to sell a house or business after the relationship breakdown.

What he is doing to you is financial abuse. He is controlling you by withholding money. He is preventing you from independence intentionally to control you. He doesn't want you to work because you would gain some freedom from his control. He sounds a nasty manipulative man.

tummyfull Wed 24-Apr-13 16:44:47

Thank you everyone for your replies. This has really helped.

He does not want me to work as we won't have any one to look after the children. But you are right, Flossy, he can't have it both ways. I have decided to look for work after the summer as I hate begging for money.

When we were very newly married, he lent his brother £20,000. I was upset that he should have passed it by me but of course I hadn't earned the money and we were newly married so I didn't argue too much.

I have money to buy food. That seems to be the only money though.

we share everything, all goes in one pot,the bill s are paid, some id saved,then we both have equal spending money for nights out clothes gifts etc

works v well for us
both happy with it

and any big choice liek holidays and cars etc are made jointly

tummyfull Wed 24-Apr-13 16:48:35

After reading many things on here about EA, I brought it up with DH and he changed his ways a bit. I don't think he realises he is being controlling.

Since this asking for money for the doctor thing, we have not spoken. I have not spoken to him, more like. He has not made any attempt at speaking. I know he'll say I'm being unreasonable and that he never stopped me from going to the doctor.

cheeseandchive Wed 24-Apr-13 17:11:28

DH is the sole earner in our family (no kids, just us) as I am a FT student. 'His' money is most definitely our money and it goes into a joint account that we both have equal access to. Mortgage, bills, food, mobiles etc comes from that, and I also have £60 p/m transferred to my own account that is mine to spend however I want. From that I buy toiletries/coffees/haircuts/clothes etc. DH also has the same amount of 'fun money'. In fact, he offered to have less personal spending money than me so that I could have more and when my parents occasionally give me cash gifts he always insists that it is my personal money to do what I want with.

I hope that doesn't make you feel bad, but I just want you to know that your DH's behaviour is not normal or fair. Finances are healthy when partners set the boundaries together (how much there is to spend, how to prioritise expenditure etc) and keep to them. In this case, your DH is dictating the boundaries and you're constantly unsure of what they are when they're going to change! You need to sit down and set clear expectations that you can both stick to.

Incidentally, does he get haircuts, going out money, gadgets, money for stuff?

KeepCoolCalmAndCollected Wed 24-Apr-13 17:28:14

Sorry I haven't had time to read all of the replies, but I don't understand why you can't be bold and tell him you are fed-up being treated like a child and you want a joint bank account?

I am guessing you feel a bit guilty being a sahm (not that you should at all), and that you are not on an equal footing to him. He is perhaps sensing this and taking great advantage.

expatinscotland Wed 24-Apr-13 17:38:09

'Once he said to me that he earns more so I am responsible for the housework. This was pre children and when both of us worked. He also said that I don't earn enough to pay the rent or for any other major purchases but he is more than happy to pay for me. That still haunts me as wrong.'

Because it is. He sees you as a servant in his employ. It's abusive.

tummyfull Wed 24-Apr-13 17:49:45

MrsTerry, he doesn't really buy anything for himself. He makes sure the tv and internet are always paid for and working. Those are his 'treats'.

Keepcool, I have never asked for a joint account here because I thought it wasn't really necessary. I just thought whenever I needed money I would get it. Actually once a few years ago I said I would like an account and he said there is no need as he would always give me money when I needed it. The house we have here is also soley in his name. I know that sounds so wrong now that I read that back.

My brother in law's wife started working because she was faced with the same situation. But then she never, ever sees her children. I don't want to be that boat. I know I can work part time but part time work is difficult to come by. I definitely intend to do something though.

tummyfull Wed 24-Apr-13 17:52:48

ExpatinScotland, I even told a friend of his that he said this. The friend could not believe it. Later DH asked me why I told the friend. He since has denied he said. I know I haven't made it up because I was so shocked he said it.

tomatoplantproject Wed 24-Apr-13 18:22:52

I couldn't live like this, and it sounds like he's got you very firmly in place - the assets of the marriage are in his name and he has full control over all money. Yikes! And lending such a large amount of money without running it past you when you can't even go to the dr when you need to? Something is very wrong.

We have several bank accounts between us - we have 1 joint account which all of the direct debits come out of - in theory it runs itself with a little buffer, 1 account for food, meals out together, and 1 account with a large sum as a 'just in case' pot we both have access to should something bad happen. We each have our own accounts for personal spending. We review every now and again to make sure we're ok financially particularly cos I'm currently in maternity leave so am not paying into the joint accounts any more. But I still have my own spending money for lunch out, bits of clothes etc.

And I am now in charge of the house and housework - not because I earn less but because I am the one here during the day. And I've just hired a cleaner because dd is harder work than I had anticipated. Dh is totally ok with this because we can afford it, if not we would work out our finances again and agree priorities.

GilmoursPillow Wed 24-Apr-13 18:31:40

When I gave up working it took quite a bit of time for us to settle down.

when we moved abroad a joint account was our only option and DH doesn't question what I spend. I have my own c/c and atm card plus I have his log-in as well as my own for online banking.

I'd be pretty upset if he wasn't happy for us to share the finances.

tummyfull Wed 24-Apr-13 19:19:33

I think how DH justifies everything is by saying that when he has money he gives it to me and when he doesn't he can't. How long can I accept this though - it's been 5 years. I don't have the patience. BIL's wife says she's been in this situation for 9/10 years. That's how long they have been together. She eventually started working because there was no other option. We own everything jointly in the UK, not out here though.

tummyfull Wed 24-Apr-13 19:21:33

Also, we have joint accounts but DH does not want me to have online access to our accounts, ie online banking. He says if I need to check stuff I should just check paper statements. This was when we lived in the UK. He says he doesn't want me to transfer money between the accounts 'by accident'. He really does take me for an idiot.

DistanceCall Wed 24-Apr-13 19:28:31

Yes, he does. Because you let him.

Don't mean to be harsh, because you've been obviously trampled on for a long time. But this is seriously NOT A NORMAL situation.

Sort this out or get out. And fast.

tummyfull Wed 24-Apr-13 19:38:49

Ouch. But you are right, I am idiot for letting this go on for so long.

KeepCoolCalmAndCollected Wed 24-Apr-13 19:55:27

Where you say:
MrsTerry, my DH justifies all this by saying that he has his own business. He doesn't get a set salary.

Snap, the same situation as me and my DH. However, I have full access to our bank accounts which are all joint.

There is no pulling rank (because I am a sahm) or quibbling about the balance.

tomatoplantproject Wed 24-Apr-13 19:58:34

How can you transfer money by accident? And if you do transfer money between accounts what's the big deal? It's all the same pot, surely, just split out in different ways.

It sounds as if he's making lots of excuses for not being completely transparent - which means he doesn't respect you enough to trust you. It's no life to live and no example to set your dcs.

Lavenderhoney Wed 24-Apr-13 20:12:58

Aside from your current issues with him, where are you living? Because if nothing is in your name and something happens to him, depending on the law in the country you are in, say the Middle East, it will not be automatically you that gets anything.

Plus you won't be able to withdraw any money to live whilst court cases are being held to determine who should inheirit ( eldest male) And custody of the dc. Many expats for that reason sweep all funds offshore or back to the UK into a joint account and have a will which is not subject to local laws and customs. Same with the company, who gets it if anything happens to him?

Are you doing all the housework, cooking etc? Have you shown him what you spend and what you need to survive and be happy?

It doesn't seem fair to me, plus his family seem very involved with his finances. Can you work? Would you get a better job in the UK? Have you said its not how you want to live for life?

Coming back to the UK- would your parents pay and you stay with them? Maybe he is scared you won't come back! smile

tummyfull Wed 24-Apr-13 22:09:57

The company belongs to the family, everything is in the company name. I asked DH tonight that he should make a joint account holder. He said he has no money in the account as there is no money at all at the moment. I then told him, fine then'll have to look for work as it's too difficult for me to live like this.

My parents would support me a 100%. He knows that.

Lavenderhoney Thu 25-Apr-13 03:43:04

Do you believe him? Or is it an excuse? Whether the account is empty or not, it can still be joint! Although one can have many accounts, joint or otherwise.

If you work f/t will he do childcare or pay for someone? What happens if a child is ill? The money you earn - will that be put into his account or will you open your own? And will he then lessen his contribution.

Also, the money you earn, is that for you to support yourself and the children? Does his contribution lessen?

When you say family, you mean his family don't you? Do you include yourself in that? It concerns me they own everything. You are very vulnerable should anything happen. Are all women in his family treated like this? Are they Brits?

Great your family would support you 100%, do you mean if you leave? Is that something you have been thinking of?

Springdiva Thu 25-Apr-13 04:20:10

Did you say that you have stuff in the UK in joint names? Is it still there and safe? I would be worried about being left high and dry if something happened to DH or the company.

kittybiscuits Thu 25-Apr-13 04:40:22

Hi OP, if there is no money then he should be happy to give you access to the accounts to confirm this. What you are describing is textbook financial abuse. Denying what he has said is also gaslighting. I feel worried for you and strongly urge you to talk to someone outside your husband's family so you can start to understand what is happening here and take steps to addres it. I would also suggest you seek legal advice re your finances/assets as it appears he has manoevred you into a vulnerable position here.

GilmoursPillow Thu 25-Apr-13 05:43:53

Do you thinks he's deeply in debt and doesn't want you to realise the full extent?

tummyfull Thu 25-Apr-13 11:51:56

Thank you for all the replies. It really helps as I was always thinking I am the unreasonable, non supportive wife.

Just to answer a few questions asked above- everything I'm the UK is jointly owned. Nothing here is, it's all in the company name, which is owned by the family. Yes, his family is all British. I'm the one who isn't originally British! My parents would support regardless of what I wanted to do- leave or stay. But I don't want to leave. I love my DH and wants things to work. But I want him to treat me like an equal partner, not as a child. I will look for work here, just part time. I need to as the business is struggling at the moment-or more like for the past 5 years!

DistanceCall Thu 25-Apr-13 14:19:09

I think it's a good idea that you get a job and your own money. But you should also bear two issues in mind in the short to medium term: (a) whether your husband trusts you and treats you like a partner in your marriage, or as a child; and (b) that your husband seems to be at least financially entangled with his family, which really isn't a good idea in the long run.

Good luck!

tummyfull Thu 25-Apr-13 14:38:40

DistanceCall, thank you. I can work on point a. But b, no way - the finances are so entangled with his family that there is no way I can get a look in. They also make sure that it stays that way.

With all of this going on, my DH regularly tells me that I am not supportive of him!

Well 5 years on and I don't mind being unsupportive. I'm tired of this now. I plan to be more assertive, find a job and make sure we get out of this place sooner than later!

StrangeGlue Thu 25-Apr-13 15:15:36

Me and dh have a joint account and all money is joint regardless of who earns what. We both have access to all accounts but I do the financial management cause I like he and he's not fussed. We have isa in each name but that's still joint money not mine/his.

Each week we take out £50 each for random bits and £20 for dd. but that's a thing we do to keep an eye on what we're spending as a family.

We have a yearly amount which is the same to spend on clothes etc but somethings we each spend more on ie I'm do a course and we pay the fees from the account I don't have to save it from my £50 a week.

Basically we just talk about money, it's not taboo for us at all, and we talked a lot about how we'd do money before we got married.

Your dh isn't being reasonable and you need equal or at the very least sufficient access to money. It isn't right they he gets to make a judgement about your spending when his is presumably opaque to you.

Your going to need to talk this through as it clearly isnt working and tbh I think he sounds very controlling.

tummyfull Thu 25-Apr-13 15:38:44

StrangeGlue, I think he makes a judgement because there is no money. So he justifies because of that. In the UK everything was joint but the longer we seem to be here, the more I feel we've adopted the family norm of keeping the money in their family. The thing is I never signed up for this. It just seemed to gradually just have happened to me. I should have asked more questions along the way.

Lavenderhoney Fri 26-Apr-13 04:41:58

yes, I can see how it would appeal to keep all the money in the family, however your DH has his own family! If you have been there a while, do you think he sees himself as in his home family first?

Just for an idea - get him to do you a family tree for fun or quickly write down everyone in his family's first name. and see if you and the dc are on this list.

if you are married you are in the family, whether they or he like it or not, and that means you have to have access to see what's going on and a say, plus spend it!! Is his DM or DF very controlling? and untrusting of spouses?

and I still think if you are staying long term then him always having an empty bank account, renting a home owned by his family, working for his family, no pension, seems more like slave labour to me!

it leaves you and your dc in a precarious position now (death, divorce you or him leaving) and even in the future as you have no assets to leave your dc - what are you all working for? whats the plan? what if your dc don't want to go into the family business? do they get a lump sum equivalent to their df contribution?

I hope your in laws and their gc like you- if you outlive your dh you might be very reliant on them when aged.

do you have to spend all your spare time with them as well?

cory Fri 26-Apr-13 07:53:12

For me it's very simple: somebody who cares about you is going to want you to be at least as comfortable as he is himself.

This doesn't just mean buying the same amount of stuff, but enjoying equal comforts in the fields of control and decision making. It doesn't matter if he never buys a coffee when he's out: as long as he has control and insight into family finances and you don't, that is a comfort that he is denying you and hogging for himself.

tummyfull Fri 26-Apr-13 19:51:08

DH can justify things because it is his family but to me it does fee like slave labour - well put Lavenderhoney!

I do not have to spend any time with the inlaws, if I don't want to. They are not controlling at all. I do as I please.

Cory, I always feel DH has never worried about how I feel. It is not something that even crosses his mind. It really hurts....

Lavenderhoney Fri 26-Apr-13 20:16:50

I suppose you have to think if its a short term problem or a long term. If his loyalties are to his extended family, then you have to accept all this money saving is for their benefit.

Ask him what the long term plans are, re change and future earnings, his immediate family money and provision of wills, accumulation of immediate family wealth, and see what he says. Then you can decide if you are comfortable with your future, or if you would prefer to be more independent in the UK, or putting everything in the pot for the extended family.

Squitten Fri 26-Apr-13 20:24:14

I'm a SAHM and DH earns the money. He gets paid into his own account and then puts money to cover the household expenses (bills & food) each month into our joint account and then another sum into my personal account for me to spend as I like. Any excess goes into the joint account each month as savings. My DH never even bothered activating his joint account card and I set up all the online banking so I manage that account and DH trusts me to look after it. He sees the paper statements each month so he knows what's in there but I'm definitely the money manager.

I would absolutely demand financial access and clarity. You should not have to beg for money like a servant! To me, it sounds like he's trying to keep you from seeing something. Your cash flow is obviously somewhat erratic if you can afford holidays one minute but not a doctor the next.

I would be telling him that I will not be treated like a (badly!) paid employee and it's either financial access or we're done. You can't live like that.

Wibblypiglikesbananas Fri 26-Apr-13 21:39:23

I am worried for you. You seem so absolutely stuck. How did you end up with this man? What was it like before you married? I would be asking your parents to help you move away and start afresh. You do not have an equal partnership with this man and the longer this goes on, the lower your self esteem will become. Well done for recognising that all is not well here.

FWIW, I am a SAHM. DH's salary goes into our joint bank account and then once bills etc are covered, we each have some fun money each month, eg for clothes or haircuts or football. I have full access to everything, online accounts, cash cards, cheque books and we trust each other absolutely not to overspend. I would never consult him or have to ask for money for small purchases, though we would discuss bigger things like a car or holiday.

Good luck.

Wibblypiglikesbananas Fri 26-Apr-13 21:41:18

And I forgot - no access to medical care is an absolute no no. Your husband refuses to fund your medical treatment, to allow you to go to the Dr's?! That alone would have me looking for a divorce lawyer.

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