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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

I think it's really out of order him not sharing details of his finances with you especially given the loan from a family member on your side.

Are you saying you pay all the mortgage because the idea is your dc will inherit?

And he only pays slightly more than 50% for bills etc?

teatimesthree Thu 18-Jul-13 10:52:46

I don't have experience of this. But in your shoes, I wouldn't be happy with him earning much more, and paying only slightly more into the common pot. I also wouldn't be happy with not knowing the state of his finances, especially as you say he is nosey. That would worry me.

If I were you, I'd want to sit down and disentangle all this until there was an arrangement I was happy with.

Do you have the right to live in the house until you die as well? Are his children a beneficiary from the house too, or just your ds?

Don't think its too unreasonable that his kids get the inheritance which will be coming mostly from their grandparents.

Not sure why you think you have made an error in judgement buying a house with him, he is contributing equally to the capital by paying back a loan and your ds seems to be the one who will get it after you both die.

However if you are married you need financial open-ness on both sides so he is being unreasonable.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 18-Jul-13 11:36:00

I think the full knowledge of finances thing has to go both ways. 'I'll show you mine if you show me yours' as it were... If he's not up for full disclosure, neither are you. FWIW if he earns a lot more than you he should be contributing a lot more proportionally to the family fund regardless of how many children he has resident or not.

Interestingchanges Thu 18-Jul-13 12:31:50

Thanks for all your replies.
There is no mortgage as it was a "DIY job" ( and we bought it because I had the contacts to do it up cheaply).
Everybody, including pils, btw, praise me for the effort I've put into funding and doing up the house, garden, etc.
Dh isn't really a hands on kind of guy but will contribute financially (a lot of improvements though benefit his dc directly).
Getting him to contribute more than 50% involved a heated discussion and me having to "prove" how much I was financing his dc (at the time, he was paying full maintenance + extras, and we had them about half the time.
I'm happy with present arrangement regarding dsc, we've finally built up a good strong relationship all round and they are happy to be here, too.
Strangely, it is dh apparent lack of trust in me, his wife of 3 years (partner of 4 years) that has now become an issue (I suppose I was too busy investing time and energy into building bonds with dsc that I perhaps missed some red flags...).
I've spoken to dh once recently about this situation and he said as the house was in my name he would keep his finances a secret, I,e, they were his. I was speechless as he didn't actually say the house was mine to keep, and his money was his to keep, which would of course have been ultra generous and quite unnecessary.
It sounded like he was punishing me for not making him beneficiary immediately, although not having means to reach this status... And once he's paid off debt I'm to instate him as getting half and then possibly I might or might not get a look in regarding his money??? And how much would he have saved now his maintenance has been reduced by half??
I don't understand his way of thinking at all, I really want to be fair and expect the same. If I'm wrong ill correct it, but so should he.

I hate living like this, it can't think of any argument to get him to talk some more sad.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 18-Jul-13 12:38:29

The house may be in your name but, the longer you are married, the bigger the claim he has on it. Have you ever offered to put his name on the deeds or have you excluded him deliberately? Where arguments fail, sadly, you usually have to resort to threats. Goes beyond money really and we now sound like we're in the realms of secrecy, mistrust and selfishness. Is this important enough a matter for you to go to the wire i.e. threaten separation?

Interestingchanges Thu 18-Jul-13 13:06:40

Cogito, the house was originally in both our names but due to a legal technicality (don't live in UK) it had to be changed to mine only.
Dh came with me to solicitor to sort out both our wills and I did not notice his secrecy because I've always been self sufficient and couldn't be bothered asking.
I only ever asked him to contribute a bit more as I thought his contribution too low, and was surprised then what a nitpicker he was. I had secretly hoped he would apologize for being thoughtless and be suitably generous, in the same way me and my family had been in funding the house in the first place.
I also gave him the benefit of the doubt as he ex bled him dry and I did not want to be seen of similar character. But after asking him rationally and calmly to at least tell me details, in the name of trust etc, he was cold and mean spirited. As if I had somehow cheated him!
I realize nobody here knows me personally, but I'm open and honest to a fault, its pathetic really the lengths I will go to to make sure e.g. all dc are treated the same, like keeping treats for dsc when not present to enjoy at later time!
And what do I get in return? Suspicion and meanness. My only explanation is that dh is actually more calculating then I realized and is pissed off at me for questioning his rights and sense of entitlement.
Separation had been on the cards, for me at least, but dh is willing to go to counseling and it has helped regarding many relationship aspects. I mentioned the problem to therapist when there on my own and she backed me up on the honesty in relationships aspect. But dh managed to fob me off with a lame spreadsheet of his typical income and expenses and I've not raised the subject since.
But god help me it bugs me and hangs like a cloud over me.

ImperialBlether Thu 18-Jul-13 13:19:35

I wonder whether his ex did "bleed him dry" or whether giving her any money at all has made him feel he's suffering.

He doesn't sound very nice at all, OP.

If you divorced, what would happen to the house? Didn't he put any money into it at all?

ImperialBlether Thu 18-Jul-13 13:21:13

I don't think you should have told him anything unless he was telling you, too. However, that sounds so petty, I don't think I'd want a relationship like that.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 18-Jul-13 13:23:44

I'm also wondering the same thing about the ex. I mean, if you did split up, what would be his version of events afterwards?.... 'She was unreasonable about money, didn't let me spend anything without getting permission in triplicate'.

I'm not surprised it's hanging over you. Any hint of secrecy and mistrust kills a relationship stone dead. Speaking personally, I put 'meanness' right up there with 'lying' as a fatal personality flaw.

CatDogAndMouse Thu 18-Jul-13 13:32:30

I have lived with my partner for over 2 years. While we were renting a house we kept our separate bank accounts and agreed between us which bills we would pay. I earn a lot less than my DP too.

We bought a house together earlier this year and we used my money for the deposit. We now have a joint bank account and everything is paid in/out of that account.

My DPs XW also took a massive percentage of their assets. We both believed that if we were going to work as a couple then everything is shared. The house is in joint names too. Your DP can't treat you differently because of what someone else did to him in the past. A relationship is based on a partnership and sharing.

teatimesthree Thu 18-Jul-13 13:32:33

The meanness and secrecy would really bug me too. Sorry to hear you are having a hard time.

Interestingchanges Thu 18-Jul-13 16:01:12

Thanks again for replies everybody.

I've just been for a long walk to calm down again.

I notice if I talk for any length about this I tend to get a bit emotional and I'm seriously trying not to whinge.

1) there was never any question at the beginning that I'd not share house 50:50. He contributed a "deposit", about a sixth of the asking price and also contributed to any home improvements since.
2) his very unreasonable behaviour regarding a lot of things (like always putting dsc, regardless of circumstances, before me, so that they never learned any respect, thankfully 110% of effort on my part has brought them round) has severely pissed me off,
3) his meanness in speaking to me as if I were in the wrong when unexpected circumstances changed our plans (I.e. name on deeds) and generally acting like a shit when he doesn't get his way - sulking big time, cold shoulder etc. (the question on how he treated his ex is indeed interesting to ponder... Unfortunately she and I don't have any contact).

... Has lead me to dig in my heels and become uncharacteristically circumspect regarding our relationship and how we share.

Thanks again to you all for not letting me feel horrible but entitled to trust and cooperation.

I hover between seeing solicitor and changing will on yearly basis to acknowledge his contribution (as its been a bit minimal so far I've not felt an urgency to pay for a minimal change in legal recognition either), and then just wait if he actually opens up. But if I legally recognize his contribution only, not 50:50, will he then only show a random bank statement once a year?

... And just letting him sweat a bit more at the horrid injustice of it all!!
But that seems petty too sad.

At this point I'm just confused, never had to deal with such behaviour in a supposedly stable and loving relationship (constantly tells me he loves me, I don't always say it back...)
Xx

teatimesthree Thu 18-Jul-13 21:34:11

To be frank, I think the exact wording of the will is not your top priority here. It seems like there are some serous issues of trust.

Did the counselling help with his unreasonableness and meanness? Does he recognise that this is an issue for you?

You sound like a very sensible and reasonable person. If your gut instinct is telling you that this sort of secrecy in a relationship isn't right, then it probably isn't.

Lweji Thu 18-Jul-13 21:51:46

If I understand it correctly, it's not that you don't have access to his finances, but he never even lets you know how much he has in the bank, etc. While he knows all about yours?

It's totally unbalanced.
That knowledge should be irrespective of the house. And I would be annoyed and not sure if I'd trust him.

TBH, I would find it difficult being married like that.

Interestingchanges Fri 19-Jul-13 08:14:41

Thanks again for your supportive replies.
I too think it is a matter of loving/ respecting a partner to share information at the very least.
Ironically, dss can be a bit rude, I feel, in quizzing dh on the exact cost of new acquisitions to the household, once also openly asking what he earned and how many days holidays he has a year. I felt I had to insist that was inappropriate, but deep down I resented the fact that dh shares this information with dss - and possibly ex? - but likes to keep me in the dark/ in my place?
I suppose I've just answered my own question here...

missbopeep Fri 19-Jul-13 08:38:49

Coming to this a bit late and forgive me if I haven't taken on board all the details (have tried!) but it all seems terribly odd. In fact it sounds terrible and like a recipe for a 2nd divorce.

You are now married. Why should your DH not have a claim to the house when you die? This is what is 'normal' for married couples. The normal process of inheritance would be that all your assets are joint: on first death they pass to the remaining spouse and on their death they are divided equally between surviving children.

I can't understand why this isn't what each of want.

As for him repaying his in laws ( your parents) why is he doing that? If they gave you money, surely that money is yours now ( it is in law) so why is your DH repaying them when you are each benefiting from living in the house?

As couple, the money they loaned is equally yours and if they want it repaid it should surely come from a joint pot of both your incomes?

I don't see how the present situation is sustainable. How can you possibly be married yet have secrets over income?

We share it all- DH's salary goes into a joint account. My salary is split and goes into both our joint account and a separate account in my name so I can save for my tax bill (I'm self employed.) That's it- end of. Our will which we have just updated leaves everything equally to our children.

I'm sorry but I think there are real issues in your marriage which you need to address.

Wuldric Fri 19-Jul-13 08:47:08

I think second marriages are very different in terms of finance to first marriages, particularly if there are his and her kids to consider.

So, imagine a scenario where someone is really very wealthy (say widowed?) and has two children, marrying someone really very poor with four children. If the wealthy partner dies, leaving the money to the surviving spouse and then to the six children equally would be to the extreme detriment of the wealthy person's children.

So wills tend to be drawn up on a different basis in second marriages when both parties have children than they do in first marriages. I think that is actually sensible.

Dahlen Fri 19-Jul-13 08:55:06

I'd be having a serious think about what is fair (being as objective as possible), what I wanted ideally, what I was prepared to put up with, and what I would do if it wasn't forthcoming.

I would be prepared to leave someone on more than one aspect that you've mentioned in your posts.

I was married once to someone for whom it was a second marriage. The marriage wasn't without its problems (we got divorced) and in his case there was a child and commitments from his first marriage to consider as well. However, we very much viewed income and outgoings as a joint venture and there was absolutely no secrecy.

missbopeep Fri 19-Jul-13 09:26:44

I just knew that someone would point out the difference between first and second marriages smile

However- Wuldric- in your example, which I fully understand- don't you think it's just tough luck for the kids of the wealthy partner if they re-marry and the joint assets are split equally on their death? The whole point of a legal contract ( marriage) is that couples share.

I can see your point completely but I don't like the idea that in a remarriage, one partner's children are deemed less worthy of an equal share of the inheritance than the 'step' ( if they are ) children. It's not as if those children of the first marriage had contributed in some way to their parent's income pot. You could follow your logic and say that the inheritance should be given to the former husband or wife ( who may well have contributed to the assets their ex has!)

I'd be really uncomfortable with the idea of 'oh my DCs will get 75% of my estate ( legally our estate) and yours will get 25% because they are not blood relatives.'

If this is how people think then they should have a pre nuptual agreement- so that on their death, X% of their assets go to their children from their former marriage.

Interestingchanges Fri 19-Jul-13 09:34:19

Missbo, thanks for taking time to reply, just to clarify briefly, the loan dh is paying back is from my dsis (equal amount of inheritance from our now both dead parenst), she has no family, is unable to work, diagnosed ms, but has no immediate use for the money and is happy to get it back in small installments. She generously saved dh from a massive bank loan for his half of the house.
Re wills, both sets of kids inherit directly from their resp parent, or remaining gps, neither dh nor I "profit" from each other upon death, we do have life assurance for each other and our dc ( relatively modest sums). And yes, both dh and I have right to continue living here when partner dies.
Ideally once dh has paid back loan, on his/my death our kids inherit 1/2 each, or 1/4 @ his 2. The life assurance would also cover "contribution" made so far to his kids, so would not be out of pocket.

I like our house and everybody likes living here, but it has come to symbolize much more, which I only became aware of recently. I find it really difficult to grasp dh stance on "his" money and the control he has over it, when in full knowledge of my financial situation, and aware that he is legally protected anyway re house and living there, and his kids get "their" money back either way.

It's becoming very clear that the house issue is just an excuse to draw another boundary around himself (and his dc?), a problem we are already working on in counseling, I.e. they are all somehow special and ds and I are peripheral characters who contribute to their comfort. Therapist has asked him to reflect on that and I guess I should bring up the house topic again too in this light.
Thank you everybody for letting me talk so openly about my situation. Your asking questions and commenting has let me see this as a pattern for which we are already receiving professional help, thanks

LemonDrizzled Fri 19-Jul-13 09:45:08

Good post there Bo

I am second time round, not married (yet!) and thinking all this through with DP. We have 3DC each and I have about three times DPs assets. We are both totally open and transparent about money and he is very generous with the little he has!

If and when we buy a house together and/or get married I would expect the level of trust to be such that we will throw all our assets in the pot together. If that means taking it slowly and making sure things are going to last so be it. And once we reach that stage all our DC will be treated equally. They all have a second parent to inherit from so my side will end up with more from their DF while his will get less from their DM IYSWIM.

OP I think your real problem is your DH is mean and "acts like a shit when he doesn't get his own way". The house is just a symptom of that.

missbopeep Fri 19-Jul-13 10:42:45

I can see OP how things are- but I still believe it's an odd set up.

You have married rather than simply live together. For all manner and purposes this usually means couples share their assets in life and in death- and that the other surviving partner does indeed 'profit' when one partner dies.

Can I ask why you married if you are not willing to share your finances? Each of you is behaving like a single person.

Leaving aside the ''romantic notions' behind marriage, many people marry so that the legalities of money and assets are framed in law and simpler to deal with. But this requires each party to be of a generous spirit and behave as if they are a couple, who invest in each others welfare- in both material and emotional terms.

Neither you nor your DH are behaving as a couple- where money is concerned. You are behaving like a pair of singletons, living under one roof, are even house sharing- but keeping a tight grip on your own money and, in his case, not even being open about how much he has.

To contrast your set up with mine-we share everything. Money goes into one big pot as I said. We budget based on our joint income. DH's pay slips are there for me to see, so are our bank statements, and all our outgoings. We each have our own ISAs etc, and contribute to them when there is surplus in our joint pot. We each have our own credit cards- some are joint cards- and although DH earns a lot more than me, I do have my own credit cards as a safety net and so I can buy him things without him knowing the exact cost!

I simply wouldn't entertain your set up for a moment. I don't know how you can think it's remotely acceptable on any level.

missbopeep Fri 19-Jul-13 10:45:11

Oh- meant to add- why did you sister loan money to your DH? Surely, as a couple, the money was loaned to you both to buy a house you both live in? And why is he paying her back- surely it's joint money that is being used- or should be. This is not how money in a good marriage works- sorry.

Interestingchanges Fri 19-Jul-13 11:58:19

Missbo, I'm happy for you and wish we did indeed have that level of trust.
Unfortunately so much has happened in the past years that we actually need a third party to put forward our grievances.
What I wanted from this post were suggestions like yours, which require total trust and willingness to share from both parties. However, if both of you were agreeable to everything from word go, that's great for you, but does not help me reopen the issue with my dh, iyswim.

I've been thankful to a lot of posters here who can sympathize with my pain and confusion. I will indeed reopen discussion on money, house, etc. but I already know dh wont take kindly to me asking for a higher contribution, he tries really hard to make me out to be some kind of gold digger when he so clearly profits way more from this relationship on so many levels.

Funnily, dh once refered to me as his "business partner" when we first bought the house together. I was mortified, I thought I was his romantic partner.
And not so long ago he put me in the context of a "roommate" when he pulled up his kids on being rude, I,e, they would not be so rude to a roommate...

missbopeep Fri 19-Jul-13 12:30:09

It might help you to know that my circumstances were not on an equal footing from the word go. DH already owned a house. I lived in rented accommodation almost 100 miles away ( it was a LDR for 3 years) in the most expensive area in the UK to buy a house. It was beyond my reach on my then income. But once we had married his house was put into joint names. I had our first DC within 2 years of marrying and became a SAHM. I didn't earn at all for 5 years until I started working p/t again. However during that time - as is the case now- there was never any hint of it being 'his' house or 'his ' money- it was both of ours even though I earned nothing for some time, and much less than him once I did return to work when the children were older.

I am just surprised that you went into a marriage with so much 'possessiveness' over what is his and what is yours.

Interestingchanges Fri 19-Jul-13 12:48:22

Thanks for Info, missbo.
I'm a bit stunned that you are comparing my situation to yours.
Well done, you landed on your feet.

hevak Fri 19-Jul-13 13:01:08

I'm pondering similar-ish issues to you at the moment OP, although DP and I don't have any children. DP earns quite a bit more than me and bought a house before we met (which he subsequently rented out when he moved for work). We then bought a house "together" but in his name only as he was contributing the vast majority of the deposit - at the last minute we needed to increase our deposit so I lent him the money. DP knows the rough details of my finances as they're quite straightforward. I have a reasonable idea of his finances but not the details, as he's self employed so it's a bit more complicated.

Another consideration for us is that although we both come from comfortably well off families, my inheritance (if my parents haven't spent it all by then!) will be substantially more than his. This worries me as my mum's friend had her husband leave her after she inherited a lot of money when her father died - her XH took half her inheritance as an asset of the marriage and then said he could only contribute the bare minimum in maintenance for their DC. hmm I trust DP wholeheartedly - but then, my mum's friend trusted her XH wholeheartedly too! So I'm wary.

I'm currently trying to persuade him to open a joint account and make joint financial plans for the future (we're planning on getting married next year). He worked very hard to buy his house before we met and I know he is worried that I will be able to lay claim to it if we're married - which I would never do, and he knows that. But his "knowing" that feels the same way as I do about "knowing" he wouldn't take my inheritance if we were to divorce in 30 years time.

Sorry this is long and waffly but I wanted to let you know that LOTS of people have these kinds of issues around money (I can tell you about all my friends' arrangements with their Ps/Hs as well if you want grin). The key difference between your situation and mine is that DP is willing to discuss this with me and offer suggestions as to how we can manage our joint finances in the future. It sounds to me like your DH isn't even willing to discuss different options rationally - to me that is your biggest problem. I fear your issues with your joint finances are a symptom of a much bigger problem. sad

I hope you manage to work things out one way or another - definitely bring it up at your counselling. Good luck smile

hevak Fri 19-Jul-13 13:03:43

I have to say, I think MissBo probably doesn't know closely anyone with kids from a previous relationship who then moves in with another partner/husband - your kids have to be your priority and everyone I know in that situation has been really careful NOT to throw everything together in one pot - so I don't think there's anything unusual in having your "own" money in your situation OP.

missbopeep Fri 19-Jul-13 13:05:25

Well it's worth comparing just to demonstrate that not all men who have more money than their wives are so blinking mean.
I was countering your supposition that it was all fine and dandy from the word go, as if we had a joint mortgage etc from the day we bought a home.
I don't think I landed on my feet at all- I have the set-up that many, many couples have where there is inequality in earnings.

missbopeep Fri 19-Jul-13 13:06:07

Sorry hevak- how on earth can you know who I know? You aren't right in your assumptions.

LindaDonahue Fri 19-Jul-13 13:38:01

i havent gone through a situation like this, but if i were in ur place, then i would sit and talk with him and would have sorted out the matter once and for all.

missbopeep Fri 19-Jul-13 14:04:04

But surely it's rather odd to be fighting over which children get how much of your estate when those kids are presumably still quite young? I've known families torn apart by inheritance matters where a sibling or step/half son-daughter has been favoured over someone else.

Some families don't give their kids anything- the really rich people often leave it to Battersea Dogs' Home etc, - they don't think it's a good idea for kids to inherit a load of money- think Anita Roddick for example.

I am sure it's very hard to balance your responsibilities - financial and otherwise- between your kids from a previous marriage and your new spouse. But I also think it's beyond the pale to write your spouse out of your will and leave your estate solely to your children.

For one thing this could be very short sighted- if the remaining spouse was short of money and needed long term care or support in old age, they would have lost out on what otherwise would have been joint assets. This could put the children under huge pressure , seeing their parent's partner struggling in old age.

I think the 'trust' issue needs more exploration. Trust about what? To manage the money responsibly? Not to spend it all on handbags? Or just not thinking the marriage is viable longer term, and wanting to hold on to their own money? Thats what pre nups are for.

But inheritance is just one issue here- she doesn't even know his earnings .

Interestingchanges Fri 19-Jul-13 14:46:47

Thanks Hevak, you made me smile! Was getting a little tense there...

Linda, you are absolutely right, and I'll work up the nerve really soon I hope.

Missbo, you've brought up some good points.
Actually dh and I want to make sure our kids don't eye each other as potential gold diggers by settling their affairs as best we can now.

Dhs kids will be better off by far than my ds once their collective gps pass on... And as my pils were very welcoming to me I also wanted to assure them I was not after their money!

Re Dh and his ex it gets a bit complicated. They lived beyond their means and didn't downsize after divorce, dh felt compelled to fund their lifestyle well beyond maintenance. His business, not mine. We met much later.
But it left him essentially broke (except for the deposit mentioned in first post) and I may be too careful here, but was I hell going to fund their lifestyle at my cost and my ds! So yes, dh is going to pay his half himself if he wants his kids to inherit his half, I'm not paying it for him.
Especially as I was living in a lovely big flat I owned, no debts, but it wasn't "big" enough for his kids, I,e. they would have to have shared, gasp!
I thought it was a good idea initially to move to a new place together, so imagine please my surprise when stbh tells me he hasn't actually got the funds... But I do, right? At least he admits this did put him in a slightly shady light. Wtf?

missbopeep Fri 19-Jul-13 15:13:00

So am I right in thinking that he earns considerably more but you don't know how much or how much savings he has?

There seems to be so many 'asides' to this that I am losing track of your original questions! smile

You say his children will inherit from their grandparents- so is their estate not going to pass to your DH- or are they splitting the assets between him and his children? It all seems terribly complicated. My kids won't get anything, unless we pass on our inheritances from our parents,until me and DH die.

The bottom line in all of this is that you are not acting as a couple.

Put it another way- if your sister loaned you money to buy jointly a house, the simplest thing would be for you and your DH to pool your incomes into a joint account and set up a DD each month to repay her.

Why should he be doing the repaying and not you? Ah, you'll say, because he only contributed 1/6th of the house deposit whereas you put it all your assets from the sale of your flat. Right?

So aren't you doing the same as him? Keeping your own income?

If he still has resentments from his marriage over money and behaves like a teenager when he can't get his own way, then you need to really make a stand and not allow this to carry on.

Interestingchanges Fri 19-Jul-13 15:31:18

Missbo, I think I see where you're coming from.
As you apparently, correct me if I'm wrong, did not contribute to your family home, but got half by marriage and having a baby, you now think I'm a bad person for not allowing dh half of my assets immediately also. Although I was denied another child, dh didn't want more, and he chooses to keep his finances separate, like me, but strangely secret also...
Otherwise, your comments make sense...
Sorry, but I think you are projecting a bit of your own story here, which is no way corresponds to mine. Or I'm indeed mistaken and you and your dh have a couple of kids from first marriages and are simply ignoring them?

Anyways, thanks again to all who helped me get my head around this, I know now I need to clear things up pronto, for my mental health alone...
I will post the hopefully positive results from our talk ASAP, keeping thumbs crossed, xx

Wuldric Fri 19-Jul-13 15:50:51

I think fairness to the children comes first tbh

missbopeep said "I can see your point completely but I don't like the idea that in a remarriage, one partner's children are deemed less worthy of an equal share of the inheritance than the 'step' ( if they are ) children. It's not as if those children of the first marriage had contributed in some way to their parent's income pot. You could follow your logic and say that the inheritance should be given to the former husband or wife ( who may well have contributed to the assets their ex has!)"

My example cited someone who had been widowed. So all assets concentrated for one set of children but not for the others.

In this instance it sounds as though the stbdh is financially pretty feckless. The most worrying thing I have read on this thread is that the OP's DSis has loaned this chap a large sum of money. Gulp. With absolutely no idea as to whether he can or will pay it back. I would be very uncomfortable dragging my family into a financial arrangement of this nature. It does not sound right at all.

missbopeep Fri 19-Jul-13 16:26:26

I will correct you then OP, as you asked.

Had I not married my DH, then in time I'd have bought my own home. It just happened that the man I met had bought his first! I have contributed to the family income and our mortgage throughout the marriage, and with my income we were able to sell DH's first small house and buy a bigger one, then another after that.......

And during all of this time all of our earnings have been combined.

Had DH for example said at the beginning that he was not happy for me to be a joint owner of our house, then I'd not have married him because it shows meanness, lack of trust and lack of commitment to a future together.

I think my posts have riled you and although I'm sorry for that I think you need to see the situation for what it is.

I've never known a situation where an in-law loans money to a married couple and the only the none-blood relative repays it.

It's you who has said it was a mistake to buy a house with him ( which must mean it was a mistake to marry him...), and that you might get flamed blah, blah.....

I didn't say you were a bad person- I said the whole set-up was a mess in my opinion.

Bedtime1 Fri 19-Jul-13 16:48:50

I don't know if I'm reading this properly as it sounds rather complicated but did your sister lend your husband money for his share in your new house.?

Wuldric Fri 19-Jul-13 16:50:08

Yup! That is what has been explained. I do think this is horribly unfair to DSis, frankly.

wordyBird Fri 19-Jul-13 17:06:20

This stands out:

My only explanation is that dh is actually more calculating then I realized and is pissed off at me for questioning his rights and sense of entitlement.

Because it sounds true. This isn't just about finances so much as his attitude towards you, and he isn't coming across as a loving partner.

Your information is that he was burned and bled dry by divorce. Is this from the facts and figures or is that how he saw it, and related it to you. Either way, he somehow has you unconsciously defending yourself and your financial actions, so as not to appear of similar character to his ex.

This also stands out:

Re Dh and his ex it gets a bit complicated. They lived beyond their means and didn't downsize after divorce, dh felt compelled to fund their lifestyle well beyond maintenance

.....partly because it's a replica of a story I've heard recently, from someone I don't trust. But also because it doesn't match the character of a man who earns considerably more, yet only puts a bit more in the family pot, and baulks at even being asked. Or from someone who willingly accepts a loan from one of your family members.

missbopeep Fri 19-Jul-13 17:09:39

The Op did say she wasn't in the UK so I'm not sure how the law would stand re, a divorce and division of assets.

TBH I've lost track of whether the house is jointly owned or not- but if it is and the marriage ends, then the sister would have to be repaid out of the sale of the house- I assume.

Twinklestein Fri 19-Jul-13 17:22:05

@Wuldric I'm glad you mentioned the sister, because I'm most worried about that.

OP - did you have any legal contract drawn up for this loan?
What rate of interest is your husband paying?

If you have no contract, you need to get one asap.

If you get divorced & your h gets arsey, I dread to think what might happen.

If your h called you a 'business partner' - is this just how he sees the marriage? A nice little earner, without full disclosure of his own assets...

Bedtime1 Fri 19-Jul-13 18:29:27

Have you any ideas how much he gets in? Or do you not know because he has his own company. No ideas at all.

If you don't know how much he gets in then Presumably you have separate accounts? And if so do you put a designated amount of money each month in to another account which all bills come out of? How do you work as regards to savings then? Also what crossed my mind is when you mentioned he has to pay maintenance does that come out of this bills account or his own personal one? is paying the sister back coming out of the joint bills or out of his own account.

Also aside does your son get maintenance and if so does that go direct to your own account or to the joint bills account?

thegreylady Fri 19-Jul-13 20:01:04

My dh [3!] has 3dc and I have 2.When we got married the dc were aged between 13 and 18.All 5 lived with us and all our finances were joint.For the first year dh earned more than me then he took early retirement and I earned more.When we married I owned my houe outright and he had a mortgage on his [with his ex].He bought a share in my house when he sold his-he paid my dc what would have been half their dad's share [dh died].
Over the last 25 years we have shared everything except the lavatory!
It isn't a proper marriage without complete transparency.

fabulousfoxgloves Fri 19-Jul-13 21:25:18

Okay, in my second marriage, we had similar issues, I am not even going to bore you with the details. But the earning more and not contributing more, the by-passing you in his will in favour of dcs, the not disclosing income (hey, I did not even get a spreadsheet), the willingness to take/borrow from family members sound familiar.

It really is not a partnership. I actually agree that buying a house with this man, in light of everything else you say, was an error of judgement. People who are mean with money are mean in spirit. However, you are where you are, and there are three outcomes : he makes a fair, honest and open contribution and you begin to work together; you accept your contribution to the property and the finances is proportionately greater and that he is salting his money away at your expense; or you take independent legal advice (the key word being independent) about how to untangle this mess and protect your interest.

If he does not do the first, you are left with the third, as the second will erode your self-esteem and trust in him and the marriage.

Interestingchanges Sat 20-Jul-13 02:16:16

Thank you for your replies, it is comforting to know that I'm not being unreasonable or paranoid... So many similar experiences out there.

Yes, I protected my dsis totally. She is a named beneficiary in the will re her loan specifically. I have a very good solicitor who made a fair will, which will be redrawn once debt has been repaid to her.
This solicitor also drew up the inheritance conditions for kids. Apparently this is the done thing now, considering the increasing number of children in blended families and has become standard practice. We are both fine with that, after all my ds will get my old flat (I thankfully kept, and refused to put up for collateral for bank loan to raise dh half).

Dh and I have own accounts and contribute to a joint account to pay utilities, food, and now recently for a car (I'm learning to drive again, see that as a bit symbolic really...).
I get maintenance for ds paid into my account, dh pays maintenance to ex from his account, also repaying loan to dsis from his account.

Just had a bit of a panic attack as I realized that dh played a similar game with ex, living beyond their means, no wonder she was pissed at him for wrecking their fragile financial arrangement.

Apart from a mythical spreadsheet I don't even have a printout from, I don't know what he earns, he simply doesn't show me his bank statements. It never occurred to me to ask once his maintenance payments changed dramatically (dsd opted out of private schooling, dss to follow shortly, dss now living here 50:50, so no maintenance for him at all, except school fees).
I asked for his details when it became clear he was studying my financial comings and goings and questioning my habits, he takes care of online banking from our joint account, same bank as my account is in... I thought it in bad taste and wanted his details too. He said I wasn't getting them.

Fabulousfoxgloves, I'm going to go for your suggestion regarding independent financial advice. This isn't anybody's idea of a loving partnership, and if our marriage breaks down because of this then it will be sad, but nobody can live like this. Well, except dh, obviously...

MadonnaKebab Sat 20-Jul-13 03:41:27

The only reason to keep you in the dark about his finances is that he has something to hide
Either he has a lot more money than you think ( a large sum from the divorce settlement, ie he didn't need the loan from your sister, but wanted to keep his assets separate)
Or he has much less ( big debts from gambling ?)
Otherwise why hide?

Bedtime1 Sat 20-Jul-13 04:38:27

Hi Interesting,

So he has access to your personal account because it's linked to the joint bills but then you can't see his account at all?
I think he is hiding something. Similar to what Madonna said.

The thing is if you are married then why doesn't all money from both wages go in to the bills account? After those are all paid then you might want to jointly agree on say how much you want to save etc then the rest for personal spending should be split evenly as you are married. That means everything shared so even maintenance should go in and out of the bills account. Do either of you trust one another? Obviously you both knew there would be expenses regarding the children when you decided to get married and live together so you both have to acknowledge this.

If he gets far more in salary than you then even if the loan to your sister is taken out of the pot then he still should be contributing more than you, so I guess that would be fair as there would be money left over from his wages if you put everything into one pool?

I think the reason for so much confusion is because you don't pool all the money in one then divide spending money equally. As for treats etc for your kids then a lot of that can come out of your own spending money left over and the same for his kids. I mean possibly in the bills account you might want to put a contingency on the spreadsheet for kids birthdays then divide what's left over equally after that. I think you both have to be willing to compromise a bit it can't always be dead even eg if his kids eat a big more food or have there light on longer than your child, there has to be some give and take or why did you both get married?

Does this pooling everything in to one account then dividing what's left over sound any good to you? I suppose it would be about talking to him about this. If he doesnt agree to a joint way of life eg your married then I guess there isn't much hope for you as a couple because the resentment and mistrust will just carry on.
By the way I think some of the things such as him pittting the kids against you etc wasn't nice. You should be his priority too. Eg roommate etc and the kids not respecting you and wanting too know a lot about finances. He is creating a divide with this behaviour. Kids don't need to know about adult finances.

missbopeep Sat 20-Jul-13 07:48:17

Just had a bit of a panic attack as I realized that dh played a similar game with ex, living beyond their means, no wonder she was pissed at him for wrecking their fragile financial arrangement.

What do you mean here? I thought he paid generous maintenance which enabled them not to downsize, and keep 3 kids at private schools?
Does he have a history of being hopeless with money?

I'm stating the obvious but why:
-Marry someone whose income you know nothing about? Did this never strike you as just slightly odd?
-Agree for a relative to lend them money yet not know how much they can afford to repay(He could perhaps afford bigger repayments but is squirreling his surplus money away, or whatever.)
-Not have any idea of what is feasible for your lives as a couple based on joint finances?

The only reason I can see for his reluctance to share info is he is a company director and takes (variable) salary in dividends, or he is self employed/freelance and his income varies- but even if those applied he'd have some idea.

Was he refused a bank loan for your house on the basis of his credit record- or his earnings?

I hope he can't access your own account- even if it's at the same bank he shouldn't be able to access it online unless you have given him your passwords- and if you have I'd change them fast.

missbopeep Sat 20-Jul-13 09:45:00

So you bought the home you now share outright? It was funded by your savings, and the money loaned by your sister? Presumably you don't have a mortgage at all- otherwise your DH would have had to declare his income at the time.

You have kept your flat- is it rented to tenants?

How did you come to decide with your sister how much your DH would repay each month for the loan? Did he not talk about this in terms of X% of his income- who came up with the figure?

The way it looks is as if your DH is paying the equivalent of rent for living with you- you and your close family have bought the house in effect, and as long as he is living there he pays something each month to your sister- which ties in with his 'room mate' comment. Meanwhile you have no idea what he has coming in or going out each month. How can you plan any savings, investments and longer term finances?

How do you know that he hasn't a lot of money but is keeping it quiet? To my mind it looks as if he is paying 'rent' for living with you and because it's a family arrangement ( the loan) he hasn't had to declare his income as he would with a bank loan. Does any of this show a lack of commitment to you? Just pay his way , and see how it goes kind of attitude?

Twinklestein Sat 20-Jul-13 11:40:26

OP, it's good that your sister is mentioned in your will re the loan, but, sorry to be a bore, that's not the same as having a loan agreement.

If you already have one, ignore what I'm about to say.

A loan agreement is a legal document that formally sets down the terms, time frame, & interest rate, of informal loans.

It would outline what happens if the borrower defaults on a payment/s.

It can also provide an agreement that covers both parties in the event of all possible eventualities - however unpleasant or unlikely. What happen if you get divorced, either the lender or borrower dies etc

Is your s aware that if your h is paying interest, then she is liable for tax on the interest & must declare it to HMRC?

Without a legal document, your husband can stop repayments & you have nothing to prove that the money wasn't a gift. It help enormously that your sister's loan is recognised in your will, because that proves the fact of it legally, but even so it might be a fight to get the money back, if the unthinkable happened.

Apologies if you have this covered already. smile

missbopeep Sat 20-Jul-13 12:28:02

Twinkle I am pretty sure that the OP said some time back that she is not in the UK- so HMRC etc not applicable- correct me if I'm wrong.

She also said that her Dh took out a loan from her sis as it was cheaper than via a bank- so I assume no interest is being paid.

But some points you make are worth the OP thinking about.
Being VERY cynical here - but the OP said her sister is disabled and has MS. It is possible perhaps that the sister could die before the loan is repaid- MS varies hugely so no idea of her prognosis. But it is just possible that the H is paying back a very small amount each month over many years and assuming that he will never actually have to repay the debt in full. meanwhile he is squirreling/ gambling/ investing large amounts of his earnings and living in a nice home having contributed very little to it financially. I don't know enough about how he would stand for a 50:50 share in it if they divorce. Sure he won't get the house if the OP dies first- but what would happen if they split up?

Twinklestein Sat 20-Jul-13 14:08:08

@missbopeep As yes so she did. Does the sister live abroad too? They still need to check the tax regulations in their resident country...

It may be that they have agreed a lower rate of interest than banks charge, rather than none at all.

If the h isn't paying any interest then the sister is being diddled...

missbopeep Sat 20-Jul-13 15:48:14

Do you think he is paying interest- honestly?
The arrangement seems to be based on the fact the the sister is disabled, doesn't need the money at the moment ......

If there was complete transparency and the OP knew his income he could pay back the sister as quickly as possible, but the impression given here is that he is paying back very small amounts over a very long period of time. What happens if he scarpers? Would he be pursued for the debt?

Twinklestein Sat 20-Jul-13 16:01:26

I'm fondly hoping the sick sister isn't being done...

They can try to pursue him for the debt, but if he doesn't want to pay they may have to go to law.

But hey, they may have a formal document & he's not defaulted yet.

missbopeep Sat 20-Jul-13 16:08:28

Yep, right.

I just have a really horrible feeling about this guy.....
OP you sound very honest and generous ( if you are still around, reading) but I hope he is not taking you for a ride, financially.

If he could afford say £1000 a month in repayments yet is actually only paying £20 ( as examples) then there is a very cynical reason behind that. As other people have said he is possibly hiding all sorts. eg is he still paying too much to his ex which leaves him short for this marriage? 3 kids at private school ( until recently) would in the Uk be £30K pa at least. Now that he isn't doing that, isn't it time to reassess his outgoings and the payment of the loan.

All such a muddle.

zipzap Sun 21-Jul-13 03:05:19

Going back to the earlier thing, I think you are sensible to protect a chunk of your money as I hesitance for your dc. Somebody mentioned if all assets were combined and you had put more into the pot than your dh and then if you died first, dh got the pot, then when he died that pot was split between all the dc equally, his dc would get more than they would have done and your dc would have got less.

That's one possible outcome - but say he was an unscrupulous sort who after you had died then went and lost contact (deliberately or not) with your kids. If he were to die he could write his will to leave everything to his dc and nothing to your dc, which would be a horrible thought. And if he had remarried again too then it could be even more complicated and push your dc even further out of the picture.

When you do share the house with him, can you do the equivalent of tenants in common rather than being joint tenants? And put in details in your will exactly of the mechanism of how the inheritance of your share is to go? (voice of bitter experience).

He has an attitude that reminds me of someone I've had dealings with over family inherited stuff that when it comes to sorting it out 'what is mine is mine (and kept well away from the pot to be divided) and what is yours is ours' (and therefore should be in the pot to be divided; a win win situation for them and losses all around for my side of the family.

How well does he put away and keep hidden/password protected / under lock and key all his financial info should you go looking for it? And how does this compare with how you keep all your financial info?

The ore he keeps it away from you the more it sounds like he is doing so to keep something hidden from you. If circumstances have changed since he gave you the spreadsheet then definitely make him give you updated figures. And if your lawyer is good and you trust him and you dint have the loan agreement mentioned earlier, then could you say that when he changed your will he realised about the lack of protection for your Sis and get him to do one? Also is he paying at least enough intrest on the money to cover what she would get if she had it in a really good savings account? If not, that ought to be included otherwise your sis is losing out.

Sorry about the hotchpotch of ideas, should be Adler really! Hope they can be separated out and make sense!

Wuldric Sun 21-Jul-13 08:42:46

With respect, I don't think you have protected your dsis totally. Protecting her totally would be not taking her money and giving it to your dh.

She might be protected in the event of your death, but what about default. I honestly think it is not very nice to take money from someone vulnerable and "loan" it to someone shady.

nkf Sun 21-Jul-13 08:58:13

It is a bit of a mess. I can't believe that your sister has lent someone money on this basis. Not knowing what he earns, when he will pay back. And she does need that money.

I don't understand being with a man and not knowing what he earns.

Maybe he is dodgy. Hard to say, but the problem is you don't have key pieces of information. You don't know things you should know. How to find out? I honestly have no idea. But I do know that this level of vagueness and lack of information is not good.

nkf Sun 21-Jul-13 09:01:57

He scrutinises your finances but his are secret. How can that be right? You need legal advice, I think. And financial advice. Do you have children together?

newbiefrugalgal Sun 21-Jul-13 11:44:10

Is your husband able to have full rights to your home based on residence?
For example in oz, once you are cohabitating (less than a year) it becomes 50:50, could he claim more and your side miss out?
He is not bringing any financial properties to this relationship and you have two!

FiftyShadesofGreyMatter Tue 23-Jul-13 06:02:08

"He scrutinises your finances but his are secret."

^ I think this is telling you all you need to know about your relationship!

Monty27 Tue 23-Jul-13 06:24:08

Me too fifty I'd be running for the hills.

HenWithAttitude Tue 23-Jul-13 06:41:51

OP. hope you're still reading. Having everyone dissect your finances, marriage and decisions....make assumptions and then pronouncements ...can be daunting as you get drawn in trying to defend yourself rather than being able to mull things over.

FWIW I disagree with missbopeep about 2nd marriages requiring a complete sharing of finances. I think that probably works terrifically well for a beneficiary but less well for the donor. Bear in mind that 1/3 of these 2nd marriages will end in divorce, then chucking away your financial stability on a romantic plan can be risky for you and your DC (unless as I say you are the beneficiary)

I do think a completely open approach to finances is required and I think an agreement over your joint financial management including inheritance is extremely necessary. If you cannot have this open conversation then your marriage is not that secure.

Many couples have unequal financial footings later in life. I have my own house and work full time. Suppose I marry a man who isn't a home owner and on marriage he then owns 50% of a house I have worked full time for 26 years to pay for... On divorce I have to move my DC out to give his half to him? Stuff that. I might love him on marriage but I can promise you I didn't marry him planning to give him half of my life's financial work. I marry for love and sharing of life, not financial gain or loss.

I'm not suggesting marriage should be cohabiting as separate financial entities but I think the 'one pot' idea works in the now. I.e. day to day finances should be equitable, but larger assets should be discussed prior to marriage and if you cannot agree what a legal split should be, should you divorce, then perhaps you're not ready to marry.

However this is just shutting the stable door for you isn't it? For now: get independent financial advice and secure your financial future (and that of your sister). Work on the marriage but that does not mean you throwing your financial security away. One does not preclude the other.

Interestingchanges Tue 23-Jul-13 08:04:43

Thank you for your replies.

Yes, it has been a bit daunting so I had to stop reading for a day or two.
But it has been so rewarding reading your contributions, and I think I know what must be done.

The general consensus seems to be that dh should pay back loan to dsis (with interest) asap, I agree, as then we could move forward, particularly re the inheritance issue of the house, the full disclosure of dh finances, and work as a team.

Yes, to the point that "what is mine is mine.... " Dh does have a tendency to be generous with my assets and yes, I feel a need to protect my ds interests. This came about when exw was completely demonized by dh and I got the crazy feeling there was nothing to stop her coming after my assets too!

Yes, I'm a naive idiot too trusting, but I've got a very independent nature and pride myself on my self sufficiency (lone parent for 8 years).

I'm going to have to reread some posts on the shared finances, but its difficult imagining how completely shared finances could work, the joint pot filled with an equal % from both parties sounds fair and doable.

And on a more personal note, I'm going to have to come to terms with the fact that I didn't marry Prince Charming, and I'm going to have to toughen up a bit and get on with my life and not walk on eggshells!

Thanks again everybody, I'm really touched at your thoughtfulness and willingness to share and helping me get back on track, xxx

2rebecca Tue 23-Jul-13 08:08:57

I think leaving everything to your children and nothing to your spouse if you die is fine if you die young, but if you live to an old age there is likely to be nothing left to leave.
If for instance my husband dies tomorrow and leaves half our savings and all his pension benefits to his kids (I have to get the house and contents as it's in joint names) then they get money and my kids and I get none. If I live to be 94 it's unlikely there will be any money to leave my kids and I will have struggled financially when my husband dies.
Leaving something to your kids and something to your spouse seems a more sensible compromise.

missbopeep Tue 23-Jul-13 08:27:55

Hen There's some sense in what you posted, but it doesn't just apply to 2nd or even 3rd marriages, and I wonder how you feel about inequality in 1st marriages? What about for instance marriages where one spouse earns considerably more than the other, where there are no children, and where the couple divorce? Someone I know was on the brink of divorce - they hadn't worked for years and years while their partner earned millions over that period. If they split up the non working partner would still get 50 % of the assets- this was discussed with the legal team.

I take your point about protecting your assets if you remarried, but it seems like the only way you could do that would be with a pre-nup agreement, because in law any spouse would be entitled to half, if you divorced.

missbopeep Tue 23-Jul-13 08:43:12

2rebecca
Is that how pensions work though? I stand to receive 50% of DH's pension ( for life) once he dies. It's a good final salary pension. As far as I know our children are not entitled to any of it , even if we divorced and he remarried.

Interestingchanges Tue 23-Jul-13 08:56:32

2rebecca, I agree on the sensible compromise idea.
Unfortunately, atm things are far from sensible, I've just booked an appointment with my solicitor for Friday to talk about legalities and consequences if house is listed in both names.
Dh and I have life assurance naming each other as beneficiaries should we die before 70, but otherwise dh has nothing to give me. I knew when I married him that all his assets stayed with exw (and as her parents are relatively wealthy, his dc are well taken care of anyway, regardless if he has anything to leave them).
My family was never wealthy but frugal and apart from the inheritance I also managed to pay off mortgage on own flat myself. Unless dh parents die very soon before spending their assets (god forbid), he has really nothing to share, except bis income (which he doesn't want to).

I've literally taken a leaf out of his book, I.e. his need, mounting to obsession, so see his kids get what they're entitled to, I.e. his money. My self sufficiency has really been used against me as he sees no reason, quite rightly, to support me financially in any way, or heaven forbid, my ds!
At the end of the day, all this fussing about finances etc is down to dh still acting like an entitled brat, and raising his kids to be the same.
I'm all about work and saving and ds has been talking about getting summer jobs since he was 13.
I did not see this coming. Must have been wearing bloody blinkers!

missbopeep Tue 23-Jul-13 09:59:59

you only have his word that his ex got 'everything'- that would be very unlikely- it's usually 50-50, or thereabouts. who's to know he doesn't have a nest egg stashed away for emergencies? would you know?

He's painted her as money grabbing but that's only his side- which may suit him very well to spin that line to you.

Rebecca's idea on pensions- I could be wrong but I don't think an employee can pass company pension onto a child rather than a spouse, in the event of divorce.

People I know who have remarried, have always shared everything, although for day to day expenses some have put in a fair % of their salaries into a joint account, then kept the rest for themselves as spending money. However, on divorce (I know someone who is 3 x divorced) the house was split 50-50, and all the assets too. In that instance, one partner was left much worse off- they had bought the marital home for £400K+ and was left with just over half on divorce whilst the other partner had benefited as their own home ( pre marriage) was much smaller.

Good that you are taking legal advice.

Interestingchanges Tue 23-Jul-13 10:46:38

Re assets from first marriage, they had a massive mortgage on luxury penthouse flat and exw decided to keep it and pay it off, so he got a small lump sum (she has moved back to a flat her mother owns to rent out mortgaged flat atm, will never sell it though as its in posh part of town she feels entitled to live in... Yes, they are both ego maniacs, but turns out she's tougher).
He did keep a v modest nest egg from her though which magically appeared when we had to pay for renovations (we always go 50/50 on all home improvements) and after all the suggestions in that direction I'm thinking that yes, he is probably doing the same with his secret finances right now.
God, its so laughable! The trouble is, even if I confront him and he actually tells me the truth, he will feel entitled to do this and keep the amount a secret too. Talk about man-child...
It's even more laughable though that I was actually going to offer dh all sorts of convenient ways to instate him as part owner and smooth his ruffled feathers, when it has become quite obvious that I'm only capable of seeing half the plot <smacks forehead>.

Ps I'm the (hopefully legal) guarantor for dsis loan as I wrote her a formal IOU, and have my old flat as collateral should dh skip the country...

nkf Tue 23-Jul-13 10:54:27

This man is refusing to be transparent and open regarding his finances. With you. Please stop talking about what he has said about his ex wife. It is not necessarily true.

missbopeep Tue 23-Jul-13 12:17:35

But you don't know what he has- do you?

The small nest egg she gave him ( why should she give him that?) and her buying him out of the penthouse- you simply don't know what he ended up with, because he won't tell you.

And neither do you have any real proof of whatever he was supposedly paying as maintenance, I assume. It's all based on what he told you- you haven't seen his accounts, I guess?

2rebecca Tue 23-Jul-13 12:51:38

Both my husband and I get to decide ourselves who our pensions go to. I earn more than my husband so at the moment his children are beneficiaries of his pension if he died suddenly. My pension is larger and split between my husband and my kids. Kids can only be beneficiaries under my pension until they are 23, after that age it's spouse or civil partner only or "qualifying partner" whatever that is.

missbopeep Tue 23-Jul-13 13:07:29

Thanks for clarifying that 2Rebecca. I don't think that's an option with either of our pensions, but it doesn't apply anyway as each of our DCs is now over 23 and paying into their own pensions! We very recently re-wrote our will, and this wasn't something the legal team brought up, so until you mentioned it, I wasn't aware of it at all.

Interestingchanges Tue 23-Jul-13 13:11:39

Due to a rather interesting friendship with exw aunt and hubby, who apparently sided with my dh during their rocky marriage and still visit us, I know that finances re exw and their assets are true.
The nest egg I was referring to was indeed money dh had squirreled away during their marriage (blah, blah, I was totally justified, blah, blah), in sum just about half of the "deposit money" he got legit from the divorce settlement. All none of my business, but indeed fact.
I have seen some bank statements over the past 4 years, maybe 3 in total, so I have a fair idea of what he earns.
BUT, dh gets a sizeable bonus now and again and I have never understood why he would tell me he was getting x sum and expecting a round of applause for how great he is, when in fact a % of that will go to ex (she has an airtight right to salary and any extras earned above that), and he doesn't share with me anyway (if I'm ever given an expensive present, he expects one back, so I've stopped all expensive present giving as its a sham).
Sorry, I've started to ramble a bit... A friend asked me recently what I get out of the marriage (she considers him an anti social sourpuss), and I said once or twice yearly we like going on city breaks at weekends (again, he makes a big thing about paying for it when in fact we only travel when its the absolute cheapest and I'm expected to contribute by paying for meals out, any extras, that all add up too).
And just to be really really clear, any kind of expense he incurs "treating me", when "oh no this is MY treat" is said, then it usually means extremely generous sexual favors are expected in return. I've now taken to paying own cinema ticket or getting the popcorn!
Why can't he see I would be happy to reciprocate anyway, why must he spoil any positive thing he does for me by asking for his pound of flesh - literally or symbolically?

missbopeep Tue 23-Jul-13 13:31:16

Why can't he see I would be happy to reciprocate anyway, why must he spoil any positive thing he does for me by asking for his pound of flesh - literally or symbolically?

Because he's a miserable, selfish, deceitful ,tight bastard? Just for starters.

You could find any number of people to go on a city break with. If this is the reason you stay married- well.!

So he deceived his ex- keeping money hidden that ought to have gone into the marital pot to be shared when they split? Nice. Any chance he's doing that again?

I wouldn't believe his aunt- again, families have complicated agendas which can go back decades so who knows the real truth.

Maybe the law is different where you live, but it would be most unusual for an exW to have a continuing claim on her exHs's salary and bonuses ad infinitum.

Especially when we assume, she is young enough and healthy enough to earn her own living?

Why did they not have a clean break settlement?
Why did his legal team not push for that?

Or is this something else that he's being deceitful over?

Twinklestein Tue 23-Jul-13 13:35:18

I think you're being very sensible protecting your assets to go to your son. HenWithAttitude's post was great. So many people get burnt from first marriages.

But I'm not sure I totally believe your husband's narrative about his first marriage. It sounds like he's the one who wants to live beyond his means - his first wife was wealthy & his second is also comparatively well off. He ended up with a 'nest egg' from her eh? You were happy in your flat but he decided that his children were entitled to a bigger property, despite the fact he didn't have the direct means of paying for it.

I would not put his name on the house yet. At the moment the house belongs to you & your sister. Until he has paid off his debt he has only contributed a deposit and towards renovations.

But that does not justify him keeping his finances secret (very bizarre logic that he thinks it does). He needs to disclose everything.

Could you prompt full disclosure by jointly going to see a new financial advisor to verify you're both managing your assets to the optimum?

Interestingchanges Tue 23-Jul-13 14:18:11

Missbo, yep, that was the settlement, the exw gets maintence % from salary and any extra earnings (dh had settlement looked at again about 2 years ago and there's no getting out of the extras bit) until the dsc are about 24 (no doubt at all that both will attend uni and here that's about the age students graduate). But there is no doubt in my mind that dh will continue to fund them well into middle age... It's an ego thing, I think.

Twinklestein, I admit I don't understand your last comment, please explain to me what you meant, thanks. Otherwise you are spot on. It took me years to see her side of things as of course dh demonized her and unfortunately her own bizarre behaviour did nothing to make me think well of her.

Why am still bothering at all? There are many reasons I suppose:

All the dc are happier then they have ever been

My ds always wanted siblings and they miss each other when apart

I am more active re going out, doing stuff (used to be terribly shy and awkward)

I've grown a backbone

I see the difference I've already made to dh life (my ils love me for it) and to dsc lives (credit from ils and dh)

I'm a mad and incurable optimist and sincerely believe that given the tools (e.g. Advise on mn, solicitor...) I can build the perfect marriage.

Twinklestein Tue 23-Jul-13 14:34:37

I see nothing from what you've said to indicate that you can't build what you want from this. There are obviously lots of positives, it's just a question of managing your husband into a more reasonable position on finances.

Apols for my last sentence it was not clear.

What I meant was - perhaps you could suggest that you & your husband go together to a new financial advisor. You can bill it as getting fresh perspective on both your finances to make sure your assets are managed the best way possible.

It might be a slightly less confrontational way of getting disclosure.

Although, of course, he should want you to know his financial affairs without the intervention of a third party.

missbopeep Tue 23-Jul-13 14:36:19

That kind of settlement seems highly in favour of the exW and completely outside what anyone would get in the UK, from my experience. If he has to be so generous that presumably means he is very wealthy, or he would not keep enough to support another family?

The 'ego' comment doesn't really stack up to me- why does it feed his ego to be so generous to his children ( up to 24!!!) yet he is so mean to his 2nd wife? If he gets a kick from being generous why doesn't that apply to you? The idea that he tots up the value of gifts, and 'makes you pay your way' with meals etc are not the actions of a kind man.

If you really look at your reasons for staying in the marriage, do you think they add up to everyone else being happier ( on the surface) but not you? Have you ever thought you are a 'people pleaser'? it's not your role to 'sort' this man out, and please anyone such as your in-laws. You should be pleasing YOU before anyone else.

Yes, you say you have grown a backbone, but who's to say you wouldn't have anyway without this man? You lived alone for 8 years so maybe your real issue is lack of appreciation of your own strengths?

I think what Twinkle was saying was that you could both go - together- to a financial advisor on the pretext of having a financial makeover, and in doing so DH would come clean about his income. So it would avoid out and out confrontation. But of course he most likely wouldn't agree to the appointment anyway, and he'd only disclose as much as he felt like. He couldn't be forced to disclose his earnings or savings.

missbopeep Tue 23-Jul-13 14:37:05

x-d posts Twinkle!

BoulevardOfBrokenSleep Tue 23-Jul-13 16:21:51

"..when "oh no this is MY treat" is said, then it usually means extremely generous sexual favors are expected in return. I've now taken to paying own cinema ticket..."

Seriously? That is really quite grim TBH. How does it make you feel?

wordyBird Tue 23-Jul-13 19:01:55

Agree with Boulevard. That IS grim. sad

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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 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 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 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.

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.

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.

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 14:50:28

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.

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?

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 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.

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 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.......

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 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?

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 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.

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!

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