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

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

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

olgaga Thu 10-Oct-13 14:20:29

I suppose if he is money-conscious, he will have experienced the sudden realisation that divorce costs a lot of money. Legal fees are only part of it. The fact that you will in future need to run two homes instead of one is the biggest ongoing expense.

He is not just looking at sharing the pension, he's looking at spousal maintenance for you - or a settlement which will buy out those elements. Plus ongoing child maintenance. So he's probably a bit shell-shocked.

I would carry on as you always have - you and the children still need clothes. You still need to buy food and pay for everything you are paying for. If he tells you to "watch the money" just tell him that you always have.

If you haven't already got legal advice, you need to do so. Now.

Ask around to see if you can get any word of mouth recommendations, or look at the Resolution website.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 10-Oct-13 14:35:27

I'm confused. Are you divorcing him because he's mean, or are you divorcing him for other non-money-related reasons and the divorce process has shown him up to be mean?

ageofgrandillusion Thu 10-Oct-13 14:50:34

Not sure that it matters if you are getting divorced OP. Just make sure you take the tight arsed fuck to the cleaners. FWIW, i have never met a miser who is actually happy.

olgaga Thu 10-Oct-13 14:51:47

I meant to add, if you have already decided to divorce him, his meanness is only relevant to the battle you may have over finance. Which is why I'm urging you to get good legal advice.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 10-Oct-13 14:56:51

FWIW... as the DD of a working-class family and as someone who experienced financial hardship as an adult, I think I live life on the basis that it might all be taken away tomorrow. This insecurity means I'm also a big saver/investor, get three quotes from tradesmen, tell DS we need to rein in the spending occasionally and object to buying the pick n mix in the cinema (amongst other indulgences) on the basis of it being daylight robbery. I'm now wondering if others see me as a miser... shock

olgaga Thu 10-Oct-13 15:01:38

No way are you a miser Cogito. I took DD and two friends to the cinema for a birthday treat and they got pick n mix at the Vue cinema. It cost more than the tickets! I nearly fainted...never again.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 10-Oct-13 15:09:45

OP... on the strength of me and Olgaga feeling the same way, your STBXH is NBU necessarily on the cinema sweets thing. Is the incompatibility on spending the only problem in the relationship? Does the tight control aspect spill over into non-money areas?

JustinBsMum Thu 10-Oct-13 15:19:58

It used to be possible to get a lump sum on divorce rather than pension when ex retires, I don't know if that is still the case. Perhaps that would be better than have him controlling things at some point in the future if he is known to be stingey.

eurochick Thu 10-Oct-13 15:21:29

Being a higher earner is not inconsistent with being careful with money. I will always want quotes from tradesmen, etc and shop around to make sure I get a good deal.

I second the advice to get a good solicitor as it sounds like there will be quite a fight over the finances.

ninilegsintheair Thu 10-Oct-13 15:37:25

Reading with interest as my husband is similar (although not a high earner, more middle-management), and I have a similar outlook on money as you do. Penny-pinching when it's not necessary is a real romance killer.

What type of penny-pincher is he? There are those that simply will not spend money if they can and see every time they open their wallet as a reason to go into mourning. Then there are those who would never buy sweets at the cinema (for example) but have some expensive hobbies for themselves that they solely benefit from. Which is he?

It sounds like you need to be prepared to expect a battle over money. And possibly for him to start complaining about 'she who took all my money'.

As for the sweets at the cinema thing - best way to do it is to go to wilko's before hand and smuggle in some cheap sweets. If he refuses to even fork out for that (as my husband would), then you have a problem.

I do agree about getting three quotes from workmen though, that's standard and common sense.

Sahmof3 Thu 10-Oct-13 15:37:31

In some ways he just sounds sensible with money to me. Getting three quotes for a job is always a good idea and, as for the sweets in the cinema, I don't blame him for not wanting to pay the rip-off prices. Of course, I don't know how much he earns...if it really is a fortune, then it may well be a bit mean! Tbh, you also sound rather materialistic and concerned about money given that you seem to equate his love for you with his pension fund (that is meant to be said in as gentle a way as possible..I think many of us would react in the way you have to the news that he has been squirrelling away so much). Actually, what concerns me the most is that you've only just found out how much he earns. I find it really strange that you could be married and have kids with someone and not know what he is paid. Sounds deceitful to me.

ninilegsintheair Thu 10-Oct-13 15:40:00

My post sounds unsympathetic, but it's not, I get where you're coming from OP. Being told you're struggling for money when you're not is mean and actually a way of controlling you.

If you feel he's changing into his miserly dad, you'd both probably be happier apart.

Suzietwo Thu 10-Oct-13 15:41:21

men are quite simple creatures

when they feel threatened they retreat into what they know and in this case, its money

the only way he is able to quantify the way the potential divorce is making him feel, is by putting a £ sign in front of it

im a divorce lawyer and have come across this more times than i can remember. all their anger during the process goes into fighting the money. sadly the result is often that their children stop wanting to see them

Suzietwo Thu 10-Oct-13 15:42:13

also, 400pcm and joint credit say he's high earner which i assume is in excess of £150k p/a...he's being terrifically tight.

Timetoask Thu 10-Oct-13 15:52:09

Are these fundamental differences you both have just money related? You say you've tried counselling, so I am guessing there is more involved.

I am a bit like your husband, I will not pay those extortionate prices at the cinema! I am a saver and I manage our home finances. I would not be able to sleep at night if I had debt issues, no savings, etc.
Would you prefer your husband to be a spender and gambler? I don't think so.

Having said that, it is unacceptable that after 15 years you do not know how much he earns. Crazy. It seems that you were happy from the start to have separate finances though.

Preciousbane Thu 10-Oct-13 15:57:29

I always get three quotes, that is sensible and I also won't buy anything I consider over priced so could be deemed a bit tight. However DH and I are on the same page and it is equal it obviously isn't in your household. I never knew how much my ex earned, I agree that is a very bad sign.

Jux Thu 10-Oct-13 16:13:38

We used to get 3 quotes, but still didn't always get the best value for money. Now we just go with the guys we know.

I do think that your h is now worried about how much this is going to cost and effect it will have on his long term life, ie, pension etc. He probably hadn't really thought about it before.

I would get copies of financial documents if you can, just in case things get dirty.

olgaga Thu 10-Oct-13 16:13:45

Yes I would draw the line at no sweets AT ALL! But 3 quotes is wise, CheckaTrade etc - there are way too many rip-off merchants.

But all this is by-the-by. If he's a miser who is always watching the pennies and takes the fun out of life, rather than being careful for a reason (ie making sure you have a fantastic family holiday/home improvements) then you're probably better off apart.

It is so interesting how as you get older you often retreat into behaviour which stems from childhood. So my ex did come from a family which was hard up despite both parents working, so he used to be very careful with money. He preferred to buy less and expensive. I became quite a spendthrift - not into debt - but if I saw something that I liked I bought it. Truly a dreadful habit and 1 I am now trying to break. My ex was quite mean spirited though, so he was tight with money but also time, affection, internal generosity. Until of course the OW came on the scene and he has splashed on her and her family. We have fought bitterly for the last 2 years about money during our divorce. But some of what your stbex does seems OK to me - eg 3 quotes for a job, no sweets at the cinema. But if you do have large assets between you and you are looking for spousal maintenance and pension you will need a good lawyer by the sounds of it. My barrister was fab smile

Cabrinha Thu 10-Oct-13 17:11:30

The examples you give sound fine to me, really.
Getting 3 quotations is sensible, and free! With trade work, it's not like checking the price of a TV in 3 shops to save a fiver - they can be really different, and often it's work that you don't even have a ball park figure in mind for as it's often one off work you've never done before.

I'm lucky to be able to afford some cinema sweets treats - but I generally don't because (a) they're really expensive and (b) I want my daughter to think about prices, and also to know doesn't get something every time. It's about teaching her to make choices wisely, not me being miserly.a magazine OR a hair band, not both.

And I respect him for paying lots into his pension. You have to have a life too, but when you're 70 and able to afford to fly to see your child who moved to Australia, bet you'll be glad he prioritised pensions, and your share from it!

I guess what concerns me is the revelation about his earnings, but you haven't said what they are, if you've really struggled, if he has been spending more than you, if you've ever asked what he earns.

I'm not ruling out that he's a controlling arse, I don't know. But I don't think you can complain at not knowing his earnings if you just never bothered to ask - and if you've never expressed dissatisfaction with your share.

Cabrinha Thu 10-Oct-13 17:26:21

I've re-read, and tbh, I'm confused.
You have my sympathy re marriage ending - that's so hard.

But you said he recently said what he earned - so he doesn't sound secretive, just you never asked before? Also, I don't mean this unkindly, but you then said that only hit you when solicitor broke it down. So - do you not have much interest? If so, you can't blame him for you not previously having a handle on it. That sounds like maybe you're not so aware of things like how tax efficient his pension saving is. Did you know, for example, that at 55 (and it was previously younger) you can get a lump sum out if your pension early, tax free? It can be a great way to save - sensible, not miserly.

And your comments about giving up wordly goods for love... I don't want to be harsh, because your distress is palpable. But that statement is meaningless. He doesn't have that choice. Giving the whole pension fund to charity won't make you love him. Well - maybe a bit, but not enough!

I was concerned about my financial situation on divorce. In fact I proposed lower than I would probably get, personal reasons. I've actually lost money overall from being married, if I look at it objectively. I'm aware of that. I'm just a financially aware person.

Get lawyered up, you'd be a fool not to. But don't mix up emotions here. He hasn't chosen money over you, he doesn't (seem to) care about money more than he ever cared about you. Try to approach this totally logically - it'll be easier for you than the upset.

Doughnut123 Thu 10-Oct-13 18:21:48

Thanks you to all of you for your wise words. It's hard to explain a situation like this briefly, without sounding like I am the one obsessed with money! I really am not materialistic, buy a lot of clothes etc from charity shops and work for a charity. I went to Africa to work as a volunteer recently-what an eye opener that was
Such poverty and so many problems- 1 in 4 has HIV and the life expectancy is 37. There are thousands of orphans.
It put everything into perspective. I came back and just found our life style here hard to deal with. We have so much, but we always want more.
It made me want to sell everything and give the money to orphanages out there.
I think some of what I wrote may have been misinterpreted. What I find upsetting is that he is the person who, supposedly, still 'loves,' me, yet his biggest trauma seems to be over the money. There is no emotion.

I know divorce is an expensive business , but I'm not the type to take him to the cleaners. I just want the children provided for.
The thing with his salary, is that he's not deliberately deceitful. He had told me what he earned, but I don't see what is in the account, so although he says all that he earns is ours, it never feels that way. It just feels like a lack of trust. I'm not the kind to splash out on designer clothes, hate waste and recycle/up cycle as much as I can.

If it was just his anal attitude to money, maybe I could deal with it, but there are many other things that I can't forgive him for. He has abandoned me in my hour of need, to go cycling, when he knew that I was almost suicidal
He is in love with his bikes and spends thousands on them, yet was refusing to get the floor fixed to stop slugs coming in through the floor boards, because he didn't want to spend the money, because we're moving! Considering the house isn't even on the market yet, that would be another winter to come down to slug trails or, worse, stepping on one!
I completely agree with all of you re the cinema prices for sweets. It is outrageous and we should all just take our own.
However, with him, it just becomes another little niggle. He did get them some sweets, to share, so he's not being totally awful. It's just that he works such long hours and hardly sees the children apart from weekends, that when he does something nice like this, it can be spoiled by his quibbling, then me getting fed up with it.

I also agree that the getting 3 quotes is sensible, but, for me, it always feels like he doesn't trust me to get someone decent through word of mouth or Checkatrade. It's another aspect of what I feel is control.
I also in no way think any of you are misers!! When you don't have much, of course, every penny counts.

My definition of a miser is someone who has money, but finds parting with it difficult, so please don't think I think you're tight!

I also have a much more 'live for today,' attitude, because both my parents are dead and I just think that life is for living.
And, while I know that pensions are sensible, sometimes we don't reach pensionable age. Of course, we need a pension, but I see my pensionable years working out in somewhere like Africa, living on a small amount, but having a richer and more worthwhile life helping people.

Suzuetwo, thank you for your advice. He earns £120,000- an absolute fortune by most people's standards. And I think you're right, he's putting the £ sign in front of everything. He said he would be, 'in the shit,' if we didn't sell the house, because he wouldn't be able to afford somewhere decent. We have about £65,000 to pay on the house. I think, as you say, he has retreated into money because that's where he has control.

Thank you to all of you

Spiritedwolf Thu 10-Oct-13 19:20:50

I think you have a point OP, that his comment about what you'd be entitled to IF you got divorced could give the impression that a. he'd consider not getting divorced in order to 'keep' his pension to himself and b. that he sees that money as 'his' not the familys and may well have continued being mean well into his retirement.

I am a also a bit hmm at whether his division of the household finances previous to this was at all fair. Its one thing being careful with money, its another thing being controlling, making you feel bad about spending small amounts and squirrelling the money away for himself. If it is family money then you should have been consulted about what sort of amount was being held back for savings etc. Yes, cinema sweets are overpriced, and its best to take cheaper ones in, but I can imagine how much it would grate on me if someone for whom it is pocket change was so mean about a one off treat. None of the things sound awful on their own, but if this is what you were living with all the time I can see where you are coming from.

He has realised that whilst married he was able to be controlling and unfair, keep you on your toes about money, but going through divorce he is losing that control as your soliciter will be arguing for your fair share and fair provision for the children.

I can understand your reaction to visiting Africa - that you realise how well off you all were even though you were told to watch every penny, but I don't think you can expect him to give away all his worldy possessions either.

Good luck, hope your lawyer is a good'un smile

Doughnut123 Thu 10-Oct-13 22:01:50

Thank you Spiritedwolf ( love the nick name!). I was never expecting him to give everything away, that would be completely unrealistic.
He is a good person and he has been putting a lot of the money into savings. He is extremely shrewd with his money and I am hopeless! But I don't get into debt or anything. I'm not financially minded, which makes a big difference. I have let him take control of the money. I suppose, when you're heading for divorce, you start to really look at everything, and question it.
Why didn't I make the effort to be more interested in our finances? He has explained thing to me, to be fair, but I think I've been so bogged down with looking after the children and having lots of health problems, that I was lazy.
Now I think, why didn't I assert myself more? But at the time, I was struggling to keep my head above water.
I feel guilty for talking about him like this, but sometimes you need some objective opinions. And some very frank ones that make you think.
It's such an emotional thing, so nothing is ever black and white.
Thank you to everyone who has sent messages. I value your thoughts.

Sahmof3 Thu 10-Oct-13 22:10:38

Doughnut123, you sound like a lovely person and I hope that my earlier post didn't sound a little harsh, it certainly wasn't meant to. Your husband abandoning you in your hour of need is unforgivable and you shouldn't have to live with bloody slugs coming up through the floorboards. Given the huge amount he earns, he does sound like a bloody miser. I'd certainly think my husband was tight if he didn't buy my kids sweets in the cinema if he was earning that amount.

HomicidalPsychoJungleCat Thu 10-Oct-13 23:00:36

The way you describe things financially seems a lot like our house, except I'm the one who deals with finances here. (Though dhearns most of the money) this is because he is and always has been disorganised with money, disinterested in financial planning and happy for me to deal with things. He does have full access to his bank account, that his salary goes into and I just ask him to shift bits when needed.

Tbh I think with so many families feeling the pinch, even relatively good earners, the measures you describe are not hugely penny pinching... in fact I'd love to have been more organised about putting more away for our future and haven't (yet).

£120k sounds a lot, but it does depend on where you live. To put a different slant on it He probably feels scared of losing half of everything he planned so hard to create, (and although I utterly get that your marriage must have broken down for other reasons and I'm not commenting on that in any way!) I CAN see, as the saver, budgeter and planner in my family how that must hurt him. It's like building a house and then someone wanting to cut it in half and take it away. I'd be gutted too. I think I'd probably grieve for it tbh. (But NOT more than for my lost marriage!)

True though, that had he been as bothered about you half as much as his money then you may not even be at this juncture at all. I hope it all works out amicably for you OP.

payhisdebt Fri 11-Oct-13 06:14:37

I think your husband's attitude to money sounds not unreasonable and not a million miles from mine !
I don't understand your point about " if he loved his wife" he'd be more sharing / less concerned about finances in the split or whatever . you are leaving him , no wonder he is reluctant to share. I'd be exactly the same . I don't know anyone who,earns that kind of money who does not work extremely hard to get it .

and I don't understand your problem really because you don't sound in the least but greedy or grasping. You are getting rid of him and won't have to be annoyed at his day to day attitude to money ( which seems to be a big thing for you ) and you seem to be happy to accept a reasonable settlement.

if things are amicable now I would absolutely advise you try to agree on as much as possible WITHOUT lawyers.

good luck and I do hope you can stay friends .

perfectstorm Fri 11-Oct-13 14:34:38

Have you thought of counselling together? Not to seek to reconcile, but to split amicably and respectfully. He may be focusing on the money because it's how he is dealing with avoiding the emotions, who knows.

I do think avoiding lawyers and trying to reach a settlement you can both live with will save a fortune, save huge stress, and be infinitely better for the children. You will co-parent better if you can like one another. It's devastating to kids when parents don't.

I appreciate he annoys you with the money, and I do also think that given his income he's been extremely mean with you on the personal expenses front. But if you get a sensible settlement you'll have control of your own finances in future, and he his. I don't think either attitude is wrong, tbh. Just different.

Offred Fri 11-Oct-13 16:03:14

Surely £400pcm does not even cover child maintenance for 3 dc if he has a huge wage? I have four, only got 2 with x h who doesn't have huge salary and maintenance is £138 per week...

I think he is being tight there.

I think I can understand where you might be coming from on the sweets thing.

When I was little my dad had a really high wage but he always went on and on about being poor, was angry about money, always saving it, never allowing us treats or presents we wanted or making us feel bad for having expensive gifts (not outlandish, ruined my christmas present of a £100 bike once by being angry) because they were apparently too expensive. He always spent a lot of money on himself and his own hobbies (think £1000 a time on model trains).

Now we are all grown up and both my parents are on massive salaries and have huge savings and he is still obsessing over money, still restricting what my mum can spend. I think he is financially abusive and his saving was about him having all the money all for him.

My h and I are splitting up, his first comment was to shout about me "taking" h's house. H has moved to bedsit over the road in reality we are sharing the house and have separate bedrooms. So I think being obsessional unnecessarily about saving and treats for the family can be indicative of financial abuse.

Saving is all well and good but IMHO it is quite important that a family has enough at every stage, not that one person has more than enough to retire on.

Doughnut123 Fri 11-Oct-13 19:52:51

Thank you to all of you who sent messages. We are going to mediation to sort out the financial side of things. We did go to Relate a few months ago, for that very reason, Perfectstorm. I organised it, to help him come to terms with the separation.

I feel that I have not been very clear about what I have written- exhaustion, emotion and a poor short term memory are not conducive to accuracy!

To be fair to him, I do spend on myself on the credit card, so I am not limited by the £400pcm he gives me. But I don't really like using a credit card. It goes against the grain. I think of a credit card as a last resort.
I don't really understand why he uses one so much, apart from the convenience of them. If I was getting around £6,000 PCM ( I still can't believe how much he gets ), there's no way that I would use a credit card like he does.

I know that he has the family's best interests at heart, and some if his money goes into long term savings for the children and I know that the pension was to help me as well, as mine will be very small.
He is extremely good with money, which I know is a really important thing. He's thinking about our future.

However, I still can't escape this feeling of control. It may make no sense to some of you, but that's how it feels.

There was an incident last year which illustrates this feeling.
A charity worker came to the door (a reputable charity). He was asking for a donation monthly. Now, I know that a lot of people will not sign up to anything like this and I am usually one of them. It has been drummed into me not to sign up to anything on the doorstep- which, in itself, makes me feel like a child, incapable of making a decision and gullible.

Anyway, I talked to the charity worker, who was very nice - I know, they always are and he was good at his job!
Ordinarily, I would have said no thank you, but, all the time that I was talking, I could see my husband lurking uncomfortably in the kitchen, obviously very anxious that I might part with some cash.
But because he was doing this, it made want to sign up all the more! I suddenly just wanted to rebel, like a teenager! So I signed up to, £10 PCM,which, to him, is nothing.

He was not happy about this, but it was the best feeling! I think I would have signed up to anything, just to piss him off!

Offred Fri 11-Oct-13 20:25:19

Child support alone should be £1500 per month. You are getting less than 1/3 of what you are entitled to for the dc never mind what you should get for yourself in terms of spousal support/share of marital assets.

I believe you've had a rough time and he is likely financially abusive tbh.

maleview70 Fri 11-Oct-13 20:57:52

If he earns £6000 a month then even if he has to pay 1/4
of it every month in maintainance, he is still left with £4500 a month!

He can probably keep his pension if he gives you the house so not sure why he is so panic stricken.

The only thing people need in life is income. Capital is just useless really if you have a good income because you never end up spending it.

If all the capital goes to you then ultimately your kids eventually get it. If he stayed with you your kids would eventually get it! Doesn't therefore really matter to him if he drops dead at 85 with not a penny in the bank as long as his income has been good.

Isoscelesnorks Fri 11-Oct-13 21:17:08

He gives you the credit card so he can check every penny that you have spent. Another very controlling and financially abusive thing to add to the list.

If I was given a credit card for spending I would withdraw cash on it as usually interest is paid from the day it's withdrawn. That would soon have him putting a decent amount monthly into your account.

Doughnut123 Fri 11-Oct-13 21:59:08

Thank you to all of you recent posters, you've really made me think.
I never thought of it as financial abuse, but I suppose it is.
The thing is, we still live together at the moment, so I don't have to rely totally on the amount he puts into my account.
He would have agreed to a joint account, but , it was me who didn't want it in the end. However, that said, I could not live with myself, if I earned as much as he does and wasn't giving him equal access to it.
Shouldn't he want to share it with his wife? It's not equal at all. He should have automatically sorted out a joint account, just for fairness sake.
It's very interesting to get a male view too, so thank you Maleview70. What you wrote has really resonated with me.
You are so right! Eventually, the children will get the money, so what the hell.
Life is for living!
He's not someone who won't spend in holidays and the big stuff, the children are well provided for.

But, it is still controlling and I can't live like this any more. I want independence as much as possible where money is concerned, though, of course, I will still have to rely on his child maintenance.

OK, so you're so nice and not bothered about money but when the chips are down I bet you'll take half the pension, and the half the house, and half the savings because that is what you are entitled to. Fair enough, those are the rules, but it does come across as a little hmm that you are happy to benefit from the fact he has been careful, and saved, rather than frittered all the cash away. If he hadn't been so mean with his money and stashed it in a pension (or put another way been careful and chosen a tax efficient method of maximising your family wealth) you wouldn't be walking away now with a nice fat settlement after the divorce.

It is not financial abuse to give someone a credit card for all household expenditure, and petty cash on top. I'll take that back if actually the card is very low limited and he goes through each statement with a fine tooth comb and rejects certain expenditure, but if he doesn't this sort of arrangement is very common. I have a credit card which covers basically everything. I take petty cash from the bank, maybe a few hundred a month, but the card is my source of money. I'm a SAHM, and DH is on a high wage. It's more sensible than transferring cash all over the place and having his and hers pots for this and that.

olathelawyer05 Sat 12-Oct-13 00:17:57

Of course, the irony of all this is that his apparent 'stinginess' and obsession with money is probably the main reason the OP will have any money to fight about in the divorce (i.e. the very thing the OP criticises the man for, is what will provide her and the children with a greater cushion that you would otherwise have had, when the rainy day of the divorce arrives comes).

3 estimates before doing work on the house....

She's literally knocking him for NOT throwing money away. Unbelievable.

Offred Sat 12-Oct-13 03:00:09

Nice woman hating last posts...

Cabrinha Sat 12-Oct-13 07:18:48

I don't think they're woman hating.
I'm making a big assumption here, but it sounds to me like OP has grown apart from her H and is pinning some of her frustration on having different attitudes to money. I'm sympathetic - its horrible being married to someone you don't love. But it's not (on info above) I think fair to start calling him abusive.

They do sound very different - but everything she says, has made him sound fair. He doesn't want to separate, she does - yet she says it's amicable. Which suggests he's behaving well for something he doesn't want. She doesn't say he's come storming in saying "you're not getting your fucking hands on my pension".

For all her "live in the moment", and "if you loved someone..." OP isn't going to give up claim on the pension. AND NOR SHOULD SHE.

But there's such a difference in them - from the info here alone, that is the reason it isn't working, not what he has done wrong. Tbh, I could marry you OP! Sorry! You sound very kind, but deciding you don't need a pension because you'll be off doing charity work in Africa? That has me tearing my hair out!! What if you have a grandchild you don't want leave? Arthritis? Dementia? How are paying for the flights home to see your kids?

It's like the doorstep charity thing too. My ex signed up to £5 a month RSPCA on the doorstep. I had big rush of loathing ( we had separate finances, it really was his business) but I thought the following:
- don't you know the chugger company gets a cut? Say. I thanks, then go to website and donate directly
- you only did this because she was young and pretty
- you have never shown any interest in animals (see last thought)
Thing is, for OTHER reasons, I loathed him by then - it was just one more thing to pin the hatred on.

You call him miserly - yet I suspect that your family money was available for your volunteer trip to Africa. It sounds like you have free use of the credit card that isn't checked. Again - you criticize him for having a credit card when he earns a lot. WHY? He probably pays it in full and who knows maybe there are points? Lots of people do this.

I think you should be careful to get a fair settlement. And I'm wary saying all the above as I understand that abuse can be very insidious. To be honest, if you weren't alreat separated, I'd leave this well alone in case you needed to get out and it was counter productive to hear he sounds reasonable.

Marriage breakdown is painful, but try not to get too emotional if there are areas where you are just different, rather than wrong.

And get a bloody share of that pension. You will very very likely be glad of it one day!

Offred Sat 12-Oct-13 07:29:38

They are woman hating posts because they are upholding the patriarchical principle of male ownership of property. On divorce women do not "take a big fat settlement" divorce courts distribute marital assets based on contributions and expectations.

He is being financially abusive because he is controlling how they spend money during the relationship, is obsessing over saving rather than simply being sensible (as I see it) and is wanting to keep the savings for himself. He has given her a credit card so he can monitor what she buys and because he knows it will disincentivise spending and he is giving her less than a third of what he should be giving her in child support now they have split.

MarshaBrady Sat 12-Oct-13 08:07:21

You do sound very down on him, is it due to personality difference?

You do charity work which has changed your perspective but could you fund your family on that alone? Isn't it his salary that means you can do this and not need to work in, say insurance too.

I have no idea for sure on the financial control thing, but he sounds sensible to me.

You said no to the joint account but he should have made you get one.
So you don't say what you really want and then end up getting frustrated.

I find the approach a bit baffling.

ithaka Sat 12-Oct-13 08:25:16

Op, you are used to having plenty of money and on divorce will continue to have plenty of money. Which makes it easy to decide money isn't important and provides the opportunity to volunteer abroad and generally be a lovely generous person.

Nothing you have written makes your husband sound abusive. 3 quotes, pension pot etc is just careful. He tells you what he earns, suggests you have a joint account, never begrudges the children or big family holidays. This is not abuse.

I think mediation to reach a settlement is the best way to go. You don't love your husband anymore. You don't need to justify that by painting him as the bad guy, or financially abusive. If you no longer love him, that is not necessarily anyone's fault, it is just life.

Please try and be as amicable as possible for the sake of your children and resist at all costs moaning about their father to them. Good luck.

Doughnut123 Sat 12-Oct-13 08:57:27

I know I am in a very fortunate position and I can see that the way I have portrayed the situation could be baffling.
However, as Cabrinha says, when you get to this point in a relationship, all the niggles get amplified. We have just grown apart.
Cabrinha, I am very touched by your thoughts of marriage , but I won't be doing it again!

Much of the way I see life is as a result of many health problems over the years. I always feel that I have the Swird of Damacles hanging over me and have a desperation to live-NOW.
Life is very short and precious. But even I recognise that at some point I will need a pension and would never neglect my children or grand children.

I paid for my trip, by the way, with some inheritance money.

I totally agree with what Ithaca wrote. It's a sad situation when you don't love each other any more. But it's quite natural to vent your frustration about your other half.
Mediation will definitely help and I think we can keep things amicable.
I am careful not to moan to the children about their dad.

uptheanty Sat 12-Oct-13 09:05:20

My dh has always managed the finances in our house, much to my shame blush. I really should have been more involved but it was easier not to be.

I don't spend lots of money but we are trying to save for a couple of big ideas we have so...

I'm having £100 per week cash and giving dh my cards ( my idea ), to help me resist temptation. We do the shopping etc on weekends together. As i don't have my cards i dont go browsing and often find myself with £50 left by Friday. Our finances are getting pretty flush very quickly!

How can it be financial abuse to have 400 pcm and access to credit cards for nessecary shops such as food. Is the 400 for personal spends or are you expected to pay bills with them? If they are personal theni'd say you are being provided for very well. Which wouldn't constitute abuse.

I would guess that maybe you are feeling very controlled and limited. But i would suggest that perhaps you had a hand in orchestrating your relationship this way. It suited you at the time and now it doesn't you blame dh.

I agree with all the posters who say what a lovely lady you are, you sound very kind and likeable.
Unfortunately i would also suggest (with kindness and respect), that the problem you have with your ds's money has provided you with an out of touch and totally unrealistic view of what your life would be without it.

thanks sorry you're having a bad time x

Offred Sat 12-Oct-13 09:06:42

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

Offred Sat 12-Oct-13 09:09:32

Whether people have their dh's credit card or whether they have agreed with a budget and given up their cards is immaterial because a. You guys are still with your partners and b. you guys have agreed these things and are happy with them. Neither of those things apply to the op. I believe it may be abusive because I feel he is using his position as the higher earner to dictate what the op has access to out of the marital assets.

I'm not woman hating offred. I don't know how OP and her DH run the credit card, but a credit card is actually just instant access to cash. It is no different to getting money out of your purse that you have just got from the cash point. OP doesn't mention draconian controls around her spending, so unless she does we can assume there aren't. If he was abusive he wouldn't be putting money into a savings and assets that are split on the divorce. He would be doing something clever and probably illegal with them off-shore. Ask any solicitor dealing with a high net worth divorce.

It is not woman hating of me to point out she is benefiting from her DH's prudent attitude to saving. She is. The asset pool to be split is family money BUT it is a considerably bigger pool than it would have been had he been a bit more gung ho about spending.

Sometimes MN pisses me off, because there are two sides to every story. I see both here. It's definitely not a case a poor abused woman kept short of cash whilst DH lives it up. It's two people with different attitudes to spending. One is thrifty, possibly overly worried about financial security in old age, and the other has always lived comfortably and hasn't really had to worry about finances so doesn't. Partnerships often break down when people don't agree about the big things - money, kids, where to live....

3littlefrogs Sat 12-Oct-13 09:14:55

I think in the current climate everyone has to be careful, no matter how much you earn.

I speak as someone whose father lost job, house, the lot when I was growing up. I still can't really think about it without feeling a sense of fear that it could happen to anyone.

DH and I both work and are lucky to have good jobs. We save as much as we can, and we pay a lot into life insurance, critical illness insurance and pension. This means that we are very careful with the day to day spending.

Maybe you STBX is thinking a long way ahead?

Offred Sat 12-Oct-13 09:16:01

He doesn't want the savings and assets to be split, that's the whole point isn't it! He is squirrelling it away and expecting to keep it to himself. Hoping no doubt that if they have an amicable divorce she will agree things which do her out of her entitlement. She had to find out his salary from a solicitor. He begrudges the children sweets at the cinema yet earns £6k per month. The credit card is a problem because he can monitor what she is buying with it, would you want an ex husband to be able to see that kind of stuff? She is unhappy with the card, as I read the op, because she wants independence from him.

People seem to be seeing this as though she is wealthy and ungrateful but you forget that she does not have access to her h's salary. I think a lot of assumptions have been made on this thread about what she has access to of her h's salary and assets.

Offred Sat 12-Oct-13 09:18:19

I don't think it is necessarily what he is doing with the money btw it is that he retains entire control and dictates her access to it. Even after they have split up he has convinced her to accept much less than what she is entitled to and he is trying to keep the savings.

uptheanty Sat 12-Oct-13 09:23:17

I see what you are sayingoffred and you are raising many good points, none of which should be dimissed.

However.... You are making an awful lot of conclusions in regards to the what the dh intentions are.

Offred Sat 12-Oct-13 09:25:31

He told her that she would only have a claim on his pension. This is a lie. Why would he say that?

peggyundercrackers Sat 12-Oct-13 09:38:28

its definitely not financial abuse - hubby sounds very reasonable in fact. so what if he earns lots of money - just because he earns it, and no doubt has worked hard to get where he is in his job, does it mean he has to fritter it on things.

I never buy sweets in a cinema because of what they cost. It doesnt matter how much I earn.

I don't donate to charity ever - 2 friends sit on different charity boards, they both boast they get all their trips fully paid for by the charity which is a minimum of once a month and they both get a very good salary out of it - im not here to fund these peoples lives...

OP you sound frivolous with money and want to burn it - if that's what you want get a job and burn your own, not someone elses.

Offred Sat 12-Oct-13 10:00:19

No it does not mean he has to fritter it on things or not save anything. That is not my point.

My point is that he has complete control over financial decisions.

Offred Sat 12-Oct-13 10:02:36

Honestly I think people are being blinded and jealous about his salary and missing that the op has been ill and he is taking advantage.

Offred Sat 12-Oct-13 10:04:10

Great, one more irrelevant thing for the list as well, you wouldn't buy sweets in the cinema... That's nice for you. The op is trying to explain that she doesn't even have any input into the smallest decision IMHO.

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

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

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

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

3 quotes sounds like a normal thing to do.

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

What is the basis for suggesting the op is coddled?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But obviously can't know for sure.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You need and want financial independence.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

But she doesn't have access to that money

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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