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to want a fair split between work and childcare responsibilities (long, sorry)?

(105 Posts)
ellsbellls Tue 14-Jun-11 08:46:06

First ever MN post (although I am a long time lurker) so please be gentle with me... Issue as follows and I'd be really grateful for your views and advice:

The heart of the problem is money and mine and DP's differing views on its importance to our lives and happiness. As background, we've been together three yrs and are expecting our first child (imminently, I'm due next week).

DP earns very well and has what most would consider a fantastic work/life balance (think 10 weeks hol per year plus a standard 4 day working week). However, he hates his job, finds it very stressful and draining and doesn't get on with his colleagues at all. He moans about it A LOT! His negative feelings are undoubtedly compounded by the fact that he has saved/inherited a considerable amount of money and probably wouldn't have to work again at all if he didn't choose to. He occasionally admits that he has probably become a bit lazy and can't really be bothered.

I also have a very good job with good terms although not on his league. I earn less than 50% of what he does and don't have any savings. I enjoy my job (relatively speaking) and get on well with colleagues although I can have patches of high stress and long hours.

We currently live in a house which I own. I pay the whole of the mortgage and also pay all day to day living expenses. DP pays for holidays, breaks away, meals out - big one off stuff. This is a source of contention between us as I don't think it works out fairly. He saves nearly his entire salary while I am down to zero every month.

DP is constantly planning for the future when he says he will buy us a house outright so that there will be no mortgage to pay. However, in return for living in this house I will be expected to work full-time to pay for all household living expenses plus holidays etc which he doesn't want to do without.. in order that he doesn't have to dip into any of his savings (he doesn't express it in quite this way but that's what it boils down to). He is likely to go part time or give up work entirely in a few years time, if not before. He sees the purchase of this house as his contribution to our lives and the rest is down to me. The house is completely unimportant to me. I am happy where we are now and don't see the need for anything bigger/better. I have told him this.

The issue is I think that I will be incredibly jealous and resentful of him playing the main role as child carer while I have to work full-time. I can't understand why he wouldn't want to share this in a more equal way with me when it is something that I have told him is important to me. I don't want him to stay in a job he hates but I feel that if we sacrificed some of the more expensive things that we have been used to doing (holidays etc..) then we would both be able to have a more equal work/life balance. Ideally I would like to go part-time while children are pre-school and then I would return full-time. He says that he doesn't want us to struggle. But in effect he is saying that going on expensive holidays etc.. is more important than me spending time with my family (even for a few years). I find this so mean and miserly.

I know that ultimately we are both in a very fortunate position and apologies if this comes across as a bit spoilt. I would be very interested in views as I may be missing something... Thanks!

squeakytoy Tue 14-Jun-11 08:52:21

Not much of a relationships is it sad

Mine, his, but not a lot of "ours".

lurkingmurking Tue 14-Jun-11 09:10:13

What will happen when you're on maternity leave?

If he buys a bigger house what will happen with yours? Couldn't you sell yours and jointly buy the next one?

TechLovingDad Tue 14-Jun-11 09:14:09

You don't sound to be much of a partnership and won't be much of a family. Everything is so divided, "his contribution to our lives" etc.

justpaddling Tue 14-Jun-11 09:19:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

fgaaagh Tue 14-Jun-11 09:29:34

It sounds like he's wanting to contribute to your family's financial security with money he hasn't even worked for. let alone worked fulltime for years for, like you would be.

This is all very one-sided. And your DH has an attitude which stinks, frankly, now that you've got a little one on the horizon. Your setup seems unfair when it is just the two of you. However, if you're happy, that's irrelevant. However, now that you have your future DC(s) to think about, he needs to start getting with the whole "teamwork" program. E.g. Why can't you both work 3 days a week? Or some setup?

1 WOTH parent and 1 SAHP works. But only if both people are happy with the choice (if they have a choice - which you do).

A full, frank discussion is needed here.

And it should really have been done much, much sooner. Grit your teeth and get this sorted out - having the baby arrive next week means you have a deadline really that's outside your control.

fuzzpigFriday Tue 14-Jun-11 09:31:06

This is very suspicious. Is he trying to protect his assets in case of a split?

His behaviour is NOT normal. If my DH was well off, he'd be planning what to do with it for US - it would be OUR money, not just his. He sounds like a real tightwad, and quite controlling.

fgaaagh Tue 14-Jun-11 09:34:54

fuzzpigFriday, that's interesting actually.

The idea of the OP's DH sneakily protecting his assets whilst the OP has to work fulltime as a reluctant WOTH parent, earning less than half of his salary, to pay all the bills, yet having no assets in her name.

OP, I would be very very careful about building a life with this man.

There's more to this than meets the eye, I'm sure of it.

Has he been stung (in financial terms) in a relationship in the past? Is he naturally selfish or is it just with money? How does he see his contribution -does he honestly thing his ideas are reasonable - and what basis for his own attitude to money is there e.g. what setup did his parents have? What does your circle of friends do?

Suffice to say, he doesn't sound "normal". And that's not a bad thing in itself. I just think that it holds a lot of risk for you.

WriterofDreams Tue 14-Jun-11 09:38:16

Your set up is very odd. It seems like he's strung you along on promises, saying he'll contribute (by buying the house) in the future but giving you nothing now. That's a very shaky position for you to be in. He should be looking at ways to make life easy for both of you, seeing as he's in a position to do that but instead he is looking for ways to make life easier for himself and expecting you to be happy with a pay-off (the house).

By the way, does he actually want to be a SAHP? Does he really understand what this entails? My worry is that he'd do it for a while until it go boring then throw more money at the problem, ie employ a nanny.

izzywhizzyletsgetbusy Tue 14-Jun-11 09:42:23

Is his name Ebenezer - surname Scrooge - by any chance?

PeppaKew Tue 14-Jun-11 09:43:47

I am sorry for your situation but I can not believe your DP. He has some extremely bizarre ideas about family life money or not. How is his family life apart from you?

He is living in your house and not contributing to the mortgage so he can save money? For starters he should pay half the mortgage and save by cutting down on extras such as holidays. It sounds like he just doesn't want to work to be honest but he shouldn't expect you to fund his laissez-faire lifestyle once you have a child.

I may also be playing to stereotypes here but if he has serious money is he not thinking private schools and nannies??? You need to have some pretty handsome reserves to fund all of that on 1 salary.

Do you have friends with babies and see how they manage? I've had 3 nights out total since my DD was born. She is almost 1. No holidays. No nice clothes (no point they get covered in sick/mess), no meals out etc. All I spend money on is mortgage, bills, groceries, the odd coffee and baby things (even then you soon learn to watch the pennies as they get a few months use out of most items at best).

Is he good with kids and a washing machine? Can he whip up a stew? Can you really see him as a househusband?

ellsbellls Tue 14-Jun-11 09:49:42

Thanks all. Some food for thought..

Squeakytoy - no, I guess we don't sound like much of a partnership but I really would like us to be. I just don't know how to get us there. I can't seem to convince him that I'm not after his cash and that I just want a fair split of work/childcare etc.. He does have real issues with money (imo). He has lost almost all family and now seems to cling to cash like it's the last thing he's got.

lurkingmurking - I am going to take around 10 months off on mat leave. 6 months full pay and the rest a combination of holidays and stat mat pay. If necessary I will have to take a loan to cover the mortgage for around 2 months.

I have suggested selling my house and going in jointly on a new one. I have also suggested that we cap his salary at my level and then pool all resources. He can save the rest - I'm not interested. He doesn't want this.

Techlovingdad I agree and I feel really sad about it.

peabodyblue yes, we have discussed it before I got pregnant but never really got anywhere. We do actually get on brilliantly and have lots of fun together. Don't get me wrong, neither of us are into flash nights out and we're not naive about the change that children will bring to our lives. Intermittently though this money thing rears its head.

I am worried too about my rights over any new house. I have spoken to him about it but he ducks the question which to me suggests that it will be in his name. This leads me to think that I will keep my house on and rent it out just for some security (which makes us sound even more divided and less of a partnership, I know).

I just don't know what to do about this as it is a big issue (and will probably become more so) but he seems so uncompromising.

Thanks all!

SmethwickBelle Tue 14-Jun-11 09:56:52

I don't think you are unreasonable to want a fairer spilt especially as "your" expenditure is likely to increase and "his" is likely to decrease. Maybe sit down and work out what it equates to in real terms for each of you. And do it again next year when you're not out for meals and holidays as often!

There is something a bit odd about his position and I can't quite put my finger on it! Time for a frank chat about it all.

You could get wills drawn up as a sensible thing to do with a baby on the way and use the opportunity to discuss concepts such as "mine" and "yours" and "ours" in the future and now.

GabbyLoggon Tue 14-Jun-11 09:57:11

In general terms children have become part of the pecking order of relationships. That is a change in the last 30 years

cottonreels Tue 14-Jun-11 09:58:30

Am just wondering what will happen when baby comes along. They are wonderful BUT hard work and he's not used to sacrificing for the bigger picture. Maybe he'd rather be at work when the time comes?
Who will buy nappies etc?
Have you sorted out wills? Important when dc come along. Who will get your house if you die? Who would get his money if he died - if its dc what if theyre too young to inherit but need money for education etc.
You need a BIG talk

HowAnnoying Tue 14-Jun-11 09:58:48

You're going to get a loan to pay your mortgage while on Mat Leave?? When he is a high earner with masses of savings?!? That's crazy.

I'm sorry to sound harsh but I think you have been a bit of a mug paying for everything, and you should put your foot down NOW and demand some money for the bills and food at least.

If he ever does buy this dream house, you must make sure you are on the deeds and you should also keep your own house (completely in your own name). Whatever happens make sure in the event of a split you are well protected.

Good luck.

KidderminsterKate Tue 14-Jun-11 10:00:03

good god dont get a loan to cover your mortgage when you are on mat leave! Have you asked him to pay that???

This needs sorting before the baby is born....sounds horrific.

Will you have any say in this house he intends to buy? And why is he not contributing to living together now?

this will not end well

cottonreels Tue 14-Jun-11 10:00:35

What would he say to something like you both paying 70% of your wages to bills etc (or whatever percentage).
What would he say if you got a much bigger house together, pooled your money with joint names on deeds?

justpaddling Tue 14-Jun-11 10:01:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

fgaaagh Tue 14-Jun-11 10:08:34

Are you joking, ellsbellls?

"If necessary I will have to take a loan to cover the mortgage for around 2 months."

I strongly suspect your DH has warped you sense of what is fair, right and normal. I cannot believe you are having his child, and yet it is your responsibility to bring in the mortgage payments alone, and are considering taking out debt in your name just to pay it whilst you take time off to recover from the birth and bond with his child.

Comprimise is part of being in a relationship. It's not optional when you have children.

I think he needs a massive kick up the arse, and you need to be dragged back into reality. There's no sense of perspective...!

Notinmykitchen Tue 14-Jun-11 10:08:59

OP I really feel for you. It sounds very much like you want to form an equal partnership and be a family when the baby arrives. Your ideas sound very reasonable. Unfortunately that takes input from him as well, and it doesn't sound like he has any intention of meeting you half way, or giving up any of what is his. I think you need to have a serious talk with him, and consider whether there is any future in this relationship if he will not compromise at all.

SmethwickBelle Tue 14-Jun-11 10:10:33

Sorry - meant to add - I agree getting a loan to pay your mortgage so you can eke out a bit more maternity leave, if he has savings is absolutely barmy. I say that in the nicest possible way, I am sure you know it is! He knows you're not a irritatingly needy friend who wants to buy some shoes, you're his partner and the mother of his child.

Down the line I don't see that having "your" house and "his" house is necessarily the end of the world, having separate assets can be part of the mix in a happy set up but that's the thing, you're not happy with how things are.

Gingefringe Tue 14-Jun-11 10:11:26

He sounds selfish, possessive and jealous. I Would seriously question his qualities as a stay at home dad.

If he has so much money saved away from an inheritance why doesn't he offer to make some sort of bulk reductions in your mortgage loan if he's not contributing to the monthly bills?

After the baby comes along you probrably wont be needing the expensive holidays and nights out for a couple of years at least, so he won't be contributing to these either!

Sorry, something not quite right here.

ellsbellls Tue 14-Jun-11 10:11:34

sorry, cross posts. Thanks all.

fgaaagh and fuzzpig I think he is trying to protect his assets. He hasn't been stung in the past but his whole family seems to have had longstanding issues with money - feuds going on for years etc... This is totally alien to me.

peppakew He is a bit of an oddball in some ways. His family life though was very traditional. SAHM, working dad etc... However, he doesn't really have any family now as they very sadly died (before I met him). He is a bit of a tightwad in general though and would never go for private schools etc... for cost reasons (whereas I never would out of principle).

writerofdreams I think he sees being a sahd as a pretty idyllic life and doesn't really have a clue how hard and draining it can be. He has definite issues with sahms. A few friends have little babies and he comments on how hard the dads have to work to fund the DW/P's coffee lifestyle. He's great at housework (better than me!) but an absolutely appalling cook. Not insurmountable I know.

smethwickBelle Thanks - that's a good idea. I may broach the will idea with him. He may respond to something like that (oddly).

Thanks again all. I appreciate it.

Poppyella Tue 14-Jun-11 10:17:21


Be very careful. Be really careful of this man and his intentions about money.

And I agree, to have to take out a loan to cover 2 months of mortgage when he has lots of savings is totally mad!! You do see that don't you??? Surely you do??

There def needs to be more compromise with this.

Good luck.

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