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Will my husband ever change?

(19 Posts)
worklifeinbalance Tue 23-Oct-12 13:42:49

Where to start?

My husband and I do not share a bank account. He prefers to keep everything separate. I've started to think this is because he firstly, likes to ensure he maintains control on everything and can roll out the 'these are the bills that are my responsibility' arguement but also because he doesn't want me to know about the extent of his drinking with work collegues. He says that it is not a problem - but it is. For example, he had 8 pints on friday before even coming back home (despite promising to remain sober) - and when he got home (with another 6 cans) he promptly fell over in our back garden. Self-sustained injuries are not uncommon - he has been to A&E for a deep gash on his elbow that needed 5 stitches, plus he refused to go for a suspected broken rib. Both alcohol related - and just two examples of MANY.

To be honest, that is not the reason for my thread. Although it is a major concern - he is agressive when drunk, and then grumpy and agressive with a hangover, and it affects our ability to enjoy family time.

But back to the money side of this - he does not want to share a bank account. We both work full time - and he earns more than me (approximately a third more than me). I am not very good at managing my finances and last year got myself in to a worrying amount of debt - I was depressed, we had a number of problems and it was an outlay that I thought would help me to feel better about myself. It didn't obviously.

I'm seeing a counseller now, and I have reigned it all in, but despite many attempts to ask him to help me, he will not. Rather he will blow up at me if I am unable to pay something, and he will not forgive me for the period last year where I got in to this debt. It has caused many problems this year - I have apologised until I am blue in the face for the debts, but still, every time we have an arguement (or even a discussion) it is bought out as though it's his trump card. I just don't know what to do. I moved my job last year to a better paid one: but this new job involves a lot of overseas travel. It is exceptionally hard work: both what the job entails and the fact that it takes me away from my twin boys on numerous trips each year (I have done 23 trips this year).
I am just doing it so that I can repay my debt and contribute more to the household. But still it is also bought up against me every time we have an arguement.

But now, I have had enough - this latest arguement really has taken the biscuit.

We were invited on a trip next year with friends. Unfortunately, it was during term time, so my husband suggested that he go on his own. I said ok, but he would seriously owe me one (not an unreasonable response). He went crazy, and said that I owed him this, as he has provided me with 'approximately 4 weeks worth of childcare this year' because of my travels with work.

Surely not: he is the father of my children. It is his responsibility just as much as mine. It is not a case of him 'providing me with childcare'. Further more, my having to go away with work is incomparable with him going on a holiday. 95% of my work is in Europe - and I kill myself by getting 6am and 7am flights out in the morning so as to be able to not be away for more than 1 night. The two days are then packed back to back with upwards of 7/8 meetings and I arrive home exhausted the following day to a messy house, overflowing washing basket, bin full of empty beer cans and boys who have not had their homework done with them. Stressful as you can imagine: I'm not exactly swanning around enjoying myself.

Then came up the earnings.
As he earns significantly more than I do, he feels that he has a right to spend some of 'his' earnings on himself. Especially considering the stress of this past year, dealing with my debts.

I just can't believe this. Will I ever be forgiven for running up these debts when I was clinically depressed? Will he ever see us as a unit rather than him doing me a favour and helping out while I'm swanning around europe with my work? And will he ever respect me and what I am trying to do at work?

I just don't know what to do.

alice298 Tue 23-Oct-12 13:49:18

you poor, poor thing. Do you love your husband? Does he love you? How old are your boys? You really do need counselling together for a start. How much happy family time do you have?

geegee888 Tue 23-Oct-12 14:00:34

Personally I wouldn't share a bank account with a person who has a recent history of getting into debt and overspending. Thats just me.

Thats just one issue though and not IMHO all that important. Personally I think you have quite a hard life. Do you work full time? While I'm quite a selfish person in that I wouldn't financially prop up a lower earning partner, I'm going to be really sexist here and say there are many men who do, and since there are, its probably a negative sign in a man who is so selfish around money as your DH. And he really does sound very selfish.

I don't know what to suggest. I know I couldn't put up with his selfishness, drinking or self-inflicted injuries, so I think all those things outweigh your poor handling of money. I guess in an ideal world, both of you need to tackle these issues and resolve them.

Unless your DH has had to bail you out before and is fed up with it? Might explain his attitude?

RuleBritannia Tue 23-Oct-12 14:00:59

For a start, although it has some advantages in that you find out what your husband earns or where he spends it do not go down the joint account route. A joint account can cause difficulties if a marriage comes to an end. My XH was a mean tightwad about everything. Even our first house was in just his name and, when it came to the second, I had to argue, cajole, threaten to get it put in joint names. I have to say that your husband is wise not to have a joint account because he could lose a lot of money if your debts are paid for out of such an account. Please do not borrow unnecessarily for frippery.

My second dear DH shared absolutely everything. He earned more than I did and, every month, paid me half the excess so that we finished up with the same amount of income (separate accounts).

Your children are as much his responsibility as yours so he is not looking after them 'for you'. Is your husband jealous of your travels? I think you need to sit down with him and talk through your feelings about him or just show him your original post here.

wheredidiputit Tue 23-Oct-12 14:05:14

No you husband won't change. He doesn't need to.

The only way to change the situation is to make a life for you and your dc away from him.

Sallyingforth Tue 23-Oct-12 14:14:37

The only way to change the situation is to make a life for you and your dc away from him.
Possibly, but first of all learn to manage your money properly because if you get into debt again with a future partner the situation may repeat itself.

I am not very good at managing my finances and last year got myself in to a worrying amount of debt

Abitwobblynow Tue 23-Oct-12 14:16:04

Why did you get into debt? ie, have you faced your motives and have grown so that you do not do it again?

I don't think he will change. He is emotionally abusive, and your are in a destructive relationship. What he does is bring up YOUR issues when you try and get him to face his. He is an alcoholic.

Read 'Should I Stay or Should I Go?' by Lundy Bancroft. It is a really hard-hitting book. It doesn't blame him, but it pulls no punches and asks you what you are going to do with your life. I am also in a destructive relationship, he is quiet and doesn't drink to falling down, but he is emotionally abusive twisting things round, does the silent treatment and has cheated.

Aren't all marriages in England in community of property? So if you divorce, half of your debts become his, get absorbed by the sale of the house?.

ClippedPhoenix Tue 23-Oct-12 14:16:59

Your husband is a selfish drunk OP. Make plans

worklifeinbalance Tue 23-Oct-12 14:18:15

Thanks for getting back to me so quickly. Just to respond to some of the comments

I'm not personally looking for a joint bank account or money. He has not had to bail me out and I'm not sponging off him now. I suffered from depression. I over spent. I am writing that wrong on my own.

I'm not expecting him to share his earnings with me - although I think that as a partnership, in a marriage, that is actually what should happen. And if I earnt more than him that is how I would work.

What I am asking for is not to be hauled over the coals over the fact that he earns more than me, and therefore pays more of the household bills currently - but not forever.

I am also asking for some support on money management from him - and transparency. I am having to muddle through all of this on my own, and the last time I checked, one of the vows you make is to support each other, for better, for worse, in sickness and in health and for richer for poorer.

Most marriages where both parties work, sadly, the man earns more than the woman. How would he feel if I earnt more than him and I made feel the way he makes me feel?

In answer to your question Alice298 about whether we have any good family time: I don't think we really do. All he wants to do at the weekend is watch sport on the tv. The boys get very little time with him on his own: he doesn't play games or do things like painting/activities/taking them swimming. He sees all of those things as either things that we must do together as a family and I must organise or chores. Bedtimes are all about 'who did last night' - he never will do more than what he feels is his fair share. Its not about spending time with his kids - it feels like trying to do the bare minimum so that he can then justifiably relax and sit down.

It is basically all about the fact that he wants a lie in, he wants to watch tv, and he wants to relax. I watched simpsons the other day and he frankly reminded me of Homer!

If I sat down and tried to go through this, he would do what he does best - and lash out at me. When he was drunk on Friday he actually admitted that if someone 'comes at me, I get right in their face and come back on them harder'. He didn't need to say that - I know that better than anyone.

DeckSwabber Tue 23-Oct-12 20:04:46

In answer to your question, I doubt very much he will change unless he quits the booze.

He is blaming you because to take responsibilty would mean making changes himself and he can't face it.

Sorry but I think you need to be getting debt free and then setting up an escape fund.

Iggly Tue 23-Oct-12 20:08:57

Your debt seems like a red herring.

He's got issues as well you noticed with his drinking.

He's not supportive, he's resentful and bloody out of order.

If my DH got into debt, I wouldn't keep bringing it up. I'd be angry, yes, but once it was clear he was changing then I'd be helping him.

Do you have to do this job? Can you switch jobs?

Do you think you've get over the debt argument with your DH? Because if not, you need to evaluate whether it's worth staying.

parakeet Tue 23-Oct-12 20:21:33

Dear OP, I'm so sorry for you in this situation. To answer your first question, I think you know yourself, that no, he is not going to change. You know what you need to do - consult a solicitor about leaving him.

If he is starting to affect your self-esteem, try telling yourself that, while you may have a debt problem, at least you recognise it and are turning it around. He is still an alcoholic and is in denial about it.

INeedThatForkOff Tue 23-Oct-12 20:24:05

He sounds like an absolute arse, OP, and you are getting a harder time than you deserve in some of the earlier responses for debt you recognise you accrued unwisely but in extenuating circumstances. It's clear that you're doing your best to put this right with no support.

I couldn't stay with a man with so little affection and respect for me and our children (btw, I hope when you say 'lash out', you mean verbally rather than physically - not that either is acceptable). Forget the joint finances - I think you need to keep things separate because frankly, you would be better off without him.

If you did leave, it sounds like he would use your previous debt against you. Would you be in a position to clear it fairly soon? It sounds like you wouldn't need to worry about being challenged over custody of your children, as he.clearly couldn't give a fuck.

In terms of your job, is it possible to start looking again for something that makes less demand on your personal time? Clearly regular foreign travel would make life very difficult if you did cut your losses.

HappyHalloweenMotherFucker Tue 23-Oct-12 20:26:00

So, you have a debt problem, have been transparent and making positive changes in your life to address it

he has a drink and an arse problem and he is ....er, doing nothing at all about it

who is in the wrong here ?

clue: it isn't you

Bogeyface Tue 23-Oct-12 20:32:45

How old are your children? Could you still do your job if you left him?

chandellina Tue 23-Oct-12 20:41:19

It sounds like you are both unhappy, and his drinking suggests he may also be depressed. I'd be having hard discussions about how you can both enjoy day to day existence more and give each other a helping hand. I don't think joint accounts have any particular benefits but I do think each partner should pay in to the household at a proportionate rate of income.

balotelli Tue 23-Oct-12 20:43:33

And you are in this 'relationship' why?

He is a controlling alcoholic arse.

solidgoldbrass Tue 23-Oct-12 20:48:29

Get rid of him and you'll be rid of your depression. It's not fixable. Not only is he an alcoholic, but he thinks women are inferior to men and that your life should revolve around his needs.

Scarynuff Tue 23-Oct-12 21:22:06

If I sat down and tried to go through this, he would do what he does best - and lash out at me

So why are you with him?

You are going to say he's a good father, and that he does help around the house, and when he's not drinking he's lovely, aren't you.

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