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Or is DH being controlling?

(81 Posts)

Me. Again. DH, normally lovely (bit flawed, has problems thinking things through, but true of most people?), & has been pretty good this weekend as I'm quite ill (on the mend a bit now). BUT:

It's half term, so no playgroups, pre school & other activities. Just 1 half hour swimming lesson. DD 3 & DS10 months old. Weather to be crap & soft play will be rammed, not a great deal else to do around here. I can fill a coue of days with baking biscuits, painting g, food shopping etc but decided it would be good to catch up with a close old friend who has a DS 3. Kids can play, we can chat & she lives at seaside (approx 45 miles away) so we can do bracing beach walk/shivery ice cream thing. I told DH & he went a bit cat bum mouth. I ignored it at first but then he said 'I know it's nice for you to see your friends, but...I'm thinking of the petrol'

My response was to explain how long a week with no planned activities can be in crap weather & that if he wanted to entertain 2 DCs (bearing in mind I have bronchitis & am getting 3/4 hours sleep in 24 due to cough), he could be my guest. He said, hmm, I think we need to talk about it, but not now (as it was bedtime).

I'm a SAHM. DH has good job, so although o.n one income it's a decent (although not massive) one. We (well him really) budget & whilst thi gs are tight (we think before we spend anything, have meagrely personal money & I sell anything that's not nailed down we no longer use, on eBay.

So aibu to do a 90 mile round trip as described or is he being a tight arse? Also for the first time in 11 years, feel he's being a little controlling.

My gut instinct is to say, I'm sorry you don't think it's important, perhaps you have some suggestions for what we could do? Then maybe you could have both DCs one Saturday whilst I take the train to visit x?

whitby36 Mon 11-Feb-13 09:55:49

Yanbu. I think he is being controlling too. I have to put up with this kind of crap too. Eg dh happy to spend over £1000 a year on his hobbies (dc sometimes are involved) but got shirty about me taking dc away with my family in holidays. (Only needed spending money). I went so do go. It can't be about petrol money as he travels that far to swimming pool.

Numberlock Mon 11-Feb-13 11:29:43

It sounds thoroughly miserable to be so obsessed or married to someone who's obsessed about saving every single penny to pay off the mortgage.

There's more to life than money! You want to create memories for your children and of course these don't have to cost a fortune but remember the OP is being questioned about spending less than £20 on petrol when they can afford it! That's just wrong.

I simply can't imagine being with anyone like this.

What happens when the mortgage gets paid off? No doubt there'll be some new goal of how much you can accrue in savings?

numberlock that is precisely what I'm worried about, but I would NEVER throw away what we have (Ian otherwise great, loving relationship of 11 years) over this. I wants perspective on whether I WBU before I initiated 'the talk'

aldiwhore Mon 11-Feb-13 11:43:16

Sometimes I object to DH's plans that may cost money because I'm so aware of money, I am not always reasonable.

I will give your DH the benefit of the doubt. Give him a PRICE of the whole day rather than the plan, the plan sounds more expensive than the actual cost. I can't see it costing more than soft play?!

Your DH is BU, but that doesn't make him a controlling bastard. I think you also need to become a little more active in his spreadsheet obsession...

valiumredhead Mon 11-Feb-13 11:45:24

I bet if he was at home for a week with the kids he'd spend more than 45 miles worth of petrol wink

A day at the beach with friends sounds lovely - remind him that this really isn't unreasonable.

Pandemoniaa Mon 11-Feb-13 12:00:29

It sounds as if he's completely lost sight of the need to live for the day occasionally. It's just as important to give your children happy memories of good times than it is to save for the sheer point of saving.

A 45 mile journey is nothing (admittedly I travel a fair bit in the US where that'd be merely a trip downtown in some cities!) but the cost of petrol is minimal given that you are clearly not on the breadline.

I have a friend like this. She is so obsessed by the need to build up savings that she denies herself all sorts of harmless pleasures and as she gets older it is ever sadder to see.

So I don't know whether your dh is actually controlling you but I do know that his control and concerns over money border on the unreasonable.

glastocat Mon 11-Feb-13 12:07:32

Blimey, mums net is always a revelation in how other people live. I would hate to live like this, saving every available penny. Life is for living, you are a long time dead etc. it's not like you are planning a last minute trip to Bali, it's a trip to the seaside! You need to have a cht with your husband I think he is being way over the top.

Numberlock Mon 11-Feb-13 12:09:55

But I can't understand why you're even entering into discussion with him about your day out? Unless you mean you want to instigate a talk about the whole issue of finances?

Do you have access to money or do you rely on him to give you money for the week/month?

Hullygully Mon 11-Feb-13 12:11:03

he sounds a bit mad

any "normal" person would think it a great idea for you and the dc to go and have a couple of days away.

the life he wants sounds a bit grim

he would really get on my nerves

Bogeyface Mon 11-Feb-13 12:11:39

What are the savings for?

You pay off the mortgage, great, but then what? What does he plan to spend all these savings on once you have them? My grandparents were obsessed with saving, every spare penny went into the bank. They died leaving every penny behind them, because they couldnt ever bring themselves to spend any of it. I dont see the point in being short in life to be rich in death.

Pandemoniaa Mon 11-Feb-13 12:17:28

I dont see the point in being short in life to be rich in death.

This is what I've tactfully tried to say to my savings obsessed friend. Sadly and rather ironically, she has no partner or dcs to leave her money to either. She's paid her mortgage off, has a good job and an index linked occupational pension as well as thousands and thousands in the bank. But it doesn't stop her continuing to save money. It's wonderful to be so responsible with money but she's lost sight of the need to live for now.

I have access to money. I mean to talk to him about his attitude to this day, what others have said, you're a long time dead etc. I'd hate to be like my mum, scrabbling around to pay bills, not so secretly crying over how to make ends meet. But, there is a happy medium, we often manage it, but every so often things like this happen & I have to 'hit reset' do a reality check.

We have a good relationship & can both talk like grown ups smile but I am quite bossy/determined in a lot of ways & need to check in re financial attitudes every so,often. MN is great for this as I don't like discussing financial things IRL.

Numberlock Mon 11-Feb-13 12:22:25

Just to clarify, are you going for the day to your friend's or planning to stay overnight?

FeistyLass Mon 11-Feb-13 12:23:46

YANBU and he is being controlling. If he makes a weekly trip to the swimming that costs the same then I don't think he can see your planned trip as something out of the ordinary and overly expensive. I'd be worried it's about him stopping you from seeing your friend.
Myself and my dh have very different attitudes to money so we came up with a solution that works for us - we have separate accounts. We share the household expenses (taking into account our different salaries) and have comparable disposable income each month. You're going to keep having conversations about money unless you find a process that works for you both. By being less involved with the finances, you're feeding a perception that you're not good with money and that may let your dh feel that he is in a position to question your spending and priorities. Remind him you're equally responsible.

FeistyLass Mon 11-Feb-13 12:24:11

And enjoy the beach smile

NettleTea Mon 11-Feb-13 12:26:51

maybe if you could stay the night and extend it to 2 days then it halves the spend for the trip effectively, as its now a £20 petrol for 2 days thing.

he would, of course, have to get himself dinner that night though!

bogey he wants the savings so that if we need a new car, we can get one. Redundancy has factored in both our upbringings in a big way, so he wants to create a decent buffer for that.

I think he is prone to saving as a habit due to ASD dad, who sees it as a virtue. BUT dh repeatedly telling his parents to spend their money, they can't take it with them etc. our life IS NOT miserable, we still have nice food, niceish clothes, wine, family days, nice house, regular trips to see my family in NI,. His parent's life is miserable, really, really miserable. I can't begin to explain how much they scrimp. It's a constant source of discussion for me & dh who hates it. They have approx £350k in savings & property as well as owning their £250k house. They tell us this. A lot. Cause they're sooooo great for it. They argue with each other (in a very pa way) about it too.

Like I say dh is so cross & wishes they'd live a little or give us the cash now so normally calling him fils name in an annoying pa way is enough to shake himup. It's worse since ds was born, I think he feels pressure being sole breadwinner. Before, I earned a little more than him & he was much more relaxed.

Feisty I don't wok, so that wouldn't wok for us. We have equal spending money. I feel I am involved as I need to be in finances. I am aware & consulted on every change. I prefer a 'work to your strengths' approach to household management.

I will enjoy the beach, but can't stay over. Friend has TINY house.

Also his swimming trip is half he distance, not the same.

Numberlock Mon 11-Feb-13 12:34:20

We're talking about £20 ffs!!!!!!!!!

Wok smile work of course.

It is £20, that's why I AM going. I think I need o remind him of the principle

Numberlock Mon 11-Feb-13 12:57:29

Go mad and have a flake in your ice creams. wink

Pandemoniaa Mon 11-Feb-13 12:58:15

Go madder. Have two scoops and two Flakes!
Have a lovely day out.

Hmm, yes. May even a double scoop because I'm a greedy cow


Mimishimi Mon 11-Feb-13 13:10:53

You want to and visit your friend when you have bronchitis? That's pretty unreasonable.

Bogeyface Mon 11-Feb-13 13:37:06

Why is that U Mimi?

The OP has said that she is on the mend, and presumably has had treatment.

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