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To think relationships can't be equal unless there is shared money.

(121 Posts)
Bananayellow Sat 07-Feb-15 07:54:20

I know a lady whose DH is a really high earner. She is a cleaner and works unsociable hours. They both have separate finances and they pay 50/50 for the household/children expenses. Obviously this leaves him with an enormous disposable income and her with very little.

He wears designer clothes. She doesn't. He bought a lovely house recently that she didn't even get to see before they completed, although she was excitedly showing everyone the photos. He then bought a horse which she wouldn't have wanted, but now likes and is expected to help look after. They don't go on many holidays as he can't leave the business but when they do, they are very nice holidays although he chooses where they go.

She just sees it that she gets to live in a gorgeous house that she couldn't afford to otherwise and has some fabulous holidays - which they are.

I see it as a very unfair and unequal relationship where he has all the power.

I know that people who keep their finances separate, may not be this extreme but aibu to think that unless all money is family money and spending money is divided equally, then it is not a fair relationship and they are not working together as a team.

Nolim Sat 07-Feb-15 07:57:56

Definitelly not a team. I dont necesarily agree that all the money is family money but the situation that you describe is ridiculous.

TestingTestingWonTooFree Sat 07-Feb-15 07:59:28

I disagree with your title but agree that that set up isn't fair.

GokTwo Sat 07-Feb-15 07:59:43

It's up to them. I have separate finances to my DW. However, we share the bills and she pays for a lot of extras because she earns more. She still has more disposable income than I do but she works more hours and has a higher paid job. I've been with her for 10 years and it would feel weird having joint finances now. Having said that we make all big decisions together, she'd never dream of getting a house and not consulting me!!

Bananayellow Sat 07-Feb-15 08:03:45

She pays for a lot of extras gok . Isn't that a less extreme version of the above. It's just seems weird to me.

LokiBear Sat 07-Feb-15 08:09:45

Whilst the set up you describe is unequal, I don't agree generally. I earn more than DH. Financial contributions to household bills are split proportionally (60-40). I have a little more disposable income than DH but I also pay for holidays, DD's birthday/Christmas presents and clothes. (Well, I pay for most of it as I get the £80 odd family allowance too.) It works out that we are equally contributing according to income. If we had a joint account we would argue about money. DH spends his disposable income on things that I would get annoyed at if it were my money he was spending. (Last month he bought 3 apple trees hmm.) He would get frustrated with me because I am very frugal and like to save. Having our own money and contributing fairly to our joint commitments feels like team work to me.

GokTwo Sat 07-Feb-15 08:09:54

I don't k know what to say! We've lived very happily like this for 10 years. I've always enjoyed feeling quite independent even while in a relationship.

GokTwo Sat 07-Feb-15 08:12:37

I think it would be weird if she made decisions regarding money like houses and holidays without me but if she wants to buy herself a new gadget I don't see why she ought to justify it to me. Equally, I treat myself when I want to plus she frequently surprises me with gifts.

ApocalypseThen Sat 07-Feb-15 08:13:50

We don't have joint finances but since we earn almost the same it's no matter. But where there is an extreme disparity of earnings as described in the OP's post, I do think it's a problem. She must struggle financially and I'd say it's strange and confusing for the children, too. That's not really living as a family.

GokTwo Sat 07-Feb-15 08:15:47

I agree that a huge disparity in money between the two is strange and not like a team. We both earn a decent amount, DW more than me but it really never feels that unequal.

Bananayellow Sat 07-Feb-15 08:19:11

But loki whilst I see your situation as much fairer and I agree that is sensible so you are not getting frustrated with each other's spending, but don't you feel it is unfair that you have more disposable income? I know you contribute proportionally to income but at the end of the day you have more money than him to choose what to do with.

Karenthetoadwhisperer Sat 07-Feb-15 08:19:35

I was in a similar set up and although I have better qualifications and had a better career than my exP before we had children, I compromised massively to raise our children and settled on an income that was about half of what I had earned before I had children.

The situation was quite similar to the situation described by the OP. To this day I have no clue about his finances. We had a great lifestyle, a lovely house, great cars etc, but nothing belonged to me and he took all the decisions. He also had a lot of designer clothes, whereas the children and I went to H&M. I still looked better

It is shit. It made me very resentful and even the children in the end. I was never on an equal footing with him and therefore it did not feel like a 'partnership', more like I was his staff or housekeeper.

In my opinion, these types of relationships are bound to collapse sooner or later or the dependent party cannot afford to leave which is even worse.

Doingakatereddy Sat 07-Feb-15 08:22:13

The situation described is a abusive & in a caring, equal relationship wouldn't happen.

Ive always earnt significantly more than my DH & even before we married ensured money pooled, costs & savings out with residual money split between us. I don't questsion how he spends his money & he doesn't question me

I cannot imagine been so selfish that I wouldn't share

Karenthetoadwhisperer Sat 07-Feb-15 08:22:20

I agree with Apocalypse the children and I never felt we were a family. We felt like we were allowed to stay in his house.

BeeInYourBonnet Sat 07-Feb-15 08:24:46

I am the higher earner. DH and I keep a fair amount of 'spending money' each, and then rest goes into joint a/c. This means I pay more in than DH, which oddly DH thinks is unfair on me! He thinks we should put the same amount in and keep the difference, as apparently I deserve more as I'm earning more!!! I'm perfectly happy with paying in more though!

Rollergirl1 Sat 07-Feb-15 08:26:12

But isn't this all to do with the type of person they are (wankers) rather then the money?

Tyzer85 Sat 07-Feb-15 08:27:07

I earn more than my missus so obviously I put more in the joint account every month, I'm still left with more disposable income than her though. The situation that the OP described sounds abusive.

Bananayellow Sat 07-Feb-15 08:31:00

Bee surely all that demonstrates is that you are both thinking of each other and looking at it from the other perspective. A very healthy way of looking at things if you ask me.

ChinaTeaSet Sat 07-Feb-15 08:32:44

We don't pool our money. We both pay equal shares of the bills monthly; I work from home and OH is retired with pensions.

He has mentioned that I could give up my business and he would support me but I prefer to stay independent - not that I have any doubts about our relationship but I want to have my own money. smile

Skatingfastonthinice Sat 07-Feb-15 08:34:04

We have separate accounts and a joint account. At first, I was the high earner and OH wasn't, then the situation balanced, now he earns more than me.
Each time, we have discussed what proportion each of us puts into the account and never disagreed or argued about it.
The relationship you describe is abusive IMO, and the imbalance in finances is only a part of it. However, she sees it very differently, likes the house and the holidays and being his wife. It's a very 50s model of how a marriage works.
Has she told you that she's miserable and wants things to change?

kewtogetin Sat 07-Feb-15 08:35:42

Husband is a high earner whilst I am a SAHM, have been for 7 years now. We have joint accounts, both current and savings. We both see it as the 'family money' all bills are paid and we both buy what we want in regards to clothes etc, large purchases and holidays are discussed beforehand. Our contributions to family life are exactly equal, the only difference is he receives financial remuneration for his input whereas I don't.
I agree with a previous poster, this isn't about who earns what, it's about the person you are married too, how they view you and your role within the family. I certainly wouldn't be feeling 'grateful' if I was the lady in the OP.

peggyundercrackers Sat 07-Feb-15 08:36:41

Surely it doesn't matter if it's shared money/family money or the high earner paying for lots of things because they have separate accounts - it all amounts to the same thing - the person who earns more spends more.

Mrsstarlord Sat 07-Feb-15 08:40:12

It's a personal thing which isn't actually anyone else's business and if the couple are happy with it (any couple) what does it matter what anyone else thinks? Judging someone else's relationship on your priorities is just nosey and trying to persuade someone else that their relationship is odd based on your values is quite ... Can't think of the right word, perhaps controlling but not as extreme as that.

HedgehogsDontBite Sat 07-Feb-15 08:40:41

I think it's more about the mindset than actually sharing out the money. My DH is a high earner and his wages go into his account. My only income is child benefit which goes into mine. DH pays all the bills and has 'control' of all 'his' money but I know he sees it as family money so it doesn't bother me. I rarely spend anything so it's never been an issue for us.

Goneintohibernation Sat 07-Feb-15 08:40:54

I agree the situation you have described is massively unfair, but I don't see how you get from that, to all money must be shared to be fair. As long as both people have equal spending money, then I don't see why it matters how the finances are arranged really.

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