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Dh refuses to discuss our finances

(40 Posts)
Darkageswife Fri 27-Oct-17 20:59:37

I've name changed for this as am at a loss what to do and am actually pretty embarrassed. My dh and I have 3 dc - all late teens early 20's. I was a stahm for 6 years and have worked part time ever since. He has been the main earner by a long way and we have always been quite comfortable financially, and have always been quite relaxed about money because we are neither of us big spenders and it's always just ticked along nicely. I've always trusted his decisions financially.
His business is now on the cusp of not surviving/surviving and I wanted to discuss our finances, basically what we've got, what we should do etc. He point blank refuses to tell me where/ how much etc. and I'm in shock. He said it's up to him, he was the breadwinner, he'll make sure we're ok .... I feel like a 50's wife. I had no idea he thought like that and I do wonder how I let go of the reins myself. Aibu to be appalled at his lack of transparency and stubbornness and what should I Do? Please don't slate me for not being in control all these years.

nonevernotever Fri 27-Oct-17 21:10:01

Wtf? Not a clue what to suggest, but didn't want to read and run. Which bit of marriage being a partnership does he not get? I presume he's embarrassed and upset, but you really do need to tackle this together. flowers

BlueSuffragette Fri 27-Oct-17 21:10:35

Maybe it's a pride thing with him and he feels he alone needs to solve the problem. However If you can show your are supportive rather than judgemental he may lighten up a little.

SandSnakeofDorne Fri 27-Oct-17 21:14:07

Has he never shown any sign of being this controlling before? I would assume it means that you are both in serious financial trouble. Have you tried running credit reports through equifax?

Parker231 Fri 27-Oct-17 21:14:42

Get out the accounts, bank statements, pension paperwork, standing order and direct debits - set them out on the table and tell him that together you need to get on top of the details.

LuxuryWoman2017 Fri 27-Oct-17 21:17:05

Don't you have access to the accounts?
You have to insist you know, this is too important to shrug off if the business and therefore your livelihoods are in jeapordy.
Keep insisting. Be as stubborn as he is.
You must have access to all the accounts if you work? Where does your salary go?

PoshPenny Fri 27-Oct-17 21:17:36

I regret to say I would be assuming the worst if that's his reaction. Sorry. I think I would be going for a root and rummage through his papers to see if I could find anything. You haven't got much choice if he refuses to discuss it. Good luck, I hope I'm wrong.

timeisnotaline Fri 27-Oct-17 21:21:02

You need to be clear that this is a bloody big huge issue. That you will not forgive him if you are suddenly poor but you didn't know because he thought it wasn't your problem, that finuancuak trouble us one thing but his attitude is a potential deal breaker. Say you will have to start keeping your salary separate, as far as you know it might be all you have soon, you cannot possibly put it into a shared pool that is a black hole he refuses to explain.
Also are you on bank accounts so you can get access to them? Have you any access to tax statements?

AcrossthePond55 Fri 27-Oct-17 21:23:48

I know a couple where the DH held all the financial reins. He wasn't stingy with her and never questioned her spending. She never wanted to look at the finances, but if she had she would have seen early on that they were heading towards financial trouble. As it was, she knew nothing and kept spending until he was forced to tell her they didn't have a sou and were deeply in debt because he couldn't get any more loans to float their lifestyle.

I think you need to be worried about the same scenario. Tell him he can either talk to you about family finances or you will talk to a solicitor about divorce. You cannot afford to pussyfoot around this.

Are all the finances in his name?

jollyjester Fri 27-Oct-17 21:26:29

It's one of 2 thing OP.

1. Things are much worse than he is letting on and he's ashamed/ embarrassed/ scared to face reality.

2. He doesn't want you involved in any way to keep control over you which is abuse.

Ask him which it is.

Darkageswife Fri 27-Oct-17 21:28:21

We don't have any joint accounts, never have. He tops up my monthly income and I pay for all food, my car, presents for everyone at Christmas and birthdays and the council tax. Also contribute towards holidays. Also things like hair cuts, a gym class once a week, I have very little left at the end of the month and no means to make a large purchase. I'm realising that being so relaxed about finances has also meant that any decisions regarding anything big like a new bathroom, is always his.

Darkageswife Fri 27-Oct-17 21:30:37

I wouldn't know where to look for any paper trails, I'm guessing most is on line.

harshbuttrue1980 Fri 27-Oct-17 21:33:59

Why are you only working part-time even though your youngest child is in their teens?? It sounds like you have enjoyed being the "little woman" being taken care of and letting him do all the worrying, and now all of a sudden you want to run the show. You haven't contributed equally (being a sahm of tinies is an equal contribution, but not of teens for goodness sake!!!), so no wonder he feels that he has the final say. Get a full-time job to share the load and then you can insist on sharing in the decisions.

christmaspudding1 Fri 27-Oct-17 21:34:54

are you on the deeds/tenancy

sorry i think he is in more trouble than you think

christmaspudding1 Fri 27-Oct-17 21:36:58


nothing helpful i see to say

Seti Fri 27-Oct-17 21:37:18

Oh no. Sit him down and demand to see your accounts.

Italiangreyhound Fri 27-Oct-17 21:38:22

I am afraid I agree with others it looks bad.

However, I would take a different track/tack on this. Yes, I would also insist we look at finances together. A fresh pair of eyes etc,

But also assure him of your love and support. If he has got into financial difficulties this may mean you now working full time to help get you both out of these difficulties (IMHO).

He can't expect you to blindly carry on if you do not know what the situation is.

Please be gentle with him, if he has been a good provider, you have been a stay at home mum and worked part-time, maybe things will need to change.

Maybe you will need to downsize (some couples do when kids fly the nest) but you need to know what the situation is.

I expect he is embarrassed. Please do not add to this by reading the riot act. (Not saying you will buy just saying it may make things worse.)

I would not be talking to divorce but I would be talking marriage guidance if he cannot open up about the situation you are both in.

All the best.

LondonGirl83 Fri 27-Oct-17 21:47:52

If his behaviour is out of character then yes, I think the financial situation may be dire.

I agree with the pp. Explain that you are prepared to work full time to secure your joint financial future but you need to know what the situation is.

If that doesn't work then get stern but under no circumstances carry on as you were

Maelstrop Fri 27-Oct-17 21:48:10

I'm afraid I'd be demanding all passwords immediately. It's not just his affair/money, it's yours too. He's being an arse and I'd be very suspicious of why. Is he in serious financial trouble?

YellowMakesMeSmile Fri 27-Oct-17 21:48:27

So you were happy to be a "50's" housewife when he was covering the majority of bills as well as topping up your income but now he may be in financial trouble you want to take control?

There's no mention of you stepping up and helping him by upping your hours etc so you both sound as stubborn as each other.

user1486076969 Fri 27-Oct-17 21:49:59

Good advice ItalianGrehound

Ploppie4 Fri 27-Oct-17 21:52:54

Why do people think op wants to take control?! I see no evidence of this. Op just wants to be more involved

There are lots of ways to contribute to running a household. Working and earning cash is one way.

Timetogetup0630 Fri 27-Oct-17 21:55:53

Sorry to hear this OP.
And working part time I see your own choice, and you don't deserve to be slated for that.

I think that's appalling that you are expected to pay household expenses and food from your own part time salary if he has been earning serious money.
Do you have any savings of your own, at all ?
Is your name on the house deeds?
Whose name is in the council tax and utility bills ?

Does you both have wills drawn up?

I think you need to explain to him how very worried you are about this, and if he tells you " leave it all to him" you insist that he explains in detail his plans for "saving" the company. Does he have an accountant or a financial advisor you could share your anxiety with ?

Cambionome Fri 27-Oct-17 21:57:04

He has no right to refuse to let you be involved in financial decisions/see financial paperwork. That's financial abuse.

Yes, you were wrong to let it all slide before but it's easily done.

LonginesPrime Fri 27-Oct-17 21:58:02

OP, it sounds like this has all crept up on you slowly over the years and it’s only the prospect that things might not be ok that’s made you realise it.

I agree that while DH obviously needs to disclose your joint financial position to you, it would be unfair to judge his initial refusal too harshly. Not because you have worked PT or been a SAHM, but because he’s been accustomed to this way of doing things for years too, so your request probably did take him by surprise.

I agree, it might be that he’s hiding something and has got himself into a mess he intends to deal with on his own. Or it might be that he sees your sudden interest as a sign that you don’t trust him. If his business is failing, your questioning him might be compounding his feelings of failure/inadequacy.

I suggest you reassure him that you have every faith in him but that you definitely want to start taking more of an interest in the family finances and see how he responds.

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