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To think I should know what my husband earns

(78 Posts)
Nevertoomuch22 Fri 22-Feb-19 20:04:21

How do other married couples handle their finances? Been married for 8 years and have no clue what my DH even earns, I have asked and have a rough idea but it seems none of my business. I pay all the household bills including some small personnal depts and he gives me £150 per week from which I use half for our grocery shopping. I have suggested opening a joint account so that we can pay equal money into it each month but then find out my DH had went ahead and opened a separate account and kept it from me. Is it unusual for married couples to keep their finances separate this way confused

HollowTalk Fri 22-Feb-19 20:06:27

I don't think this is usual but you'll get others who say it's his business what he earns.

Put it this way: if you divorced he would have to declare his income, because you are seen as a partnership. It's a shame he can't treat your marriage as a partnership.

dementedpixie Fri 22-Feb-19 20:06:41

It's not good that he keeps it a secret from you. Dh and I have a joint account and we each have the banking app so can see what goes in and out the account

HollowTalk Fri 22-Feb-19 20:07:13

Is he paying £600 pm in total for rent and bills?

How much do you think he earns?

Do you work full time? Do you have children?

dementedpixie Fri 22-Feb-19 20:07:28

What does he pay towards?

Namechangeforthiscancershit Fri 22-Feb-19 20:07:43

Sorry, do you mean you pay all the household bills personally? What does he pay?

Crazyfrog007 Fri 22-Feb-19 20:07:43

Why are you paying all of the household bills?? Surely they should be split 50:50...

Nesssie Fri 22-Feb-19 20:08:05

Doesn’t sound normal to be me if I’m being honest. Secret accounts and secret salaries.

greendale17 Fri 22-Feb-19 20:08:43

Very strange and weird that you don’t know how much your husband earns.

Ivegotthree Fri 22-Feb-19 20:08:54

Very bloody weird not to know.

Seniorcitizen1 Fri 22-Feb-19 20:09:16

We have had joint accounts from day one - current account and savings account. Know what each earns. Its our money not individual. All bills come out of current account plus any individual leisure spend. All based on love and trust

OnlyFoolsnMothers Fri 22-Feb-19 20:09:54

What does he pay? Rent / mortgage?

Decormad38 Fri 22-Feb-19 20:11:07

Thats weird. We just have one bank account so I know if he buys a coffee and definitely know what he earns.

mkmo Fri 22-Feb-19 20:11:26

I would want complete transparency. My partner and I are a team- no secrets. Yes, I think you should know and if he won't tell you that's suspicious.

If you don't want to know that's different

Joint account seems fair

justasking111 Fri 22-Feb-19 20:12:00

My OH is like this always has been. It is so silly because I have to prepare his tax returns so from his various types of income I know exactly what he earns. It is a weird way of thinking to my mind. But he thinks I am a spendthrift. Every time I buy birthday, xmas presents for the family he tuts.. My credit card statement is scrutinised for frivolous purchases occasionally. He does pay for everything on it that is not frivolous.

I am not the one with a yacht in the marina though, he is very secretive about how much that costs. I know exactly how much it costs grin

Quartz2208 Fri 22-Feb-19 20:13:36

No not usual

What does he pay for

Wantmychildrentosleep Fri 22-Feb-19 20:16:52

I think that’s odd. We have separate bank accounts, mostly because we haven’t been organised to get a joint one (6 yrs in), but I know how much he earns and I know how much he wastes!!!! I don’t feel the need to keep a tab on how many coffees he has a week, but he always lets me see his account if I want to.

Graphista Fri 22-Feb-19 20:21:33

I wouldn't be happy with that at all, you're supposed to be a partnership secrets like this are damaging to a relationship.

In addition how much are your joint outgoings total? Because if they're £1200 or less I'll be bloody surprised which means you are subbing him.

That's unacceptable regardless of his income imo.

Do you have children? If not I really wouldn't until this is sorted. Children are not cheap and must be provided for.

He sounds a right miser and possibly financially abusive and as things are I wouldn't trust him to contribute to any child's costs

Tensixtysix Fri 22-Feb-19 20:28:23

Stop paying all the bills! He's fiddling you financially. Do you even have any savings?

Ellisandra Fri 22-Feb-19 20:35:11

How can you possibly know what the fair split of bills is?

My husband and I could tell you exactly what we each earn - but to within 20%

We don’t have the same issue re bills split because it’s second marriage with kids all round so we have different costs, and also because I earn 4x him so he’s “subbed” by me anyway, and we both know it and are happy with it.

cordeliavorkosigan Fri 22-Feb-19 20:38:47

Absolutely unreasonable. You can't be partners in life without knowing this basic information. You're vulnerable here as you don't want to be financially abused and you don't want to have to divorce to make sure your finances are ok!

RB68 Fri 22-Feb-19 20:40:39

Having sat last night with a friend who was in court divorcing her husband of 18 yrs today, with her sobbing "how could I not know he was stealing so much from me" "How could he take all this money and leave DD and I with benefits to house ourselves and foodbank food for weeks on end etc" I would say knowledge is power here. There were some valid reasons for her lack of knowledge for a period of time but he was deliberately hiding stuff

Get him to share and explain he needs to contribute fairly to his family and way of life.

And I think if he has a boat in a Marina he can pull is finger out of his arse and pay for a few birthday presents and frivolities for you just asking

StoneofDestiny Fri 22-Feb-19 20:41:47

Can't believe posters believe your situation is 'not unusual'. Surely it's more normal when living as equal partners in marriage that all monies, bills, responsibilities etc are pooled for equal access. Sounds more like some arrangement from the 1950's to me.
Why do you allow it?

Stuckforthefourthtime Fri 22-Feb-19 20:43:46

Very unusual. To me even keeping separate finances after marriage is odd, this is very strange. How much are your outgoings a month? I'd say either he's earning a lot more than you and squirrelling away /using this for control or earning less and feeling ashamed and possibly running up debt - which should also ring alarm bells.

RoryLeighGilmore Fri 22-Feb-19 20:46:36

Totally unreasonable and bizarre. Why did you marry someone who you don't have completely open finances with?!

Nevertoomuch22 Fri 22-Feb-19 20:49:49

It's just the two of us, we both have grown children from previous marriages. I think the real problem is he is always telling me he has no money especially when I suggest he take me out or something small like takeaways. I'm not a big earner and monthly bills take most of it (live in rented accommodation) I have no savings. I guess he earns at least a third more than me. Guess I'm just wondering what he does with it all and he would never tell me if I asked. He has no friends and doesn't go out socializing and has no hobbies that I'm aware of hmm

dementedpixie Fri 22-Feb-19 20:52:51

Does he contribute towards rent/ bills? Is it a joint tenancy?

tobee Fri 22-Feb-19 20:55:43

My Dh is self employed and but I know pretty much how much he earns. If I ask about any quarter or whatever he tells me. I know what he earns for different jobs etc, his income tax and vat etc. He's very happy to tell me about it.

I certainly think that it's very much my business. If anything happened to him I'd need to know where I stood. In fact I know right now.

Mumoftwoyoungkids Fri 22-Feb-19 20:56:31

That’s not what I’d call marriage.

You have a lodger. Who barely covers their own food and bills cost - never mind actually paying rent.

Fishcakey Fri 22-Feb-19 20:58:35

We pool everything.

HollowTalk Fri 22-Feb-19 20:59:04

I don't know anyone who would think that £600 would cover half of everything. Are you subsidising him?

Graphista Fri 22-Feb-19 21:00:44

It really is starting to sound like financial abuse.

Extremely unlikely he's covering his half of expenses which op is proving reluctant to answer (understandably here but you need to be honest with yourself at least op and stop subsidising him! He sounds a total cocklodger!)

StoneofDestiny Fri 22-Feb-19 21:01:59

OP - it's only happening this way because you are allowing it.

pumpkinpie01 Fri 22-Feb-19 21:02:51

I find this very odd. Is he saving it all do you think ? Some people just like to have vast amounts of savings that they never dip into but you really should know if you’re any sort of partnership .

StoneofDestiny Fri 22-Feb-19 21:03:44

Sorry - that was clumsily put. I am trying to say stop allowing it to keep happening.

MovingThisYearDefinitely Fri 22-Feb-19 21:04:21

This should have all been discussed before moving in together. Like fuck would I marry someone who wasn't prepared to work as a partnership in every aspect of the relationship & in particular something as important as family finances! hmm

Drum2018 Fri 22-Feb-19 21:07:03

He gives you £150 per week to cover a share of bills and food shopping?? He's definitely financially abusing you if you are left with a pittance per month while he has more. I'd be sitting him down with a list of every bill you both have use of - heat, electric, broadband, rent, food etc. Personal mobiles can be paid separately. Other than that everything should be shared. See what it all comes to per month and then tell him you both need to contribute a fair amount as per your salaries. I'd be very resentful of him giving you so little per week.

LemonTT Fri 22-Feb-19 21:07:05

What are the total monthly living expenses, bills plus rent plus food. If it is more than £1200, he is taking the piss.

I think someone can have their own finances as long as they meet at least 50% of living costs. But if that causes a huge disparity in lifestyle it is not really a marriage or relationship. More of a houseshare with benefits.

Travis1 Fri 22-Feb-19 21:09:36

So is he paying at least half of the bills? This is not usual at all in my experience. If he’s not forthcoming with more details I’d seriously consider it a dealbreaker. Especially if you’re struggling.

Merryoldgoat Fri 22-Feb-19 21:12:30

I don’t even know how a situation like this starts.

What do you mean you pay the bills?

This arrangement is utter madness. I’d not have lived with anyone like this let alone marry them.

FWIW I earn about half of my DH’s salary as I’m part time. We pool our money, pay all of our bills, save some and split the rest equally. I know exactly what he earns and there’s no secrecy at all.

whitehorsesdonotlie Fri 22-Feb-19 21:13:33

What is he paying for??? Who pays mortgage? Why are you paying all bills? Until we know that, we can’t advise.

Nodancingshoes Fri 22-Feb-19 21:14:40

Yes it's unreasonable and weird. My dh and I earn similar money but even if one of us earnt much more, our money would be shared. We are a family

Luckingfovely Fri 22-Feb-19 21:15:02

It's totally weird and odd. No kind of a partnership at all. How on earth did you get married not knowing anything about this man?

But anyway, surely you can figure roughly what he must earn by googling similar jobs/companies?

Tavannach Fri 22-Feb-19 21:16:11

I think "for richer, for poorer" implies that you know your partner's income.

Waterlemon Fri 22-Feb-19 21:16:37

DH and I don’t know what each other earns - although we probably know/could guess roughly.

However, all household bills are paid for via a joint account which we both contribute to fairly.

Your set up doesn’t sound “fair” at all!

Fuckedoffat48b Fri 22-Feb-19 21:17:12

How can you know if you are happy with the way bills are divided if you don't know what he earns? That is the crux of the matter to me. You can't provide informed consent for the current situation as it stands.

Imperfectsusan Fri 22-Feb-19 21:19:12

He us financially abusive.

Stuckforthefourthtime Fri 22-Feb-19 21:19:48

However, all household bills are paid for via a joint account which we both contribute to fairly

How can anyone know what is fair if they don't know the other's base? I earn more than DH but not because I work harder or smarter, it's just down to industry and following a management path instead of staying technical. It wouldn't be fair if we split bills equally (or worse, if he paid more, which could well be happening to OP), and I had plenty of cash to splash while he was scraping by.

bibbitybobbityyhat Fri 22-Feb-19 21:19:56

Who thinks it's normal to not know what their partner earns? This isn't your friend of someone you know down the pub!

I don't know exactly how much my dh earns as he's self employed but could guess to within £5,000 year on year. It's not kept secret from me.

KitKat1985 Fri 22-Feb-19 21:32:59

That's weird. I appreciate not all couple's have joint accounts, but it's weird he won't tell you what he earns and is so secretive about his money.

littledoll33 Fri 22-Feb-19 21:36:24

Weird and wrong IMO.

But there are quite a few people in LTR and marriages who don't know each others incomes. On here and in real life who I know. (Though it is the man who is more keen to keep his income a secret.)

I couldn't live like that. I would want to know why, if my husband was hiding his income. I would think 'why does he not want me to know?'

SirGawain Fri 22-Feb-19 21:36:32

Lady Gawain and I have always pooled all our money because we trust each other and we are a partnership.

MargueritaPink Fri 22-Feb-19 21:39:43

I've never known what my husband earns and he doesn't know what I earn. We arranged very early on who paid what and it has always worked. We have never had a joint account.

MargueritaPink Fri 22-Feb-19 21:40:32

And we have been together for over 30 years.

CountFosco Fri 22-Feb-19 21:44:40

DH and I have a joint account that we pay enough into to cover all bills and food. At various times he or I have paid in more, depending who earns most (at the moment it's pretty even). We leave equivalent amounts of spending/saving money in our own accounts.

GabriellaMontez Fri 22-Feb-19 21:49:01

So he's not paying half the rent? Why are you subbing him?

Horsemenoftheaclopalypse Fri 22-Feb-19 21:53:09

Weird and unusual.

he is always telling me he has no money especially when I suggest he take me out or something small like takeaways.

I guarantee he is not paying his way, has secret savings and you are subsidising him

DorothyZbornak Fri 22-Feb-19 21:55:35

If you pay ALL the bills, then what does your DH actually pay for. This is completely unfair, especially since you suspect he earns more than you.

lucylockett27 Fri 22-Feb-19 21:57:54

Not read all the thread, just op but outrageous. Absolutely no way would I be in a relationship without share finances. you are not being unreasonable. Full transparency needed.

cordeliavorkosigan Fri 22-Feb-19 22:06:35

Ok I stand corrected, maybe you do want to divorce. This doesn't sound good at all.

RavenousBabyButterfly Fri 22-Feb-19 22:07:59

I wouldn't be happy with it at all. Sounds like you are subsidising him. Please find out about financial abuse and see if you think it applies to you.

Notageek Fri 22-Feb-19 22:16:07

We have no kids but My husband doesn’t know how much I earn, but has a good idea..(to the nearest £5k) equally I don’t know exactly what he earns. Its not a secret, just something we’ve never needed to talk about. We do however have a joint account for all bills and one for joint savings which we pay into proportionately (based on me earning double what he does). It works for us drama, no deception. We each keep the rest of our earnings separate.

itsbritneybiatches Fri 22-Feb-19 22:32:05

No idea previous to this thread.

Just asked him and he told me

We have separate finances. But I have a card If I want to use it.

We treat it all as one

Butteredghost Fri 22-Feb-19 22:34:43

It's not unusual to have separate accounts, but you would normally still have a good idea of what is coming and going from those accounts. This isnt just separate accounts, it's crazy and seems suss honestly. Why doesn't he want to split things fairly, why is he happy to just throw you a small amount and let you pay everything? Sit him down asap and work out a new plan.

itsbritneybiatches Fri 22-Feb-19 22:37:04

For reference

I have all the bills out of my account as I did this before he lived with me.

New bills come from his,
Gym etc.

We need to get one account to combine all bills..

In three years we still haven't bothered to her round to this

79andnotout Fri 22-Feb-19 22:38:36

I don't know what my partner of 7 years earns and vice versa. No kids. We're both pretty comfortable after paying the bills from a joint account, though, and neither excessive spenders, so it doesn't seem particularly relevant.

SD1978 Fri 22-Feb-19 22:51:25

So what does he pay?

anniehm Fri 22-Feb-19 22:59:58

It's very unusual for him to be secretive. Sounds suspicious to me

DianaPrincessOfThemyscira Fri 22-Feb-19 23:04:50

No I don’t think this is normal.

Reminds me of a manager asking me if I told my husband I got a promotion confused like I might have kept it a secret?!

blueyellowgreen Fri 22-Feb-19 23:05:18

I don't understand people who say it never comes up?

Do you not tell each other when you get a pay rise? Or negotiate salary at a new job? Or calculate how much you can borrow on a mortgage? Or work out what % you should be saving of your salaries? Or work out how much you can afford to spend on a car? Work out a household budget Etc

Very odd to me!!

NotMeNoNo Fri 22-Feb-19 23:15:54

I know exactly what DH earns as I look after all the household stuff from our joint accounts. He probably can't remember my exact salary but it's no secret and we do sit down every now and then to work out a budget.

It'd seems a bit of an unbalance of power for one partner to keep large earnings secret and to themselves.

79andnotout Fri 22-Feb-19 23:21:05

@blueyellowgreen - no, we don't have those conversations. I own my own house and car. I've changed jobs a couple of times and my salary has gone up and down, depending on what I was looking for. I have my own savings, he has his own savings. We each pay an amount into the joint account for bills, holidays, etc and if it needs topping up we add some more in. We're both independent people and it suits us fine.

littledoll33 Sat 23-Feb-19 00:28:30


I don't understand people who say it never comes up?

Do you not tell each other when you get a pay rise? Or negotiate salary at a new job? Or calculate how much you can borrow on a mortgage? Or work out what % you should be saving of your salaries? Or work out how much you can afford to spend on a car? Work out a household budget Etc.

Very odd to me!!!

I agree. I can't get my head round it tbh.

Not knowing the income of your life partner/husband/wife is alien to me.

Like you say, how do you make major financial decisions - like how much you can borrow on a mortgage?

A few people have come out with 'we are independent people, we have separate bank accounts, we pay our share of the bills separately and so on.' But in real life, virtually no-one I know actually does this. Not if it's a good, solid, loving relationship. They share everything, and support each other, and pretty much pool their finances. And they absolutely do know each others salaries.

I know only one couple where she doesn't know what he earns. Both mid 50's, together 10 years, he is divorced and she has never married. He is very cagey about what he earns and she has no clue. I do know it's a lot more than her though, because he has much more surplus income, and is always splashing out on his extravagant hobbies. He still makes her pay half towards everything, even though she in only on £15K per year.

He also recently inherited £150K which he didn't stop crowing about for a month. She didn't see a penny of it. They went on holiday together in September, and he made sure she paid half.

I would rather be alone, than in a weird, toxic, 'relationship' like this.

He won't get married either. I mean, he wouldn't want to share his money with her would he? wink

JeezOhGeeWhizz Sat 23-Feb-19 00:31:10

He sounds very mean.
Mean men are a miserable species.

feelingsinister Sat 23-Feb-19 07:58:44

I only know one couple personally with this situation and he was financially abusive.
I've seen it professionally a lot and it's almost never a good thing.
My relative had no idea what he earned after they had children because she ceased to be a person in her own right. He kept payslips and bank statements at work, was very tight with 'housekeeping' but happily spent a fortune on himself.
When they split it turned out he was earning about 30k more than she thought while she scrimped and shopped in charity shops. He hid money when they split and was been a massive cunt.

Its a red flag for me. I know people have different set ups but I don't understand it personally.

Lucisky Sat 23-Feb-19 08:09:53

OP, I think he is saving his money on the quiet. It really doesn't matter what system a couple has for paying household bills etc, as long as it is fair and the amount of money available is transparent, and that they are both happy with it. None of this seems to be the case with your relationship.

Justanotheruser01 Sat 23-Feb-19 09:17:48

I only know ball park figure but then again dh only knows that too he doesn't even know when he gets paid! I most certainly know every penny of mine

SatsumaFan Sat 23-Feb-19 09:39:06

I'm married (been together a decade) and have two young dc, don't work and have no clue what my dh earns. We have separate accounts - he pays into mine. Both names on mortgage.

It does feel very 1950's and controlling but it's the only issue I have, and he has never said no when I've asked for more money and rarely comments on my spending (he pays all mortgage and bills and for holidays and cars etc, I buy all clothes, food and other day to day things).

Are you unhappy then OP?

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