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To want my DH to enjoy the finer things

(414 Posts)
Finerthingsplease Sat 06-Jun-20 13:29:00

Name changed.

I’m getting sick of feeling like I can’t enjoy the finer things in life that I like because my husband doesn’t.

He’s someone who actively enjoys frugality and admits he has a very strong Puritan tendency which seems to be getting worse with age. We have shared finances but I earn 2.5 times more than him. We are very financially comfortable with lots of savings. I’m not extravagant but I feel like he impedes my enjoyment of things and makes me feel guilty for wanting ‘small pleasures’.

Examples - I would like to buy a few nice wines and do a mini tasting session in lockdown. He says no, I don’t like drinking any more (a new thing, related to increasingly puritanism) and £60 on wine is ridiculous.

I make some nice, different recipes. He happily eats them and says they are nice but I know he would be even happier with fish fingers and beans ( he likes toddler food).

I buy flowers for the house (£5ish from supermarket). He sees that as a total waste of money and doesn’t understand why they could be pleasurable.

We go to nice restaurants (not during lockdown obviously). We have a good time and enjoy it but he would genuinely be equally happy with a takeaway pizza.

I just don’t see the point in working if we can’t do some nice things. He never, ever stops me buying anything but his attitude just taints every nice thing I do for myself or us. AIBU? Will he ever be persuaded to change?

OP’s posts: |
roarfeckingroar Sat 06-Jun-20 13:30:18

I doubt he will change and i would find that attitude very draining to be around. Not sure what to suggest.

RedHelenB Sat 06-Jun-20 13:32:02

It's being a miser not puritanical!

PinkiOcelot Sat 06-Jun-20 13:32:04

God he sounds like a right joy sponge. He’d do my head in.
Not sure what the answer is to honest. Other than sitting him down and telling him to stop and every time he does it, reiterate your point.

Ninkanink Sat 06-Jun-20 13:32:19

I couldn’t live like that. Like I actually would up and leave before he could suck all happiness and enjoyment out of my life.

You go ahead and get the things that will bring you joy. He can revel in his miserly life if that’s how he wants to do it.

And I wouldn’t feel any guilt whatsoever at not listening to him, not paying any attention to him and not falling in with his likes or dislikes.

Finerthingsplease Sat 06-Jun-20 13:33:25

Thanks.....I was worried that might be the consensus.

I think it’s the slightly high and mighty tone of ‘all you need is family’ which irks me. It’s nice to have other things too! Unfortunately he is slowly turning into his parents....

OP’s posts: |
BernadetteRostankowskiWolowitz Sat 06-Jun-20 13:34:03

Being happy with cheap alternatives wouldn't be a problem as long as he didn't ruin my enjoyment of the more expensive. So in the pizza/cooking examples, is he enjoying the nicer stuff but would equally enjoy the cheaper? Or does he spend the meal moaning about the cost?

The wine tasting - if he doesn't want to drink any more fine. Order the wine and enjoy it yourself.

The flower thing would bug me. Next time just respond "I like them. You like me. Leave me to enjoy them" then if he moans in the future just tell him to pack it in.

Finerthingsplease Sat 06-Jun-20 13:36:27

Its the fact that he never tries to control me and will tolerate what I want but he can’t enjoy it alongside me. It’s draining. I used to love a mooch around the shops but I’ve noticed I don’t do it any more because I know it’s an activity that he’s snooty about....

OP’s posts: |
MsTSwift Sat 06-Jun-20 13:38:28

This would do my head in. I am not sure I could deal with this. One of the points of being a couple is enjoying nice stuff together. One of the many things I love about dh is he is the direct opposite. Just now a man delivered loads of gorgeous wine from a local restaurant he’s researched the wine we liked while there and ordered us a shed load.

Finerthingsplease Sat 06-Jun-20 13:38:36

He’s doesn’t exactly moan about the cost but there will be a ‘jokey’ comment usually.

OP’s posts: |
DiseasesOfTheSheep Sat 06-Jun-20 13:39:45

He's allowed to like what he likes and it's not great to dismiss his tastes as "toddler food" because you don't share them. Relationships are about give and take - he should get his takeaway pizza some times and you should get your nice restaurants. If he doesn't want to drink wine, he shouldn't be obliged to - but you shouldn't feel obliged not to either. Likewise, he's allowed not to see the point in cut flowers, provided he doesn't try to stop you buying them if you want them.

SaltedCaramels Sat 06-Jun-20 13:40:52

I'm like him! I get a kick out of being frugal, genuinely prefer eating at home (because the food is usually better for a fraction of the cost, and I don't enjoy crowds and noise (even before lockdown), and I hate waste. I realise it's a bit silly to be like this, but it's quite hard to change. My DH is very different but we live and let live. Lockdown suits me perfectly smile

Ninkanink Sat 06-Jun-20 13:41:12

Yes but he should keep his comments to himself. That’s the bigger issue. Of course he’s entitled to live the way he prefers but he needs to shut up and stop sucking the joy out of everything for OP.

Finerthingsplease Sat 06-Jun-20 13:41:20

When I say toddler food, that is his phrase.

The point is that it is my ‘likes’ he can’t participate in. He eats his food 99% of the time!

OP’s posts: |
Ninkanink Sat 06-Jun-20 13:42:48

Stop expecting him to participate. Don’t cook lovely meals for him, don’t buy wine for him, etc. He obviously doesn’t actually want or like it, so leave him to it and just enjoy yourself.

Thelnebriati Sat 06-Jun-20 13:44:09

He isn't a puritan, he's a a miser. He is sucking all the joy out of your life. If you were withholding money and expecting him to pay half of everything, or on a low income and wasting money you couldn't afford, he might have a point.

Being a puritan is not about something being expensive; its about the total expense versus the trade off. Total expense includes the carbon footprint and environmental impact.
A miser would buy acrylic yarn to knit a jumper because its cheaper than wool. A puritan would buy pure wool even though it costs 10 times more than acrylic - its better for the environment, can be mended, and will last a lifetime.

highmarkingsnowbile Sat 06-Jun-20 13:44:14

I would carry on spending how I liked. He can cook for himself at home.

Finerthingsplease Sat 06-Jun-20 13:44:19

Yes, I do that but I would like us to be able to enjoy things together and not feel guilty for spending more on what I like than what he does...

His frugality has been great in some ways because he looks after the finances and does savings/investments. But it is getting worse and that’s why it’s wearing me down.

OP’s posts: |
Rewis Sat 06-Jun-20 13:44:56

I think you need to find someone else to enjoy those things, like a friend or a group. It sucks that he doesn't enjoy them and in turn that takes your enjoyment. Have you had a discussion about this? Like is he aware of what he does?

If he complains about money, talk to him that you want to enjoy the results of your hard work. If he doejst agree then assign a monthly "individual money" that you can use to whatever.

Disfordarkchocolate Sat 06-Jun-20 13:45:22

I know it will be hard but all you can do is change how you react to him.

No idea how to do that though. Him being an all round fun sponge must be bloody annoying though.

Mikethenight2good Sat 06-Jun-20 13:45:46

Similar situation op...Just go an do it.

I don't even bother with him with that stuff with him.

Nice restaurant...I go with a friend/ family member. Same with nice wines and shopping...
I enjoy it more with them than I do him.

FWIW mine is like that as he accumulated alot of debt and we paid it off. He is scared to get back into that situation even though we are better of than we were 15 years ago. I understand why is like that. But still I work damn hard and I will enjoy it (and before anyone says anything no I don't accumulate debt to pay for it).

AllIMissNowIsTheSea Sat 06-Jun-20 13:46:00

I don't think this is a case of either of you being right or either of you wrong.

You're just incompatible.

Only you know whether you rub along fine and share other things - humour, setting the world to rights, lively debates about politics or books or music, a love of some particular hobby or pet or something - or whether in fact you have nothing at all in common and don't enhance one another's lives and would be better apart.

I wonder if he's digging in a bit because you are very judgemental and snobby about his simpler tastes. It may be that if you weren't so convinced your fine wine and nice restaurants made you better at life than his take away pizzas he'd be more open to appreciating them. Do you moan and sneer at his fish fingers and beans or take away pizzas and stop him enjoying them?

Oblomov20 Sat 06-Jun-20 13:46:51

I kind of understand partly how you feel. My Dh has changed, after an operation on his stomach, and now can't enjoy any of the food or drink I like. I've found it lonely and miserable since.

DiseasesOfTheSheep Sat 06-Jun-20 13:47:54

But why should he participate in your likes because you want him to? If he doesn't want to drink, he shouldn't feel obliged to do it to please you.

The OP says he eats her cooked meals and is polite about the food, and that they go out to restaurants, even if he'd rather get a takeaway. He's not wrong to prefer other things - provided he is polite during the food (as stated in the OP) and the restaurant.

highmarkingsnowbile Sat 06-Jun-20 13:48:09

Just detach and carry on. As long as he doesn't expect you to do the home cooking and clean up when you'd like to go out.

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