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To tell DH tom fark off and mind his own

(26 Posts)
Intheshoit Thu 24-Jul-08 16:00:30

Hmm, where do I start (could be v. long - sorry!) - there's a big fight brewing in our house over that immortal problem money.
Brief history - am a SAHM right now, and have been since Jan 07. During that time, hubby has given me an allowance to spend on groceries, kids bits and pieces and a little for myself. He has full access to all the other cash, and, to give him credit, is almost obsessed with saving money. We are on a forces posting in Cyprus, where life is expensive, and he wants to make sure that we are well set up when we go back to the UK. Currently I have 1700 Euros to spend a month which includes kids creche fees and club money that usually amounts to about 500 per month.
Other expenses occasionally crop up and DH gets very huffy if he's asked to shell out.
Anyway... over the last year I have lost over five stone in weight and dropped from a size 24 to a size 16. Naturally I have needed clothes in my new size (especially underwear), and because the choice and price of clothes over here are ridiculous I have used a mail order company.
Over the last 18 months I have spent about 1000 pounds which I am slowly paying back out of my allowance - it's in control and I have now stopped using this company as I can get clothes cheaper and more easily in small sizes now. So I'm not racking up any more debts, just paying off the old ones.
Today DH 'accidentally' opened an envelope containing a statement and it is utterly fuming with me, saying that I have "lied and deceived" about this account. To be frank, I just didn't bother telling him as I felt it was none of his business how I chose to spend my money. He seems to think I should have told him about this, in my opinion I have never asked him to pay towards this so why should he know?
Admittedly, we do have a history, about 10 years ago, when I racked up a huge credit card debt which he found out about. I was working then and paying it off, and, again, never expected him to help me out, but we nearly split up over it. But I have changed my ways and don't touch credit cards at all now. In fact, the only reasons I have resorted to this catalogue account are:
a) clothes are much better
b) I've been losing weight faster than my clothes can keep up
c) although DH has said i should have come to him for money for clothes, I'm fed up to the back-teeth with the eye-rolling, sighing and huffing whenever he has to shell out for anything above my allowance. I'd rather do it my way than end up prostrate and begging before a man who thinks one bra is sufficient and you can get a 46F off the peg for a tenner.

This argument is going to be a doozy, because we both think we're right I don't know what to do.
Maybe I was wrong to go ahead and use the account, however his attitude to cash makes it such a bind to ask for anything. Now that I'm financially dependent it's so frustrating having to justify all my expenses - to a man who spent 400 euros on a mobile phone last month, by the way -. I just want him to tell him to stick his nose out of it.
So who's right? Is anyone?

ThatBigGermanPrison Thu 24-Jul-08 16:07:58

Ask him precisely what he expected you to do?

You should NOT have to account for every penny when he is giving you a set amount each month.

WHY should you come to him for money for clothes? You're not 12!! Yes, he is earning the money, and YOU are allowing him to do so by staying at home with the children. The money is not his, it is family money.

Now, I understand that you got yourself into debt before, so you getting another account he knew nothing about has probbaly scared the shit out of him - but if you are repaying it easily with no detriment to anyone, he should shut up about it.

I think if you are the only person physically receiving a wage, itcan be easy to fall into the trap of thinking you are the only one entitled to spend it - well I'm afrad in a marriage with dependent children, it just doesn't work like that.

matalot Thu 24-Jul-08 16:08:54

We have similar rows in our house. I think you need to find a way of both agreeing that you have a household pot and that you take what you need (with a mutual limit in place) each month. The problem is I really hate the idea of having an 'allowance' which sounds like the situation you have. It gives the wage earner the power and when I consider that before DS I earned more than DH - too much of a shift in power for me to handle! It feels like you are a slave or something.

Not sure how helpful that is - but is there a way you can get him to rethink his approach to the household finances?

BouncingTurtle Thu 24-Jul-08 16:11:08

I can see where he is coming from, but I don't think you are being unreasonable. The eye rolling and huffing would annoy me too - okay so he is bringing the money in, but you are making an equal contribution to the household by caring for the children and the house.
You seem to be to me managing your budget well and I think £1000 over 18 months to spend on clothes is pretty good, especially as you see
you've needed new clothes for your weight loss!

Oh congratulations by the way on losing 5 stone!

Cappuccino Thu 24-Jul-08 16:12:36


are you insane? what are you, a teenager?

if it is by mutual agreement that you are a SAHM the money should be completely shared after all bills, childcare, food etc

and you shouldn't have to justify yourself to him


and he hasn't noticed you were wearing new clothes? did he think you were making them yourself out of leftover mashed potato?

DeeRiguer Thu 24-Jul-08 16:14:28

congratulations on all the weight loss intheshoit ! (quite a name)!

i think as matalot says re-jig finances and financial thinking i would say
an allowance sounds like trusted teenager ..

and i beleive once its in my account its MINE and it is
and it is spent on household stuff which, yes includes me my clothing toiletry needs that goes without saying..

itati Thu 24-Jul-08 16:17:01

I really don't know what to say.

I am given money each month to feed and clothes us all and I prefer it that way as I can see how much I have left. It is much easier than using the joint account when I didn't know how much was going out for bills. It is not about being a teenager. hmm

To the OP, clearly your husband hasn't let it go last time you ran up some debts and he is punishing you. If you are paying it back and the children are not going without then he really has no problem.

MrsTittleMouse Thu 24-Jul-08 16:17:45

I am a saver by nature and I can see that if there is a prior history of credit card debt that your DH might have been really worried that you were going down that slippery slope again.
However - it sounds as though he didn't even give you a chance to talk about it rationally, and just flew off the handle. That is out of order. After all, you have managed the money perfectly well for 10 years! And you shouldn't have to go begging to your DH for clothes. You are both adults and if money is tight then you should have an adult discussion about it, where he is willing to listen to your very reasonable arguements about needing new sizes.

ThatBigGermanPrison Thu 24-Jul-08 16:19:22

If she has to account for every penny spent out of this 'allowance', it is like being a teenager.

If he is giving you an allowance, he has no right to pry into what you are spending it on unless he feels the children are seriously going without to fund something for you. He should keep his beak out.

If he wants to pry into every penny you spend, he should hand over the cards to all the accounts and let you do the same to him.

Intheshoit Thu 24-Jul-08 16:23:13

Phew, what a lot of fab responses in such a short time. Thanks grin
Bottom line is, I'm sure as hell that the argument will go along the same line:
"it's not the money, it's the fact you've DECEIVED me again"
He seems to think that I have to declare all my comings and goings to him. I don't see it as deceit, just none of his business. If i'd been creaming off the family savings etc, or expecting him to bail me out, fair enough. But this is my business, surely, however DH sees it as a violation of trust.

itati Thu 24-Jul-08 16:24:06

Obviously she shouldn't have to account for every penny spent. My husband certainly doesn't ask me too and never would.

LazyLinePainterJane Thu 24-Jul-08 16:24:09

DH has said i should have come to him for money for clothes

No you should not!

You are partners in life and money. You should have equal rights and equal access to all marital funds and you need to tell him this.

sitdownpleasegeorge Thu 24-Jul-08 16:25:37

Firts of all CONGRATULATIONS on the weight loss, that's FABULOUS !

Surely he noticed that you were wearing new clothes because of it, he has been a bit blind hasn't he although £1,000 does sound quite a lot in 18 months but maybe its reasonable given the number of different sizes of everything you'd have gone through.

Perhaps you could do a summary of how much you have already paid off and show him there is a constructive plan to settle the whole debt.

Are you going to e-bay your old clothes to rake in a bit of extra cash to speed up settling the debt ? You'd be surprised how many larger ladies seem to shop on e-bay for clothes. Maybe postage from Cyprus is too expensive to make it worthwhile but it could be a nice little earner once you return to the U.K. providing you don't have to pay extra for shipping the surplus clothes back over here.

Hope this turns out O.K. for you.

TillyScoutsmum Thu 24-Jul-08 16:27:17

Presumably you weren't hiding the clothes and he surely noticed that you were no longer wearing clothes 4 or 5 sizes too big, so where did he think the clothes were coming from ??! If he's have asked, I'm sure you'd have told him, but he didn't, therefore you weren't deceiving him

ThatBigGermanPrison Thu 24-Jul-08 16:35:09

Put the clothes sizes thing to him in inches.

You have lost 8 inches off your waist. saying he is a 34 inch waist, would he expect to be made to wear a 42 inch waist with a belt, or go begging to you for money for clothes? Would he go begging to you, and if (as surely) not, why would he expect you to go begging to him? Does he not respect your contribution to the marriage?

Intheshoit Thu 24-Jul-08 16:40:25

sitdown: we have a thrift shop system over here where you can sell old clothes with a small percentage going to charity.
I have taken all my outsize clothes here over the last couple of months and used the proceeds to not only pick up new items for myself but also for the kids and household stuff too. It's a bit hit and miss whether things sell, and they only take seasonal items so I have a huge pile of winter stuff waiting to go in a few months time.
My catalogue expenditure has mainly been on underwear - i've gone down 4 bra sizes and at 30-40 quid a pop for a decent one that soon mounts up - and footwear - i have wide feet that don't suit the typical narrow cypriot fit - and items for the 40 degree heat over here which I didn't really own before coming to Cyprus (was never a shorts, t-shirt and sandals person previously but they are an absolute necessity here). Tried explaining this to DH a while ago but he's just got tunnel-vision on this deceit thing.

ThatBigGermanPrison Thu 24-Jul-08 16:41:51

you could try telling him you will discuss it with someone else in the room to mediate. That way, They can say who is being fair or not.

Are you religious? Could you see your vicar?

BlingLovin Thu 24-Jul-08 16:43:48

"allowance" which is clearly unreasonable if he can spend 400 EUR on a phone!? You're doing a legit job for the benefit of both, as is he. Why not joint account and at least vaguelly equal allowances?

EachPeachPearMum Thu 24-Jul-08 16:43:57

You have lost FIVE STONES in a year?????


You are an amazing woman!

You cannot wear size 24 underwear, let alone other things if you are now size 16 (and the other sizes in between)! He gave you the money, meaning he trusted you to budget how and when you used it.... which you have.
As long as there is a plan for the repayment, its your business and not his.


LazyLinePainterJane Thu 24-Jul-08 16:44:25

Well, heres hoping he never makes anything that could be construed as a mistake. Must be nice, being married to someone so perfect hmm He's being a nobboid.

Cappuccino Thu 24-Jul-08 16:44:26

the deceit thing is insane and is about control imo

surely the bloke could see you were wearing new stuff

where did he think it had come from?

Judy1234 Thu 24-Jul-08 17:08:57

Wome should work, earn their own money, out earn men and then these types of issues don't arise. This is the key educated women in successful jobs.

Get a job and earn money.

Intheshoit Thu 24-Jul-08 17:12:46

ouch Xenia!!!
Please let it be that you're joking. I gave up a full-time shift-working job to spend some quality time with the family, who I hardly ever saw, but at least I could afford my own stuff. Ironic, isn't it?

lizziemun Thu 24-Jul-08 17:47:25

Ignore Xenia that her standard arguement to all SAHM probelms grin.

Intheshoit Fri 25-Jul-08 14:13:01

Well, I'm pleased to announce a positive ending to this issue.
Having had a whole day at work to mull over this issue and a very wise close female colleague to talk to, DH has come to his senses.
He came home admitting that he had been unreasonable, and we had a very long discussion reviewing our financial situation.
Bottom line, the catalogue bill has been paid off in full and I won't be using the company again, plus I have much more freedom and access to the joint finances.
It just took a leap of faith from DH and a pledge of trustworthiness from myself.
Thanks everyone for your positive input.

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