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DH cagey about salary

(59 Posts)
CardiffMum Wed 10-Jun-09 21:45:42

I know everyone's going to say there are trust and control issues here - and they would be right - but my husband has a very different attitude to money to me. We are married with 2 children but only got a joint account last year after our first child as I was fed up of living off my savings while I was on maternity leave. I felt asking for money was humiliating and brought back memories of my mother having to catch my dad in the right mood to get housekeeping money when i was a kid or he'd just leave her without. I came to abhor this controlling behaviour and it probably explains why i feel that as my husband and I are in a partnership we should have equal responsibility for our family money. We have both been paying a set percentage of our salaries into the joint account to cover all bills so that we have an equal amount of money in our own accounts each month to do whatever we like with. This sounds fine in theory but DH doesn't tell me when he's had a payrise, has never shown me his payslip (I have seen it though obviously) and is very cagey about any personal savings that he has. I don't even know what these are. I have never done anything to suggest that I am an irresponsible spender so he has no reason to assume that I would squander what he views as 'his' money (I am now on unpaid maternity leave). He has just been promoted and keeps saying he's not sure what his salary is. He gets an extra lump sum every year aside from his salary, for a second job which he's allowed to do in work time - I know the total for this extra amount so I asked how much was left yesterday and he said it's none of my business as that's his money. I am really uncomfortable with this approach to 'his' money - I will be working part time again from July but earning considerably less than him. He wants us to resume contributing a percentage to the joint account when I go back to work which I'm ok with in theory as I certainly don't see my earnings as 'my' money - it's to pay for things that we need as a family - but I feel hurt that he won't disclose all his finances. He said he wouldn't trust anyone with 'his' money, including me - which I know signals pretty severe trust issues and given I've never done anything to warrant a lack of trust I'm not sure how to overcome that. On maternity leave I live on the child benefit which is paid into my own account and food bills, petrol etc are paid from the joint account. DH says we should carry on having our salaries paid into our individual accounts and then transfer set amounts into the joint account because it's such a nightmare to change direct debits etc.

It may be hard to believe but we generally have a good relationship, this is the one thing that causes problems. I accept that some people are just very careful with money, but I don't like the fact that he is so cagey about it. Help.

wolfear Wed 10-Jun-09 22:00:40

YANBU

You are in a partnership with children and he should trust you completely. DH and I have had far fewer arguments about money since we just threw everything together into a joint account about five years ago - I mean everything. I've always earned more than him until probably a year or so ago, but never held it against him. We have the odd row as he I feel he spends money on crap (XBOX etc - don't get me started) but, when it comes down to it, we both always ensure there's enough for the bills, mortgage, DS's needs and our own needs.

If DH behaved like this with his money I'd think he had something to hide TBH.

ClaireDeLoon Wed 10-Jun-09 22:06:39

YANBU I don't understand what reasons he would have to hide from you how much he earns. You're a family and the two of you are a partnership. You have said about your past and how it has influenced your attitude now - is there anything you can think of in his background that would influence him?

I would ask for (demand?) more honesty if I were in your shoes.

Haribosmummy Wed 10-Jun-09 22:07:33

YANBU.

I've felt terrible about money since I stopped work to have DS and still feel I have to ask before I buy something. DH will often say NO (like I want a second buggy, but he thinks I only need one) but will then go and blow a load of money on something he wants (but does not need).

I also am finding it very difficult at the moment, because DH doesn't think I should buy clothes because I'm pregnant - but feeling fat frumpy and unworthy just makes my self esteem hit rock bottom - especially when he and the kids go out and spend £££££££ on clothes!!

But, all that said, he doesn't withhold anything from me... as in I know what's what... I would be very very unhappy if I thought he wasn't being upfront with me.

ravenAK Wed 10-Jun-09 22:08:36

It comes down to WHY he's hiding it.

Because he thinks you'll try to squander it?

Because he's secretly spending it all on drugs/gambling/whatever?

Because he thinks money is 'his' job?

As you say, both paying into a central account with fair amounts of 'pocket money' left over is a perfectly sensible arrangement: but why not be completely transparent about it?

Changing DDs isn't a nightmare - I've just re-jigged several of ours because we've moved & the mortgage is bigger, so more of the DDs are now coming from DH's account - it took 10 minutes.

I wouldn't be happy. YANBU.

LovelyTinOfSpam Wed 10-Jun-09 22:12:26

YANBU sounds all wrong to me.

Different people do things different ways with joint accounts etc ad it doesn't matter how you do it as long as it as fair, and both people have happily agreed that that's how it's to be done.

Him not disclosing his salary is wrong. Not disclosing his lump sum is wrong. You living off benefits for your own stuff while you're on mat leave, while he rakes it in is wrong.

Asking him to disclose his finances is not the same as entrusting you with his money - his argument doesn't even make sense.

i would not be at all happy about this.

Hassled Wed 10-Jun-09 22:12:28

Your DH's attitude is shite - it sounds like he has some real problems re trust and money. Did his parents have problems? Was he burned by a previous girlfriend?

What's yours is his and vice versa - why is it fair that your pension and savings go down while you're on maternity leave looking after his child? I wish I knew what you could actually do to change his attitude, but I can quite understand why you're hacked off.

Tinker Wed 10-Jun-09 22:12:34

Why not have a joint account where all money goes into and from which bills are paid out plus your own separate accounts into which money from the joint account is paid into?

LovelyTinOfSpam Wed 10-Jun-09 22:14:24

haribo sad for you too.

ChippingIn Wed 10-Jun-09 22:22:12

CardiffMumm YADNBU - there's no way I could be in a relationship with someone behaving like this. You are a family, a unit - you're not living in a house share.

I agree it would be helpful (for you) to know why he's like this, but whatever is causing it, it needs to be remedied.

You are on maternity leave, living on maternity benefits/pay while he is carrying on as normal??

It will only get more difficult as the children get older.

You need to talk to him and explain that this isn't working for you and that it's not doing your relationship any good - it's making you unhappy.

Re how to handle it practically - I agree with Tinker - and for me that would be an equal amount (although I know others will disagree). I think it should be equal as it shouldn't matter who earns what - it's the 'team income'.

mrspnut Wed 10-Jun-09 22:29:04

We have separate accounts but I know how much my OH gets paid, how much the direct debits are that all get paid from his account and how much roughtly we have to live on for the rest of the month. (My money of course is for childcare and me )

I wouldn't be able to cope without knowing everything about our situation and I know of one person who hasn't worked for years, husband is well paid and she thought they were fine until the moment came that he had to disclose that they were massively in debt and they are going to have to sell their beautiful home and downsize to try to get out of it. As she says she would have tried to get a job ages ago if she's only known what was happening.

As Mr Cholmondley-Warner might say "Ladies. know your household income"

piscesmoon Wed 10-Jun-09 22:31:25

YANBU-if you are married it is a partnership-you need to know the full situation.

Tortington Wed 10-Jun-09 22:33:05

i'd be "look darling, this can go one of two ways - eithe whats yurs is our and whats mine is ours - or - you can take your money and fuck off"

GoosePimple100 Wed 10-Jun-09 22:34:24

We only got a joint account last year at my insistence. It was a real struggle over several months to get him to accept my reasons for wanting one but he eventually agreed. Part of me thinks I should be grateful that we do at least have a j/a, and part of me thinks we need some sort of counselling to deal with the trust issues - although they are only linked to money. (p.s. I really don't think he's squandering his secret millions on gambling or dodgy shopping habits - he just sees it as 'his', pure and simple).

SomeGuy Wed 10-Jun-09 22:39:23

You should convert his bank accounts to joint accounts in your name, then close yours. No direct debits for him to worry about. And you should have access to online banking, statements, P60, etc.

bigted Wed 10-Jun-09 22:50:40

I think this is an intractable situation.

As he says, he sees what he earns as his, and the above (fairly unanimous) comments will not mean a thing to him.

In your shoes I would probably do my damnest to make sure that in a few years when the kids are older I earn more than him grin

2rebecca Wed 10-Jun-09 22:56:20

I wouldn't consider someone like that my partner. We have joint accounts and see all bills, accounts etc. Hiding money from your spouse is mean spirited and nasty. I would rather be on my own than with a nonsharing man.

Nancy66 Wed 10-Jun-09 23:01:10

My DP and I have separate bank accounts - both prefer it that way. BUT there's no secrecy or money hiding, he's more than welcome to see my statements if he wants and vice versa.

Your DH's attitude is not healthy and you shouldn't tolerate it.

Rollergirl1 Wed 10-Jun-09 23:02:05

He sounds like an ignorant wanker.

The bottom line is that by depriving you he is depriving his kids. Whatever the situation.

Quattrocento Wed 10-Jun-09 23:06:44

Well I have a slightly different perspective - don't know if it helps - but here goes:

My husband does not know how much I earn. I don't know how much he earns. We used to squabble about money continually and I worked out that it was because we had different attitudes to what was necessary expenditure. A broken roof slate? I would have a roofer out and immediately replace, while DH would live with it forever. Ditto clothes, etc. Also when it comes to savings and investments we have very different attitudes. I really think that I understand money - all 'my' investments have paid off and most of DH's haven't.

Because we are both very strongminded (or cussed) individuals we found it very difficult to agree on these issues.

So we treat our money very separately. We did this from the start - when DH was earning roughly twice what I was earning - to now when I earn approximately three times what he earns.

You might think that this is unusual but in fact it works very well. We have a joint account for bills, and we do what we want with the rest. I tend to pay for things like family holidays, otherwise we would argue about cost and where we could sensibly go. But otherwise we keep finances separate.

edam Wed 10-Jun-09 23:07:24

dh and I have separate bank accounts and each put money into a joint account for bills. But there's no hiding anything, he's free to read my bank statements as I am to read his etc. etc.

Your dh is being very sneaky and selfish. This stuff about not telling you how much he's paid is just outrageous. Legally, there's no such thing as 'his' money, anyway, it's all joint assets - if you got divorced that's the way the court would regard it.

Maybe you should point that out to him, rather forcefully?

cat64 Wed 10-Jun-09 23:08:09

Message withdrawn

Nighbynight Wed 10-Jun-09 23:08:53

You are taking most of the financial burden of having children, so he should share the money equally.
yanbu.

ineedalifelaundry Wed 10-Jun-09 23:12:38

It doesn't seem like a fair partnership to me. I could understand this attitude if you had only just moved in together and had no DCs. But you are a family, not just live in lovers.

Also, while you are on unpaid maternity leave, doing the unpaid-yet-massively-important job of looking after HIS kids, he should be contributing to your spending money, not leaving you to manage with nothing but child benefit.

Does he know how you feel?

unavailable Wed 10-Jun-09 23:15:39

You started this post with the words
"I know everyone's going to say there are trust and control issues here"
You are so right. He sees it as your sole responsibility to provide for yourself and your (joint) children whilst he continues to contribute to the household expenses as if you are students in a houseshare rather than a married couple.

I cant understand how you then go on to say you generally have a good relationship. How can that be?

I wouldnt care what he is doing with "his money" I would want to know why he feels he has no responsibility towards his family?

Sorry to be a bit ranting, but I am tired and he has made me very cross. I think he is hugely selfish and you are too forgiving.

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