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Am I a mug or does this seem fair?

(56 Posts)
NorthernGobshite Thu 27-Sep-12 11:59:56

My dh lost his full time permanent job earlier in the year and sicne then has been wokring casually. He has a long history of depression and his pevious job compounded it terribly due to stress and very long working hours. We agreed when he lost the job that we did not want him to go back to those conditions and that casual work was the most sensible option at this time.

As a result I am now paying the vast majoirty of the bills as I earn 40k+. DH pays childcare and keeps the rest of any of his earnings. he does pay for occasional days out and if I ask him for money - for example, need to buy £40 sack of dog food this week - he will happily pay up. He earns around £600 - 700 per month on a good month so it's not a kings ransom! His mental health has improved; he still has a long way to go, but he is improving.

I felt fine about this until a 'dear' friend started saying that DH doesn't contribute and comparing him to her deadbeat ex who she supported for many years. He really did contribute nothing and took money off her daily.

What do people think? Is dh taking me for a ride?

DowagersHump Thu 27-Sep-12 12:03:03

It entirely depends what else he does when he's not working. If you're doing longish hours, is he doing the lion's share of the pick up/drop offs, laundry, cleaning, shopping, cooking etc?

Or is he sitting around in his pants playing on the xbox?

DowagersHump Thu 27-Sep-12 12:03:32

I don't understand why you don't pool your earnings either

OhWesternWind Thu 27-Sep-12 12:05:29

One way of looking at this is if you're spending a similar percentage of your incomes on household/family things - that might be a fairer way of thinking about it rather than in absolute terms.

TBH though, if he's contributing as much as he can and isn't taking money off you, it sounds reasonable but maybe not as a long-term set-up. What are his plans for the future work-wise? How do you both feel about the situation too as that's important and any sense of being resentful/undervalued or whatever on either side could start to have an impact.

MsKayGee Thu 27-Sep-12 12:09:41

I never understand the whole his money/my money thing when you're married.

But if you don't want to go down the shared money route, then I think the rule of thumb is that you should both have the same amount of 'spending' money after all bills, shopping, etc, is paid.

One of you shouldn't be left with £300 to spend on yourself while the other is left with £30.

NorthernGobshite Thu 27-Sep-12 12:15:17

It's pooled in so far that as the main earner by a long way I pay all the bills and he contributes what he can and we don't think of it as mine or his money. It's just money. We both are left with enough money to buy what we want/need.

He keeps his bank account because in the past, in the depths of his depression, he got in a terrible mess with money which took a long time to get out of and so I do not feel able to have a shared account.

When he's not working he does housework, childcare etc and whilst I think he could do more I am not unhappy with what he does. He has cooked every night this week as not working until today.

I would add that he got a sizeable chunk of money after lsing his job and he used it to pay off BOTH of our debts so I do take that into account when I think of things.

MsKayGee Thu 27-Sep-12 12:18:05

Then it sounds pretty fair to me.

OhNoMyFoot Thu 27-Sep-12 12:21:51

Would your friend have a problem if you were earning less? Sounds to me they don't really get what's going on.

PeppermintPasty Thu 27-Sep-12 12:24:54

It seems pretty fair to me. Why would you think you are being made a mug of? I mean, is there anything else making you feel uneasy? I ask because my DP has had issues with money (coyly put!) in the past, I am the main wage earner and he is currently a SAHD. Bit rough round the edges when it comes to housework but he mostly does his bit.

We don't have a joint a/c and I've had to work hard on myself re it being "our money" because of his history, but I think I've cracked that part now.

To me, in my situation, your situation sounds really fair, I would be quite happy with this-unless there is something else making you feel that he's taking advantage of you.

RhinestoneCowgirl Thu 27-Sep-12 12:25:21

I think you have a fairly good reason for not having a shared bank account. If you're both happy with the arrangement in terms of finance and division of household tasks then it doesn't really matter what your friend thinks...

Helltotheno Thu 27-Sep-12 12:27:38

so I do not feel able to have a shared account.

V. sensible move under the circs.

It doesn't sound bad to me, especially if he's doing the cooking and enough of the other stuff. In fact, you're in the stronger position here.

Re friends, sometimes they offer unhelpful opinions without knowing all the facts!

Pancakeflipper Thu 27-Sep-12 12:30:33

I think you have thought it through and you know your situation. If you are happy then ignore the friend.

DP is a much higher earner than me. We both pay into the joint account each month - he puts in far more than me and we both have our 'own' money a month to spend as we wish which I love cos the. I don't have to explain how much my cleansing/ moisturiser/ shampoo/ hair cut costs, cos if it was 50p he'd be saying "how much?!?!?!?!"

It's what works for you.

Songbird Thu 27-Sep-12 12:31:13

Some people just can't get their head round the woman being the breadwinner hmm. I think it all sounds fair. Hopefully you'd know if he was taking the piss.

NorthernGobshite Thu 27-Sep-12 12:45:36

No, there's nothing else makes me uneasy; I think my friend just planted a seed of doubt I stupidly let it play on my mind. I do occasioanlly question dh about money as I want to avoid him getting in a similar pickle because I would not be in a position to sort it out again!

PeppermintPatsy "Bit rough round the edges when it comes to housework but he mostly does his bit" - that about sums it up; some days I feel like he's done bugger all, other days he will blitz the house...I figure it all evens out and if it's not done just how I would do it, doesn't mean it's wrong. It took me a long time to shake the 'it's my money' thoughts but I am there. It's money; if we can pay the bills adn generally do the things we want to then we are lucky. He is never going to be great with money I don't think.

porcamiseria Thu 27-Sep-12 12:56:09

if you are married its all shared anyway

ignore your friend

DowagersHump Thu 27-Sep-12 13:01:54

Sounds fine to me smile Because one of you is earning less doesn't mean they're a deadbeat

2cats2many Thu 27-Sep-12 13:06:53

That sounds like the arrangement that me and DH have, except he is the higher earner. Before our 2nd child was born, I was the higher earner and paid more bills, etc.

FWIW, I would love to be the higher earner again and have DH maybe working part-time. I cope much better with workplace stresses and strains than my he does. Its not do-able at the moment, but hopefully will be in a few years time.

MothershipG Thu 27-Sep-12 13:22:16

Oh god! That makes my DH a mug then! wink

He's the main wage earner, I contributed nothing very much for the last 7 years and have just got a part time job that pays about £600/month, my housework leaves a lot to be desired...but I am a good cook. grin

To be honest it sound like your friend was being a bit sexist, if the roles were reversed would she say your DH was a mug?

Anniegetyourgun Thu 27-Sep-12 13:52:10

Give the guy a break, he hasn't been well. By the sound of it he's contributing as much as he's currently able. To be fair to your friend, she's probably not trying to stir up trouble, just seeing your situation coloured by her own experience.

Opentooffers Thu 27-Sep-12 16:04:23

Sounds ok to me. Don't put much stock in what your 'dear friend' says, she could easily be clouded by her significantly worse experience.
Also be mindful of how you have discussed your personal affairs. If you let off steam in a negative way at points, it could be also why she has come to this comparison. The point is are you happy with the way things are and if not why not? It all sounds fairly ok to me. Between you, you should still have enough to live on reasonably.

QuintessentialShadows Thu 27-Sep-12 16:08:04

No it seems fair.

I think your friend is rather too keen to tar your dh with the same brush as her ex, for some reason. She does not see how well this is working out for you.

The main thing is that work and money is shared equally between you, and to me it seems that it is!

Dahlen Thu 27-Sep-12 16:18:25

If you're happy with the division of domestic labour and you're both left with similar amounts to spend on yourselves, then it's fair. Your friend is probably just hyper-sensitive to this because of her own experience, and possibly because of a little bit of latent sexism.

overmydeadbody Thu 27-Sep-12 16:21:56

You're not a mug.

It sounds like a very fair situation. I'm sure if the tables were turned your DH would do the same for me.

Sounds like you two have a stable supportive healthy marriage. Ignore your friend.

Ragwort Thu 27-Sep-12 16:25:03

Surely all income should be shared when you are married/living together - my DH would also be a mug then as I haven't worked for the last eleven years and certainly don't spend all my time cleaning and cooking grin.

You are a partnership, your friend is probably being sexist.

ethelb Thu 27-Sep-12 16:28:17

it sounds fine. your friend is being very rude.

Some women expect to be looked after and its odd tbh.

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