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Marriage and Money

(72 Posts)
tummyfull Wed 24-Apr-13 14:39:38

How does it work in your relationship when the DH/BF earns and you stay at home? Is it shared equally? Do you spend as you wish?

We live overseas so no bank account for me. DH earns, I have to ask when I every time I need money. I never get what I want, or how much I actually need. I am not high maintenance but never seem to have enough for what I want/need. I don't do anything really for myself but at times I like to go for a coffee or lunch - once a month sometimes, if that. I am not that good with money so it may just be me.

I am just so confused because I will ask for money for something, DH will give me a look or just go silent. The minute I see his look I say okay no problem, I won't do xyz or buy xyz and then he says no, it's okay, you can spend it. Of course I don't do it.

I feel a bit trapped as I don't really know where I can and can not spend money. Sometimes we seem to have money for really great holidays, at other times we don't have enough for me to go to the doctor's. I feel the only way I can justify spending is when it comes to the children. Not really for myself.

He tells me he gives me money every time he has some (he runs his own business which is very capital intensive). I don't doubt that but how long can this go on. I know I am being completely ungrateful and sound very spoilt but living like this for the past 5 years has really got to me.

Apologies if I am rambling (and sound slightly childish) but I am really struggling with so many feelings, the money aspect being one of them. I just want to know how it works with others.

Wibblypiglikesbananas Fri 26-Apr-13 21:41:18

And I forgot - no access to medical care is an absolute no no. Your husband refuses to fund your medical treatment, to allow you to go to the Dr's?! That alone would have me looking for a divorce lawyer.

Wibblypiglikesbananas Fri 26-Apr-13 21:39:23

I am worried for you. You seem so absolutely stuck. How did you end up with this man? What was it like before you married? I would be asking your parents to help you move away and start afresh. You do not have an equal partnership with this man and the longer this goes on, the lower your self esteem will become. Well done for recognising that all is not well here.

FWIW, I am a SAHM. DH's salary goes into our joint bank account and then once bills etc are covered, we each have some fun money each month, eg for clothes or haircuts or football. I have full access to everything, online accounts, cash cards, cheque books and we trust each other absolutely not to overspend. I would never consult him or have to ask for money for small purchases, though we would discuss bigger things like a car or holiday.

Good luck.

Squitten Fri 26-Apr-13 20:24:14

I'm a SAHM and DH earns the money. He gets paid into his own account and then puts money to cover the household expenses (bills & food) each month into our joint account and then another sum into my personal account for me to spend as I like. Any excess goes into the joint account each month as savings. My DH never even bothered activating his joint account card and I set up all the online banking so I manage that account and DH trusts me to look after it. He sees the paper statements each month so he knows what's in there but I'm definitely the money manager.

I would absolutely demand financial access and clarity. You should not have to beg for money like a servant! To me, it sounds like he's trying to keep you from seeing something. Your cash flow is obviously somewhat erratic if you can afford holidays one minute but not a doctor the next.

I would be telling him that I will not be treated like a (badly!) paid employee and it's either financial access or we're done. You can't live like that.

Lavenderhoney Fri 26-Apr-13 20:16:50

I suppose you have to think if its a short term problem or a long term. If his loyalties are to his extended family, then you have to accept all this money saving is for their benefit.

Ask him what the long term plans are, re change and future earnings, his immediate family money and provision of wills, accumulation of immediate family wealth, and see what he says. Then you can decide if you are comfortable with your future, or if you would prefer to be more independent in the UK, or putting everything in the pot for the extended family.

tummyfull Fri 26-Apr-13 19:51:08

DH can justify things because it is his family but to me it does fee like slave labour - well put Lavenderhoney!

I do not have to spend any time with the inlaws, if I don't want to. They are not controlling at all. I do as I please.

Cory, I always feel DH has never worried about how I feel. It is not something that even crosses his mind. It really hurts....

cory Fri 26-Apr-13 07:53:12

For me it's very simple: somebody who cares about you is going to want you to be at least as comfortable as he is himself.

This doesn't just mean buying the same amount of stuff, but enjoying equal comforts in the fields of control and decision making. It doesn't matter if he never buys a coffee when he's out: as long as he has control and insight into family finances and you don't, that is a comfort that he is denying you and hogging for himself.

Lavenderhoney Fri 26-Apr-13 04:41:58

yes, I can see how it would appeal to keep all the money in the family, however your DH has his own family! If you have been there a while, do you think he sees himself as in his home family first?

Just for an idea - get him to do you a family tree for fun or quickly write down everyone in his family's first name. and see if you and the dc are on this list.

if you are married you are in the family, whether they or he like it or not, and that means you have to have access to see what's going on and a say, plus spend it!! Is his DM or DF very controlling? and untrusting of spouses?

and I still think if you are staying long term then him always having an empty bank account, renting a home owned by his family, working for his family, no pension, seems more like slave labour to me!

it leaves you and your dc in a precarious position now (death, divorce you or him leaving) and even in the future as you have no assets to leave your dc - what are you all working for? whats the plan? what if your dc don't want to go into the family business? do they get a lump sum equivalent to their df contribution?

I hope your in laws and their gc like you- if you outlive your dh you might be very reliant on them when aged.

do you have to spend all your spare time with them as well?

tummyfull Thu 25-Apr-13 15:38:44

StrangeGlue, I think he makes a judgement because there is no money. So he justifies because of that. In the UK everything was joint but the longer we seem to be here, the more I feel we've adopted the family norm of keeping the money in their family. The thing is I never signed up for this. It just seemed to gradually just have happened to me. I should have asked more questions along the way.

StrangeGlue Thu 25-Apr-13 15:15:36

Me and dh have a joint account and all money is joint regardless of who earns what. We both have access to all accounts but I do the financial management cause I like he and he's not fussed. We have isa in each name but that's still joint money not mine/his.

Each week we take out £50 each for random bits and £20 for dd. but that's a thing we do to keep an eye on what we're spending as a family.

We have a yearly amount which is the same to spend on clothes etc but somethings we each spend more on ie I'm do a course and we pay the fees from the account I don't have to save it from my £50 a week.

Basically we just talk about money, it's not taboo for us at all, and we talked a lot about how we'd do money before we got married.

Your dh isn't being reasonable and you need equal or at the very least sufficient access to money. It isn't right they he gets to make a judgement about your spending when his is presumably opaque to you.

Your going to need to talk this through as it clearly isnt working and tbh I think he sounds very controlling.

tummyfull Thu 25-Apr-13 14:38:40

DistanceCall, thank you. I can work on point a. But b, no way - the finances are so entangled with his family that there is no way I can get a look in. They also make sure that it stays that way.

With all of this going on, my DH regularly tells me that I am not supportive of him!

Well 5 years on and I don't mind being unsupportive. I'm tired of this now. I plan to be more assertive, find a job and make sure we get out of this place sooner than later!

DistanceCall Thu 25-Apr-13 14:19:09

I think it's a good idea that you get a job and your own money. But you should also bear two issues in mind in the short to medium term: (a) whether your husband trusts you and treats you like a partner in your marriage, or as a child; and (b) that your husband seems to be at least financially entangled with his family, which really isn't a good idea in the long run.

Good luck!

tummyfull Thu 25-Apr-13 11:51:56

Thank you for all the replies. It really helps as I was always thinking I am the unreasonable, non supportive wife.

Just to answer a few questions asked above- everything I'm the UK is jointly owned. Nothing here is, it's all in the company name, which is owned by the family. Yes, his family is all British. I'm the one who isn't originally British! My parents would support regardless of what I wanted to do- leave or stay. But I don't want to leave. I love my DH and wants things to work. But I want him to treat me like an equal partner, not as a child. I will look for work here, just part time. I need to as the business is struggling at the moment-or more like for the past 5 years!

GilmoursPillow Thu 25-Apr-13 05:43:53

Do you thinks he's deeply in debt and doesn't want you to realise the full extent?

kittybiscuits Thu 25-Apr-13 04:40:22

Hi OP, if there is no money then he should be happy to give you access to the accounts to confirm this. What you are describing is textbook financial abuse. Denying what he has said is also gaslighting. I feel worried for you and strongly urge you to talk to someone outside your husband's family so you can start to understand what is happening here and take steps to addres it. I would also suggest you seek legal advice re your finances/assets as it appears he has manoevred you into a vulnerable position here.

Springdiva Thu 25-Apr-13 04:20:10

Did you say that you have stuff in the UK in joint names? Is it still there and safe? I would be worried about being left high and dry if something happened to DH or the company.

Lavenderhoney Thu 25-Apr-13 03:43:04

Do you believe him? Or is it an excuse? Whether the account is empty or not, it can still be joint! Although one can have many accounts, joint or otherwise.

If you work f/t will he do childcare or pay for someone? What happens if a child is ill? The money you earn - will that be put into his account or will you open your own? And will he then lessen his contribution.

Also, the money you earn, is that for you to support yourself and the children? Does his contribution lessen?

When you say family, you mean his family don't you? Do you include yourself in that? It concerns me they own everything. You are very vulnerable should anything happen. Are all women in his family treated like this? Are they Brits?

Great your family would support you 100%, do you mean if you leave? Is that something you have been thinking of?

tummyfull Wed 24-Apr-13 22:09:57

The company belongs to the family, everything is in the company name. I asked DH tonight that he should make a joint account holder. He said he has no money in the account as there is no money at all at the moment. I then told him, fine then'll have to look for work as it's too difficult for me to live like this.

My parents would support me a 100%. He knows that.

Lavenderhoney Wed 24-Apr-13 20:12:58

Aside from your current issues with him, where are you living? Because if nothing is in your name and something happens to him, depending on the law in the country you are in, say the Middle East, it will not be automatically you that gets anything.

Plus you won't be able to withdraw any money to live whilst court cases are being held to determine who should inheirit ( eldest male) And custody of the dc. Many expats for that reason sweep all funds offshore or back to the UK into a joint account and have a will which is not subject to local laws and customs. Same with the company, who gets it if anything happens to him?

Are you doing all the housework, cooking etc? Have you shown him what you spend and what you need to survive and be happy?

It doesn't seem fair to me, plus his family seem very involved with his finances. Can you work? Would you get a better job in the UK? Have you said its not how you want to live for life?

Coming back to the UK- would your parents pay and you stay with them? Maybe he is scared you won't come back! smile

tomatoplantproject Wed 24-Apr-13 19:58:34

How can you transfer money by accident? And if you do transfer money between accounts what's the big deal? It's all the same pot, surely, just split out in different ways.

It sounds as if he's making lots of excuses for not being completely transparent - which means he doesn't respect you enough to trust you. It's no life to live and no example to set your dcs.

KeepCoolCalmAndCollected Wed 24-Apr-13 19:55:27

Where you say:
MrsTerry, my DH justifies all this by saying that he has his own business. He doesn't get a set salary.

Snap, the same situation as me and my DH. However, I have full access to our bank accounts which are all joint.

There is no pulling rank (because I am a sahm) or quibbling about the balance.

tummyfull Wed 24-Apr-13 19:38:49

Ouch. But you are right, I am idiot for letting this go on for so long.

DistanceCall Wed 24-Apr-13 19:28:31

Yes, he does. Because you let him.

Don't mean to be harsh, because you've been obviously trampled on for a long time. But this is seriously NOT A NORMAL situation.

Sort this out or get out. And fast.

tummyfull Wed 24-Apr-13 19:21:33

Also, we have joint accounts but DH does not want me to have online access to our accounts, ie online banking. He says if I need to check stuff I should just check paper statements. This was when we lived in the UK. He says he doesn't want me to transfer money between the accounts 'by accident'. He really does take me for an idiot.

tummyfull Wed 24-Apr-13 19:19:33

I think how DH justifies everything is by saying that when he has money he gives it to me and when he doesn't he can't. How long can I accept this though - it's been 5 years. I don't have the patience. BIL's wife says she's been in this situation for 9/10 years. That's how long they have been together. She eventually started working because there was no other option. We own everything jointly in the UK, not out here though.

GilmoursPillow Wed 24-Apr-13 18:31:40

When I gave up working it took quite a bit of time for us to settle down.

when we moved abroad a joint account was our only option and DH doesn't question what I spend. I have my own c/c and atm card plus I have his log-in as well as my own for online banking.

I'd be pretty upset if he wasn't happy for us to share the finances.

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