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AIBU or IHBU about how to 'contribute financially'?

(53 Posts)
Butterflyface Fri 31-Oct-14 09:45:48

Basically, since I met DH, we've always just thrown all the money into the pot, paid the bills from whichever account, and we've never had much left over to even really think about. To start with, I was working (full school hours), and we had tax credits and CHB for my two children. No maintenance (from prick XP) for ages. Then after I had DC3 with DH, I had a chronic illness develop so since then I've been financially reliant on him - I was working very pt from home, but money from that was negligible (but I still spent it all on food/stuff for the kids or the house). And we still had CTC & CHB. I couldn't claim ESA/IB/IS because DH's wages were too high, but we always had the approach that, being a couple, we just threw everything at the house, and didn't think about him having 'his' money, or me having 'mine. We always said that we didn't understand couples who did this, as it implied to us that they were always thinking about themselves as being separate people, and therefore always had a tiny piece of doubt that they would be staying in the relationship forever.
Roll on to this year, and finally, thankfully, I seem to have made a vast improvement health wise since the end of August. In early Sep, our financial situation changed so that we were going to be down by £500 odd a month. So, although I have huge doubts as to whether I'm actually physically up to having a job, I've gone and got myself a FT office job. I've told Social Services this, and am expecting a reassessment of my direct Payments, and am expecting them to say that I will need to pay for my 10 hours of care a week. Completely fair.
I've budgeted for paying CSA and CHB for my two older children, and so am going through carefully the budget, allowing for a second car, child care for when DH has to work away from home etc.
So, DH says that he wants me to pay for half the bills. While this seems fair, he earns twice what I do, so he'll be left with ten times more than I will at the end of the month. Apart from anything else, I'm really sad that he wants 'his' share and 'my' share - I had seen it all as one big smelting pot from which we both just shared at the end. I have absolutely no problem with paying a fair share towards the bills, I just feel it should be proportionate - 2/3 to 1/3. But it's also thrown up issues like - what do we do about apportioning childcare when it's for him going away that we'll need it? (He works from home, so will be doing all the school runs.)
I just feel a bit sad that he obviously doesn't think that I've contributed either financially or 'in kind' over the last 7 years. And I do actually feel that he now has the attitude that our relationship isn't going to last forever. He says he just wants me to pay some money to him 'to take the pressure off his bank account', but it's my account that's in the minuses at the moment while we bridge the gap between losing the money and me earning some. I was the one who got the loan to help us get 2 new cars (our old one got condemned at it's MOT), and I'm also upset that we're having 'separate' cars, where he pays for his travel and I pay for mine (even though his travel is more expensive than mine). It's not about the amounts of money, it's about the psychology behind it.
Please someone tell me I'm not being the shit one about this, but I just don't know. I know his family probably think I've just been sponging off him all these years, but they obviously don't see what contributions I've made (although they've been state-paid ones, and my meagre earnings, iyswim.)

Butterflyface Fri 31-Oct-14 09:46:09

Sorry for the long post - didn't want to end up drip-feeding!

Fabulassie Fri 31-Oct-14 10:25:59

So is he saying that he no longer wants to just pool money? Have you asked him why he wants to change the entire way of looking at joint money and expenses?

MushroomSoup Fri 31-Oct-14 10:27:42

If you've always had the 'one pot' attitude to money, what's changed?

DH and I both work fulltime and all money goes into a joint account. We pay all bills, petrol, treats etc out of it.

When I was on maternity leave the system kept going. When he was unemployed for a while, it kept going. We made sacrifices for a while, as you do when there is less money coming in, but we never considered that we were each, individually, 'carrying the financial burden' in those difficult times.

EverythingsRunningAway Fri 31-Oct-14 10:33:39

I too would want to know what had changed.

And being too sick to work definitely does not count as "sponging" off your spouse.

It's right there in the vows.

cheerupandhaveaglassofwine Fri 31-Oct-14 10:38:25

He is being unreasonable

What's changed if it always went into one pot there is no need for any difference there will just be more left for treats if there is more going in

Joysmum Fri 31-Oct-14 10:41:53

I've never understood those people that put a proportion of their earnings into a bills account and so are left with unequal disposable income after bills have been paid.

In my marriage, me and my husband value each other equally, it's not relevant what our employers value us at confused

So we pay the bills and have equal claim to disposable income. I don't see how anything else is fair?

Butterflyface Fri 31-Oct-14 11:40:24

That's what I thought - I mean, I can completely see his POV that I need to contribute more to the house, and not just hang on to whatever is left over in my account once the bills that currently come out of my account are gone, but it was the way he said it - that I should pay 'half the rent and bills', as that's what his B & SIL do, (although they both earn a more equal wage, don't have any dc's, and quite frankly have a bit of a weird 'relationship', I think, where they both go travelling off in different countries for work for months at a time). I just didn't think that we had that kind of relationship. To answer those who said 'what's changed?' the only thing I can think of is that he said 'well, you haven't earnt a wage before now". (Despite my 4 hrs of pt home working equalling 15 hrs of min wage work, which is what I probably would have been earning outside of the house.) I just feel really sad that his entire attitude seems to be that I haven't contributed anything before now, and that 'he works bloody hard and pays for everything'.

Butterflyface Fri 31-Oct-14 11:41:24

I have a feeling that his brother might have suggested this to him, as he's said more than once 'That's what DB and DSIL do'.

Butterflyface Fri 31-Oct-14 11:44:01

He won't talk about it now anyway, as I went into the dining room (where he works) to talk about how much we'd have left over if I end up paying for my care and for child care when he has to go away, and he said 'Let's not talk about it now - it hasn't happened yet, and we just have to wait and see what happens'.

coppertop Fri 31-Oct-14 11:53:37

He doesn't get to drop a bombshell like this and then decide that he doesn't want to discuss it.

If he wants the situation to change he needs to sit down with you and go through absolutely everything. I suspect he doesn't want to see the reality of what his idea would mean for you both. If it's in black and white that he will have ten times more money than you will, it will be a lot harder for him to convince you that it's fair.

No discussion = No change. He doesn't get to make big unilateral decisions like this.

Butterflyface Fri 31-Oct-14 12:07:47

I think me going through budget forecasts makes him uncomfortable for some reason, and he won't show me his bank statements so I can work out what's coming out of his account - I'm only going on what he's told me. I trust him, so it's not that I think he's hiding anything, I just think it's a little weird and if he asked to see my online statements, I'd have no problem with it, because nearly everything that comes out of my account is for the house/kids. I might buy the odd iTunes album, but he always knows how much I spend on stuff.

Dropdeadfred2 Fri 31-Oct-14 12:12:36

he's hiding something for sure

CleanLinesSharpEdges Fri 31-Oct-14 12:19:18

Strange that he won't show you his bank statments - I'm guessing he either has a shitload of debt, or he earns a lot more, or he's working a lot less, than you think.

On a practical level, you certainly need some kind of 'joint' account that all of the bills come out of, rather than having some bills come out of yours and some out of his. You can then see exactly what all of your outgoings are each month, and work out who pays what into that joint account from there.

You should both have a similar amount of 'spending' money each at the end of the month, not necessarily exactly the same amount, but it wouldn't be fair if one of you had 500 pounds and the other had 100.

Butterflyface Fri 31-Oct-14 12:20:35

Really? I can't imagine my DH lying to me in a million years - he might not tell me how much he spends on guitar-making bits, but I can't imagine he's hiding a deep, dark secret.

PotsAndCambert Fri 31-Oct-14 12:21:01

Or he is feeling acutely uneasy because he knows that he has more spare cash than you/the system he is proposing isn't fair/he is moving the goal posts.

Butterflyface Fri 31-Oct-14 12:22:14

I think I have a pretty good idea of how much debt he has, and I know how much he earns, so I can't think of what he could be hiding. Maybe there's another card he doesn't want me to know about? :\

PotsAndCambert Fri 31-Oct-14 12:22:39

By the way I'm truly impressed that you are unwell enough to need 10hours of care but are still going to work full time!
Surely he should be taking that into account?

Butterflyface Fri 31-Oct-14 12:23:01

I'm quite relieved to know IANBU, so thanks, people!

ThinkIveBeenHacked Fri 31-Oct-14 12:24:11

I can't imagine my DH lying to me in a million years

No-one ever can, OP.

Butterflyface Fri 31-Oct-14 12:27:58

PAC, at the moment I have the 10 hrs of care paid for me by SS. I've rung them to tell them I have a job, and am waiting for them to get back to me, so I'm not sure at the moment whether we're going to have to pay for it or not. But yes, it's another potential bone of contention - is he going to expect me to pay for 'my' care out of 'my' wages, or is that an expense we'll share? And the same goes for child care when he has to work in London or abroad - does he think he's going to pay for it as it's an expense incurred by 'his' need to work away, or is it my expense because I will need the child care to cover the times I can't care for the children because I'm at work. Really the whole thing just seems a bit preposterous now, and I'm just getting really upset by it all. In one night, we've gone from being what I thought was a rock-solid couple to one that I can see falling apart really easily.

Butterflyface Fri 31-Oct-14 12:32:02

and sorry, I should also have said, that it might be the case that SS might reassess my needs and declare I shouldn't have anything, or that I might need more - who knows at this point? Either way, if I lose my DP's, we've said that we'll pay my PA's privately to continue what they've been doing, as I will need help with school runs, dinner, bath and bed, when DH is away, and there's no way the house will function without them regardless of whether I work FT or not.

Golferman Fri 31-Oct-14 12:37:23

I earn nearly three times my wife's salary. We have a joint account which all the bills come out of and we use the remainder to spend individually or in joint things like holidays, dinner , theatre etc. Neither unit us are precious about 'our' money and I'm happy to buy my wife a present or if she pays for her to have sometime away with friends etc.

Quitelikely Fri 31-Oct-14 12:42:45

OP can I ask how much more than you he earns or what the difference would be that he has to himself every month?

Quitelikely Fri 31-Oct-14 12:44:54

I mean if you have got plenty left over to enjoy then maybe that's the way he sees it?

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