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New beginnings?

(30 Posts)
Lucy4711 Sat 27-Dec-14 18:50:00

After 23 years of marriage, my husband has decided he's fed up of 'subsidising' me. He earns a lot more than I do, and he's decided if I want to live in the manner to which I have become accustomed, I have to earn more money. I'm in my mid fifties, and work as an administrator. My earning potential is severely limited. He has made me feel like a parasite. I work 25 hours per week, but I also do EVERYTHING else. He wants for nothing, and doesn't lift a finger around the house. I make sure he has the whole of his weekend as 'free time' for him to do as he wishes. He has succeeded in making me feel like a live in cleaner/housekeeper. I think we're at a crossroads. I can't compete with his earnings, and feel this is mean of him to make me feel like a sponge. I had no idea he resented me so much for not having the same earning power as him. Suddenly, I'm beginning to question if we have a future together. Has anyone else encountered this 'unbalanced income' dilemma?

Wrapdress Sat 27-Dec-14 19:14:48

This was one of the many causes of my parents' divorce after 20+ years of marriage. He was also fed up of "subsidizing" me and my brother. Turns out, he needed to shift his money to his OW and her three children.

Cabrinha Sat 27-Dec-14 19:40:53

You poor thing, I don't want to put the boot in, but I had the same thought as Wrapdress.
If he's never expressed an issue before, I think he may be inventing reasons to blame you for the fact he is having / is having thoughts about having an affair.
Be on your guard sad
Was your working part time a family decision because of children?

MiniTheMinxLovesMinxPies Sat 27-Dec-14 19:43:01

Hand him a backdated invoice for all the childcare, laundry, cooking and cleaning. I think you will find that you have saved him a fortune wink

magoria Sat 27-Dec-14 19:44:21

So now you invoice him for cooking, clothes washing, 50% of child care over the years, all house administration you have been doing?

Yes?

IUsedToUseMyHands Sat 27-Dec-14 19:49:15

Yes and in the end, despite my getting myself into loads of debt trying to make up for my burdensome nature, and nearly killing myself trying to make it up to him in every other way, he decided he was entitled to help himself to £6.5k of secret purchasing on my credit card to even things out while I was on maternity leave. He was having an affair as well as it happens. It was an excellent way of controlling me and subsidising his extravagent lifestyle at the same time. I'm still paying off the debt now.

Lucy4711 Sat 27-Dec-14 19:56:00

We were never blessed with children, so I have no ammo there. I keep a clean and tidy home for him to come back to. All his laundry, shopping, cooking, cleaning - I do. Hence me feeling like a glorified cleaner.
My worst fear is he has someone else. I'd be gutted, but I'd live. Saying that, I feel sick at the thought. If he really does just want to keep all his lovely money, he can keep it. Well, half of it, anyway. I think I'm right in thinking I'd be entitled to some of his pension pot, no?

heyday Sat 27-Dec-14 20:00:29

It's difficult to know if you genuinely have a future together. If he resents subsidising you, the cheeky sod, then you must now stop running around after him like a blue arse fly.
Not sure if you do have an extravagant lifestyle but if so then you better start looking to make economies as he may well be thinking of cutting off whatever allowance or lifestyle he believes he is providing you with.
Be careful with your wages and start putting some money away now to give you a little financial protection in the future.
When younger, I gave up my fairly well paid job to care for our three very young children and run the house. It was only a few years later that DP (now ex) told me he resented every penny he gave me in housekeeping (to fund the shopping and kids clothes, expenses predominantly). I think it goes to show how the one who stays at home to be carer or home maker or who earns less is often very un valued and can quite easily be resented by the one who thinks they have more value because they get paid for their labour.

Cabrinha Sat 27-Dec-14 20:00:44

Nothing is black and white in English law, but it is accepted that you start off negotiating from 50/50 all assets and debt. And yes, his pension fund is included, as is yours.

I know people get criticised for jumping in with "leave him". But something isn't right here. I really think you should talk to a solicitor, just understand your position. You will feel more confident if you do.

Hope for the best but plan for the worst.

MrsPepperMintonCandyCane Sat 27-Dec-14 20:03:37

If he won't subsidise you I'd be write a list of chores that he must do and let him cook and wash for himself. A fair split works both ways b

gamerchick Sat 27-Dec-14 20:06:27

I agree.. invoice him and stop doing all the running around.

Sounds like he wants out though or something else is going on.

I'm sorry man.

AnyFucker Sat 27-Dec-14 20:09:28

Lucy, I think you should go and get some legal advice about where you stand financially in the event of a split

forewarned is forearmed as they say

Lucy4711 Sat 27-Dec-14 20:29:53

Thanks to all for the advice. I think I had already decided to get some legal advice in the New Year. I'm not an extravagant person, but haven't had to worry about money for a long time. We have four months left on the mortgage, so were looking forward to being mortgage free. Maybe that's the catalyst to all this, who knows? We started life together in a one bedroomed flat, and now have a beautiful home in the country. To get where we are, we have both worked hard, doing two jobs each for a while. I have never taken for granted how 'lucky' we are. Funny, the harder we worked, the 'luckier' we became.

Cabrinha Sat 27-Dec-14 20:46:38

My gut feel is pretty negative towards him.

But you know, although the income difference wouldn't bother me, honestly - I might feel resentful if I worked full time and my partner part time. I know you do everything else - but two people, how much really is that?

Have you discussed retirement yet? What age you want to stop?

Dowser Sat 27-Dec-14 20:55:11

Gut feeling....it's the beginning of something bad about to happen.

Cos, I've been there and had that conversation.

Start protecting yourself.

IUsedToUseMyHands Sat 27-Dec-14 20:55:39

How do you arrange your finances OP? Do you each contribute in proportion to what you earn to the household expenses? Do you have a similar amount of spending money?

Lucy4711 Sat 27-Dec-14 21:08:18

Cabrinha, thanks for your reply. If I worked full time, my salary still wouldn't come anywhere near his. I know there are only the two of us, but the house is large and requires a LOT of cleaning. I don't have OCD, but if the house isn't spotless when he gets home, he accuses me of sitting on my backside all day. On the days he works from home, if I stop for a coffee and hear him come downstairs, I put my coffee down and 'jump to'. I also do all the painting and decorating to avoid paying someone to do a job we can do ourselves. Maybe I have been a bit spoiled, but as stated, I never take it for granted. I'd be interested to know if there are others in the same situation, where pay ratio is unbalanced, and how they manage it. Unless I can match his salary (unlikely) I fear there can be no future for us together. :-(

TheSilveryPussycat Sat 27-Dec-14 21:17:05

Sounds like you are already walking on eggshells around him. It doesn't have to go on being like this.

Cabrinha Sat 27-Dec-14 21:19:55

Oh love. You said you had no idea he resented you this much. But this isn't out of the blue. Not from what you've described about his previous accusation of you sitting around.

You could go full time and expect him to do half the non-paid-work stuff. But I suspect you KNOW your marriage wouldn't survive that.

Sounds to me like he doesn't want you to equal his pay. What he wants, is to bully you.

Lucy4711 Sat 27-Dec-14 21:20:56

Iusedtousemyhands: we have a joint account and everything comes out of that. He can do whatever he likes, car track days, ski-ing holidays with his Brother in law, flash cars, expensive watches, whatever he wants. As far as I'm concerned, he's earned it, he can do all those things. He likes to eat out at weekends, fine. I don't have a holiday with my friends, as I feel I can't justify it as I don't earn as much as him. It's funny, but writing it all down, as here, I can see the writing's on the wall. It would be sad to think our marriage started with no money, and now it's ending because of money.

Cabrinha Sat 27-Dec-14 21:23:39

Btw, not a marriage... But my boyfriend earns half what I do. I couldn't care less.
He works every bit as hard, I just happen to do something that pays better.

I really do think you need to follow through your legal advice plans. And be wary. And please - stop jumping when he comes downstairs angry

Cabrinha Sat 27-Dec-14 21:24:49

It. Is. Not. Ending. Because. Of. Money.

It's ending cos he's being a bully to you.

Most couples have different incomes, no?

Cabrinha Sat 27-Dec-14 21:28:47

I expect if you earned more than him, he'd find an issue with it. Or if you earned the same but went out too often or... whatever. There'd be something. I know it sounds a big leap, but I'm sorry - the number of times posters start with a issue and come back later to say "yep, he was having an affair" is too frequent for me not to considerate here.
He's making you the bad guy.

MiniTheMinxLovesMinxPies Sat 27-Dec-14 21:44:57

Is this problem new or has he mentioned it before?

I think he is trying to legitimise something he is doing. For some reason he has reached this conclusion suddenly after years of understanding? I think age and nearing retirement, realising the mortgage is nearly paid off, reflecting on what others his age have and what they have achieved or what their wives do, is pushing him to re-evaluate his lot in life. These silly men often then justify to themselves why they deserve a younger model, a crazy new hobby, expensive new car... so I suspect that more of this will follow.

AnyFucker Sat 27-Dec-14 21:45:55

You ask if we know anyone in the same situation as you

yes, and she is also in an abusive relationship

treated little better than a domestic appliance with a vagina sad

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