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living like paupers when DH earns £40k

(240 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread.

CloudiaPickle Tue 06-Jan-15 09:28:27

Up until six months ago DH worked away and lived in work accommodation six days per week. The children and I had to move when he started working closer to home and I had to give up my job, though I was also pregnant so this was going to happen anyway. I was only earning £10k and was managing to run the household as well as the dc and I having a good quality of life - trips away, theme parks etc. He was using his money to pay off debts from his first marriage.

Now we're all in the same house and I feel miserable. I'm not materialistic in the slightest but I hate feeling poor. I have child benefit for the dc ans DH gives me money for food shopping once per week and that's it. I need new bras since having our baby but can't buy them. He always turns the heating down/off. I have no money for trips for the kids and I. He has taken the car off the road because we supposedly can't afford for it to be repaired, which means a four mile round trip to school on foot with three young dc. He didn't buy them (or me) a single Christmas present. We need things for the house that are essential (a new back door, curtains etc)but he won't get them.

I just feel it's ridiculous that our outgoings are minimal (low rent, he has no more debt) and he earns four times what I was yet we now have a much worse quality of life. The dcs received some Christmas money and I was going to take them to the panto at the weekend with it when DH was working, he booked time off to come too but expected that his ticket was funded too!

I'm beginning to wish we were still living like we were, or even that I were single. Because of his job he can't be relied on for childcare day or night and because he earns a lot I can't get help with childcare. I was working as a TA and wanting to train as a teacher but will never be able to do that while married.

Am I being shallow for feeling miserable about money and considering leaving over it?

lemisscared Tue 06-Jan-15 09:33:33

its not about the money though. its about him using it to control you. i never have any money and its shit but that's because we have a low income. i wouldn't leave my dp because of that. however if i was in your shoes I'd be gone!

sebsmummy1 Tue 06-Jan-15 09:35:14

What is happening with his wages once bills are taken care of? Do you know?

stargirl1701 Tue 06-Jan-15 09:36:24

He sounds financially abusive.

ShatnersBassoon Tue 06-Jan-15 09:37:20

This sounds awful. Where does his salary go? Have you never had access to the family pot of money?

From a very practical point of view, get your landlord to replace the door.

wallypops Tue 06-Jan-15 09:39:06

This sounds unbearable. Is there any chance that you can see some kind of financial advisor together, do some proper financial planning, and get at least equal control of the finances? If the answer to any of those is no - time to go.

CloudiaPickle Tue 06-Jan-15 09:39:56

It doesn't control me, though. It's not like I ever went out with friends or anything, I used my money to organise things for the kids and I/all of us. Even the dc are seeing the connection between me not working and them having less (cutting back on activities etc) then if they comment DH starts the 'when mummy is working again...' line but I can't feasibly work and afford childcare.

Cabrinha Tue 06-Jan-15 09:40:00

I don't understand the change in income - were you officially living separately so claiming tax credits on top of the £10K? So you weren't getting ANY money from him?

If that's the case... go back to your old life. Leave him.

What you have is not a good marriage. All money should be pooled.

This is not about you being materialistic, it's about him being a mean, abusive, controlling no good.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 06-Jan-15 09:42:01

It's not unreasonable to be disgusted at living with a controlling miser. If he's not paying down debt any more and he's bringing home (rough calculation) £2500/month where does the money go? Is he squirreling it away? Spending it on himself? I'm assuming you have full access to all the bank accounts and statements?

CloudiaPickle Tue 06-Jan-15 09:43:09

No, I've never had access to it.

The door can't be replaced by the landlord as DH broke it.

I can just feel the resentment building as his family treat him like a hero for working and supporting us but realistically, we're just surviving thanks to him rather than thriving.

Blu Tue 06-Jan-15 09:43:17

You are married and everything in the partnership belongs to both of you. He has no business keeping hold of the money, and denying you any role in financial decision making, when it is the job of both of you, as a team, to make the decisions that affect the whole family.

Have you actually discussed this with him? Pointed out the effect of you moving and the loss of your job and independent income? The need for family money to BE family money? Does he know how short of money you are and how it makes you feel? Would he care? Is he caring in other ways?

It does sound as if he is being financially abusive and controlling - not to mention astoundingly self centred - wanting to use the children's Christmas money for a panto ticket for himself!!

You are anything but shallow - because as others have said, this is about your relationship and the way he treats you. He is not treating you with any respect, as his partner and family team-member.

Blu Tue 06-Jan-15 09:43:56

How did he break the door?

ShatnersBassoon Tue 06-Jan-15 09:44:02

Of course it's controlling you. You're not able to do what you'd like to do.

CloudiaPickle Tue 06-Jan-15 09:44:32

No I wasn't getting tax credits. He contributed £100 a month when working away.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 06-Jan-15 09:44:32

"It doesn't control me, though"

Of course it's controlling you! Because he's keeping tight hold of the purse strings you can't buy a bra? You have to walk 4 miles to school and back? Does he buy himself clothes? Fund a car for himself?

Seems to me that previously you were expected to live on your low wage and he blew his on whatever he fancied. I wouldn't even be that certain he was paying off debts.

Do some digging.

Blu Tue 06-Jan-15 09:45:04

It's horrible, and abusive, IMO, to say 'when mummy is working again' to the kids. Totally the wrong message to give them, and he is blaming you.

Red flags in abundance here.

ravenmum Tue 06-Jan-15 09:45:21

Exactly, it's not about the money. Do you have much contact with his family? Do they corroborate his story about having debts "from his first marriage"? Why does he claim he was in debt?

HoggleHoggle Tue 06-Jan-15 09:45:26

Am I reading correctly that your children got no Christmas presents? Or they did, but you had to use 'your' money to buy them?

IMO all wages are family money and it shouldn't be split. I agree discussions should be had about what the money should be spent on etc but equally each party should be allowed to have their own autonomy too.

I'm currently a SAHM so granted I don't buy as many clothes etc as I did when I was working because it somehow just doesn't feel right, however I would never feel like I couldn't buy the odd thing. And stuff like bras are essential!

Why isn't he allowing money to be spent on the children?

Do you have access to the wage bank account, ie do you know where his wages are actually going? Is he trying to build up family savings for example? £40,000 is a decent salary and I can't understand where it's going if you don't do anything, don't use a car etc. I live on pretty much the same and we're by no means rolling in money but that covers all bills plus a little extra for days out etc. We have a bit of leeway for 'living'.

From what you've said I personally think he sounds mean with money and quite controlling.

Madamnit Tue 06-Jan-15 09:45:40

My husband earns about the same as yours, I earn 8k per year (weekends so no childcare costs)

All money is paid into one account. Once everything is paid: Mortgage, bills, cc, petrol, food then we split the difference equally between us.

You need to have a chat

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 06-Jan-15 09:45:55

"No, I've never had access to it. "

This is quite wrong. As a wife you're meant to be an equal partner. That means equal knowledge of all financial matters. If you're planning to split from him - and no one would blame you - it's going to help you to get hold of his bank statements.

CloudiaPickle Tue 06-Jan-15 09:47:27

He knows I'm particularly pissed off about the car because it's changed the dcs life dramatically as I can't get them to activities/parties etc. He apologizes but doesn't offer resolution.

HoggleHoggle Tue 06-Jan-15 09:48:11

Sorry, x post.

It is disgusting that you have no access to the bank account. What the hell?

Honestly, he sounds really quite awful. And he shouldn't be saying things like that to the children. You're not a fecking slave.

You need to find out where the fuck his wages are going.

Hobbitwife001 Tue 06-Jan-15 09:48:32

Do you not have a joint account? You can go into the bank and request statements so you can actually see where the money is going, or does he have total financial control? Obviously on his income you should be able to live quite comfortably, has he always been so mean with money? Why can you not discuss it openly with him? I would not be prepared to be so controlled in this way, take care.

ShatnersBassoon Tue 06-Jan-15 09:48:33

He's a selfish prick who resents you and his children spending anything that he earns. What sort of a man is happy to provide just enough, then tuck the extra money away for god knows what?

Madamnit Tue 06-Jan-15 09:49:36

It sounds though he is making you live like paupers but living the life he has becomes accustomed to living like a single man!

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