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Is this odd behaviour?

(23 Posts)
ErnieAndBernie Wed 31-Aug-16 13:45:38

Been with H for 18 years, have 2 DC aged 4 and 8. We've been having a lot of problems in our relationship mainly in terms of how finances are dealt with. We are married, I work part time from home on a low wage but convenient job, approx 6.5k a year. We have no local family to help. This in turn enables him to work on his career which involves every day being a very long day (12 to 15 hours a day is not unusual) and lots of travel. He earns around 70k a year. He has, as far as I am aware, savings of an uncertain amount and a pension pot for somewhere between 60 and 75k. I have neither and no way to build them up. He pays the bills and pays for day to day bits and pieces. We have a 'nice life' on the outside. He transfers enough to pay for family food and kindergarten fees every month, I have to cover all else from my salary. If I can't afford something I have to ask him for it. He has form for buying large household items like sofas and tables without asking me what I think about it. I've brought this up time and time again and nothing ever changes. To the point where we are now having counselling and are on the verge of separating. This morning in our session we were talking about finances and how and why it is like it is. He got massively defensive, way more than I ever expected. He really really does not want to share. Our homework this week is to sit down for no longer than 20 minutes and discuss and list what we each have. He has agreed to do this but the resistance in his body language was very noticeable. He says its because he's scared to lose control of it but other than fearing 'it will then be gone' he's not able to give any other good reason. I'm beginning to feel that after such a long time I really don't know him at all. He has never been an emotional person, but today was the first time I've seen him tense up quite like that. I don't know what to think.

user1472636564 Wed 31-Aug-16 13:58:07

He might be embarrassed if he's messed up his own finances?

HuskyLover1 Wed 31-Aug-16 14:01:20

You should be sharing your money. The only reason you can't earn the same as him, is because you are at home caring for HIS children!

When you split (if), get a proper separation agreement drawn up by a Sol. You are entitled to half his Pension (in cash) and you can get more cash for "Economic Recompense", because your career took a back seat for kids, and his didn't.

Unfortunately, he will most likely try to screw you for every penny. Don't allow it. Lawyer up.

TheNaze73 Wed 31-Aug-16 14:08:10

Why has it taken you so long to wake up to this OP? Was this not discussed before you married?
I'd discuss with a lawyer, as his behaviour sounds financially abusive & he sounds very controlling

PenelopePitstop24 Wed 31-Aug-16 14:16:49

This sounds like a control issue. Not acceptable behavior whatsoever.
Has he always been this way? From day 1?

ErnieAndBernie Wed 31-Aug-16 14:22:58

Before the kids were born I was on a decent salary (about 30k 9 years ago) so we just split bills etc and had our own money. Since the kids were born, it has been brought up numerous times by me, resulting now in counselling as it was the last straw. Each time he would say yes we'll sort it then make excuses for not actually doing it. And time goes on and on. And now i'm here and suddenly I'm realising how not-normal our relationship has turned out to be.

Mybeardeddragonjustdied2016 Wed 31-Aug-16 14:23:31

Simple really
He doesn't want you to know what you would be entitled to if you split up.

springydaffs Wed 31-Aug-16 14:33:27

These things evolve, Naze. I don't think people have any idea this sort of thing could come about and probably didn't know such a thing as discussing this issue 18 years ago. I don't think it helps to berate the op that she 'should' have had this sorted at the outset.

Have a look at financial abuse, op. He may not be a bona fide controller as he is eg prepared to go to counselling. But he's certainly in the ballpark.

TheNaze73 Wed 31-Aug-16 14:38:43

Hi springy and indeed OP. Not intending in any way to berate. Think I was just staggered by the DH. Stand corrected if it came across like that

springydaffs Wed 31-Aug-16 14:39:24

Google financial abuse/economic abuse

ImperialBlether Wed 31-Aug-16 14:42:36

You need to get out. The older you get, the more important it is to have the money side of things clear and sorted - he will keep you in poverty and you won't have a clue what he's got.

If you Google "Entitled to Calculator" you can enter all your details and see what tax credits etc you'd be entitled to. Then look up child support and see what he'd have to pay you. (Bear in mind you might only know an out of date salary for him.) Note, your child support from him will not affect your tax credits.

ErnieAndBernie Wed 31-Aug-16 14:43:21

Thanks springdaffs I will take a look.

Runoutoftime16 Wed 31-Aug-16 14:46:16

I'm playing devils advocate here (I have sympathy for the situation). But if this was the other way round surely everyone would be saying if the kids are school age he should be working full time and so on? Am I wrong? Please explain if I am?

Whatabloodyidiot1 Wed 31-Aug-16 14:50:00

He can be as secretive as he likes, he can keep 'his' money if that's what he wants to do, but the fact of the matter is, it all comes under the umbrella of 'marital assets' so if you were to split you'd get half of it anyway (as a starting point) you could remind of this if he carries on being an arsehole.....

Whatabloodyidiot1 Wed 31-Aug-16 14:51:53

Re reading, it sounds like he values his money and his control over it more than the marriage.

ErnieAndBernie Wed 31-Aug-16 14:52:22

Run one child is in kg the other at school. I do work but freelance from home as I can do these hours whilst kids at daycare. I don't live in UK and daycare here finishes by 4.30 latest and there is not much in the way of summer camps. Husband is usually working late or away and usually won't book holiday for himself unless we are going away so I have to be available for all drop offs and pick ups and school holidays. DC1 finished school at the end of june for the summer, dc2 doesn't go back till this week. I don't know any other job that would let me take 2 months of each summer then half terms and christmas etc. All our families are back in the UK hence no family help. Unfortunately my boss cannot afford to up my hours at the moment hence the low salary.

Naicehamshop Wed 31-Aug-16 14:57:17

I have a friend whose DH sounds very similar to yours, but who has been married for over 30 years. I think she has let it go on for so long because at first she was earning reasonable money of her own, but now as she gets older she really needs to know what their financial situation is. When she tries to ask him about it he gets really angry (I have witnessed a bit of this).
This becomes frightening as you get older. Please don't let your situation get as bad. sad

Runoutoftime16 Wed 31-Aug-16 14:57:19

I have juggled it with part-time nannies for the days/times they are off but where you are it might be more difficult I don't know?

ErnieAndBernie Wed 31-Aug-16 15:36:31

run even if I could work more do you not think h's behaviour odd? I believe in sharing with a partner as you should both be equal but this is so off kilter?

Whatabloodyidiot1 Wed 31-Aug-16 15:50:13

For perspective ernie, I don't work, have 2 children the same age as yours, gave up my career to be at home with them.
My husband earns a 6 figure salary and we have completely transparent finances, everything is joint, everything is shared, there is no 'my money, your money'
My contribution to our family is equal to his even though there is no financial reward for my input. I would never dream of 'asking' my DH for money, it's humiliating, you should feel valued and appreciated for your work at home, after all it's that that's helped him squirrel away all his money and create himself a nice little best egg.

ErnieAndBernie Wed 31-Aug-16 15:53:48

If I emailed a cover note to a solicitor do you think they could offer some advice? Or maybe a free half hour by phone or skype?

overthehillandroundthemountain Wed 31-Aug-16 16:11:38

Hi Ernie,
You have my sympathies. I am going through the same, and in fact, we are going to discuss it this evening after yet another incident where it feels as though the rug has been shaken from under my feet.

I work full time and earn a fair whack, but as my husb is a lot older (>10 years) and works in a profession earning far more than I do (over triple). As he did not take maternity leave and does not do school runs or concerts (mostly), my earnings have not had the chance to increase at the same rate as his. He pays all the house stuff, I pay school fees. We started off like you, closer as equals. Our set up is grossly unfair, as school fees usually outweigh my earnings and his outgoings. Not just that, but I have to ask him to chip in every term, and it's humiliating.

This goes on to other financial points in our lives. There is little transparency. I don't know how much he earns now, how much will earn when he retires, which could be soon - he has not shared his life plans so I don't know. There is little clarity. He said one thing in counselling and tells me another. There are savings pots that I don't know about. You could argue, equally, that I have 'secret' savings, bits of debt, bank accounts, etc. that he doesn't know about. But it has been as a consequence of his behaviours.

PLEASE see a solicitor. A cover note won't do it. Get your half hour. I saw someone who drafted the whole divorce letter and that scared me off. There are many shades of separation.

Please get yourSELF some single counselling, too. My situation has borne out of my low self-esteem, my desire to please others and my need for self-sufficiency. I am not blaming myself for my marital problems (it takes two to tango) rather, I am taking this as an opportunity for self-development and self-knowledge.

At the root of money problems are the value of 'worth'. Not just in material terms, but in self-worth, too.

Good luck, OP. flowers

overthehillandroundthemountain Wed 31-Aug-16 16:15:21

Ernie - some more. This is not 'odd' behaviour, but it is one demonstration of how some men seem to seek an inequality. I believe that my DH likes it that there is this disparity. Whilst he also likes showing off about his 'working wife' and claims to be proud of me, he does like to 'keep me in the kitchen' (my words, not his). He plays the role of the big brother very well. He enjoys being the golden boy to whom everyone looks up. He would like to be needed - more, if anything.

Counselling has helped me to reflect upon why I 'chose' him. Some of these traits were very appealing to my intimacy-resisting self. Here was a relatively reliable man, who was not going to hurt me, in fact would stay out of my way a great deal, and just leave me to get on with it, as long as he was getting on with his career.

We have been living our lives in parallel, hence the separate finances.

The problem is that the rope I took to haul myself out, is ultimately the same rope that has hung me.

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