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OK, so DH in spare room and we are not talking - help

(99 Posts)
greyday Sun 07-Sep-08 00:24:12

Sorry for long post. Background is have been with DC for 5 yrs, married for 2. Am currently 5m pg with DC1.

I work hard, full time. DH also works hard, full time but earns 4x what I do. We do not have what you would call an extravagant lifestyle, we go out relatively little, buy things carefully etc etc. DH pays mortgage, I pay bills. We both pay for extras such as takeaways or vets bills. DH will buy bigger things like furniture. I buy more groceries.

We are going on a break in 2 weeks to France. Today whilst out shopping, we are at the checkout in Boots with toiletries - my things, his things and joint things. I said "I'll just get my things out of the basket" and DH immediately has a go as to why I am not getting everything as he has paid for our (cheap) break and lots of other things in the house etc etc. This said loudly in front of all busy queue and checkout girl etc. Looking back I should have just paid for everything automatically but what I didn't realise is that DH had set me a test to see if I would pay for all his and our stuff too, as it turns out he is aggrieved that he pays more.

The argument has continued all the rest of the evening. Despite my trying to reason, it has gone out of all control and has ended up with him saying hurtfully that I could afford nothing if it wasn't for him. I have said back that his own mother could never make any substantial financial contribution of her own either, so if he's calling me, he's calling her too. This was enough to send him off in a fury.

It is true, he does pay for a lot more stuff but then he's always known that I pay what I can and also that I have no hope of matching his salary. I work very hard (two 12 hour days this week alone, involving long travel, despite being pg and feeling shitty I have not had a single day off sick so far for fear of being seen as a slacker). I am not a freeloader and am not a "footballer's wife" type either. On his wage we could afford a house more than twice the value and size of the one we're in, but I am just grateful to have a roof. Its true I couldn't afford a house on my own (maybe a little flat).

I'm not sure how to take it forward. This money matter seems to have got worse since I have become pg. The warning signs have been subtley there for a few months now. I have suggested he puts forward a money plan he would be more comfortable with but he always turns it around and says "No. You put forward a plan that's fair" (this in a sneery tone, not pleasant/positive).

He has to be reminded a lot that I am pg too, ie when I returned from said 12-hour day this week I had stopped to buy dinner on the way home despite being exhausted. I asked DH to put it in the oven and put some water on to boil and he reacted like Kevin the Teenager. I ended up shouting that not only was I pg, I had had a 12 hour day and still found time to remember/buy dinner so the least he could do was stick it in the oven.

I also do most of the cleaning because I can't contribute as much financially as him and in fact there wouldn't be a house to clean if it wasn't for him.

Rant over. Thanks for listening if you're still there.

Dragonbutter Sun 07-Sep-08 00:30:50

Hi greyday,
to me it's a bit odd that as a married couple you don't put all the money together in a joint account and use that (maybe keeping a bit back each for treats if there's enough to go around).

tbh it sounds like he's being a bit of an arse.

WinkyWinkola Sun 07-Sep-08 00:33:14

Well, he sounds just lovely!

Do you think he could be jealous about the baby?

Are you in a partnership where you share the burdens of housework and life or are you going to be made to feel like you constantly have to compensate for your lower salary? That's really going to keep you on your toes because all the extra graft you do won't be measurable or financially rewarded when you do it well.

So, how much extra work will you have to do before you're considered equal in this relationship regardless of your actual salary?

At one stage, I earned a bit more than DH. Then he got a job that saw him soar professionally and financially. We then divvied up our costs in terms of percentages of what I earned compared to him. So, you'd pay ¼ of what your DP does. That sounds fair to me.

After all, your DP should be grateful to have you, his partner, the mother of his child, in his life. You're hardly taking the piss and putting your feet up, are you? He needs to sort his priorities out. Personally, I'd never let someone like that pay for anything for me ever again including holidays because he'll never let you forget it.

pucca Sun 07-Sep-08 00:34:29

My dh earns much much more than me, i only work weekend mornings, he works full time, we have a joint account and everything is paid out of that account, it isn't his and mine - but ours!

Imo if 2 people are married and have/expecting children why on earth would the finances be seperate?

My auntie and uncle had seperate accounts, she paids some things, he paid others, it didn't work at all.

You are married, and having a child, not friends sharing a house!

frumpygrumpy Sun 07-Sep-08 00:36:07

I don't have joint accounts with my DP (despite being together donkeys years and having 3 children). We share. If he buys the Boots shopping, I'd buy lunch......that kind of thing.

Its a partnership, it should be free and easy sharing. It shouldn't come down to nitpicking over every little thing.

I'm sorry he can't see that. Where is his stress about it coming from?

3littlefrogs Sun 07-Sep-08 00:36:49

You poor thing, that sounds awful. Has he always been like this?

Fast forward a few years and ask yourself what will happen when you are buying food, clothes, school uniforms, toys, books, bedding, furniture etc for the dcs. Is he going to expect you to pay for half of all that too? What about music lessons, swimming lessons,school shoes,sports equipment?

He is your husband, he is the father of your child, and he has responsibilities. He should be stepping up to the line and taking care of you and providing for your future together as a family. He is treating you like the hired help, not a wife.

He sounds spoilt, selfish and very immature. He is also very controlling, and TBH I would be very concerned about how he will behave towards you and your dc when he or she arrives.

Do you have any family nearby, or any other support?

pinkteddy Sun 07-Sep-08 00:37:51

What is he going to do when you are on maternity leave and have little or no income coming in and he has to pay for everything? Or if you decide not to go back
to work? You have to sort this out now otherwise you are never going to be equals in this relationship.

3littlefrogs Sun 07-Sep-08 00:43:08

Dh earns a lot more than me, and for several years I was a SAHM. There was never any question that any income was our family income, no matter who earned it.

My contribution during those years was that I looked after the dcs and the home. Dh was at a difficult stage in his career and needed to work very long hours, and study. He appreciated the fact that my work in the home allowed him the time to do that.

Anifrangapani Sun 07-Sep-08 00:45:49

I am the primary earner in our house. Dh looks after the kids while I work. It is a partnership. If your dh is saying what is mine is mine and you can look after the kids (yours & his) add yourself another £1200 / month/ child onto your salary. Is it still 4 X..... if not then let him pay for childcare and you can then go out to work. It makes me so cross when people undervalue the cost of their offspring, and the contribution their partner makes to the finances.

I knoe I could not earn what I do without the support of my Dh

Anifrangapani Sun 07-Sep-08 00:47:13

that would be know smile

greyday Sun 07-Sep-08 00:48:19

Thanks for responding, it is appreciated.

We don't have a joint account, we talked about it vaguely then never did it. Our accounts and financial arrangements haven't changed from when we were boy/girlfriend in that respect. (maybe it's time they should).

Uncomfortably, if I were being honest, my DH is well aware that he is a "catch" financially (relatively, not talking ridiculous amounts here but he's more than comfortable). He comes from a very close-knit family who are protective of his finances. Being aware of this, also embarrassed by my own salary (it is fortunes to some I'm sure but by his family's and my family's standards I am not "well off" (judged by if I could afford my own house/decent two-bed flat, which I couldn't) I have steered clear of anything that could smack of "gold-digging", for example getting my name on the mortgage of the house we live in (never mind his other investment properties, or getting a joint account.

It has taken me years to scape together any kind of career and have only been successful in these last few years, so I'm earning now what he was earning 8 or so years ago - I'm behind. I feel like a poor relation to my family and now him. I didn't even want to go on this break - he insisted on having one. I ask for nothing because I hate suggesting something I know I can't afford to carry out. He goes ahead and buys it then winges afterwards.

3littlefrogs Sun 07-Sep-08 00:50:17

That has reminded me - when we were sorting out life insurance when we were expecting ds1, the insurance adviser told dh to make a list of all the jobs that would need to be done by someone else if anything happened to me. By the time we added up the cost of housekeeping and childcare full time, it came to around £40K a year - and that was 20 years ago. I remind dh of this occasionally. grin

3littlefrogs Sun 07-Sep-08 00:58:36

Greyday - you sound like a friend of mine. Her h (not dh) was exactly like yours sounds from your post. He was a hardnosed businessman, very highly paid, but he controlled her and kept her short of money. He would not allow a joint account, he would not let her have a credit card, he kept many of his financial dealings secret. He regarded himself as a "good catch" and he kept her under his thumb for 20 years.

When she finally asked for a divorce, he did everything he could to stop her getting anything from the marriage. He would rather have seen her and his child on the streets.

If your dh loves you, why is he treating you like this?

Anifrangapani Sun 07-Sep-08 01:00:58

Your Husband sounds a bit of an arse if I am being honest. A "catch" indeed. If he is squirreling away most of his money in "investments", while whining about the toiletries then he needs a cracker up his arse. There are many jobs that are worthwhile without paying much nest time he needs an ambulance he may be reminded of this..... not that I am advocating assiting him in such enlightenemnet of course[grin}

greyday Sun 07-Sep-08 01:11:43

I just feel so fed up tonight. I am worried about maternity leave as I'll only get SMP and to be honest it'll be awful relying on him during that time. I have no idea how to ask him for housekeeping as it were, or how much is fair, or if he will say "you pay and I'll pay you back", which will be hard without breaking into savings when you just have SMP coming in. It would also mean justifying every last purchase for myself and the baby. He has a healthy bank balance firmly in the black so this would be no trouble for him. I have a bank balance in the black but it goes close-ish to red near paydays! I think he's forgotten what it's like not to have a large disposable income.

I do have family nearby and my mum would be most helpful and supportive emotionally and financially, but because as I say it's only in recent years I have got my career together plus I am now married and have a DH, I would feel embarrassed about asking her for money/help/confiding in her about this. She would be furious with him because she knows how hard I work and how furthest away from a "gold digger" or lazy shirker I am.

Sometimes I think it would have been easier or better to have broken up with DH before now due to his earning more (the ultimate in proving to him/his family I'm not with him for the money?!?)

We do share the cost of treats etc but for example he said today "if you just bought a few more things around the house and made more contributions that would be fine". I pointed out that if I had just paid for all the contents of the basket in Boots, it would have been forgotten in the time it took to leave the store (instead of being duly noted and ticked off as "fine" smile). I pointed out some of the "few more things" I have paid for in the last two weeks as an example, but this enraged him "Oh woopie-doo!! You bought a new duvet set and an ironing board and a Chinese banquet did you, big deal!" and only led to him going on about the bigger things he's bought in recent times ie the break to France and a new big cupboard we got a few weeks ago. I wasn't trying to big up my contributions, I was pointing out I had bought "a few more things around the house" like he wants.

He moves the goalposts and is so slippery in conversation, nothing can be pinned down. If I do corner him with unrefutable facts/concrete evidence, he resorts to head shaking and muttering "it's a joke" or whatever.

ObsidianBlackbirdMcNight Sun 07-Sep-08 01:14:58

Oh my God you are not on the mortgage? That's insane.
Total up the hours you spend doing all the things you do 'because you earn less'. Pay yourself £6 per hour for it all. Subtract any hours that H might spend on equivalent tasks (housework and children) and see how much you actually earn (ie save him in costs)
£6ph is minimum wage inc holiday pay so it's obviously underselling your work massively but it will serve. Show him what you bring into the house in terms of monetary value and I doubt he will still earn 4x what you do.
Even if he does - I earn 3x what DH does (when not on mat leave that is) and I pay rent and bills - end of. He buys food, electric, its and bobs, we both have about the same amount spending money after everything is paid for. I earn for our family, not for me.

ObsidianBlackbirdMcNight Sun 07-Sep-08 01:16:49

What a cock. Sorry, but he is. A total waste of space. I'm really angry for you.

Anifrangapani Sun 07-Sep-08 01:19:51

Has he not remembered the bit that says "for richer or poorer". I am so cross on your behalf.

Reamhar Sun 07-Sep-08 01:22:34

I think some men find it difficult to adjust to new babys, the responsibility of it all and just the thought of sharing their other half.

DH and I didn't have joint accounts before DS1 was born, house was in his name, and he earned more than me by a factor of two at least. Even though I had a good managerial job. I could, however, have afford to house myself if necessary, so the balance of financial power, if you like, was some what equal after a fashion.

We had a big discussion about joint accounts at the point when my paid maternity leave came to an end, and he intially agreed to it, and then changed his mind at the last minute. hmm I very nearly walked away at that point.

However, we talked and shouted it out, and everything is now in joint names, etc. grin

If you DH is not normally an arse then try talking to him, get him to to explain what the problem is.

However, if this is normal behaviour for him, then I think I would be concerned if I was you tbh.

It is natural that you will earnless than him, particularly if you decided not to go back to work or work part time. If he is recentful now, it could get worse later. Sorry. sad

greyday Sun 07-Sep-08 01:25:00

Anifrangipani, smile!

Funnily enough 3littlefrogs, my DH keeps a lot of his financial dealings secret. Not in the dodgy sense, just that I do get the impression that he doesn't want me to have a clear idea of all his assets. For example, I casually asked him what he was looking at on the internet and he said "the share price of the shares I bought last month". (I looked closer at the screen. It was indeed true). WTF??! What shares? I asked, I got scant details back, it was like pulling teeth just to get how much and what he was investing in. If I hadn't had asked, he would obviously not have offered.

He keeps all his papers locked up too. If a solicitor ever asked me what he owns/has, I don't exactly know. I have a feeling he would transfer his assets (some at least) into his dad's name if anything ever came to a crunch.

In a row once he yelled that this was his house anyway. I pointed out that now we're married, it's actually our house in the eyes of the law? (wasn't totally sure but said so anyway!) This was like red rag to bull, he believes that as I'm not on the mortgage I won't have any legal right to it. He really got upset with himself over that one.

HonoriaGlossop Sun 07-Sep-08 01:30:05

This is a truly bizarre way for a marriage to be conducted. Really. My jaw is on the floor.

The guy is happy enough to share his sperm with you and make a new human being but won't have you on the mortgage or have a joint account with you? We need a new emoticon for just how bemused I am by his approach.

It sounds as if the money is a pure power trip. He moans, but when you ask him to sort it, he makes that impossible. He must think it's the only 'special' thing about him I guess. In his heart of hearts.

I have to say there is no way I would have got married or tried for a baby under this sort of arrangement but you are where you are - but it needs sorting, now, before you have the baby IMHO.

Anifrangapani Sun 07-Sep-08 01:32:37

Sorry for the hijack.... but are you from glossop Honoria?

HonoriaGlossop Sun 07-Sep-08 01:37:34

No Ani - I'm one of the PG Wodehouse Glossops grin

greyday Sun 07-Sep-08 01:40:38

I know it's not right, but I am working against years of conditioning both on myself (for feeling like a failure in earning/career until recently) and on him (he's the little prince in his family, their "chip off the old block" success story.

It is more in recent months that the subject of money has cropped up, more since I got pg definitely. I am petrified I am going to be one of those women whose DH get far more superior and controlling when they are pg and at their most vulnerable. I am no scaredy cat when it comes to a show down or yelling or holding my own or answering back but it's just so bloody exhausting and upsetting.

Unfortunately money is power and I'll be without both when the baba arrives. I have dark visions of me and the baby trying to keep on DH's very good side, of me almost falling over myself to show DH how clever and frugal I have been with budgeting that week, and of him saying "It really doesn't matter what you've spent, Greyday" (whilst his mathmatical, business brain calculates, records and files away).

Anifrangapani Sun 07-Sep-08 01:48:12

Ahhhh! One of them <scuttles off to read>

GD take him by the lapels and shake him for all he is worth. Will it make him happy if his child is in hand-me-downs b/c he has set teh budget too low. How would that sit with the in laws if their beloved grandchild is in last year's Tescos?

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