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What can I do to make him take some (any!) responsibility?

(15 Posts)
hellomama Sat 28-May-05 21:08:27

I am at the end of my tether. Any advice would be really appreciated. DH and I have a joint account from which most of our household bills, including mortgage, are paid. We also have our own, individually managed accounts and credit cards. A few bills, e.g. phone bill, are in DH name, so get sent to him and we pay by cheque from the joint account. We both used to pay an equal amount into the joint account, but since having DS, DH now pays all of it, and I top it up or give him some money if I can afford it. DH isn’t good with money. He has no idea how much any of our bills are, including our mortgage payment (he could probably estimate a round figure) and I do everything to do with these. DH never opens his mail (!) which drives me nuts. So, when I notice it’s a phone bill from BT for example, I just open the letter and deal with it. Because he doesn’t open his mail, he doesn’t look at his bank statements / credit card bills, and is always missing payments because of this. So much so, his credit card people have now frozen his account for the second time for non-payment. I told him last week that we needed to pay the car insurance on his credit card this week and he told me he would sort the credit card out (all he had to do is pay minimum payment). Today, again, I reminded him and of course, he hadn’t done it. After ringing the card people, they said his card won’t be up and running for a few days as the payment has to clear. So, our car insurance can’t be paid for, so it’s a case of drive uninsured or not at all (not at all). Also, the car no longer has a valid MOT. Only I noticed this, DH would never have thought to look or sort out until I ask. We also have had a phone bill sitting with all the other unopened mail which I know he hasn’t even though to look at, let alone pay. I’m so sick of sorting everything out to keep our life ticking over smoothly. His credit rating is probably pretty shit because of all his unpaid bills, which may affect us getting a new mortgage when we move in a few months time. But why should I organise everything, and have to always prompt him to sort his own finances out? How can I make him learn the importance of this himself, without it affecting OUR credit rating and finances? He isn’t flash with money at all, and pretty generous when he’s got it, but he just buries his head in the sand when it comes to dealing with these things. Shall I leave the phone bill up to him (I know we will probably get cut off/lose internet connection) or should I just remind him / end up sorting it as usual so not to cause problems? I’m started to get so annoyed that his bad management is affecting our life together, but it seems the more times I mention it, the more resistant he is to sorting things out. Help!

hercules Sat 28-May-05 21:15:25

Dh isnt good with things like that but I dont see it as his main responsibility anyway so it doesnt bother me. I get all bills paid by direct debit and have a file in excel showing what comes out when and for how much. IT makes it so easy to monitor.

Caligula Sat 28-May-05 21:16:31

Hellomamma, he sounds almost exactly like my ex. I could no longer live with his lack of adult responsibility about life in general (finance was only one aspect of it. I tried so many things - setting aside a monthly time to go through all our finances, insisting he did his own statements, nothing worked, because he was deeply resistant to making it work.

I think you need to get to the real root of why he is refusing to be an adult about this. The only thing I can suggest is counselling (for you both as a couple in the first instance), as this is not an insignificant problem, it's a major one which may be a symptom of lots of other underlying issues for your DH.

Caligula Sat 28-May-05 21:17:19

Unless of course, you're happy to take on that adult role and simply accept that your DH has opted out.

Flossam Sat 28-May-05 21:19:28

Sorry if stating the obvious but couldn't some of this be solved by Direct debits? Then no remembering, it just gets paid!

hellomama Sat 28-May-05 21:23:09

The majority are paid by direct debit (set up by me), but there will always be things that can't be paid / dealt with that way, such as the car MOT for example. I know this is starting to be a big issue between us, but we go round in circles - i get cross, he says he'll deal with things, he doesn't, I get cross....

hercules Sat 28-May-05 21:26:08

Do you see it as his responsibility only? I do think things like that should be jointly done. We also have a notice board where amongst other things we stick upcoming bills that are not covered by dd up and put things like MOT on a calendar.


My dh doesnt see any urgency about such things but I have to be organised.

mancmum Sat 28-May-05 21:28:43

you have to accept he is crap with money and deal with it yourself... no other option is there, as if you will never change him.. if you manage to, you could sell your technique and never have to worry about money again!!

So, you just need to get every single bill set up as a DD from your joint account so you can manage it and get one DD for his share set up on his account.. then the most he can do is mess up his credit card but at least you know all the bills are paid...

and even if card can be sorted if you set up a minimum payment from the account...

Flossam Sat 28-May-05 21:29:22

I have to say that it is me who sorts all the bills. But then I pay them and DP pays the rent. So it's my responsibility. When I think of the organisation that icurs it does make me think I have it a bit wrong, but hey, at least it gets done (usually!)

hercules Sat 28-May-05 21:32:04

Years ago I read an article about an American method of dealing with men like this. You simply do nothing and the idea is that eventually the man realises you are not going to deal with it and takes sole responsibility for it.
Goes against my feminist principles though as the idea is he goes into cave man mode but lots of women said it worked.

hellomama Sat 28-May-05 21:39:55

No I don't think it is his responsibility, but i definitely don't think it should be all mine either. I think we should share the finances, and that's why I feel this is such an issue!

acnebride Sat 28-May-05 21:51:57

Blimey hercules, I bet it does work but it sounds a bit risky while you're waiting.
I'd go the counselling route - sounds drastic but a neutral third party could really help.
Could he not have the direct debit bills in his name while you deal with the non direct debit stuff?

morningpaper Sat 28-May-05 21:54:26

Can you take it all on yourself and just give him 'pocket money' which is his own money to spend?

You can't drive the car without a valid MOT - I assume you know this (mine ran out last week and I was shafted!).

hellomama Sat 28-May-05 22:14:16

yeah i know about the MOT, its lucky I looked, otherwise we would have been happily driving around for years . I couldn't do the pocket money thing. I'm very staunch that I'm his wife, not his mother.

tallulah Sun 29-May-05 10:58:32

My DH is exactly the same as you describe hellomama, after 22 years of marriage. I have fought against it but it just costs us money in fines for not paying the cards in time, & tons of red bills. He will not take responsibility for money. He used to take his petrol etc out of the joint account but then there wasn't enough left for food and/or the mortgage, so he started putting it on credit cards. What he didn't do was keep track of what he was spending, so I'd get a bill that had gone up by £700 in one month (no kidding!) & couldn't possibly pay it off...

I have shouted, argued, pleaded, but we just can't sort it out. I get the headache of the money as a permanent task He just whines that he "isn't buying stuff for himself" & TBF he isn't buying DVDs or stuff for himself- I just can't get through to him that if I don't know how much he is spending I can't budget. (When our money was separate I used to pay my own cards off in full every month).

I don't know what the answer is, except that as mancmum says, you will have to accept that he will never change & that you will probably have to do it all yourself forever.

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