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Stay at home mum feeling trapped & pretty worthless

(226 Posts)
cannotthinkofausername Fri 12-Oct-12 12:46:44

I am a mum of two (4 year old ds just started school & a 2 year old dd). I went back to work after having my ds - he was looked after by family. When I had my daughter the family circumstances changed & free childcare was no longer an option. At the same time my husband qualified as an accountant so we agreed that his increased salary should be able to cover the loss of my salary until my dd started nursery next year & would be entitled to her 15hours (his salary has increased from £22k - £44k & I only earnt £7k in an admin role).

The issue is that he always makes me feel guilty about how broke we are - if I ever question anything his response is always "get a job".
He gives me £70 cash each week which covers food shopping and anything I need for the week. Anything extra such as clothes for the children I have to ask him for & he's always awful about it so I usually buy second hand using my food shopping money. I never buy myself anything. I had my haircut last Christmas which my mum paid for - and my mum brought me some clothes for my birthday.

On the other hand he continually buys himself things "because he works hard". I'm writing this now because I feel so angry - I don't usually see bank statements but opened one today in the past month he has spent:
- £40 on blue rays
- £50 on going out
- £60 on X box games
- £200 on speakers for his new gaming laptop (which he brought last month)

Then theres the Iphone 5, The nice new Ipad & he's off to watch England play tonight.

I'm happy to live on a budget I feel priviledged to be in the position to be at home with my children - I love being at home with my DD and being able to take my ds to & from school etc. & they don't need a lot of material possesions at this age of expensive days out (there favourite thing to do is to get the double decker bus (£1.50) into town & take a walk along the pier & maybe share a portion of chips (£1.20)

I spend my life watching every penny - I could tell you how much each item of food I buy each week costs . The past week I've been using the kids shampoo because I couldn't afford the £1.45 I needed for some shampoo.

He says that he works hard but I'm out of bed at least an hour before him each morning & still on the go when he's sat in front of his laptop in the evenings. I know that he has a stressful job (&I on the whole have a lovely job) which is why I always ensure he has time to himself at weekends to unwind - keep the children quiet at weekends so he can lay in. & never expect him to help with the chores involved with the children & home (I'm even a keen diyer!)

This morning he had a huge go at me because our old bank account had gone overdrawn & insisted it was me - when I never have access to it. Luckily that statement came through today too - and there it was £5.95 to a gaming website. Plus I wrote a letter to our old bank 2 months ago saying we wanted to close the account as we do not have a printer I asked my husband if he could print it off so I could send it recorded delivery - he said he sent it from work instead??!!!

Im just so tired of everything being my fault. I know that I have messed up I should have focused on having a career before having children instead of wasting my degree. I feel really trapped.

On top of that my mobile has just stopped working. It's in my husbands name so vodaphone won't speak to me. & when I called him - he said "the phone isn't insured so if you've broke it that's that"!

So instead of spending time with my dd - I've spent most of the day in tears. Feel so rubbish.

cannotthinkofausername Fri 12-Oct-12 12:51:08


laptop playing games not working in the evenings

EvenIfYouSeeAPoppy Fri 12-Oct-12 12:54:09

He's financially abusive.

Bullying you over the tiniest thing you spend on you and the kids while he spends to excess on himself like some overgrown teenager [mad]

He sounds as if he thinks he is the master of the house and entitled to whatever he likes because 'he works'. You work too, taking care of his children so he doesn't have to deal with any of the logistics of childcare.

Could you work out a plan whereby you each get an equal amount to spend once everything else, incl a decent sum put aside for everything child-related, has been paid for? But not asking him as a favour, rather making it clear that the financial inequality in your relationship is unacceptable?

If he won't respond reasonably, you might want to talk to Women's Aid about your options. It is not OK for him to make you live like this. Not OK at all.

DowagersHump Fri 12-Oct-12 12:54:49

Your husband is a git, sorry sad

He's financially abusing you. You get £70/week to feed and clothe you and the kids which is less than he spent on himself this month.

Stop feeling shit and start getting angry.

Squitten Fri 12-Oct-12 12:55:57

Well, he sounds just lovely!

Quite obviously it's one rule for him and a different one for you. What do you get out of the relationship other than a horrible life...? You don't have to put up with it you know

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 12-Oct-12 12:58:18

I'm sorry you're being financially abused and you feel trapped. It isn't your fault at all. You haven't messed up - you've just put your faith in a man who is supposed to love you but who has turned out to be unreasonable, abusive and selfish. I'm not suprised you're feeling so depressed. BTW If he's on £44k he's bringing home about £2600/month so expecting you to make a housekeeping budget of £280/month spin out is an insult. Where does the rest of it go? It isn't right that you don't have access to accounts or have to go begging for money

People in your situaton can get a lot of good help and advice from Womens Aid. Do you get the CB paid into your account? Do you qualify for tax credits?

HotDAMNlifeisgood Fri 12-Oct-12 12:58:20

He is an abusive shit, and you deserve better.

givemeaclue Fri 12-Oct-12 12:59:14

This is terrible I really feel for you. Agree you need proper advice . Also could you tell your mum or a friend and get some real life support?

You should have equal access to money he is controlling it all. Shame on him it I, despicable.

He is trapping you. You have not wasted your degree. You are not in anyway to blame for this.

I fear that this man will never change his attitude sad He doesnt see you as his wife or the mother of his children. To him you are the hired help.

Please stop taking this. You are worth so much more than this.

cakeandcustard Fri 12-Oct-12 12:59:50

That's not on at all, he's being entirely unreasonable. You are living in poverty and he's living the life of riley. Someone once said on here that as soon as you have kids any income becomes the families income. My DH earns the same amount as yours and he pays the bills and shopping plus an extra monthly allowance (£100) for me to spend on myself/going out with the kids or whatever I like.

Can you get him to put his earnings into a joint account from which to pay the bills and food. Also - if you know he's spent x amount on bluerays say - right I need to spend x amount on hair/clothes/whatever and then get him to justify why he can spend money on himself but you can't. If he puts up a fight calculate how much you are saving him in nursery fees - that should open his eyes.

At the moment, the way he's treating you is bordering on abuse.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 12-Oct-12 13:00:35

It's not 'bordering' it is actual abuse....

FruitSaladIsNotPudding Fri 12-Oct-12 13:01:59

I don't think you can be a SAHM with this man as a husband. He sounds horrendously selfish at best and abusive at worst.

You would almost certainly be better off financially without him around.

I think if you want to continue in your marriage it has to be on the basis that you have equal disposable income and leisure time. He doesn't sound remotely mature or caring enough to countenance this though.

Sorry you are going through this op, it sounds crap.

stinkymice Fri 12-Oct-12 13:02:15

He is really out of order,so sorry. Joint bank account with equal access. Think about it this way, if you divorced you would be entitled to half, so why not while married?

cannotthinkofausername Fri 12-Oct-12 13:02:46

I just feel trapped. My ds has just started at the school around the corner - ghe's settled in so well is really happy (plus found out yesterday he's in the "gifted & talented group" - gave me a lift must be doing something right!)

I do not love my husband - I'm not that crazy.
he pressurised me to end a pregnancy last year because we couldn't afford another child. I hate myself - why didn';t I leave him then??

HotDAMNlifeisgood Fri 12-Oct-12 13:05:51

Don't hate yourself, love.

Love yourself enough, and you will find the way out of this situation which is doing you so much harm.

Please give Women's Aid a call 0808 2000 247. They are there to listen to and advise women in your situation.

JammySplodger Fri 12-Oct-12 13:06:51

I am in the same position as you except my husband is not an arse. We share the small amount we seem to have left over from £30k, and I'm never left feeling worthless or like I'm not pulling my weight.

Don't blame yourself, he shouldn't be treating you like that.

FruitSaladIsNotPudding Fri 12-Oct-12 13:07:01

You're not trapped. If you left he would have to pay maintenance and you would be eligible for various benefits. You would probably have more money than the pittance he currently gives you.

It might not be what you want long term, but it would give you the breathing space and independence to work out what you can do next.

Check out You should be able to find our roughly how much maintenance you can get too.

TheProvincialLady Fri 12-Oct-12 13:09:59

If you leave him, he will be forced to pay maintenance and you will be able to make choices about work etc based on how much time the children spend at his house. As he earns more, the amount of maintenance the children are entitled to will go up too.

The longer you are tied to this abusive, selfish piece of crap the worse you will feel about yourself and the fewer options you will have for work, housing etc. Get out now while you still have some self worth and fleece the git for everything you can get.

If I were you I would keep quiet for a couple of weeks while you gather photocopy evidence of ALL his financial incomings and outgoings, investments, pensions, savings, see a lawyer and get advice about housing and benefits. Then kick him out or leave.

LeChatRouge Fri 12-Oct-12 13:10:21

You need to stop crying and pull yourself together. You will instantly start to feel better if you take back some of the control over your life. You are a valuable and equal human being who deserves to spend her time being happy and living life to the full. You will never get this time back again, don't waste it.

Do you want to stay in a relationship with this man?
Can you see that you are not being treated fairly and do you want to change it?
Do you have supportive family you can talk to?
Do you have a friend that you can talk to?

You need to make a plan about changing this situation, it might go in stages, first, discussions with your husband to see if you can alert him, second, maybe he needs a wake-up call/to move out for a while, as you can't see a future for you in this scenario, third, is the relationship worth saving at all, fourth, what practical steps would you need to take to seperate?

cannotthinkofausername Fri 12-Oct-12 13:12:22

The thing is on the whole I love my life. I love being with my children & don'tr mind living on a budget it's only when he's awful to me about money blaming me for us being broke I feel so down as I feel there is nothing I can do about it.
I enjoy looking after the home & seeing my beasutiful babies grow into lovely children.
I d struggle at weekends sometimes when he's around and barely interacts with them

I don't think I've got over last year either - I don't think I ever will.

Marzipanface Fri 12-Oct-12 13:14:20

What Le Chat Rouge said.

HotDAMNlifeisgood Fri 12-Oct-12 13:14:39

You are not trapped. There are ways out.

It will be hard, and you will have to be determined because men like your H do not kindly to being left. But you are NOT trapped - truly.

Many of the women posting on this thread will have been where you are. We know how overwhelming and hopeless it seems. But I'm here to tell you that there is a better life out there for you and your DC.

DowagersHump Fri 12-Oct-12 13:15:21

Okay, so the only thing wrong in your life is that your husband is an abusive fuckwit. Leave him/kick him out and voila! your life is completely happy smile

luzluz Fri 12-Oct-12 13:16:54

This is terrible. It seems as though you are a really financially resourceful and happy Mum. If you were to leave you would manage brilliantly and not have the pressure of this abuse in your life anymore. You only have one life, it is so very short and not worth wasting on this manchild. you don't love him so I would get planning on how to leave. The kids will settle anywhere at this age and will benefit from being out of his way and being able to make noise whenever they want instead of tiptoeing around.

His salary does not make him a God - to put it in context I used to earn more than your partner (and my DH) before I had DCs and would never have treated my DH this way - we shared everything then and now.

amirah85 Fri 12-Oct-12 13:17:06

I think its not his money but you money,both of you.why would he give you a allowance for food shopping??should just have a joint account and everything goes out and in from shouldn't be begging for money for your kids clothes or a haircut.(With measure obv,spending what u can afford...but that's for both of you!!)

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