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financially controlling DH or just sensible?

(39 Posts)
Doubtfuldaphne Mon 27-Jul-15 16:54:27

I am starting to wonder if i'm in a financially abusive marriage.
We've always struggled a bit financially. He knows I'm a spender. He's a saver. As a writer, I don't have a reliable income. When I do have money, I always contribute. He's soon to go self employed and this, I think is a big financial concern..a big risk he's taking.

He said I spend too much on day to day living costs (I don't drive, don't have any fancy clothes, we don't go on days out) but I spent about £20 a day on food. So I have no debit card now. As my bank account got in to problems years ago, I since put the child benefit and child tax credits in to his account. Before, we had those separate. I would use one of his debit cards.

He's barred me going shopping alone for food but as he works long hours I sometimes have to go for ages before he brings the shopping home.
Meanwhile I'm stuck at home with the DC's with no money and nothing to do. Today, we ran out of essentials and there's nothing to cook for dinner. He left his phone behind. He's not back until 8pm.
I know he usually has a stash of money for paying off his credit card in his drawer so I went there for the first time ever..but it's gone.
He's hidden that now.

When I recently got paid for a small job (it was only £50) I still had to pay half for an electrical appliance that broke. Despite me knowing he had about £2000 saved up, which is a lot for us.

I've just had enough of this now. When we go shopping (I rarely go with him now these days) he rushes me and argues with some of the items on the list. There's a horrible atmosphere as soon as we get to a shop.

I just can't live like this. I can't take it. I know the only way around it is to earn more money but there's only so much I can do. We live in the middle of nowhere. I don't drive. We have young DC's and I have a few medical problems which mean I can't be away from home too long.

I just feel so trapped. I'm going to talk to him tonight when he gets back but he's very good at turning things around and always has some sort of argument to counteract whatever I say.

At home, I do everything. I feel so short changed. He does no housework. OK he goes to work so he sees it as my job while he has his. But he complains how tired he is, yet I'm up until much later cleaning up and looking after the DC's, whatever else ...and I'm up before him. He even has the nerve to have a go at me if something's not right. I'll never forget the time I had my family round for a birthday party and he made a point of cleaning out the fridge while they were all here and complaining loudly that it was disgusting. Like he was trying to shame me.
I feel like a slave really!

What can you wise Mnetters recommend?

Justbatteringon Mon 27-Jul-15 16:59:56

Don't have time for a long reply but didn't want to read and run. For now I'd work in getting the child benefit Ect, paid into your account ring them right now and get it changed.
I'm sure other mners will be along with plenty of advice soon. flowers

Doubtfuldaphne Mon 27-Jul-15 17:11:13

Thank you, yes I need to do that now. I was going to wait and discuss it with him and tell him why I want to do this but I don't think that'll work.

Bubblesinthesummer Mon 27-Jul-15 17:16:34

How are you going you access the money though if you have no debit card and bank account issues?

chippednailvarnish Mon 27-Jul-15 17:23:13

If you can't control your money, you can't control your life.

It doesn't sound like you have any control over either at the moment...

Doubtfuldaphne Mon 27-Jul-15 17:23:54

He unexpectedly just walked through the door. I immediately told him I've felt trapped today and it can't go on.
He's agreed to put an amount in every week to a bank account just for me. Obviously he added 'don't blow the lot' to that. I said its just for essentials as I'm stuck if he's not here.
Before storming off he said he would rather be in my shoes than his, having to work all the time as he doesn't get to spend money on himself.
I think he resents having to work and sees my staying at home as something he wants!

CatMilkMan Mon 27-Jul-15 17:26:24

I'm sorry things are so hard for you, I think you need a major compromise.
You can't carry on living like this but if you have spending problems I can see him wanting to take control of the finances.
Does he realise how hard this is for you? Could today be an example for him as to why this doesn't work?
Can you open a bank account soon and get the tax credits transferred to you?

amothersplaceisinthewrong Mon 27-Jul-15 17:27:36

Why aren't you pooling your money - he is being a complete control freak here

I would not put up with it for a second.

DEMAND a debit card back and access to the bank account online.

Bubblesinthesummer Mon 27-Jul-15 17:30:15

DEMAND a debit card back and access to the bank account online.

I got the impression that it was the bank that took it away as her bank account got into problems.

BrockAuLit Mon 27-Jul-15 17:33:54

I don't think he's being a control freak at all. Frankly, it sounds as though not only do you have no control over your spending, you give him grief for exercising control over it. What would you rather: one person keeping you out of bankruptcy or none?

I think you need to be more understanding of him (earns the lot, trying to stop you spending the lot), and more aware of your own failings. It is crap being home with no food and no money, but equally it's crap being in a relationship with someone who spends unwisely what you work hard to earn. You reap what you sow.

You sound entitled, not a word I use freely. You've proven you can't be left in charge, you must suffer the consequences.

CatMilkMan Mon 27-Jul-15 17:37:21

I agree with Brock except OP can't live like this, the reap what you sow bit I don't think fits in a marriage you should work together to find a compromise that works for you all.

GraysAnalogy Mon 27-Jul-15 17:38:28

The fact he's leaving you with no food is worrying. There's nothing in at all?

If he wants to take financial responsibility then he needs to ensure that yours and the children's needs are met, and that means keeping food in the house for one.

Nolim Mon 27-Jul-15 17:48:31

Agree with others saying a conpromise is needed. You need food at home in a way it doesnt bankrupt you.
Is it just me or £20 a day in food is too much?

titchy Mon 27-Jul-15 17:57:27

£20 a day for a family of four isn't THAT much..... OP has no car so can only buy what she can carry I guess.

Let me guess - he's told you you're financially irresponsible and a spender yes?

Leaving you with no access to money, insisting you pay half when he gets the CB and tax credits and you only have a £50 a week job is fucking financial abuse yes. No doubt.

Get a basic bank account with no overdraft facility, get your wages, CB and tax credits paid into it.

Bubblesinthesummer Mon 27-Jul-15 18:01:12

Let me guess - he's told you you're financially irresponsible and a spender yes?

OP has had trouble with her bank account and debit card stopped......

titchy Mon 27-Jul-15 18:49:54

And a basic bank account will mean no future problems.....

On what planet is withholding money for food for your wife and children NOT financially abusive?

ouryve Mon 27-Jul-15 18:57:27

The child benefit needs to go into your account. Of course he's financially abusive if he's not even leaving you with enough money to buy food for the kids. Even with a debt to pay down, you need to feed your kids and (cheaply) entertain them, ffs.

While you're at home with the kids scraping together meals, what's he doing about meals at work? If he's buying them from the canteen, then something is deeply unfair, here.

Doubtfuldaphne Mon 27-Jul-15 19:21:18

The reactions seem very split. I know without him I would not be able to keep on top of the bills and rent. I am grateful to him for making sure we are debt free.
I hate that if I need something I have to ask.
I would most certainly get in to debt on my own.
Surely an 'allowance' every week would make more sense rather than keep all money from me? It's degrading having to ask and not being able to do what I want when I want to.
The child tax credits and child benefit are a massive thing to our finances, they pay towards the rent and the child tax credits are mainly what we use to buy the food. Half the wages go on bills.
So now I'm thinking by changing them to a cash account of my own would be a bad idea..

BlackandGold Mon 27-Jul-15 19:32:30

It does sound as though you would both benefit from a bit of forward planning.
Why not shop together for storecupboard and freezer essentials, to ensure that your children are never again short of a meal?
By all means organise a monthly amount to be paid into your account but why not try to keep a note of what you're spending this on, so that you can spot a pattern if you're overspending.
Is it that your rent is very high or are you trying to pay off a large amount of debt?
I do hope the self employment is successful but it sounds a bit of a worrying scenario at the moment.
Good luck!

Doubtfuldaphne Mon 27-Jul-15 19:37:57

Thank you. I feel a bit better now that he's agreed on the allowance. We should definitely do an 'essentials' shop every week and both discuss what's needed so we're not caught short again.

Our rent is very high, yes. Luckily no debt!
As for paying out of my small and infrequent wages, I do feel that was mean but on the other hand I think it's important to contribute in any way I can. If we were wealthy maybe I could see it as some personal spending money but the way things are I don't think that would be fair as he doesn't have any himself. Am I right?

KetchupIsNearlyAVegetable Mon 27-Jul-15 19:39:49

Get your own money into your own bank account. The only way you'll learn to manage money is by managing money.

KetchupIsNearlyAVegetable Mon 27-Jul-15 19:41:56

Normal would be for you both to agree a food budget and whoever does meal planning has access to the money and buys food accordingly. Online is good.

Doubtfuldaphne Mon 27-Jul-15 19:48:03

He wouldn't trust me to do it and if we run out of something it's likely he won't be around to get it. I think we need to do a weekly online shop together and then let me have an allowance to get the top up shops.

defineme Mon 27-Jul-15 19:51:35

You're not a child, if you were a single parent you'd have to manage it. You need to do this yourself. Get to the root of your overspending and manage yourself- if it's £20 a day for a family of 4 incl household stuff that's around average btw. Get stuff in your name, get a plan, get an account. Nobody sounds very happy in your house. If you have credit card with a balance that is debt..or us it paid off monthly?

Rosieliveson Mon 27-Jul-15 19:53:31

I think you need to have access to money. I can see the issue if you're a big spender though. I have always been a bit frivolous too! Obviously, only you know if he is truly trying to do what is best for your family or whether he is actually using money to control you.

To get our earning and spending under control when I became a SAHM, my husband and I sat and devised a household budget. All money goes in and then is split into categories for ALL outgoings. Including groceries, bills, spending and a little 'fun money' each. Now, there are 'limits' but I know they are essential to our household so I don't feel 'limited' if you see what I mean. Is this something you could look into?

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