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To feel awkward about our financial situation?

310 replies

Choppypog · 15/03/2023 16:15

Over the last few years my DH has been doing insanely well in his job, to the point he is going to be getting a very large sum of money soon which will make us very wealthy.
I work in the public sector on a fairly low wage all things relative, but I am a professional and got to where I am through 4 years of uni and hard graft.
I went part time after having our daughter however so my income is really very tiny in comparison.

Urgh, I'm probably going to get flamed for this, because it certainly isn't a bad problem to have considering the hardship many are putting up with out there...

But honestly, I feel so awkward about it all.
I didn't grow up in a wealthy environment, and all of a sudden we are in a position where we can buy whatever we want, go on whatever holidays we want, we can invest in a much bigger/nicer property.

I think there's a couple of reasons. Firstly I'm starting to worry about what friends/colleagues think. I often get jokey remarks about how amazing my life is, our 'fancy' cars, things like that. I feel awkward talking about it when people comment.

The second is I guess is I feel awkward about it not really being my wealth. It's my husband's. I almost feel like it's not really mine. Especially now I only work two days a week. Yea I could buy myself a nicer car, but my DH has paid for it. He argues what's his is mine, which on paper it is, but mentally it doesn't feel that way.

I guess I know I'm BU but I just need advice regarding how to adjust to all this and whether I need a good slap round the head and told to just enjoy it!

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?


You have one vote. All votes are anonymous.

Cheeseandhoney · 15/03/2023 20:08

I’m going to be honest. You don’t come across as wealthy. You come across as wanting to appear to be so. Driving your husbands company car and going on spa breaks, it’s nit a sign of wealth.

wealth has very different indicators.

GoodChat · 15/03/2023 20:10

Cheeseandhoney · 15/03/2023 20:08

I’m going to be honest. You don’t come across as wealthy. You come across as wanting to appear to be so. Driving your husbands company car and going on spa breaks, it’s nit a sign of wealth.

wealth has very different indicators.

You do often find that those who want to appear wealthy try to show it and those who are wealthy do not.

DuvetDownn · 15/03/2023 20:15

I never hid my wealth, I didn’t even think to. It is what it is. I have friends from all walks of life and we all accept each other as we are. I’ve never received any digs, it’s just not been a thing. My DH retired last year when he was 55 and bought a brand new 50k car outright. A few people were interested as it is an EV but we didn’t get any comments about money.
Maybe the OP has imposter syndrome.

bibbybox · 15/03/2023 20:16

You do often find that those who want to appear wealthy try to show it and those who are wealthy do not.

I think you can be both! One of the school mums recently moved & was giving some furniture away. She messaged her address to the group to pick it up, obviously I looked the address up! 2.2m

AltheaVestr1t · 15/03/2023 20:17

I feel this, not to the same extent, but it's definitely something I'm conscious of. Friends have been impacted by low wages, covid, bad business luck or divorce and struggle to make ends meet while me and OH have been very fortunate in our careers and now earn a high (though not exceptional) income. I can't hide the holidays or the big house in a nice area, but I don't go on about the cleaner/gardener or brag about purchases, and always try to be sensitive to different budgets when arranging outings etc. Friends know we have had our own battles and I've never felt they begrudge us anything, which I am grateful for, as I would hate for it to change our relationship in any way.

GoodChat · 15/03/2023 20:17

OP, are you in the same job now as you were when you had the baby?

Maybe it's the drastic change in lifestyle that's attracting the attention. If you worked somewhere new nobody would probably even notice.

Zuffe · 15/03/2023 20:18

To paraphrase, you say that your DH has been doing insanely well in his job, but you have done well through professional hard graft. I think you need to reconcile your approach to wealth, of which money is only a part. I pick up discomfort in you around an uncontrolled madness about your DH's earnings, compared to a measured virtuousness in yours.

Perhaps think of this quote:

“I bargained with Life for a penny,
and Life would pay no more,
However I begged at evening
When I counted my scanty store;
Life is a just employer.
He gives you what you ask,
But once you have set the wages,
Why, you must bear the task.
I worked for a menial's hire,
Only to learn, dismayed,
That any wage I had asked of Life,
Life would have willingly paid”

Then perhaps the result your DH has procured has not been some form of insane accident? Maybe there is some hard graft in there and some smart working too.

This is what George Merck said:

We try never to forget that medicine is for the people.
It is not for the profits.
The profits follow, and if we have remembered that, they have never failed to appear.
The better we have remembered it, the larger they have been.

Maybe your DH's company is doing great things and it is a win for their customers, their employees and your DH. That isn't uncomfortable is it?

WombatChocolate · 15/03/2023 20:20

I suppose some of how you feel about all this, depends on your background.

If you’ve been hard-up previously, or if you came from a very working class background, or a background where people have always aspired to have lots more material possessions and idolised the rich and famous, then this change in wealth could affect you a lot. It might alter how you behave, even if you’re not fully aware of it.

However, if you had a solidly middle class background and have known people previously who were very well off, it might not feel so unusual or such a big deal…you might slip into being wealthy more easily.

Honestly, I think this is all about how you feel about it, how comfortable you are with your wealth, and how you’re possibly expressing it to the world.

Personally I don’t think most people are hugely interested in other peoples wealth or even notice it, unless a lot of attention is drawn to it. Loads of people live lives that few people know the details of and would be surprised if they did know. Ask yourself if really you are wanting people to know and are referring to it lots. There’s no need to hide everything, but actually most people usually won’t know much unless you make it all very obvious. Is it all so novel to you that it’s on your mind all the time and somehow coming out because you just can’t keep it in? That can happen when people have a big change.

Noicant · 15/03/2023 20:20

I just don’t get why you would even think about it tbh. I have a friendship group on differing incomes. From earning about a grand a month to multi millionaires (I mean several homes in different countries wealthy not I drive a range rover wealthy). No-one cares, apart from the fact that we meet at the millionaires house because they have more sofas. As their poorer mate I like them because they are kind intelligent and witty.

People make comments in passing, they aren’t thinking deeply about your situation. It’s just conversation filler.

NaturalBae · 15/03/2023 20:20

Enjoy it.

Keep your business to yourself.

It gets easier. I used to tell DH not to pick me up near work, but I don’t care now. I’ve parked my last two cars and DH’s cars in my work car park.

Our DC’s friends and their parents only twig once they come to our home.

There’s nothing to be ashamed of. You don’t need to talk about how wealthy you are to other people, as it’s none of their business and it does not affect them.

Lifeomars · 15/03/2023 20:22

Enjoy it, it is way better than having to ration your heating and eke out your food shopping to last as long as possible. Give to charity, donate to food banks, travel and store up the memories, but enjoy it and don't hoard it, life is short

BluetheBear · 15/03/2023 20:24

Just don't tell people so much. It's also not necessary to have a flashy car just because you have money and I wouldn't automatically think someone who went on a "spa break" was loaded.

TongueTwistr · 15/03/2023 20:25

I remember a boss of mine arriving home to an empty house. His bedraggled wife turned up later looking like a drowned rat - soaked because it was hard to get a bus.
He asked why she hadn't used the brand new Mercedes that he'd bought for her birthday and she told him that with some friends out of work and others going through financial difficulties, she could have driven into town if she still had her old Fiesta, but didn't feel she could go in a flash new car.

girlfriend44 · 15/03/2023 20:33

GoodChat · 15/03/2023 16:54

Sorry but this is a pretty entitled attitude

Yes smacks of jealousy too. Its her money.

Lndnmummy · 15/03/2023 20:34

As someone who works and earns as much as my dh I can't help but reflect on some of things in this thread. I wonder how many men truly feel that the money is family money because the woman has done the lionshare of childcare. I am not talking about what they say they feel but how they really feel. My kids are also loved, looked after etc, even though I work. I read an interview somewhere where the husband said. "We are life partners. We both work, we both cook, we both put a bandaid on when the baby takes a tumble. I need a partner in life, not a leech'. It resonated with me. Do people really think their men wouldn't advance in their careers if their kids needed them here and there? Mine has done ok.

Not being goady, I'd love being wealthy. Just reflecting on some of the things said. Ie the woman feeling they have contributed 'half' to their husbands career. Do you really genuinely feel that? Dh has always been hugely supportive, but I would never feel he 'deserves' half because he has contributed to my career. I dont think he feels I have contributed half to his either. His successes are his.

NC3435 · 15/03/2023 20:38

Enjoy it! Most people currently are struggling so if you are struggling less then just embrace that. If you feel awkward you can maybe do some charity etc if it would help you feel better but it’s completely up to you. My husband and I work in the public sector and although we are by no means earning a pittance, compared to my brother who earns close to a 7 figure salary, it pales in comparison. He has always been very generous and helps out our parents and very recently wanted to open a savings account for my son to access when he is 18.

chaosmaker · 15/03/2023 20:40

Enjoy it while you've got it, you never know what will happen in life and people can become penniless through no fault of their own.

Janch13 · 15/03/2023 20:41

I’ll swap with you OP if you like? To save you feeling awkward about it

Sdgrth · 15/03/2023 20:42

I wouldn’t feel like that’s my money. Plus, if you are doing everything else child and house-related, I would ensure my pension is maxed up, and I am compensated for the job. Forget about fancy cars etc. things can change quickly, so focus on your career and earning potential. Plus, it’s not cool to brag about the money in light of the current situation. Before anyone accuses me of being jealous - I earn well in my own right.

catherinewales · 15/03/2023 20:43

Oh I feel you. My husband got a huge promotion last year. The payrise was more then double my yearly salary, he said I could give up work but I didn't because I actually like my job. We've not really done much with his pay rise maybe a couple more holidays but we're having massive works done in the house (that actually need doing) and people have asked me how we're paying for it. I've said we've remortgaged but we haven't. It's all come from my husband and his payrise and bonuses. I just feel uncomfortable about it all. Even today at work a colleague asked me do I own my house and I felt like I had to down play it because they couldn't afford to buy. I mean we're not rich by any means but we live a very good lifestyle.

MathiasBroucek · 15/03/2023 20:48

Don’t expect too much empathy on these pages but your feelings are completely understandable. It’s creating an actual or perceived separation from your colleagues which is making you uncomfortable. But beware over thinking. You are still you

Twillow · 15/03/2023 20:48

i hope you both feel you are in a position to be able to support charities etc.

Shamdyhandy · 15/03/2023 20:49

It is awkward. It's one of the reasons I didn't reply to many people on the first couple of pages as I was just sat there gobsmacked at how different people feel about it.

what specifically were you gobsmacked by? I’ve not seen anything gobsmacking….

CrystalCoco · 15/03/2023 20:50

I have a fairly low paying job (not public sector admittedly) but a job that's more of a passion than an actual job and I enjoy it so much.
DH's job is almost the opposite, very high earning but not a passion for him.
We balance each other out.
We live in a nice area, nice house, nice cars, nice holidays, no one bats an eye at what we have.
It's very very obvious that it's not me funding the lifestyle but I don't comment on it and neither do my colleagues / clients.
Anyone who does is just a bit sour grapes.

Stopsnowing · 15/03/2023 20:51

Give it away and problem solved.

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