Re: My wife is making my financial life miserable
02-24-2012 12:51 PM
WOW! I don't think I've ever read a thread on these forums that have ever struck a personal chord for me the way this one did.
I had/have a very similiar situation with my DH. When he was young and lived at home his mom balanced his check book and bailed him out when he was in trouble with money. After we married I handled all the finances, not by choice. He would bring home his checkstubs still in the un-opened envelope. He had no desire to know the passwords for our online banking accounts. He had/has no concept of MONEY IN vs MONEY OUT. I've done the spreadsheets, budgets, showed him in black and RED how much money comes in and how much goes out. We sat down weekly and paid bills together. Although he never voluntarily went to the checkbook to see our balances or even pay a bill himself. While he did seem "shocked" at how much MORE went out than came in, his habits never really changed. He said he cared about that "stuff" but actions showed otherwise. I ended becoming labeled as the controlling wife by his friends and even some of his family. Because he always had to ask "permission" before spending any money or even going out to lunch. We tried the weekly allowance, still complained. I tried explaining of course that it wasn't permission he was asking for, but it was confirming that we had the money to do whatever it was he wanting to do. We had joint everything pretty much. We actually separated for approx. a year after a while over this due to built up resentment on both sides. All the remaing joint accounts that were open and owing I took and made sure they stayed current. He opened a few cc's in his name. Screwed those up of course. let a utility bill go unpaid. We've since reconciled and things are better, but he still hasn't quite got there yet. A few years ago he lost his job and was out of work for months. I'm the one who had to start the unemployment process, he was too proud. After 6 months of NO work he and I had a LONG talk and he ended up joing the military. He's been deployed once and returned home safe and sound. I think his responsibility level has greatly increased. Still financially immature though. Getting better little by little. We do have a few joint accounts still but also have our separate accounts. He still pays very little attention to money in vs money out. For example, just based on pay dates and due dates for bills we were short about $300 to pay all the bills that were due before we were paid again. Because I save I was able to pull money from savings to cover that gap and will be able to replace it next pay period. Frustrates the crap out of me!! He's got the mindset that "we always make due" and "that's what savings is for". I don't want to just "make due" or tap into savings for everyday expenses. I've had to basically give him an allowance and there are times I have to tell him that he's not allowed to spend anything. He complains about it of course and that it's his money too. He's made the statments that I don't need to treat him like a child as well. I've basically told him that until he actively participates in the family finances and SHOWS more financial maturity that this is how it's going to be. I've also told him that if he wants to treat money like a child would treat money then he would be treated like that child. The other option posed to him was that we can go separate on ALL our finances and we'd split everything down the middle. He doesn't want to do that so he keeps quiet for the most part and goes along with it.
Now we both work full-time jobs (he's also part-time with the army reserves) and we have two children. Both finished high school and I went on to get a college degree while he has not. Although, to his credit, he did help support our family while I went to school. And now with Veteran's benefits he is looking into going back to school. I do make more money than he does which I think has bothered him for a while but it's never been a real issue for us. I think some of it may definitely be the lack of confidence in our significant others. The military has helped him mature quite a bit. Also, being separated and having to do everything on his own and failing at that was a real smack in the face for him. Sometimes, something drastic has to happen before people really see what's going on. Maybe CC's wife NEEDS her smack the face by having that talk with her dad, or being cut off from money and given a strict allowance. Being forced to finish school. Forced to work if she refuses to conform to a family budget.
Our family goal is also to buy a house next year. I'm been working on cleaning up his credit as well as bringing down our overall debt. He's starting to grasp the concept of what needs to happen to reach our goal. But it has not been an easy process at all and some of it he did have to learn the hard way. Good luck to you CreditCrusader!
Very touching story, thanks for sharing
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