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Posts: 495
Registered: ‎06-04-2011
Re: My wife is making my financial life miserable
[ Edited ]

kjm79 wrote:

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! 

I totally relate to CC and especially to you kjm79.  My DH is also really bad with credit and finances.  He has been in the military since we started dating and eventually married. He is still active duty and continues to be completely irresponsible with money and debt.  However, his pride doesn't really allow him to want to listen to my suggestions, even though I am far better with credit and finances.  Now I have always worked full time at my job for about 6 years (before we married and started dating). I had my own finances in order.  Once we got married and I saw his lack of responsibility in that area.  He kept many things secret when were dating and it's easy to do so when dating someone in the military. I had no idea of his financial past. Once I found out, I made a firm decision that we would keep everything separate.  We do own a house, but I had to qualify for it with only my finances as he has a foreclosure already. He is not on the mortgage or deed.  I had hoped by year 3 he would be on it; but nope.  All of our cars are in my name only.  He wants a new car when he gets back from his tour in Korea but I refuse to co-sign on anything with him.  I have been called selfish by family and friends (on both sides); controlling, etc.  He says I need to learn how to "live for the moment".  I just respond to him, "I don't want to work forever!"  I get a lot of guilt put on me for not assisting him credit-wise, including not co-signing on his car.  However, he keeps a vast majority of his military pay.  We have a joint account for bills in which we contribute equally to and bills are paid out of.  He keeps the rest of his pay and I keep the rest of my pay in our separate private accounts (although my pay goes towards bills and saving as I have active credit card accounts, my car note, etc. and he doesn't).  The thing is though, I wouldn't mind helping him if he tried to help himself.  He spends all of his money frivolously, never saves and basically blows his entire base pay.  I aggressively pay off debt (pay my car note ahead and paying down pricipal, always pay credit cards in full (with the exception of one BT soon to be paid off in April).  I feel I have helped him by giving him an opportunity to have progressively paid his debts (only totaling about $6000) and build up a considerable savings.  But he chooses not to do that.  I would love for us to be able to move into a bigger house where both of our incomes are considered and to have joint credit ventures (at least some) would make me feel a lot better and like the weight of everything isn't on me. But I feel stuck. I used to think this was a military thing as I see a lot of military men that do not show responsibility in that area (especially the younger enlisted).  But we are in our 30s. This is ridiculous. What people don't think about is that one of you needs decent credit and one of you at the very LEAST needs to think about your financial future. 

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