Can't talk about money after 25 years!

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-31-2003
Can't talk about money after 25 years!
Fri, 10-08-2010 - 12:05am

Hi all. New here, but not new to ivillage. Been around since 2001. Love ivillage!

Tonight I find myself in tears yet again. A huge empty aching pain right in the middle of my chest. Like my heart has been ripped out.

DH has once again "scolded" me for taking money from him! A mere $20 to buy the kids some dinner! Might seem crazy to some of you but its a very very long story.

We are married 25 years, have always had seperate bank accounts and money. I have had a real tough go of it, healthwise, for the last 10 years. Suffered physical and mental issues. So much so, that I lost 2 great jobs due to my illnesses.

DH "covered" us during long legal battles with both employers - and when the legal battles were settled and the money was paid to me (severance, benefits etc) I paid off all the bills... we're talking 10's of thousands. I even filed bankruptcy for my own bills years ago, so that "we" could save "his" credit - one of us had to be able to "get credit".

DH has never trusted me with money. He blames all ours bills and debt on me! He makes a modest salary as a trade worker. He is a dedicated worker, never misses a day! I, on the other hand, miss alot of work. Like I said, I have legitimate health issues.

Last year whe I was


iVillage Member
Registered: 06-24-2008
Fri, 10-08-2010 - 12:19am

What has happened in the past when you needed money from him for the kids or for gas?

"The key to good decision making is not knowledge. It is understanding."
Malcolm Gladwell Blink

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-14-2001
Fri, 10-08-2010 - 2:26am

Welcome to the board, Marley101, I'm so sorry you're dealing with this ~

The title of your post seems quite different than what you wrote about. It sounds like he has no trouble talking about money, but when he does it's to criticize and belittle you. It sounds like he has little concern for you, doesn't sympathize (or perhaps believe?) your medical situation and doesn't see your relationship as a partnership. Frankly, he sounds angry.

I have a ton of questions, and I'm sorry for that, but understanding the situation more clearly will help me offer thoughts and suggestions that are more accurate and helpful:

* Why does he feel your to blame for the bills?
* Are many of these bills for things that weren't entirely necessary? Were they charges that you both agreed on?
* Who was the one who made them?
* You said that your finances have always been separate - why and who wanted it? You also said you declared bankruptcy in order to save his credit, who's idea was this?
* What was the bulk of the debt for, household expenses, debt you brought into the marriage or debt that was purchased after marriage but wasn't entirely necessary (it's easy to get in over your head)?
* Who pays the bills, him or you?
* Is he frugal with himself as well or does he have different standards for what he's allowed vs. what you and the kids are allowed?
* How old are the kids?
* Has his stand on money changed over the years or has he always been like this?
* What is your medical condition?
* Are there times that he's approachable and reasonable or is he always this way in regard to finances and your job and health situations?

I'm sorry you're hurting and I'm sorry to be asking questions when you're looking for answers, thanks in advance for your answers, I'll be checking back ~

~ cl-2nd_life

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Fri, 10-08-2010 - 3:44pm

It does seem that after 25 yrs of marriage, there doesn't seem to be a lot of caring going on there.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-31-2003
Sat, 10-09-2010 - 12:39am

HI harmony - this has gone on for years, nothing new. Its a vicious cycle.... the fight and the next day he apologizes... but nothing ever changes, and thats the problem. He apologized this evening when we both got home from work. He says "i dont blame you for our money problems"... but the problem is... he DOES! I told him tonight that he made me feel terrible last night... he apologized and said he has to start being "nicer" to me. He asked me to go out this evening, we had a nice dinner out... then came home... and now he expects because he "apologized" we should have sex. Urgh... more frustration.

Marriage counselling was recommended to us years ago, but we could never afford it. Right now we have a teenage son who is in counselling... and unfortunately his counselling is taking priority.

I would LOVE to go counselling, I know he would go, but he is so darn stubborn I couldnt see it making any difference for us!

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-31-2003
Sat, 10-09-2010 - 1:01am

Hi 2nd life, thanks for responding, and I understand totally why you would have so many questions. Like I said its a very long story. complicated too. So... I'll try and answer your questions in hopes of some feedback... thanks... here goes...

Why does he feel your to blame for the bills? Are many of these bills for things that weren't entirely necessary? Were they charges that you both agreed on? * Who was the one who made them?
He believes that I never help pay any bills. I dont have any credit so I cant "charge" anything... mostly the fighting is over the utilitiy bills &

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-31-2003
Sat, 10-09-2010 - 1:08am

Hi musiclover,

I agree sometimes there is no respect or caring. And nope, no "economic partnership" here!

Yes, I admit that my medical conditions and absence from work caused a huge strain on our family and especially our marriage... but.... I totally give him credit for "keeping things going" while we wait for money from my job.

Yes, he blames me because he thinks I cant manage money. If I am totally honest, I cant. At least not on my own. Thats why I wanted him to do it together... but he insists on keeping everything seperate!

No.. I do not charge up ANYTHING... I am not allowed to use his credit card and its the only one "we" have! I cant have one due to the bankruptcy!

"I just wonder why he is so hostile to you" me too!

As for retraining, I tried. Ive already been and actually applied for government assistance with retraining and I dont qualify because our family income is more than 35000 year

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-29-2002
Sat, 10-09-2010 - 5:05pm
How would he react, if the next time he goes off on a tirade you tell him "I will not be on the receiving end of your current tantrum, you can come talk to me when you are calm" and then walk away.

Im sure he would actually like to stop losing his temper as well. But for now, he knows what to expect. And he knows you will take it. Sure it will make you cry and feel bad, that is because he just transferred all of his anger and frustration on to you. If he is not allowed to do that, what would he do then?
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Sat, 10-09-2010 - 6:13pm

It's rather ironic that he blames you for mismanaging money yet he buys lottery tickets.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-14-2001
Sun, 10-10-2010 - 4:08am
Thanks for the answers to my questions, Marley101. I have to say, you cleared it all up with one sentence -- when you explained that he's abusive. As I'm certain you know, the fact that he hasn't been physically abusive for years doesn't change anything. He's being verbally and emotionally abusive; you still have bruises and scars, they just don't show with verbal and emotional abuse.

Counseling won't help, and in fact is strongly discouraged in abusive situations; a competent therapist/counselor won't work with a couple in an abusive situation.

You're asking how to get through to him, but the fact is, you can't. It's not that he doesn't know the truth or that he's interested in hearing how you're really doing, it's that he WANTS to verbally beat you up. This is what abusers do, this is what he's always done and this is what he'll continue to do. You can't stop it, you can't change it, you can't change him. His goal is to beat you up and make you feel bad and that's what he's going to do. It sounds like along the way his control has forced you into a financial situation that's detrimental to you as well. He "forces" you into bankruptcy by making you pay for household expenses that are more than you can bear, You are more dependent on him than before, less capable of being able to get out on your own and your equality factor is even more uneven than before. All great things for an abuser, just what they strive for.

I'm going to post a bunch of links to articles on abuse that I'd like you to take a look at. Let me know what you think.

What is Verbal Abuse? (please take the time to read the intro, it's slow but it's sooo right on)
Signs of Potential Abuse:

~ cl-2nd_life

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-31-2003
Thu, 10-14-2010 - 1:34am

Hi 2nd life... thanks so much for your response and especially for your understanding. I know that he is an abuser, I also know that I am codependant. While going through my depression I received some very intensive counselling from a psychiatrist. Qw focused on "me" and my codependant characteristics.The doctor knew absolutely everything there was to know about our relationship. I held nothing back. He kept telling me to go to marriage counselling but we couldnt afford to. plain and simple. The counselling for me worked very well and worked for a long while. I recovered from my depression. Lost weight, 25 lbs, started focusing on me (instead of him)... then.... I lost my job.... and now, although the depression has not "fully" set back in, I feel as though I am slowly falling back into the trap. The trap of being belittled, and actually believing it!

Unfortunately I cant go back to that same doctor as he has relocated, so I am trying to do this on my own. These "blaming" episodes are getting really hard to deal with, and I am feeling trapped.

I will read through some of the sites you have recommended over the next few days and check back in after.

Thanks again, its nice to have someone to talk to.