Not on the same page financially

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-05-2003
Not on the same page financially
5
Mon, 05-05-2003 - 10:49pm
My husband and I are up to our eyeballs in debt. I came home today to find that he ordered a $300 dvd player for his car. We don't even have a dvd player in our home! He said he had the money so he just bought it. I'm angry because he didn't consult me - in fact he never consults me on what I consider to be major purchases or financial decisions. He's made purchases over $400, taken out personal loans and opened credit cards without a word to me. He makes over twice what I make but I pay our mortgage and contribute significantly to the other bills. I live from paycheck-2-paycheck but somehow he has cash to spare. I'm a salaried employee so he knows exactly how much I make. He works a lot of OT. I never see a paystub so I don't have a clue what he's bringing in bi-weekly and he doesn't divulge that info. No matter how much extra he brings in he still expects me to give the same amount for the bills, while he pockets the extra cash. Occasionally, I receive a decent bonus from my job. I always let him know about it and he usually wants some of it or has some idea of what we should do with it. We don't share a checking or savings account and neither of us has a retirement plan or even life insurance. I've been busting my butt for the last 3 weeks trying to refinance our mortgage to consolidate some of our debts so we can get out of our financial rut. This is a slap in the face to me. He doesn't understand what the big deal is, but I don't feel like I'm an equal partner with this man, except of course when it comes time to pay the bills, most of which he created. We've only been married for 2 years. Before we married I had great credit and paid all my bills on time. Paying bills on time hasn't been a priority for him so now my credit has taken a nose-dive. I'm starting to see him in a new light. I don't trust him and feel that financially speaking we are roommates, not soulmates. If anyone has any suggestions I would love to hear them. Thank you.
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-09-2003
Fri, 05-09-2003 - 11:48am
Listen, I have been going through the same thing with my husband - you know, feeling like you have a roommate instead of a partner. I have a salaried job and my husband is a self employed contractor - I don't know how much he makes and I pay the housenote, all major bills and when he doesn't work, I pay his bills also. Well, He hadn't worked since Christmas 2002 on any major job and consequently, I have been pulling the weight a long time. Well, we have been married 10 years - the kids depend on me, he depends on me for carrying the weight - well I was in the emergency room 3 weeks ago for a stress induced illness - worrying about bills and contemplating taking on a second job. Then I suddenly realized that I had a Man at home (questionable). He made the decision to be self employed and if he didn't feel the need to carry the weight, maybe it was because he had no urgency - well as of two weeks ago - I no longer pay his personal bills (visas, etc.) I informed him that his bills would remain un-opened by me - I will no longer talk to his creditors - will not make any arrangements - period. I will continue to pay the housenote, utilities, bills in my name - after 3 months - I will kick him off my car insurance and will carry only life and health and will make plans to be by myself if he doesn't decide to grow up. Yes, I had great credit too - but I think the problem is WE allow ourselves to be used and then we get mad because boundaries were not established. I'm not mad at him - I'm mad at myself and I lost respect for him...but like the old women once said to me - I CAN DO BAD BY MYSELF. I do hope my marriage will work out but one thing for sure is I will be just fine. My advice to you - Only you know what you can accept in your marriage - Only you know what will make you happy - you cannot change him he must decide to change himself. If knowing this makes you uncomfortable- start making changes in your situation that you can make - don't consolidate bills if it means picking up his debt and if he is unwilling to show you his paystub- find a bill that means something to him and don't pay it (utilities are a good one) Get some candles and flashlights and wait it out. Yes you will be uncomfortable but so will he and he might be more willing to talk then.
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-09-2003
Fri, 05-09-2003 - 12:14pm
Wow, good post. I am definately listening.
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-24-2003
Mon, 05-26-2003 - 3:09pm
Of course your husband works a lot of overtime - he has to, as materialistic as he is. He wants things he doesn't need. That is truly sad. Does he give anything to charity? Does he do any volunteer work? Nobody "needs" a DVD player for their car. I think he is consumed with a sickness called "materialism" - and it will keep getting worse. He will keep wanting more and more and more. He needs counseling - I'm serious. A financial counselor and probably also some psychological help.
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-27-2000
Tue, 05-27-2003 - 12:44am
Are you saying he deliberately HIDES information about what he actually earns? Or do you just not have any agreements worked out? Anytime two partners are both working and living together, you have to work out financial arrangements between you that are agreeable to both of you, and stick to them. Both of you deserve to have some discretionary money of your own that you do not have to account for to the other, mutual bills need to be handled in a way that's fair to both. It sounds like you're in the position of many couples, one of you is much more responsible financially, but the other can LEARN responsibility. I know it's not uncommon when one partner earns a lot more money to think they deserve to be able to blow X number of dollars while their partner who earns less doesn't deserve to. What matters is that you work out something you both can live with, otherwise money can be a deal breaker. My DH and I have separate checking accounts and I wouldn't have it any other way anymore, neither would he. Some couples think that's absurd, but you do what works for YOU. Even with that, you still have to work out an arrangement both of you are okay with. If you have a couple in which the guy earns $100,00 and his wife earns $20,000, but both work 40 hours a week, there's no way she can contribute to everything equally - your mutual goals determine what changes and how. You two need to renegotiate everything! Money really can wreck a relationship.

 


~~joannaran~~

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-06-2003
Wed, 08-06-2003 - 8:12pm
I know kind of what you mean from a previous relationship. It is hard to make something like that work if they won't listen to you and don't understand. What would happen if you took each bill and paid half and then gave the bill to him to pay the other half so that he would understand better about what bills came in each month? Hope things work out for you.