Money Matters

Husband is a spendthrift and gets upset whenever we discuss money

Hi everyone.  I've been married for over 4 years. Before we got married, my husband and I opened joint account and have started religiously contributing to a joint savings (even if not a lot) every month.  The rule we had was that as long as we save what we committed to saving, we won't question each other's spendings. However, since we relocated, he stopped contributing to our savings.   Every time I tried to remind him of the balance he owes to our nest egg, he always come up with an excuse of why he cannot contribute, e.g. paying off his card debts, our vacation expenses, investing in small businesses with his friends, etc.    What's more, he make uses of the joint account we still have in our previous home state to pay his student loans or personal loans. 

 Recently, our joint account balance has been depleted almost completely because our tenant moved out so the account doesn't get funded anymore and his loans are still being taken out of the same account.  When I asked him to transfer money to fund the account, he said he cannot fund it because he has been covering all the household expenses since I went to NY for a temporary work assignment.  

 Here are my problems:

1.  Whenever have a talk about money, we always end up in a fight.  When I suggest we set aside some time to talk about financial goals, his response is that he doesn't want to talk about setting a goal when we have to incur major expenses on travel and higher living expenses here.  He said he will not come if he is forced to look at financial goals and our financial situation.

 2.  After netting off the expenses he paid for the household from his income, i determined he still has a good chunk of disposable cash (we make about 200k total per annum) to cover his loan payments, contribute to our savings or both!  The only reason that I think he doesn't have money left is because he spent all of it on entertainment and going out.  (He doesn't buy me any presents or buy our daughter any toys or clothes).  But I don't know how to confront him on this or get him to own up to his spending habits without being confrontational or send him into defensive mode.  I tried just sending him a table showing his income, expense and disposable cash, and his response was "I don't want to look at it, or else i don't want to come to NY".

 Every discussion about money since i came to NY has ended with him saying that he doesn't want to visit me.  I'm so frustrated and hurt because I feel that he is trying to avoid seeing the hard facts, won't take accountability for his spending habits and is emotionally blackmailing me for trying to bring the issue to the open. We still love each other, but I can't help but think of the "D" word whenever i think about our money matters!  Help!! 

Re: Husband is a spendthrift and gets upset whenever we discuss money

  • I think your problem is less about money and more about your husband not communicating with you.  I'd be suspicious if there were no problems with this kind of stuff before you moved and now he's being purposely vague and avoiding talking about the money.  I think you need marriage counseling first, then financial.
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  • He is definitely playing dirty by blackmailing you, which is really unfair. I too would be suspicious of his sudden inability to save. I guess as a last resort you could just scratch the joint account and start saving your money in your own personal account? That way you won't end up feeling resentful. Count your losses and start afresh with your own personal savings account and forget about saving jointly.

    Quick question - why doesn't he buy your daughter any clothes / toys? It's sounding like he's all about himself. 

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  • Just based on what you wrote, I would guess he is upset with your move to NY and is punishing you financially.
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  • image LS45:
    Just based on what you wrote, I would guess he is upset with your move to NY and is punishing you financially.

    This. I think it goes a lot deeper than financial. 

  • This situation would make me paranoid.   I would run a credit report to see if there is any additional cards or debts that you are not aware of.

    And I would want to know more about these "small businesses" he has been investing in.  What kind of $$ amounts are involved in these businesses?  Is there any paperwork involved?  What if one of these businesses takes off -- how would your husband get his fair share?

    My first thought is that your husband has a drug or gambling habit that is getting worse and that is why he has been going through cash so fast.  His strongly negative reaction and lack of transparency on his finances makes me suspicious. 

  • Do you think he could be having an affair?  The hiding of the money, the refusing to come visit you, the "I'm not moving to NY!!11" at the drop of a hat....

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  • image DaringMiss:

    This situation would make me paranoid.   I would run a credit report to see if there is any additional cards or debts that you are not aware of.

    And I would want to know more about these "small businesses" he has been investing in.  What kind of $$ amounts are involved in these businesses?  Is there any paperwork involved?  What if one of these businesses takes off -- how would your husband get his fair share?

    My first thought is that your husband has a drug or gambling habit that is getting worse and that is why he has been going through cash so fast.  His strongly negative reaction and lack of transparency on his finances makes me suspicious. 

    This was my first thought, though Nugget's theory has possibilities as well. 

  • I agree, there is something more than money going on here. Either there is a reason for hiding his spending, or he doesn"t want to move, or he is a seriously irresponsible jerk. This isn't how a good marriage is built. If he doesn't want to be open I'd make sure a) that you're being very careful to make it sound like a team thing and not an attack, b) that you get to counseling. And run his credit report so you know the full picture.

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  • I too think we need marriage counseling.  But I don't know how to suggest we go marriage counseling, because I don't think my husband acknowledges there's a problem with our marriage.  If i suggest there's a problem with our marriage, he will think I'm just being insecure and melodramatic.  I can't help but feel very resentful toward the marriage from so many different aspects.
  • Yes, I've just taken it upon myself to save more and buy life insurance for my daughter's future sake. 

    I guess i should correct myself.  My husband doesn't buy any clothes or toys for our daughter proactively, but he woud pay for clothes or toys if I say we should buy it.  Moreover, the two grandmas buy my daughter A LOT of clothes, so I guess he doesn't feel the need to buy more.  Maybe his way of showing love for her is to spend time with her.  But sometimes, I also wish to see him be more proactive in catering to the material needs of our daughter.

  • I can't help but feel the same way.  I don't know how to approach the problem constructively, so oftentimes, it's just easier to bury it under other things.  Ugh!
  • image zhenova:

    Yes, I've just taken it upon myself to save more and buy life insurance for my daughter's future sake. 

    Ummmmm...not sure where this comes from.  Would you be insuring yourself with your daughter as beneficiary or are you buying one of those kid insurance policies?

    And why are you ignoring all of the posters who have told you to look into this situation further?   

  • It does not sound like you have good communication with each other at all --- and yes, something more is going on here.

    Your daughter seems to have NO material needs at this time.  IMO, spending time with someone is one of the best ways to show love.  And right now your DH does not seem interested in spending time with you --- and that IS a problem.

    I would see a counselor by yourself if necessary. When one party changes, it changes the whole dynamic of the relation ship.

     

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