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Does your husband CONTROL the finances? VENT loooong

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 
I am a SAHM per circumstance. I was married once before 3 children (12,11,8) then divorced for 4 years. And then remarried with 2 children(3,8mo.) with 2nd husband. I had always been a SAHM, WAHM. During my single mom time I did daycare in my home and worked the weekends and wednesdays since the kids were gone. When my 8 yr old was going to start kindergarten I decided to start school so I could have a career of my own and be more secure financially. It was wonderful, I was so proud of myself and enthusiastic about my future career. I was going to school when I met and married my 2nd husband, I continued through our first child and then dh decided for me that school was no longer an option. I am one class short of my associates, which really doesn't matter because the career I was pursuing has a hiring age limit which I have since exceeded. He wanted me to stay at home and do daycare. My dh works and has his own checking account and I get a grossly small amount of child support from my first husband. With this child support I pay all of our household bills (gas electric garbage cable phone), my car payment, both of our car insurance, his cell phone, buy grocerys, kids clothing, school costs for the kids.... well lets just say that the only thing he pays is his car payment and the house payment. I do not make enough to pay the things that are expected of me so I end up juggleing money, getting behind, borrowing money, stressing on how to pay it back etc... in the mean time my dh literally makes 10x what I do and he is out playing golf, season tickets to football, big screen tvs. I returned baby gifts from my mom to buy groceries!!! He thinks this is okay and says that because I bounce the occasional check that I am not responsible and he will not have me on his checking account. I feel that it takes a lot more responsibility to have little money and stretch it the way I do than to have ample money to blow. He gets his statements online so that I cannot see them and does not tell me when he gets big commissions such as recent 10,000.00 and 17,000.00 ones which I only found out about because he likes to brag to others. I did do daycare for our neighbor for a year an extra 100.00 a week (whoopie), but I cannot and could not mentally or emotionally do it any longer. I would love to get a job but he will not let me work nights or weekends and finding a daytime job where I can make enough money to afford daycare for two is impossible. You can probably guess that there are many other issues in our disaster of a marriage. I once prided myself in being a great SAHM and now I feel I am a pretty mediocre mother at best, I am tired, depressed, hopeless and trapped and am ready to just run away from all of them: !!!

I don't see how anyone could help me with a solution as I have tried for 3 years and begged and pleaded with him, but, if anyone else is or has been in my shoes misery loves company.
post #2 of 41
I'm sorry you're so stressed out. It sounds like you're in a hard place. I'm a pretty straight forward person and I will say that I would be looking for a good divorce lawyer.
post #3 of 41
I'd say it's time to take your kids and leave the guy, if you have any possible place to go. See if you can stay with your mom or a friend for a while, swap child care with another mom so you can get a job or find a job in a daycare or children's resale shop or something. If you don't have trust and communication, you don't have a marriage. You have a grossly imbalanced living situation where you are being taken advantage of.
post #4 of 41
Can I ask you why you are staying in this marriage?

No offense to you, but frankly, at this point, he has made your position clear. You need to leave and get a divorce. You'll get more money out of him when he doesn't own you like a slave than you are getting now.

And it's not like you're getting anything worth staying for, like love and friendship and mutual respect.
post #5 of 41

IMO, your money should be shared. You both contribute to the household in different ways and you should pay the bills together.

I don't understand why he would keep his income separate from yours - does he not want the best for his family?

Surely you've talked about this with him?
post #6 of 41
No, my husband wouldn't even try to control anything around here. Frankly I would be putting a guy out on the street before I would put up with this.
post #7 of 41
That's not a good man you've got there. I agree, get out while you can. If you REALLY want/need to stay, you need to inform him that he needs to, at a minimum:

Start paying for his own car insurance.
Pay half the utilities
His phone bills
and half the assorted costs of raising the children that are biologically his. Including an hourly wage to you for taking care of them all day.

But really, you can't reform a guy like that. I'm sorry, mama. That's not right.
post #8 of 41
I agree with the pp's - this doesn't sound good AT ALL.
Judging from the brief description of your budget, it sounds like you could afford to continue being a sahm if you were getting CS from your DH after a divorce. As long as you got enough to cover rent/mortgage, you'd be in the same spot you are now, but without the disrespectful, controlling husband. Am I doing the math right?

to you mama. I would not stay in a situation like that if I had any way to get out.
post #9 of 41
Thread Starter 

Thank you!

I appreciate all of your replies. Although I already know, it is nice to hear that this is not okay. I know that it is inevitable that I leave him, why I have not yet is jovial??? My three oldest children have been through a divorce already and have had to move a couple of times and I am hesitant to do that again. Regardless of my unhappiness they like their school and neighborhood, maybe they do not like me so much but at their age school and friends are their life. I also know, as strong as I once was, I would not be able to raise 5 children on my own. I cannot afford an attorney and do not have a penny to my name to last even a week without a home. My mother lives an hour away and the kids are still in school. These are only excuses, as I would leave if I really wanted to. Everyone loves my husband, I love my husband. He is very likeable and outgoing but I am afraid that along with this comes the fact that he is the most self serving person I have ever known. Which is why I believe that he does not do what he does because he wants to be an ass but because he has no clue and really thinks that it is okay. However, I know that it is not and can hardly make it through a day without repeated reminders that I loathe my life. Who knows I may wake up one day with a brilliant idea as to how to change things. Thank you all again, I am pretty isolated socially and have no one to talk to about this (at least no one who doesn't say "tim??? but he seems like such a great guy, can't you just talk to him, I am sure he would be reasonable, and he loves you so much!")
post #10 of 41
So then you have tried talking to him? I think if you really want this relationship to work you need to be very clear and let him know how profoundly his actions are affecting your relationship. The word loathe is pretty strong ... not one you want to associate with a dh.
post #11 of 41
I am sorry, but he would have to be a very dense induvidual to think that his wife paying for ALL expenses except the house payment, borrowing money to do so, while he splurges on TVs and golf, is okay. He also controls you by not "letting" you work. He has his little unpaid house servant under his thumb.

This is not a likeable or nice person. This is not love. This is not what person does to someone they love.
post #12 of 41
That is very inappropriate. Have you tried actually sitting down with him with all of the bills, income statements etc and saying "look, you make *blah* and I make *blah*. I cannot afford to pay all of this on my child support/daycare/etc. Obviously, I cannot pay these bills on just the childsupport income, so you need to be contributing financially to this family as well"
post #13 of 41
Ok... I'm playing the devil's advocate here... I guess I'm surprised by all the advice to leave him as fast as possible.

Maybe I skimmed to quickly and missed something... ahh... I see it now... the bottom part... the statement about misery loves company.

I guess I would be more strategic about things... If you are married then those bills are his to pay too. Can you set up automatic bill pay from his account? Are there reasons behind this... He does sound terribly controlling. Like why did he have you quit that class... but even more importantly I guess was he making it impossible for you to take the class?

Can you negotiate something else out? Would he be willing to pay for the percentage of groceries (or all bills) that is in direct relationship to the number of himself and his kids?

To me I'm wondering if this goes beyond the bills getting paid and the money. For instance, if all your bills were paid and you had an agreed upon allowance or something... Would that be enough for you to be happy and stay? What about the rest of your relationship? Do you and he have a good relationship? I guess I"m just wondering if this is about more than the finances.

Sorry I'm being so ??? about this... I'm having marital problems of my own and am currently seeing a couples therapist and a therapist for myself! So I tend to examine things differently now than I would otherwise.

(By the way, it does seem like a tough situation because you at least have a roof over your heads right now. I suppose if you had a divorce attorney you could at least get some of the income he's bringing in)
post #14 of 41
He decided for you that you shouldn't finish school? He wanted you to stay home and do daycare? HE asked YOU to not work outside of the home but HE won't take care of the bills? This is highly controlling. I wonder what other aspects of your life this control spills into. Take care of yourself and your children.You don't have to put up with this.

Edited to add that until a year ago I was a sahm, and my DH has NEVER controlled the money. He has always shared. Unless you have the ability to make your own money (enough to support yourself and your children) he should too. And quite frankly even if you did, I wouldn't want a husband who wasn't generous with his wife.
post #15 of 41
ok, first of all, IMO CS needs to go for expenses related to the CHILDREN. That means school supplies, clothing, savings account for college, extracurriculars, etc. It does NOT mean DH's phone bill, car insurance, groceries, etc. unless there is no other option (single mom living on CS as income, for example). He got $27,00 in BONUSES but you're returning GIFTS to get FOOD? No. He's abusing you. And your kids.

I'm sorry, that all sounds really harsh, but I'm angry on your behalf that this man would take advantage of you AND YOUR KIDS in that way. No. This needs to change and this needs to change TODAY. Take all the bills, put them in his name, and tell him what the deal is. He needs to provide for his family. Put up or shut up, so to speak. Counseling would also be a good idea. If you have health insurance, this may be covered, but even if it isn't, anyone making in bonuses what some people make in a YEAR can afford a few sessions with a counselor out-of-pocket.

And if you decide that you've had enough, you don't need money to see a lawyer. Legal aid has family lawyers for just such a situation. Make sure you see them BEFORE you tell him what's up, because once one of you meets with them, the other one can't (conflict of interest to represent you both), and a LOT of men facing what your husband might will do the dirty trick of seeing legal aid & then hiring a bulldog $$$ attorney & leaving the wife high & dry.
post #16 of 41
Mama, your dh is an *******! Yes he is controlling you. I'm stunned that he does not share his income with you and the children. So wrong. Why should you have to loathe your life? You were doing so well and he wanted you to stop your career, he won't let you work nights. Sit him down and be bloody brutal, what have you got to lose? Maybe he is completely ignoring the fact that you even exist except in his f***ed up little world where he rules. Sorry but I'm mad, this is not acceptable. I'm a longterm single mama, plenty skint with 3 dc and I am just sickened you are being treated like this. There is no logic in this setup, he is using you. You'd be better off out imo, you are paying for just about everything anyway! No man has a right to treat a woman like this. What a greedy self serving toad.You are miserable you need a solution now. He has undermined your confidence and self esteem by the sounds of it, why oh why do they do it? You need good legal/financial help , you deserve a life mama, I'd rob his account and get out , he owes you anyway, he's controlling you in so many ways, would you get anything out of a divorce? I've never been married or ever got cs but if you can get your wages off this guy it would really help to start up again, you sound incredibly capable and self sufficient, you don't need him and it sounds like he knows that and aint too happy about it and is making you suffer. His loss. And as the pp says he's abusing you and your kids. WTF??!!
post #17 of 41
He's emotionally abusive, and extremely controlling. He's not "nice" - he's like my ex...amiable, and easy to get along with. That doesn't mean "nice".

I understand the financial situation sucks, and you don't want to try to go it alone...but have you really thought about how much harder (or easier) it would be to be alone? When I kicked my ex out, I found myself with more money than when we were married...and it was easier to stay on top of it.

Seriously...I'd tell him you want counselling, if you see something here that's worth trying to salvage. If he didn't agree, I'd leave. There's nothing about this that's healthy or normal. He's treating you like dog crap and "taking advantage" doesn't even begin to cover it.
post #18 of 41
Oh dear, however do strong women get into these situations?

My first marriage was to a controlling, emotionally abusive man. All the bills were in my name, all the money in his... he put me in a position of having to beg to be able to pay for all the nessesary things we needed. He literally did not let me touch "his" money for years. I felt hopeless, depressed and trapped.


I only had 2 kids when I left his sorry butt, I can only imagine how much harder it must seem to you with all your kids.... but seriously, this guy has all but enslaved you. The position he has you in is degrading and he is abusing you. My heart is sick thinking of you there... Yes, divorce is hard on kids, but so is living with parents in a bad relationship. Think on this; the unequal, abusive relationship they are witness to every day is what they will think of as normal. That was the thought that got me out the door, the thought that my boys would grow up thinking the way their da treated me was way beyond ok. I want so much better for them, and I owe it to my future daughter in laws to make sure they grow up to be respectful of women.


Brightest Blessings to you, and may the gods smile upon you and illuminate your way through this darkness. Peace to you, and love abundant.
post #19 of 41
Thread Starter 
[QUOTE=forthebest;8072519] He has undermined your confidence and self esteem by the sounds of it, why oh why do they do it? You need good legal/financial help , you deserve a life mama, I'd rob his account and get out ,QUOTE]

This is what I did... last week
I used his (my name was on it too, but he hid my cards when they came in the mail and I didn't even know my name was on it until I found a document he had hidden in his bureau) credit card and I paid all of the bills current and one month ahead. I then cash advanced 5000.00 into my account to pay for an attorney and living expenses. I then felt bad about it and told him what I had done and he told me that I stole that money and better give it back along with how awful I was to have done such a thing. I told him that I would not do anything with that money and would be happy to pay it right back to the cc company as soon as we went to counseling and I was no longer in a position where I felt no financial security. He made a counseling appt. and the next day asked me for a check to pay it back. I got weak and took everything out of my acct. (even the child support), closed my account, got a cashiers check in his name, gave it to him and told him that he now has COMPLETE control. I gave up. The pro: now he can have it all and see how it is not sufficient to pay the bills and everything else. The con: I don't have a dime to even get gas, or baby food.
We did go to our first counseling appt. on Monday and have another one next Tuesday. Hopefully it will help, though I am doubtful because it is apparent that his goal for doing it is to justify that what he is doing is okay and I am not sure how counseling works exactly but I get the assumption that she will not outright say that you cannot manipulate your wife's life by controlling the money. And even if she did I am pretty positive that he would not listen.
post #20 of 41
Thread Starter 
I have tried to talk to him from the time we got married until now. There was one time he said okay, he told me to open an account in both of our names and that he would put his paycheck into it and only enough into his personal account to pay his car payment which is automatically deducted. He never put a penny into the account but yet would grab our "joint" checkbook to go pick up food. I eventually took his name off of the account and when I told him he got mad and told me how crappy I am. I am used to hearing this. We do have many other issues otherwise. He thinks I am his automatic daycare so that he can come and go as he pleases, although he does not persistently go out, he does get away on his own about 10 times to my one and every time I do get a chance to get out of the house he makes me feel bad about it. He does absolutely nooooo housework and even though I have tried to delegate the garbage removal to him it still ends up on my list or I get to hear how the kids should do it because they don't do anything. I get to hear how other moms do it all why can't I. I also get to hear how wonderful all of the other moms in the neighborhood are but I don't think he realizes that their husbands support and partnership may play a big part in that. Nor does he realize that maybe, just maybe I might be just as desireable of a wife as they are. He really is not a nice person at home but these are things few people have seen and those who have are saying the same things you all are.
I could keep writing more but am trying to avoid him seeing this so have to keep posting before I am done completely.
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