Post # 1
SO and I got in a fight about finances last night because I felt that he was being insensitive. I am currently trying to pay off my $40,000 student loan plus all of my living expenses, keeping a minimum of $3000 in the bank to get a UK Visa in April (I have to do this, as I have already signed a contract for rent to move come September), and yesterday, my car broke down. I brought it to the shop and it was “fixed” for $260, but the second I got it home and into the driveway, the same problem started up again. After talking on the phone with the mechanic, the problem could cost me an additional $500 to fix if the problem is in the cylinders in the ignition. $750 is just under two weeks pay, money is tight, and I am really worried about dropping that kind of money on something so unexpected when there are so many other places where that money needs to go.
When I told SO, I wanted him to be sympathetic and understanding. I wanted him to tell me that everything was going to be fine and that I could handle it because I’m doing everything I can to save my money while paying off loans. Instead, he shrugged and said “Yeah well, it happens. Quit whining”. He has been really cold with me since.
Am I wrong to have wanted sympathy and to feel that he is being insensitive?
Post # 3
@CanadaMoose: Jeez! Mr. Snittybritches for sure!!!!!… Well, he is being insensitive… but look at it this way, maybe he’s having a horrible day and will come around later tonite…
ETA: He probably feels overwhelmed himself and can’t be “there” for you at the moment. I know it’s not helpful or anything, but it’s probably the root of his aloofness…
Post # 4
It depends how long you’ve been talking about it or how often you complain about finances. Car trouble happens, emergencies happen, and lots of people have debt. I wouldn’t want to hear about it all the time either. I hate whining.
Depending on your tone and the frequency of your complaining, I can understand his annoyance. If it was a one-off, then he could have been nicer about it. Maybe he thought you were trying to imply he should give you the money.
Post # 5
@CanadaMoose: The whining comment seems strange. So does him seeming cold and distant about it. Are there other underlying issues?
Good for you trying to get your student loans paid off. I have less than that, and feel like I will still be paying them when I collect social security.
Post # 6
@CanadaMoose: First off, sorry for your situation, that really sucks.
Wow, that seems quite rude of him. Is that how he usually is? Or is he under unusal stress? Does he usually try to help you solve problems or is a part of a solution?
If this is out of character, that is one thing, but if this is a pattern…..well, that isn’t the kind of person I would want to be a life partner.
Post # 7
@Billsgirl: +1 on Mr. Snittybritches.
Post # 8
@CanadaMoose: Do you whine a lot? The only reason I could think another adult would tell someone to stop whining is if they had a tendency to do so.
Post # 9
- Wedding: July 2012 - The Gables Inn, Santa Rosa, CA
Yes, he’s being insensitive, but it sounds like he’s a “fixer” he doesn’t have a solution to your problem so he doesn’t see a reason to keep talking about it. Have you tried talking to him about how his comments made you feel?
My husband is the same kind of person, he doesn’t want to talk about a problem unless it’s engineering a solution, if it’s something that can’t be fixed (or if the fix is undesirable) the conversation is over, there’s no alternative, so you move on. It took me a long time to adjust to his way of processing, and it took him an even longer time to realize that when I needed to talk about something it was more than just wanting a solution. Open communication is key.
Post # 10
@Billsgirl: Hehe, that made me feel loads better. I half want to call him Mr. Snittybritches right now. I’m sure he also feels overwhelmed, he definitely can’t help from where he is.
@MrsPanda99: I don’t talk about it too often, but he has heard a few times in the past couple of months that I am worried about getting my finances in order before the big move. I’m not sure how I could’ve avoided this conversation though, because dropping $750 is definitely not something that I should keep hidden from him. Also, he knows it’s not me asking him for money since I’m much more straightforward than that, and I’ve turned him down in the past for financial help (any money he could give me is off his own student loan, so it’d be silly in the long run when our finances are combined).
@Bridey77: He might’ve just had a stressful day, because I don’t think I told him in a whining tone at all. And it would explain him being distant today.
@bmo88: He’s definitely not normally like this! I wouldn’t put up with it on a regular basis!
Post # 11
That sucks about your car and I do think your SO could have been a little more empathetic. But if you’ve been constantly complaining about money for while, I can see how he’d be annoyed. Without more backstory, I can’t say if he’s being reasonable or not.
Post # 12
I mean it does happen, and complaining about it isn’t going to help the matter at all, but your SO should be the person that you can complain to about things that won’t change. He should be there to be your shoulder to cry on when things go wrong. This is obviously all incredibly stressful on you. It’s not like you are talking about dropping $150 on something. $500 is A LOT of money to spend on a car that you already spent almost $300 on! Plus, it sounds like you are trying to do the right thing by saving your money and paying down your loans. I would ask him if something is bothering him. Maybe this is a sore spot for your SO for some reason. Has he always had to take care of all of his own problems when they come up or something? I know my SO gets really upset when I talk about things like this at times because my parents paid for most of my car related bills growing up, and his didn’t.
Post # 13
@KC-2722: I’m not much of a whiner. My mom smacked it out of me as a kid by constantly muttering “whiners are wieners” as she dealt with myself and my brothers.
@juliette.eliza: That sounds exactly like SO! If he can’t fix a problem, the problem doesn’t exist, according to him. How did you and your husband manage to talk to each other about how you dealt with issues that can’t be fixed?
Post # 14
@RunsWithBears: I don’t think I’ve complained about it frequently enough for it to truly be reasonable, but I’m biased. Thanks though 🙂
@beetee123: Thank you! I’m not sure how it’d be a sore spot, as SO’s parents have always paid his car expenses (he uses the family car), while I saved up, bought my own when I was 20, and have always paid for it myself. It’s possible that he just can’t fix the problem and therefore feels useless and is being massively grumpy because of it.
Post # 15
- Wedding: July 2012 - The Gables Inn, Santa Rosa, CA
@CanadaMoose: Well, the first part was that I had to realize that just becasue he doesn’t want to talk about it, it’s not that he thinks it doesn’t exist, it’s that he doesn’t want to invest any more energy into something that can’t change. I’m like you, I’m a talker… If there’s a problem, or opportinity, or hell, even the lack of one! I want to talk about it, and when we’re done talking, I want to talk some more!
The hardest part for me was learning when to let things go, even if I wanted to keep talking about it. I’ve learned to play out whole conversations in my head (after living with someone for 7 years, you’d be surprised at how good you get at knowing what they’re going to say! I’m usually pretty accurate) Anyway, if the topic is something that I think Darling Husband could add to (i.e. my car is making a funny sound, I wonder what it is… or I’m going grocery shopping, I wonder what we should cook this week…) I start the conversation with Darling Husband and get his input. If it’s something that I think he can add to, but doesn’t care about (i.e. should I wear the blue dress or the green dress to that party on Saturday… or I’m tired of these old bed sheets, Macy’s has a whole new line of floral prints…) then I’ll start the conversation, but keep my expectations low. If it’s something that he can’t change, but will care about (i.e. Someone ran into the power pole down the street so our internet is going to be slow for a few days while they fix it… or my sister just announced she’s pregnant…) I’ll tell him, but not expect a conversation about it. And lastly, if it’s something that he can’t change and likley wont care about (i.e. we changed brands of copy paper at work, and the new stuff gives me a papercut when I load the machine… or the forcast is predicting rain on saturday, so I guess I wont be doing ladie’s brunch in the park…) then I play out the conversation in my head, and usually end up not telling him at all. In this scenario, I call my sister (who is also a talker, married to a fixer) and we talk about it to our hearts content.
On the flip side, while I can’t tell you what goes through his mind as detailed as I can my own, I can tell you that Darling Husband is always kind and considerate when I’m talking about things he doesn’t care about, and he tries to participate in the conversation as much as he can without being short or sarcastic about it. And on some days he’ll simply stop me and say “Juliette, I’m sorry, but I really don’t care. Can we please talk about someting else?” And while I’m never happy about it, I respond positively. And some times when I feel like he’s ignoring me, I will stop him and say “Honey, I realize this isn’t even on your radar, but it’s important to me. Can you please listen and talk to me about this?” And he’s just as receptive.
Post # 16
@CanadaMoose: Well isn’t he a ray of sunshine! Was he having a bad day? I’m sorry you’re going through car troubles, I know how stressful that can be especially when you least expect it. I resent spending any money on my car, even petrol, but I HAVE to have the car – it’s the only car SO and I have so we have to look after it.
Can you shop around for a cheaper mechanic? I had a roadworthy done on my car recently – my usual mechanic (family friend of my parents) was away so I took it to a mechanic SO knows. My car will need a major service and I was quoted around at least $1K from my usual mechanic, and the mechanic SO knows said he could do it for around $750. That’s a HUGE difference to me, and is the deciding factor on taking my car to the second mechanic when it needs work. Even if you’ve been going to the same place for years, or know the mechanic, you may not necessarily be getting the best price, so ring around and ask.