Post # 1
So DH and I have been married for just over 4 months. It has been a really tough time for us since the wedding settling back into normal life (aka not everything revolving around the wedding). Things between us are fine, we love each others company, love to have fun, etc.
Our problems start when we have to be “adults” and make some tough decisions. One of the first decisions we made as a married couple was that he would go back to school this fall since the economy wasn’t helping his slow business. He was going to get a part time job so that he could still help pay the bills (I can cover 90% of the bills but any spending/saving has to come from him). We talked about how getting job with a traditional company would be good experience to put on his resume since not everyone trusts experience from someone who is self employed. He even set up his school schedule so he has three FULL days with no classes so he can work. He also has a 4 hour break on the other two days that he could pick up hours if it worked out.
Now we have some more tough decisions to make because 4 months after the wedding, he still doesn’t have a job. I would like him to take responsibility of household chores and budgeting since he has the extra time. He has no interest in doing this and says if he does do it its going to be his way (aka spend money when we have it, don’t spend money when we dont as opposed to setting up a nice budget and spreading expenses and spending over time).
On top of that I think we need to start saving some money for some big purchases coming up (dental expenses, next semester tuition and books, and some repairs that are going to be needed). We are just having a hard time getting on the same page with these things and agreeing what is required.
Sorry, most of this is just a rambling vent. If anyone has any advice on how newlyweds are dealing with these types of issues please let me know!
Post # 3
I’m sorry you’re going through this – it sounds really stressful.
It sounds a bit like your husband isn’t on board with this plan at all. It sounds like he’s going back to school and working part time begrudgingly. I can understand if he’s frustrated because of his business slowing down and being out of work so maybe that’s the root of it. But was there another option that he would have been happier with (other than going back to school and working part time)?
I think you’re going about this the right way – being more equitable in how you manage things in the house and how the budget is managed – but has he said anything about why he doesn’t want to do things the way you’ve suggested?
You’re definitely right to want to address any of this as soon as you can – it’s only fair to both of you to figure out how your household is going to work.
I’m sorry I don’t have any advice but I wish you lots of luck and I hope some of the bees have better ideas than me!
Post # 4
Thanks for the support.
“But was there another option that he would have been happier with (other than going back to school and working part time)?”
No, the business has been slow for over a year now (some jobs coming in but barely making enough to may the minimum on bills month to month). I really just can’t think of where to turn from here.
“Has he said anything about why he doesn’t want to do things the way you’ve suggested?”
The only reason is that he says he doesn’t think that way or doesn’t know how. When we talked about him being in charge of paying the bills from now on he said “Welll you’ll have to tell me when they are all due”, its not that hard, pay before the date on the statement. Plus all the bills are already set up to be paid online (which I have shown him how to do twice). All you have to do is open the bill, enter the amount online, and file the bill away marked paid.
It more gets into the budgeting and saving. He was never raised to budget or save and so it really comes down to he doesn’t know how.
Post # 5
Yes now that you aren’t picking flower colors and menu options, there are real decisions you have to make together that will affect both of you.
Honestly, the biggest thing you both need to do is compromise. You can both lecture each other about why YOUR way is right until you’re blue in the face, but it will just leave the other person frustrated and unhappy. For example, if the compromise is for him to pick up more chores around the house, he should be able to do them how he sees fit which may not necessarily be the same way you would have done them.
If he is paying the bills, ask him how you can help get him set up to start doing this. Whether it be buying a calendar and marking off the dates, setting up his Bberry to give off alerts or whatever, that way you aren’t just shoving it onto his plate but slowly transitioning him then relinquishing all control.
Post # 6
@caszos: It seems like he’s making excuses to not have to do the budgeting/bill payment. Anyone who is an adult should be able to learn how to do it. He’s just opting out by making it more work for you.
Being an adult, paying bills and working isn’t fun but he needs to realize that it’s just something he has to do. I’m worried if you do it for him then he may pass other responsibilities on to you. Getting married doesn’t mean you have someone there to do things for you, it means you work as a team, but both people have responsibilities.
Post # 7
@camrie: This is somewhat my fear because this is how he was raised. His mom (love her to death) did everything for them. Need to set up car insurance, sure she’ll make the call for you.
I’m just frustrated that these aren’t things that I like to do or what to do, I do them because I’m an adult and I have to do them.
@moderndaisy: Your right about compromise. I am just worried that with the budget if we do it “his way” we will never plan or save for anything. We just need to spend some time to sit down and talk about a way that he can do it but still makes me comfortable that we have money in the bank.
Post # 8
I’m not taking sides; I’m just trying to give you perhaps his perspective on things since I was once the student in the house while my FI was the sole breadwinner.
Yes, you both need to pull your own weight, but you will run into a lot of problems once you start ordering around your husband on the basis of what you see as “sweat equity.” Yes, you earn the money, but that doesn’t mean you suddenly get the right to dictate how household chores are split up. I would really resent it if my FI came to me and said, “Well now that you’re in school, you should really do all the housework and the budgeting.” I don’t think that’s fair and it implies that my work as a student isn’t as important as my FI’s job. True, being a student didn’t earn me more than a graduate stipend (which is peanuts), but it WAS still hard work–timewise it was a job and between the TAing and the papers and the exams, it didn’t leave a lot of free time.
I second the comment that you need to work as a team–but that means that you need to sit down with him, explain all the things that have to be done and then come up with a solution TOGETHER, which means he gets to have input on how he wants to contribute. In my relationship with my FI we actually do a lot of chores together–I’ll do the dishes while he cleans the stove; we’ll open mail and pay bills while we watch TV together. We figured out that for us, we weren’t very keen on having discrete “jobs” for each-other. That may or may not be you guys, but either way, this has to be something that you talk about and reach a conclusion together.
Post # 9
@caszos: I totally understand what you are going thru. My husband has been in retail most of his life. He loves what he was doing, but couldn’t get promoted. He was stuck where he was. So we talked about him finishing school, getting his business degree, then working toward “running” a retail store – which is what he would love to do.
He went to a part time job while he was in school, and when the econ. got bad, they dumped him. That was two years ago, and he has had an AWFULLY difficult time finding any work since. He did some work for his parents for a few months when they were renovating their house – but that was it. He has been applying for retail jobs, just to get back in the business, but no one has hired him. I have been at 80% of my salary for almost 2 years now, and we are getting to the point where we REALLY need him to get some work. We haven’t saved a penny, other than paying for wedding stuff in 2 years! But he’s not super motivated to find work.
For him, its not about not wanting to work, but more about the effort that he has put in so far, resulting in nothing.. he’s getting tired of the job search.
He is also not totally involved in the finances. I have tried to engage him, when paying bills to sort of talk to him about how much things cost every month, but he has no interest.
Our goal is to get to a point where we are both contribuiting to a joint account. The bills get paid from it, and the extra gets split into savings.. but we are a long way off from there.
My best advice is be SUPER supportive. It always helps my husband when I give him ideas, or talk to him about what’s going on in school. And then when he is able to start contributing again, engage him with where his money is going, what it’s being used to pay for, and how much easier things are with that extra money.
Post # 10
@JennyW1: I am trying SO hard to support him as a student, however, he is still earning his AA degree which means he’s in lower level courses. He is very bright which means he doesn’t have to study much. He’s only taking 12 hours on 2 days a week. He doesn’t have any papers, not a TA, just some quick worksheets for homework and the tests.
I have no earthy idea what he does for the 10 hours a day I am at work on M, W, F. I assume that he watches tv and searches the internet (which I now is true but to what extent I don’t know). All I know is that I come home and there are still dishes in the sink, laundry isn’t done etc. It would just be nice to have the help. I am all about sharing chores, I am not trying to “dump” this onto him but I need him to show me that he is willing to help me out and contribute to this “family” (beyond the 20 hours per week at school).
I am not saying I want to start saving up millions right now, but I do worry about the future. Living month to month is what gets you in trouble. If we don’t plan for our upcoming expenses and work towards them now, how will they get paid when its time.
I’m just so frustrated its really hard to see his perspective since I’m so emotional.
Post # 11
Budgeting is hard, that’s for sure.
What really helped my husband and I is taking a financial planning course as part of our premarital counseling. It really helped us get on the same page with our ideas on money and budgeting and how to handle debt, bills, and saving. It’s seriously been a life saver so far. I don’t know if I’m allowed to put info like this up here (I’m not in any way affiliated with this program, other than we did it and it works for us!) but we did Financial Peace University class by Dave Ramsey at a local church. It’s a 12 or 13 week video/discussion class. Just google it and you can probably find a course in your area! It’s not a quick fix, but it really, really helped our marriage.
Post # 12
Not sure what the official statistics are regarding this, but they do say that money is the number one problem among most married couples. Especially when two people have been raised so differently, it can be tough to make those ideas of what to do with money and how to spend money coincide. I really would recommend taking some sort of class together on money management. If you live near a college, a lot of times the business department will offer classes or a lot of banks will sometimes do something like that. I would really encourage this. Explain to your husband why you feel that saving and spending money wisely is so important. Maybe try setting goals with his, like if you are trying to buy a house or whatever the case may be. That may help him see the bigger picture.
Post # 13
@caszos: I’m not saying that you’re not right to seek for a greater contribution from him because you are. The problem is that you’re so invested in seeing things based on what’s “equitable” without realizing that you’re defining “equity” solely on your terms. You have to let go of what you think your husband SHOULD be doing and concentrate on the best way of compromising to solve the problems. And the solution is likely to look different from the way you’re currently thinking is “equitable” in your head (which right now sounds like, “I go to work; you do the housework”). When you say, “there are dishes in the sink and the laundry isn’t done” it has the tone of you sitting down together and you saying something awfully close to “Okay, here are my demands:” I’m just cautioning you to make sure that you don’t let your frustration lead you down that path because it’s not going to go well–he’ll feel like you’re his mommy rather than his partner. Focus on divvying up all those adult chores in a way that makes BOTH of you comfortable and happy.
PS: If it IS a lot of TV & Internet and a lack of motivation to deal with day-to-day minutia then this can be signs of depression (a lot of depressed people have difficulty with things like paying bills, doing things on time, cleaning etc.)–which is entirely possible with all the stuff going on with his job. And that may also play into why he’s not keen on doing the budgeting because it may be painful for him to see that he’s not the one earning the money. Just an FYI so you can keep an eye out for him.
Post # 14
@JennyW1: I totally agree with what your saving but I just don’t know how else to approach the subject besides saying, “I went to work for 10 hours today, what can you do to help me out”.
I really do think that he may be on the verge of suffering from depression but I also think its his nature to just ignore problems.
@lindseyrose: I have looked a lot into the Dave Ramsey segment and I really like what he has to say. We are really lucky that we have very small amounts of debt (house, 1 truck, and my $6k student loan). Was the session better about talking about regular budgeting or more just about getting out of debt? We have already started the “envelope” system and its working really well to not let us spend more than we have especially since money is tight. Problem is, if I hand the budgeting over to him I”m not sure he would keep up with it.
Post # 15
It sounds like he’s lazy. Sure, he could have depression or some other ailment, but since you mentioned that his mother did everything for him, he may be expecting or assuming you’ll do everything for him, too.
I don’t blame you for being upset. I, personally would talk to him again and tell him you aren’t happy with this arrangement and changes need to be made. But I wouldn’t say, “You don’t do this…you do this”…in a firm, but friendly tone. Good luck!
Post # 16
I’ll second that honestly, he seems lazy. It is in no way acceptable to sit around on your ass for 3 full days every week when there are things around the house that need to get done. Should he have to spend all day cleaning because you’re working and he’s not? No! But he can put his dishes away/in the dishwasher and he could throw in a load of laundry every once in a while and run the vacuum every so often. Honestly, that’s asking very little.
I think he is truly being very disrespectful to you as he seems to think that it is okay for you to not only earn all the money for the houeshold, but pay all the bills, do all the cleaning, work out all the budgets, etc. Does he do anything productive besides his 20 hours of school a week?