Post # 1
My Fiance has a career in finance and is very money conscious (meaning he watches his pennies). Having said that, he makes much more than I do — I am in the middle of a career transition and have taken a job that doesn’t make very much for the time being while I search for a better job. I have done all of this as part of my move to his country to be near him, I have given up many conveniences and benefits and have had to make career adjustments based on the fact that my field doesn’t completely recognize my foreign credentials in his country . . . and it has not been easy for me to find work as a foreigner with some visa restrictions, let me tell you.
I agree with the idea of both of us putting money into the wedding, but I think that saying we need to split things 50/50 in a situation where my contribution may cause me hardship and his will be easy for him sounds a little off. He wants to go on a very nice honeymoon and wants a fairly large reception — I think that he may be a little out of touch with costs, so I have started trying to explain various costs to him and tried to get him to understand just how expensive what he wants can be. I have told him splitting things 50/50 may mean we have a very, very, very small and very cheap wedding and he’ll have to be happy with that. I’ve also told him that attitude bothers me . . . it’s not so much the actual money as the attitude behind it . . .
I guess that this just highlights the fact that i am concerned about his attitude towards money in general within the context of marriage. We are both religious and will not live together before marriage. Because of this, there has also been no real reason for us to combine finances up until now as we plan for the wedding. He has given me very nice (and very generous) gifts before, and has paid for me to join him and his family on vacations before when I could not afford to go, so it is not as though he is unwelling to spend a dime on me. But he seems fairly concerned with me earning enough to fully support myself even after we are married and has even said that he doesn’t want to get married until I have a “real job”. In this economy, it is incredibly difficult for foreigners to get a real job. I think he says this as more of a threat in an effort to motivate me to search for work because he suspects I am not trying hard enough to find a “real job”. The reality is, I am trying very hard . . . . and I AM working more than one “sub-par job” at this time to make ends meet (one main job and several part-time jobs) — just not the type of jobs he sees as on par with what I ideally should have. I am fully supporting myself, but I live on a very modest budget.
His attitude towards money and pressure on me to find a job he considers “good enough” is really starting to get to me. I have told him that his attitude about the “50/50” wedding and job pressure are very concerning to me. He is espcially causing me stress with the job pressure, and is not being supportive at all in that area. As I mentioned before, I have given up many benefits to come to his country, including a better salary and student loan forgiveness. I just want him to recognize the sacrifices I’ve made for him, and to encourage me and tell me that I will find a good job in due time instead of accusing me of “faffing around” and hinting that he’s afraid I’ll just take financial advantage of him after we get married. I used to think that he believed in me — he used to tell me how proud he was of me, and how he thought I could do anything, but clearly that must have been merely “performance based” (when he said those things he it was when I was successful and living in my own country) and not actual belief in me as a fighter and someone who doesn’t give up . . . because now he’s definitely frustrated with me and unsupportive.
Other areas of our relatioship are really good, which is obviously why I’m with him . . . but these money issues are a red flag to me and I don’t think I can see things clearly anymore because I am feeling very emtional and overwhelmed with it. Maybe I’m overreacting and just being sensitive about this whole thing. I don’t know, but I think it’s probably time for me to seek out counseling (and I suspect he would be willing to come with me). Any outside perspective on this would be really helpful. Thanks.
Post # 3
He does seem confused about the whole idea behind marriage – that you support each other, and after the wedding is over it’s not “yours” and “mine” anymore, it’s “ours.” So splitting the wedding costs 50/50 doesn’t really make any sense unless he’s worried you’re gonna bail and he’ll be on the hook for all of the deposits. I agree that counseling could be very helpful.
Post # 4
hmm You aren’t alone. This is a big red flag to me to. Please so get premarital counseling from a licensed counselor before marriage. Marriage is supposed to be forever so enter into it careful. 🙂
Post # 5
this won’t address the larger issue of dealing with finances during marriage and any issues he may have with them, but i’ll say it anyway. instead of splitting 50/50, wouldn’t it be more fair to split it so you were both contributing the same percent of your income? that way you could find a number that doesn’t greatly affect your current lifestyle.
Post # 6
tell him, “Ok, but we get to share the work load 50/50 too!”
Post # 7
His attitude about this is rather alarming…he wants the big wedding and he wants you to pay for half of it with money you don’t have? Out of curiosity, since you’re in a different country than you were raised, is this a customary thing where he is from? And is it more his family that will be coming to the wedding, or yours?
I think it’s absolutely time to sit him down and explain that A) you are trying VERY hard to find a job, and some support (emotionally) from him rather than criticism is what you need. B) Marriage is a partnership, end of story. If you don’t combine finances, that’s fine, but what happens if you don’t make the same as him when you’re living together? Do you not get to eat because you can’t afford groceries after splitting the cost of the home he is accustomed to 50/50? I’m not trying to be rude with that comment, but it is something to think about. C) If HE wants a big wedding and fancy honeymoon, you’ll happily contribue what you can…but you can not go in 50/50 with money you don’t have. His attitude about finances is concerning, though. How will he feel about things when you have kids? What if you get sick or lose your job? Will he help support you financially?
Post # 8
I think there are some instances where splitting financial obligations are acceptable, since you are a couple in a working relationship. Like “hey, I’ll buy the food if you can pay the heat and water bill this month”
. But his attitude and expectations are as others said alarming. Being suspicious of your future intentions with “his” money and belittling you and not acknowledging your sacrifices is a no go. I can guarantee you that marriage will not be fun if this is how it is going to be! It turns into control and emotional abuse. Please don’t plan another thing of your wedding before you get to the bottom of this. I’m glad you are frusterated as well and came to talk about it- it will help you see you are not crazy!
Post # 9
the finance split works for some people, but it would totally not work for me. I grew up in a household where my mom is a sahm, but she was given unlimited access to the household funds and not put on a budget or allowance. For me and my husband, we make about the same, but we never thought about keeping track of who bought or spent what or is paying for whatever bills. I think its very bothersome that you have given up so much to be with him and he is not supporting you with it and instead drawing such a clear divide.
Post # 10
@Miss Mochaccino: I don’t think you are overreacting. I have dear friends in a similar sort of relationship (where he wants to split everything 50/50 despite making way more money than her, wants her to get a better paying job, etc.) and I can tell you that this is a constant source of tension for them. I wouldn’t say their marriage is unhappy on the whole but this kind of issue doesn’t just go away on its own. If he is willing to attend counseling that sounds like a great idea. Sometimes people just have very different “scripts” about money and marriage and you have to make sure that you can come to an understanding you are both satisfied with.
Post # 11
Speak to him honestly and come to a deal!
Fi wanted and could afford a bigger day than I can. I make less and have more debt. I actually just wanted a tiny affair, but having the whole day event was important to him….so we ended up making a compromise. He pays for his guests, I pay for mine ( i have far fewer coming than him). The rest we keep to a minimum and split 50/50. I.e. we pay for drinks during the meal, but there’s no open bar at the evening reception. We have a sit down meal at a venue, but it’s not the most expensive venue. We have flowers, but his mum is going to do a DIY job for us……
He shouldn’t have to pay for everything nor should you be expected to contribute to what he wants. If you are still searching for a job, then maybe now isn’t the time to be planning a wedding?? If it is, I’m sure it’s just a case of making clear what you can and can’t afford and setting a realistic budget 🙂
Post # 12
It’s kind of strange that he works in finance but is not/cannot acknowledge your inability to cover “your half” def echo pp.
We live pretty 50/50 and it works for us.
At first I was the one DUUUUMPING money into our wedding where i might get a 50 from him here and there, and it was getting VERY frustrating feeling like we made the choice on what wedding we wanted together, but it seemed that I was doing to work to get that wedding. We had a very OPEN talk and now I really don’t know what money came from where…just that it’s thankfully there to pay for items.
As our day to day, I have a more restrictive diet so we buy our own meals. Everything else we just go 50/50 but we make it work if one of us falls short.
Post # 13
I’m not a fan of splitting things 50-50 in a marriage. I know your post is about money, but the general attitude behind splitting things equally seems a little too calculating for my liking. If you have kids, will he carry them for 4.5 months and you for the other 4.5? To me, marriage is a partnership, and both parties support it and each other.
I think it’s a positive that this has come up during the engagement phase, so you guys can nut this out and put it behind you before you start on your married lives. I’d really recommend doing some pre-marital counselling to work through this. We did the Prepare-Enrich program and found it very useful.
Post # 14
He does not sound like someone it will be pleasant to be married to. Everything about what you’ve described is just wrong, wrong, wrong. Belittling you and your career choice instead of encouraging you as you look for a better job? Not acknowledging the sacrifices you’ve made to nurture your relationship? Making you feel like a freeloader? Expecting a 50/50 split of expenses when you have very unequal incomes? Obsessing about “his” money vs. “yours?” Every single thing you listed is the exact opposite of how a spouse, or future spouse, is supposed to approach a marriage.
My fiance makes three times what I do, and on top of that I have a boatload of student loans drawing my income away, as well. He’s not psyched about the loans, obviously, and I know he’ll be happy when I find a higher-paying job. But not ONCE in five years of living together has he put down my job, or my choice to pursue a less lucrative field, because he knows I love my industry and my work, and he wants me to be happy. He expects me to contribute as much as I can to our household, but he does not expect to split things 50/50, and CERTAINLY not the wedding expenses. We talked about what we wanted for our wedding, and agreed we both wanted the big shindig, largely because he has a big family who he wants to invite… and guess what, he is paying for 90% of the wedding cost.
My point is that you are not overreacting… there is a right way and a wrong way to approach a situation like yours/mine and in my opinion your fiance is totally in the wrong.
Post # 15
As another expat bee, this would not fly with me at all. Moving to another country really set me back professionally, and honestly if my Fiance did not support me emotionally and fiancially while I found my footing we wouldn’t have made it. It was a lot leaving my family and friends and switching career paths…actually the biggest fight we ever had was me feeling like he didn’t appreciate me enough, because while everything in his country is so easy for him, at the time he couldn’t understand why it was such a struggle for me. After making huge sacrafices for him, I needed to draw boudaries of what I could and couldn’t do. I think in international relationships you really rely on each other moreso than if you were both from the same country, but I think that is also what has made my Fiance and I stronger.
I think you really need to sit your Fiance down and discuss what exactly you are going through, because he needs to get it dispite the fact he didn’t move and his life is relatively the same. You need to tell him exactly what your budget is, and he needs to decide whether he wants to add more or cut back on the wedding. And if I may say so, you really need to discuss what this marriage means, as not only will you have to adjust to living together for the first time, but also the changes that come with you leaving your life behind for him. If he is having such a difficult time with you adjusting, then maybe he can move to the US and see how easy that is for him….
Sorry, after going through something similar myself his attitude makes me angry. Hope it works out for you, and really hope he starts being there for you more….
Post # 16
You are not overreacting. Like PP said this is alarming. If both you are willing to make it work then really counseling sounds like a good idea. I see that you are a fighter, go for it! I am really proud of you as far as I read your post. You sound like an inteligent and strong woman. I know you will find peace again.
To be honest and this is just me, I made sure I was not dating and eventually end up with a man whom I may have to go through something like this with… For me your SO’s attitude and maybe his values really don’t work for me…