Post # 31
He’s got serious shame around spending. It sounds like your financial situation isn’t the best (I’m assuming since you say he’s in school so that he can make more money in the future) and he has impulses to spend on indulgences like video games, fast food, tattoos. There’s nothing inherently wrong with those purchases, but if finances are tight and with a baby I can see why you’d be upset about them and how he would be ashamed of them even if you were fine with them. So he’s hiding because he knows he could be making more responsible choices, and he feels guilty. It sounds like you would have been supportive of the tattoo, but if it cost hundreds of dollars and that money could have been better spent on something else in your lives (wedding, baby, honeymoon, whatever else), he was aware that it was a selfish move and then hid it from you out of shame. That does NOT make it okay, but I’m just trying to understand where he’s coming from and why he’s behaving like this. I think you should tell him how hurt you are by his hiding, make it clear that you need to work through these things together, and have him agree to both therapy AND seeing a financial counselor. If money is the only thing he’s ashamed of his behavior around, then setting up a more defined budgeting system and making a healthy amount for discretionary spending that he doens’t have to feel guilty about might be a way to resolve a lot of the issue. If he’s lying and hiding more generally, then I think there’s less hope of resolving things, but if it’s pretty focused on finances, then I think working out a system you can both agree on would be helpful.
Post # 32
thank you for the new perspective. Pretty much just finances. I guess I was seeing it less as the money and more as lying, but when you add the two together I could understand the shame part and maybe that’s why he’s hiding it. He has major impulsive spending habits and I don’t know how to handle it. It’s just escalated this year. I suppose I could try to view it as only financial, but how do I know he’s not lying about other stuff?
Post # 33
Does he act impulsively during times of stressful situations? Sounds like there is a bigger issue here than just going out and getting a tattoo. Maybe he’s stressed about certain things and do not know how to handle them and acts impulsively. His impulsive behavior is playing out through your finances He may be ashamed of his impulsiveness but do not know how to deal with it or the real underlying issues that cause him to behave this way.
Maybe the only way he knows how to express himself is through spending when dealing with stress or other issues he may have. Maybe he isn’t telling you about how stressed he could be considering you guys are only a one income family right now. I would definitely have him see a therapist about it.
Post # 34
I wouldn’t care so much about the tattoo (to be honest, I’d consider your reaction to that specific thing to be an OVER reaction. It’s his body his choice), at least the act of getting it.
To me, and I’m sure others have pointed this out I just haven’t read all responses, the issue is money. He spent money on a tattoo without telling you, he spent money on 2 xboxes without telling you, he spent 1500 dollars (got damn) on fast food without telling you, etc. THAT is the issue, and it’s one that you need to resolve through some serious communication.
Does his impulse spending get worse when he’s stressed? Have you blown up at him before over it (justified or not) and now he feels like he has to hide it, which in turn stresses him, resulting in more spending? Etc. I feel like if you can get to the why of his spending, you guys could work through that together.
If he understands what triggers him, he can start identifying that urge before it happens. As long as he’s not being shady in other ways (like doing drugs or sleeping around, etc), I’d say to address it–and be clear that you can’t live peacefully if you’re constantly worried that he’ll spend money out from under you–but to then be mindful that this might be a real struggle for him as a coping mechanism; it won’t have a simple ‘off’ switch, but hopefully by continuing to communicate through it it will get better. Also, if it’s legitimately a reaction to stress, he might want to see a therapist (which incidentally also costs money but maybe there’s someone on his campus?) to help him build some good behaviors.
Post # 35
In reference to, “ he spent $1500 on fast food
.” How?! That’s not even possible? Unless by fast food you mean he took his entire group of coworkers to a “nicer” fast food restaurant.
I disagree with PPs who say a tattoo is not a big deal. I would be highly upset if my Fiance got one without talking with me about it. It’s his body, yes, but we’re about to vow to share it, just as I’ll vow to share mine with only him. That’s a permanent change he made, and he didn’t include you. Your follow up post points to consistent lying behavior, which makes me think you have more pressing concerns than this tattoo. Why would you even need 2 x-boxes? What’s the purpose of that? Back to the main point though, your Fiance lies to you, about major purchases consistently. That’s a problem.
Post # 36
My therapist called me to check in because she saw my text about what happened. She said I can bring him in with me. She said she sees this a lot with couples and it’s not insurmountable, but he needs to really understand that there are boundaries and values in our relationship. Then we have to figure out why he impulse spends and needed to hide it. It still doesn’t make me feel better, now I feel like I need to question everything he says and does. How do I know he is being honest?
Post # 37
OP I don’t know if you are ready to be married or if you are just looking for a way out. Why would you even bring up your wedding because of a tattoo on his back? Like what’s the problem?
Post # 38
I would be angry is my DH went out and got a tattoo and then hid it. However, it wouldn’t be a deal breaker for us. It sounds like the finances are bothering you. It sounds like you are even more bothered by him being distant and him covering things up. The distance you’ve felt since the baby was born is concerning to me. This would be a good thing for the therapist to look into with the both of you. Him lying about the tattoo is really silly, because of course you were going to see it!! It does sound like he was embarrassed by being so impulsive. I’m glad you two are going to counseling, because it sounds like there are some things you could work on.
Post # 39
well, you don’t know if he’s being honest to answer your question.
but, notice that it only happens with financial things. He’s doing conflict avoidance tactics by hoping you don’t notice these things.
I know a few people who had issues with money like this who went to therapy and learned to budget and take responsibility. So the real question is : does he want to get better.
Is he motivated to do something about this behavior? If he’s not, I would use this therapy session to express your feelings, concerns, and needs and then come up with an action plan.
Post # 40
Sounds to me like he buys stuff to temporarily escape from stressful situations. For example, eating fast food can be comforting and game systems a mental escape. Then he doesn’t say anything because he is embarrassed. Working 60+ hours and going to school and being booted from a program and getting married and having a family to support is overwhelming. No wonder he needs a break! The issue is that his breaks really don’t fix being mega-overwhelmed. Sounds to me like somethings gotta give or be postponed. It’s too much.
Post # 41
Y’know, if you reverse the genders, and it’s the woman who drops $1500 on dumb purchases, we jokingly call it “retail therapy.” So cut this guy some slack.
It sounds like you guys need financial counselling – even self-taught with online resources – as much as therapy. You can’t accuse him of breaking any rules if no rules exist, right? Establish some rules about spending and get yourself involved in the finances even if you have no income right now. Fiance and I share the bills, and then we spend the rest of our money as we please. We always keep in communication about the bills that vary, like electricity and car maintenance costs.
We both have our things that the other spends money on that are eye-rollers, but I’ll spend my extra damn money however I want. Same for him.
Good luck. Keep this tattoo thing in perspective. He sounds like a good guy.
Post # 42
He’s trying to go to school to make more money for you but then spent it on a tattoo? He tried to hide this from you. He didnt say sorry? Girl I would be livid
And that’s before I just read your update… this guy has serious issues and I would not trust him. Intensive therapy and maybe a delay of the wedding nèeded
Post # 43
She didn’t say that the relationship was otherwise wonderful. Why get married now? How many children are there already.
Post # 44
Oh really. In 2017, men’s toys are still more expensive. “Retail therapy?” If it’s your own money and you have no kids – fine. Otherwise uh-uh.
Post # 45
I want to know why they didn’t get married before when they first started having kids.