(Closed) Tough Married Couple Decisions – Advice please

posted 8 years ago in Married Life
Post # 3
Member
1016 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

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 # 5
Member
6661 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2010

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
Member
2866 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

@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 # 8
Member
1871 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: February 2011

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 Fiance 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 Fiance 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 Fiance 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
Member
1752 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

@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 # 11
Member
144 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2006

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
Member
542 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2011

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
Member
1871 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: February 2011

@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 # 15
Member
5496 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2010

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
Member
13096 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2010

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?

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