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  1. #1
    lonely1 is offline New ILite
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    Unhappy Husband anxious over money. Does not allow me to spend at all.

    A little background: Married for 13yrs, have kids, lived in US for 9yrs, moved to India few years back.


    Each time I try to put forth my idea about money management, my H, says, "you be quiet and listen and do as I say, are you or me, earning? what do you know about money"?

    I have never bought anything without his knowledge. It is 13yrs we are married.
    Some of women I know demand so many things from their husband but my wish list is always empty and still he has to bring up the fact that I dont earn.

    There was my cousin's wedding and I urged my husband to buy good dress for himself to wear for the wedding and he yelled at me ..." do you know how much expenditure that would be? can't I come to the wedding wearing the shirt I have at home? you go and earn then you will know what it takes!!!"

    Even for buying a shirt costing 500rs or at max 1000rs, I have to hear that from him. Just so you will be thinking how much he must be earning to talk like this, I will tell you, he earns pretty well. It is comparable to a higher middle class income in India.

    If I go and get a shirt for him, he says....."mind your own business, you didnt have to do that for me, and henceforth don't spend like that, I dont like it.....did you get that in your head??....blah, blah, blah!!!.....................

    Really, seeing this attitude of his, I started working, salary not as much as his though. He was always moving, changing jobs, and so I could not get settled in one job at any time. He is fine with me being a housewife at other times but when I bring about spending on something he blurts out as if to remind me that since I am a housewife I should not question him on money matters.

    I dont have a huge collection of sarees like some other ladies and I dont feel unhappy about it. I am fine but even when my demands are very very minimal why does he talk like that to me??
    I feel more sad because he does not even spend on himself inspite of earning pretty decently and I cant even tell him to buy something for himself and he will not like it if I get without his knowledge.

    He will not like if my dresses are faded or even slightly torn. He will ask me to go get new ones and I will do exactly that. I know I should not spend much and so I will be careful but still he says, "be careful with your spending, we have so much expenditure ahead....ok?"
    When I tell him I know that he will say, "Yeah, you know but you get carried away too, seeing some fancy useless stuff".

    I fee like retorting immediately but stop myself thinking in my head....

    "UGH! And when was that?"

    I have never bought anything above 500rs without taking his permission. YES!
    And still he says that, even infront of his parents he says I spend much.

    We have a house, though not a huge one, a 2 bedroom apartment of our own,paid off fully, we have all the gadgets needed for a family, though not luxury ones but necessary ones atleast and some savings. We even have couple of land assets too.
    Kids are fine and doing good and I am not a spendthrift too and above all his is a good job but why does he still have that sort of anxiety when it comes to money, I dont know.

    And Ilites I realise that since he is earning member he needs to be given that chance to make decisions.

    Please analyse and write back......

    Last edited by lonely1; 4th March 2011 at 02:21 PM. Reason: added the background part.

  2. #2
    GeethaMR is offline Senior ILite
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    Default Re: Husband anxious over money. Does not allow me to spend at all.

    Dear, every wife needs to be loved and made secure be it emotionally or financially. It is really difficult that he has been like this for 13 years. Can't you start by asking a fixed sum to yourself that you can spend without informing him?

    If you have some idea with the finances, go and spend a little first without informing him before getting it. Then gradually increase.

    Also, can't you start working again?

    geetha


  3. #3
    Rakhii is offline IL Hall Of Fame Forum Moderator
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    Default Re: Husband anxious over money. Does not allow me to spend at all.

    He doesnt have any debts has he? Something which you dont know perhaps? Do you know how much he has saved so far, after all these years of this life style? If he really did save everything, then see below for what could be the reason for this peculiar behavior.

    It may be due to the background. The reason I am saying is, when my father was growing up as a kid, my grand parents were very poor. In fact they had to struggle even to buy school uniforms and shoes. So, it was imprinted in my dad's mind that without money there is no life. Both my parents work and thus it wasnt much of a problem for us kids. But in your case since you are not working, it could get difficult. My mom has tried changing his perspective but gave up. I gave this example so that you can see a different perspective. It could be that even your husband has some strong notions which he is carrying right from his childhood? You would have observed his parents, his siblings. How do they behave when it comes to money?

    I am not advising you to give up. Look for other options like trying to find work, since your kids are not too young now. Or like Geetha suggested, ask him for a fixed pocket money. That really helps.

    Good luck dear.

    Stupid opinions, all mine. Worth 1 cent; you can have them for FREE.

  4. #4
    armummy is offline Senior ILite
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    Default Re: Husband anxious over money. Does not allow me to spend at all.

    I think best is to have your own income. Why to be dependent on such man.

    Nemo123 likes this.

  5. #5
    Priya16's Avatar
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    Default Re: Husband anxious over money. Does not allow me to spend at all.

    It's just a brought up and personality.

    It's just personality and the way they brought up.I know one family extremely rich in India and doing pretty good in US but still think twice before buying any food.

    It's just people and there thinking and nothing to do with how much they are earning.

    I know in my young days ,my neighbours who are pretty rich but the old women in the house never use the soap for there bath.

    Don't worry too much on it.I see,he is pretty good taking care of you,family and your future.

    So somethings we just need to let it go,based on the other person interest to make happy family.

    I heard from one of our family friend,if the grocery bill crosses xx amount ,if he would take out rest of groceries from the card and he is not poor.

    Tell him that,you are getting hurt by his repeated remarks even though you are not spending lavishy and ask him to stop using those remarks all the time.

    I don't think you can change his personality but you can try stop using the hurting words.

    But you let it happen for 13 years ,so the change won't happen in a day.It takes years to change his habit of accusing you.

    Last edited by Priya16; 4th March 2011 at 09:37 PM.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Husband anxious over money. Does not allow me to spend at all.

    I agree with armummy. If he doesnot have any issues with your taking up a job, better to work even you do have to shift the jobs often. It is very awkward for we women, even after taking care of him and the entire family, to beg for smaller amounts.

    Also, we women have a tendency to share each and everything in detail with husbands, though we know how they react sometimes. When you start working next time, while you can't hide your salary with him, certain perks like out of pocket expenses kind of income that you get from the organisation can be kept in secret with him. Also, it is not necessary all the time to tell him what item costed how much, unless you are using the credit card. These are the people who compel us to be not very transparent with them.

    By saying this, I would also recommend you to examine what he is doing with his salary. I don't think he would be able to oversave for the kids future with his single income in the present state where the inflation is too very high. If he is saving it for the family only then you don't have to actually worry. If his financial management is better than yours, you can always support him and try to earn your personal expenses on your own. Infact, one way you have to be thankful for him as he is not causing you any worry on the financial matters or about the future of your kids. That way he appears to be a very responsible man and much much better than many men in our society.

    Good luck!


  7. #7
    Liveandletlive's Avatar
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    Default Re: Husband anxious over money. Does not allow me to spend at all.

    I too agree with priya.But for the long 13 years to cope up with such a person in pretty difficult.I really admire your patience.

    What will be his reaction if you keep a long face for some of his hurting words or actions?Does he come down from his rules?

    If so then make a try.Otherwise there is no use in that.You have to cope up to the rest of your life too if you wish.


  8. #8
    lonely1 is offline New ILite
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    Default Re: Husband anxious over money. Does not allow me to spend at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by GeethaMR View Post
    Can't you start by asking a fixed sum to yourself that you can spend without informing him?
    Earlier, a friend of mine suggested this but I see that I end up using that money for family expenses only and not on myself. So, its of no use and moreover when I do that, it feels like a teenager asking her parent for pocket money.

    Quote Originally Posted by GeethaMR View Post
    Also, can't you start working again?
    Yes, I can since I worked earlier too for sometime but some of the jobs I tried required lot of daily transit to and fro everyday and my H thought it was a waste spending that much time in travel and even I felt I got too tired each day.
    With 2 school going kids, it got more hectic since I had to look into their homework, make dinner, all household chores as the domestic help here is useless, everything on my own since dh usually comes home only at 7:30 or 8pm. Hence, he said, its fine you stay home and I agreed.


    Quote Originally Posted by Rakhii View Post
    He doesnt have any debts has he? Something which you dont know perhaps?
    I am very sure and know that he does not have any debts. He himself is scared of loans and debts. If he owes someone even one rupee he will not sleep in peace till he repays that person. Sometimes, the other person is embarrased seeing my dh's behavior. Sameway, if someone owes him, he will ask without any hesitation too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rakhii View Post
    Do you know how much he has saved so far, after all these years of this life style?
    We have saved good amount as of today accdg to Indian standards. But, he is still worried about the future always and hence tries to control all the present spending to the extent I mentioned in my OP.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rakhii View Post
    You would have observed his parents, his siblings. How do they behave when it comes to money?
    He has taken after both his parents. My inlaws are exactly like him. They are extremely stingy people. Infact, it is surprising how both my FIL and MIL are the same when it comes to money. They are 70 and 66 yrs and have some health issues but even to travel once a year within India to their daughters place they go by bus even though they can afford an air ticket. With all their health issues, they struggle to go only by bus or by train(2nd class that too).

    As for siblings, he has an elder brother and elder sister and both of them spend extravagantly. Recently,my BIL ie., his brother, bough a woolen shawl for his wife which costed 60,000/-. That is just one e.g of the way he spends. They are rich but their spending is also very high relatively.
    My SIL, buys clothes for whole family every month. She does not buy anything less than branded ones for her children and though they have school uniform but still they spend huge amounts on very expensive clothes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rakhii View Post
    Or like Geetha suggested, ask him for a fixed pocket money. That really helps.
    I dont prefer this pocket money concept. It makes me feel like I am his daughter and not his wife. I just dont want him to comment in a hurting way when I wish to spend some money.
    As you said, I will try talking to him. I have tried so many times but again I dont give up hope.

    Quote Originally Posted by armummy View Post
    I think best is to have your own income. Why to be dependent on such man.
    As for me working I have answered above to one of the posters. I depend on such a man since he is my husband and other than his stingy nature towards money he is fine in other qualites. The problem I have with him is his hurting comments when I want to spend even a small amount. Most of the times, his words fall on deaf ears but sometimes it hurts a lot, especially when he says you dont work so you dont know the value. My workplace all the time was too far and it just did not work out well with me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Priya16 View Post
    It's just a brought up and personality.

    I don't think you can change his personality but you can try stop using the hurting words.
    Yeah, may be his brought up and personality. Yes, I will try telling him again and again to stop using those hurt words. Whenever I tell him, he says he does not mean it and I am the one who is irritating him and making him say that to stop me. I dont understand what I am telling which is irritating him that much. Most of the times, I observed that the topic of buying something irritates him.

    Quote Originally Posted by tanmayi View Post
    while you can't hide your salary with him, certain perks like out of pocket expenses kind of income that you get from the organisation can be kept in secret with him. Also, it is not necessary all the time to tell him what item costed how much, unless you are using the credit card. These are the people who compel us to be not very transparent with them.
    I can never do that since it is just not ME to not share with him. I cannot stop myself from telling him every detail. May be my weakness too...

    Quote Originally Posted by Liveandletlive View Post
    What will be his reaction if you keep a long face for some of his hurting words or actions?Does he come down from his rules?
    He knows exactly what words of his, hurt me and after sometime he will be the one apologising but he repeats the same thing. Often his hurting words are to put a stop on me instantly. I just dislike that attitude of his. He can tell me nicely too and I usually listen to him.
    He is very good at talking and convincing me with his ideas so NO! He never comes down from his original rules, may be tones down a little sometimes.
    He is too good at explaining on and on, for any length of time, why he is doing what he is doing and I am the one who easily gives in since I have no patience to go on debating with him.
    And if at all, sometimes I tried that too, I stick to my ground and try to prove my point too like him, then at one point he will just throw words like these at me....even though I try to give a deaf ear but sometimes it hurts a lot.
    "you are not the one earning, right?,

    "listen, this attitude of yours irks me, you better shut up now,"

    "do as I say and thats all",

    "Its my mistake, I am sitting here like a dumb fool nodding my head to this woman who seems to think she is a know-all, what an idiot I am?"

    "blah, blah, blah,blah..........."..................

    Somehow, he manages to get the final word.

    Last edited by lonely1; 5th March 2011 at 12:07 AM. Reason: spellings

  9. #9
    lonely1 is offline New ILite
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    Default Re: Husband anxious over money. Does not allow me to spend at all.

    I also tried to teach him a lesson and make him understand how bad his words are by not being intimate with him. Whenever he gets that urge I try to ignore, I dont care and get away from there. But he is too smart. He will talk so sweetly, and finally make me feel guilty and feel sorry for him and I give in to his wish.
    He apologises too quickly and gets his work done.
    Later I curse myself and resolve to be more smart next time and that has never come till date.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Husband anxious over money. Does not allow me to spend at all.

    You know he worries so much about money...and you have to keep him informed about all the expenses....even if you work..you end up spending money at home instead of other things that might make you happy.....

    so....How about creating an expense sheet and include some 1000$ in that for extra (he is ok with spending anything upto 500Rs right? for extra things....as per him waste stuff

    So if you give him this expense sheet and show this is the budget and I will stick to it no matter what...but you got to include this additional 1000 so that whatever it may be...I will ensure we dont cross our expenses beyond this X amount. So you can save that 1000rs and whenever the need arises you can buy stuff and inform him how you bought the stuff. No harm in informing him right? instead of looking at it as informing, look at it as sharing information

    He has to be given that confirmation that your house hold budget WILL STICK TO a certain X amount and he doesnt have to be worried about going over the budget. I agree the expenses for households these days are soo much, we just lose track of it , if we think ok this is just 100rs or this is just 500rs..all those small amounts will addd up to one huge amount (beleive me I was a culprit one time I used to buy every thing I saw and now I realise why do I even buy things..I know those things make us happy for sometime later on they go into trash in the name of decluttering our house)

    One good thing about him I saw in your posts is, he ensures you are well taken care of...in his terms I mean i.e if you are not wearing good dresses or if your night dress is faded, he is TELLING YOU to go n buy new ones. though he is giivng you the budget constraint.isnt it nice??? also its a bad idea or behaviour to hold intimacy as the weapon against him...sorry I dont agree with this type of approach.

    Also I know you didnt mean to share the info as if you are comparing, but how your BIL or co sister spend money at their home is none of our business. We are what we are!!! ofcourse from your inlaws behaviour you can learn that your husbands behaviour is from his childhood and parental influences. and its tough to change and even for this to change it takes many years....remember he might have grown up with those influences or beleifs or behaviours for almost 25+ yrs. so give time and show the other side

    So take the good things in him...and give him a HARD FIGURE and BUDGET and show him that you know about money and that you can stick to your budget and might be if he gives you a bit of freedom you will save more and actually reduce expenses. (I do not know how it goes in India, but usually in USA if you research a bit more you get lot of coupons and discounts and deals where we can save/ control the expenses at home or I will say frugal living to just check how it feels like...ofcourse I learnt this myself..recently...so am also a beginner on that front..)

    Men feel more responsible to take care of their family . See when you felt you going to work didnt help, you quit, but does he have an option like that?? no matter what, if you stick to your job and save money or give a certain money into his hands to show that you can stand up beside him and share the responsibilities in terms of finances, he sure would understand that you CAN DO IT. but you are saying you spend all the money you earn at home..why did you do that? X% give to husband and Y% personal expenses for your own saving for a rainy day...or in a joint a/c...what ever proportion you want to save.

    Earning is one form of getting financial independance. But the real financial independance is when we know how to manage money and how not to give up when things get tough

    Last edited by SriVidya75; 5th March 2011 at 01:36 AM.

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