I pay for everything, yet it's still not good enough for my wife - Talk About Marriage
Financial Problems in Marriage When financial times are tough, it adds to the stress we deal with on a daily basis. This section is for talking about how financial problems affect our relationships and ways to cope.

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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-10-2010, 10:00 PM Thread Starter
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I pay for everything, yet it's still not good enough for my wife

Hi,

This is my first time posting here. I really wish I didn't have to come here but at this point don't quite know what to do, short of contacting a counselor.

Recently my wife and I have been having this stupid fights over money; how much we should be spending and how much I should be giving to her.

I work full-time and have a good salary. My wife currently doesn't work because she's a full-time student at a business school. Needless to say, I pay for everything; rent, electricty, both our cellphone services, groceries, etc. She just pays for her tuition and materials related to school and whatever personal things she wanna get for herself.

Couple of years ago before my wife began business school, she had a full-time job that earned her 45k annually. When she told me she'd like to save her money to be able to go back to school, I agreed to support her decision and to shoulder all our living expenses so that she can save all her earnings from that job to pay for school. I figured I made twice of what she made ,so we should be fine. So we made an agreement; I will pay for rent, electricity, heat, phone bills, groceries, anything needed for our daily life. Free from any financial contributions for our daily living, she'll be able to save as much money as possible from her salary that she can apply towards school. In return, we agreed that she will not make any unreasonable $$ demands from me concerning expenditures for anything outside of school or living expenses.

So the problem is this... My wife gives me attitude whenever she feels I don't give her enough money for whatever, and feels she should always be entitlted to half of everything I bring home. I have no problem giving my wife anything she needs as long as it's within reason, since she currently have no income. At one point I felt bad and decided I will give her a weekly allowance of $40-60/week... she still has money for any spending, but I felt she could use a little extra. Unfortunately I cannot do this regularly due to other debts I need to make timely payments on.

My problem is, knowing that she contributes no $$ to our daily expenses, she somehow feels that she's still entitled to half of whatever I bring home, which I find very unfair... I work my ass off so that she can live comfortably in a nice apartment that she never has to pay for, spend what money she has for school, commute or whatever else she wants to spend it on. Meanwhile, I make a good salary but most of it goes towards paying our rent, credit card debts, etc. so having a strict budget is really important. God forbid that I suddenly lose my job, then what will we do?

Recently we filed for our taxes and we're blessed with a nice return. Now according to my tax preparer, my wife gets $2,500 back because she's a full time student, my dependent and has no income... now, call me crazy but getting 2 grand back and not have a job is pretty damn good... I remember for years prior I was lucky to get anything close to that amount... and I was working! Be that as it may, being the sole income earner in my household and the only one who pays bills, the remaining portion of the return is about twice what she got and was entitled to me. This is what upset her... she felt that I should've divided the total down the middle, 50/50 and she should've gotten half regardless.

I failed to mention that my wife also has this problem of not listening or paying attention to what I tell her; I've said repeatedly "I dont' really know how much we'll get back, if any. We'll find out after the tax guy processes our paperwork... besides, I've been giving you larger portions than what you're supposed to get anyway, sometimes half of what I get back." Like I said, she doesn't listen or pay attention to what I say, so apparently what she got out of that conversation was "I'll give you half no matter what." She accuses me of suddenly changing my mind, hence the argument ensues once again concerning money.

So, I dunno what to do here. We have arguments like this often and each time it's like the topic is brand new to her. I told her if she wants things to be 50/50, then she needs start contributing to our daily expenditures and the rent. Alas, she has no job. For years, even when she had a job I paid for everything 100% and never asked her for anything. Sometimes the financial burden gets too heavy and I had to ask her for help, but usually I paid her back as soon as possible.

She's told me I'm being unreasonable and I'm made to feel guilty about this whole thing. I'm sick of having this argument repeatedly.

So am I unreasonable? Am I greedy? Should I have been giving her what she wanted, no matter what the cirumstances are?

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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-11-2010, 12:12 AM
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Re: I pay for everything, yet it's still not good enough for my wife

You should have written down the budget before she started school. Now? I would find a good financial expert and go to them, and let them determine how to work your money, both now and after she graduates. You should be putting at least 10% of your income - including tax refunds - into a savings account. If you're not doing that, you shouldn't be giving her anything extra. If she wants extra, she can go work at the grocery store for spending money.
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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-11-2010, 08:02 AM
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Re: I pay for everything, yet it's still not good enough for my wife

I don't understand your wife. She is not a child, but she is acting like one.
I don't understand why you have to divide the amount of money that you both received from tax return. My husband and I never divide it. Everything goes in the house, and not for personal spendings. She needs to understand that even though that money from tax return was on her name, that money do not belongs only to her but both of you, since when she is not providing at all in the house financially, but only spending your money. She needs to find a part-time job, and most importantly needs to be more responsible. She is acting like she is your daughter, and not your wife.
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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-11-2010, 03:46 PM
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Re: I pay for everything, yet it's still not good enough for my wife

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unappreciat3d View Post
I have no problem giving my wife anything she needs as long as it's within reason, since she currently have no income. At one point I felt bad and decided I will give her a weekly allowance of $40-60/week... she still has money for any spending, but I felt she could use a little extra. ...and I'm made to feel guilty about this whole thing.
she is definitely out of line, but im guessing you are sending off mixed signals that are feeding into this problem. You feel guilty and so your communication is probably not very clear. If you had very clear and firm boundaries then she wouldnt be under the impression that she deserves more. im not saying her actions are right, they arent and she needs to change, but you can only focus on your end of the deal. by changing how you relate to her, she will change how she relates to you.

Again, i think she is way out of line and she needs to change. she doesnt deserve a dime she didnt earn. But you cannot change her by telling her that. what you do will have much more impact then what you say. You have to change you first. Try working on you and not giving into her. take accountability for your own guilt and for the situation. it is not her fault that you feel guilty. she has turned into a spoiled brat, but she didnt get there on her own. she has some things to work on too, but so do you.

"I'm a lover of what is, not because I'm a spiritual person, but because it hurts when I argue with reality."
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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-12-2010, 02:54 PM
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Re: I pay for everything, yet it's still not good enough for my wife

Well, I have to say I see a HUGE issue of selfishness on both parts.

First and foremost. You talk about being married. You are to be one with your wife. But the way you describe you pay this and that. It does not seem you see it that way. As for your wife, You really need to sit with her and talk this out. She needs to understand that your concerns are for both your and her future (at least I hope). Bring up to her, that you go without some things as well. Be nice. But be clear without insults or sarcasim.
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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-05-2010, 08:16 PM
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Re: I pay for everything, yet it's still not good enough for my wife

Wow it sounds like you are dating a clone of my wife. I made my own first post today about something very similar (see SHARING THE EXPENSES). But I absolutely agree with you, not just about the tax return but in general. It boggles my mind.
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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-05-2010, 08:23 PM
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Re: I pay for everything, yet it's still not good enough for my wife

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Well, I have to say I see a HUGE issue of selfishness on both parts.

First and foremost. You talk about being married. You are to be one with your wife. But the way you describe you pay this and that. It does not seem you see it that way.
Pochael,

I'm not sure its fair to describe Unappreciated this way. I think it was great for him to agree to this arrangement with his wife to begin with. It showed he indeed was ONE WITH HIS WIFE. He only talks in these terms now that the wife is exceeding the agreement with unrealistic expectations and demands. Its understandable I think.
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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-18-2011, 11:30 PM
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Re: I pay for everything, yet it's still not good enough for my wife

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Originally Posted by Unappreciat3d View Post
Hi,


My problem is, knowing that she contributes no $$ to our daily expenses, she somehow feels that she's still entitled to half of whatever I bring home, which I find very unfair... I work my ass off so that she can live comfortably in a nice apartment that she never has to pay for, spend what money she has for school, commute or whatever else she wants to spend it on. Meanwhile, I make a good salary but most of it goes towards paying our rent, credit card debts, etc. so having a strict budget is really important. God forbid that I suddenly lose my job, then what will we do?


So am I unreasonable? Am I greedy? Should I have been giving her what she wanted, no matter what the cirumstances are?
She sounds more like a leeching roommate than your wife and why do you care so much about half this and half that? She's your wife, she's entitled to everything you have and you're entitled to everything she has. You say that YOU make a good salary but if you should lose your job, then "what will WE do?" She would have to quit school and get a job and you would look for a job too. Or do you two not agree on this?
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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-18-2011, 11:43 PM
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Re: I pay for everything, yet it's still not good enough for my wife

The difference between you & my husband is my husband trusts me & he gave me his ATM card from the beginning of our relationship.

I can basically withdraw money & buy whatever I want.

The difference between me & your wife is, I'm very careful about budgets & I don't anyhow spend my husband's money for myself.

I always tell him whenever I need to get money from the ATM to pay bills or groceries.

When I need to buy a thing for myself, I will inform & respect him first. Basically, my husband would let me buy whatever I want.

We bought a shophouse together as an investment (now it's renting out to help paying off the mortgage)

He paid most of the cash first and he's paying for all the mortgage till now. (I don't work)

He put the house under my name.
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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 02-21-2011, 12:20 AM
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If you think you're greedy, you're nuts! Seem like your wife still hasn't woken up to the fact that, HELLO!!! She no longer has a job!! Shes wanting to spend like how she used to, and while it was easy for her to agree, as she seems like one of those people that listen with their ass, sorry to say, but its upsetting a bit, she can't DO what she agreed to. She just agreed so she could quit her job. So, I guess Im extreme in that Id let her do all the bills - only downfall is that if they're in your name, you get the bad credit rap. But for me, Id be like, here you go, spend whatever you want, and when we get he eviction notice and the power goes out, car repo'd, etc. Don't ask me what the hell happened.
Your wife is being extremely ridiculous!!! This is a tough one.
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post #11 of 32 (permalink) Old 02-27-2011, 03:33 PM
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Re: I pay for everything, yet it's still not good enough for my wife

I actually disagree with many of these posts; she's your wife, and maybe this is too simplistic, but I think you should be sharing everything 50/50. Joint accounts, joint everything. This means that you don't get to give her an allowance for spending as if she's a child. It also means that, once she graduates and starts making a lot of money, she has to share her earnings with you 50/50. I feel like looking at things in terms of "mine" and "yours" in a marriage can be unhealthy and lead to problems.
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post #12 of 32 (permalink) Old 02-27-2011, 04:29 PM
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Re: I pay for everything, yet it's still not good enough for my wife

We fight about alot but money is almost never a issue even though we are scraping to get bye. Im the only person working my wife is a full time student i have paid the bills alone for 6 years (minus the 1 that my mom lived with us) but my wife has never had to work to help. I do not give her money untill she needs something (and i mean need, $30 to take the friends out is not a need)

when we get tax returns we have always got a good bit back due to low income and child depentant, this check is always split after house hold items and expensives are delt with. Even then when we split this we normally use each half to do something with the familly (she uses her half every year to renew our theam park passes, and i use mine to renew our fishing licence).

Now recentally my wife started school full time and we did have a fight over the finacial aid refund she would be getting. This was because we moved to a new house, rent i was paing went up $125 and she used her part of tax split to find a small used car, but expected me to pay the new rent boost and her car insurrance knowing she would be getting around $500 every 3 months...happy to say after we set down i layed out what i paid in her face, showed her everything, had her calculate it all up subtract it from my normal pay...then she aggreed to put $300 every 3 months in the bank to help with bills.

This is what you need to do, do not calculate it up for her let her do it but sit at a table with her and help her, after the bills are figured and she see what you have left show her how much accully goes on stuff you want. Now if she trys to pull a "well what if i need emergancy money" (my wife pulled that when we first got together) this is a great idea works for us, we have 2x bank accounts 1 is in my name 1 is in our names. The one in our name has emergancy funds and she has a debt card for it, the one in my name pays the bills only, be sure to let her know that if she blows the emergancy funds she will have to put them back.

I do not know your full story here but so i will say this as well. Once that is all figured up and if you end up with 3-4x's what you give her then yeah you would be the selfish one this is a marriage you are as one. Also bye giving her im not talking just money im talking new cloths, make-up ect as well these are items imo should be included in her wants and not needs unless she has nothing currentlly to wear.

Last edited by akasephiroth; 02-27-2011 at 04:34 PM.
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post #13 of 32 (permalink) Old 02-27-2011, 09:44 PM
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Re: I pay for everything, yet it's still not good enough for my wife

Life is too short to quibble over money. Fully fund an emergency account. Have a reasonable sum deducted from your check for pensions for the both of you, vacation, savings, etc. What's left over is discretionary money and there's no harm in splitting it more or less equally, giving her equal access to it so she doesn't feel like a child asking for her allowance. Her job right now is to get her degree, presumably where she can get a higher paying job. That's a smart investment. If she ends up making $150k a year, and you lose your job, won't you presume yourself entitled to some of "her's"? Before a judge, most of what either of you have will look like joint property. It's more fun to share it now than to give 20% to lawyers, 60% to her, and for you to keep 20%. If you expect her to be frugal, you need to be frugal, too.
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post #14 of 32 (permalink) Old 02-27-2011, 09:52 PM
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Re: I pay for everything, yet it's still not good enough for my wife

I must be WAY old school or something but I thought when two people married, they partnered and agreed to share in responsibilities. That means money earned (except for perhaps some held out for day to day personal crap) was shared, then used for the mutual benefit of the family. I would resent the hell out of a man that married me, then chose to hold money over my head just because he was the one working. Maybe that's just me... once you make that mutual commitment towards a partnership.. you share.. share in the rewards and triumphs as well as hardships.

Not yours and mine, but OURS. (ok so I will admit that it is OK to section out a little bit for personal saving for which I would probably spend mine on gifts for him LMAO, but over all, HUGE chunk if not all, MUTUAL... otherwise, why get married?) But then maybe that's just me being old school, and refusing to enter into a marriage while planning for a divorce
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post #15 of 32 (permalink) Old 02-28-2011, 07:55 AM
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Re: I pay for everything, yet it's still not good enough for my wife

Yeah I put my wife through law school. She's never had a full time job.
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