Financial Problems in MarriageWhen 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.
I am not going into my big story, you can search my postings for more deeper about my situation.
Straight to business, wife and I have been separated for 9 months now. Before she moved out, we agreed to get a larger place to house us and her two cousins that she cares for full time. We were in a one bedroom and at first she wanted to move closer to her dad (50 miles from where we live now and where I work). I said no and we fought, then she said two bedroom out here. I agreed, but had to take money out of my retirement to pay for deposits and first month (because we have to live by paycheck and she doesn't work).
Now since she left, the plan is for us to move back near her dad when our lease is up. We received a large tax refund (because of the children) that was going to go all to this move. For various reasons, she has had to use money to pay for other things. Now she is mentioning that we can use the deposit money that we get back into this new place.
While I am trying to be understanding, I poured a lot of money to try to make everyone happy and she has lived at our current place for the equivalent of about two weeks throughout this whole time. I am not sure if I am ready to just move that money right into yet another apartment. I would like to put it back into my retirement.
This will be the third time we have moved in as many years. As it is, I am going to have to deal with the commute and not even sure how our budget is going to come together with all this. I fear there are going to be battles on all fronts. Is it time I just say no? Am I not considering her feelings? Is there fair ways to compromise in all of this.
Will moving back closer to her dad result in reconciliation for your all and end the separation? Is the reason she doesn't work is because you all have small children? I am thinking if your commute is going to increase expenses, she may have to work so that BOTH OF YOU ALL's retirement can stay on track (I hope she understands that deducting for the retirement account affects not just you the husband, but her post retirment quality of life too. It seems to me you have been doing quite a bit of compromising. Maybe you all can talk about long term plans. Maybe living close to Dad can be a 2-5 year plan and then you all can move back closer to the income source.
I am not exactly sure if moving back is going to out right fix all of our problems. While she does say that living with her dad is a way to be able to get extra help to take care of the children, she also left because of the problems in our relationship. We were going together to her therapist, but she felt no progress was being made and now she told to not come to her sessions anymore.
Yes, she doesn't work because she takes care of the children full time and homeschools them. She was going to grad school but it wasn't working out. Now she wants to be a writer and she is thinking about going to school again so being closer to her Dad gives her the extra help and we weren't able to afford a regular babysitter. She is also against getting any regular job for various reasons.
I honestly am not sure what the long term plan is now, as so much has changed in the short time we have been married. I know she wants to move into another state, but my industry doesn't afford me to just up and move anywhere. I know her father is getting along in years and she has mentioned that at some point she is going to need to take care of him also, which probably means we all will have to live together at some point. I really fear that, as her father and I don't get along and I worry many things will turn into arguments if it came to living under the same roof.
She doesn't have her own retirement account that I am aware of. I know she has a trust fund but know nothing of how much she gets each month. She just tells me that all of that money usually goes to taking care of the children. Her dad handles all her accounts because she has so many loans from going to school several times.
Well, since you have been compromising, it seems that she should compromise as well. If you are going to move closer to her dad and increase your commute, she shouldn't be talking about being separated anymore. The problems should be talked about in the home. Both of you all should know whats going on with ALL income in the house. You shouldn't be without a clue as to how her trust fund is managed. You all should be able to manage that and pay her loans with it if thats the case. Seems unbalanced that the retirment savings/income you have can be altered when need be, but there is a source of income on her behalf that goes solely towards her interest. Also, Suze Orman talks about going back to school when you can't afford or you have to borrow for it. Its not smart, and sometimes you do have to do what you have to do and get a job. With having more help from the family to take care of kids, she should be able to at least work part time, pursure her writing interest, and get those other loans paid off before incurring new ones. Its only being responsible. Maybe she should get certified as a CNA and get paid to take care of her father.
As I mentioned, she insists that it is none of my business about her accounts because she considers that extra money that goes into the care of the children. I can only assume that she doesn't want it part of our bigger budget because that deprives the children more. My income is the only thing that goes into our current budget.
She has mentioned that as soon as I can earn more money we can delegate money to start paying off her loans. Right now she is just signing up for community college classes to avoid them going into repayment until she decides what to do. If she doesn't decide to return to college, I'm not sure how payments are going to be made. BTW, she already holds two bachelors degrees and has finished some graduate school work.
I would agree that she should try to find a way to earn extra money but I have no way I can communicate that to her properly without her getting upset. How is she going to find a way to homeschool children, take care of them, try to go to school and/or write while she also tries to work? She will just think I am not being fair about the situation.
So far I have thought of these things that need to happen before I sign any papers on a new place:
1) Figure out where we are in our relationship and how we can build it again living together
2) Come up with a detailed budget to figure out how this will work (once we find a right place and know the rent)
3) Go through our accounts and find out how much we have to use for moving. I know she has been holding onto some of the tax money because she wants to buy a new couch, however I don't know if I will be completely for that if she suggests I use our current deposit for this next move.
If there any other suggestions, please feel free to provide any advice.
That would seem to be the most common sense approach. However, I am trying to repair our relationship and cutting her off like that is just going to do more harm then good. No money means she has no food, no gas, no basic essentials to care for her and those kids. She also handles all of the finances sans rent.
She is not the kind of person that is going to go out and cheat on me or is out having fun while I am stuck in our apartment.
She is wrong. It is very much your business how that money is allocated. I don't understand why your source of income is everybody's business, but her source of income is only her business and not yours. Thats not marriage. She's not allowing both of you all to share in the decision making. Thats the way its supposed to be.
It's way past time for you to put your foot down. A marriage is about having a great partnership--and you will NEVER have this with this woman. Furthermore, you will never have financial stability. I have read all of your other threads.
So how can I approach this situation constructively so she won't rail off on me? I have to somehow present in a way where it doesn't look like I want to take away from what she wants.
This all is still stemming from our arguement so long ago where I said I wouldn't move for her grad school choices. If I raise this situation again, she is going to use that as I took away her opportunities to earn scholarships where we would have had more money. Because I was unreasonable, now I have to be the main breadwinner because it's what I wanted.
She already wants to talk about Christmas gifts. I am due two extra paychecks in September and December so she already talking about how that money needs to be distributed within everything else.
I would use the money for a good marriage counselor. They should be be able to tell you all how to settle this in a balanced way. Any suggestions I give would require he to compromise a bit more and be more of a loving wife instead of so focused on what she does and don't have and didnt't get.
She has mentioned that as soon as I can earn more money we can delegate money to start paying off her loans.
Ahem .. so we have this:
1. your money is used for almost everything, since she's found it's better to stay at home.
2. your retirement fund is messed up
3. you're forced to make all the adjustments and just handle everything
4. now she's planning YOUR money to be used to pay HER debt?
Well, I am sorry but she's gotta know it has to stop. She needs to find work and she needs to be willing to help too. It's not normal to have one man who's taking all the beating, while she's messing up your situation every time she feels 'moving'.
OK, I'm really sorry to drag this out, but I just want to make sure everyone has clarification so that I am not reading this wrong:
-My wife is basically a SAHM for these kids. Even though they are not ours, don't I have to give some benefit of the doubt for her? From what I've read everywhere else on this site, that's a job in itself and not easy to just straight out tell her to start working
-That said, is there anything that she should be doing differently with her daily life that can create a balance for the both of us? Aside from going through all the accounts, what else at least for the time being is going to improve the quality of life both of us?
Well, since me being laid off, I have pretty much been a SAHM too. I am taking care of the baby most of the time even when he gets home from work and yes its a job. I get some income from unemployment, part time work, and financial aid from school. Just because I am still the primary caregiver of our child, doesn't mean I emphasize how I should keep all of the money I get to myself. I buy the groceries, things for the baby, help out with car expenses, and if anything else comes up, I have to help chip in on that too (I may not want to) but its a part of being married. If the children are in school, she can put in some part time hours some where or maybe you can offer to take care of the kids if she has to work some evening hours (that would be understandable-my husband does the same while I'm in school or at work). There is a way to make it happen. Being a SAHM yes is a job, but that does not mean you get your way all the time and any money that you may have come in (whether its from a work from home business, trust fund, part time work) goes solely to your interest, especially if your household needs it. You all may not necessarily have to combine your accounts, but you do need to manage them together, meaning, both of you all know what's going on and both of you all come to some sort of agreement as to what to do with ALL monies. You may have to plan short term and long term and you all may have to do some negotiating so that both of you all get what you need/want. It may be possible that she may have what she wants all the time and same with you, but if you balance it out and plan it, you can make it happen that way over time. It takes some patience and delayed gratification on both parts. Also, whats up with the kids not being you all's? Are they the children of some relatives?