Wifes logic about money vs reality - Page 3 - 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 #31 of 43 (permalink) Old 11-23-2015, 11:48 AM
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Re: Wifes logic about money vs reality

All that I can add is that I can relate. Like you, I'm a small business owner, and my wife work is a quasi-public employee (meaning that she's paid via tax dollars). Her knowledge of money equates to that of our dog. In her mind, she makes money so thus she can spend how she likes. It's hard dealing with someone like that, especially when they don't want to learn.

My suggestion - when you get your business debt paid off, start saving money in the business. Set up a retirement plan so that you can sock money away. Take home enough to pay the bills, but nothing more.

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post #32 of 43 (permalink) Old 11-23-2015, 12:17 PM
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Re: Wifes logic about money vs reality

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nah, it's popular. honestly, i don't think it's that efficient. it's not like if there's no gas money in the gas money envelope, then you stop driving your car to work. keeping a spreadsheet of expenses like that based on receipts/bank statements should be sufficient, and simply staying under a general limit. If you can't stay under, then you don't get fun money left over. simple as that.

but sending the less frugal spouse to the grocery with only cash in an envelope works wonders. Even better if they can only take cash clothes shopping. It really makes you rethink want vs. need. If they don't have access to money earmarked for bills or the business, then they can't overspend into those funds.

OP could just remove all the funds for bills/business into a separate account and leave her the rest in the family account, but if she's not willing to understand the budget, then she'll just bounce checks or overdraft the account. She needs to be caught up to speed, and if not willing, then limited to handing the funds she is willing to understand.
Reminds me of a (probably made up) anecdote i heard from a v popular US Academic.

Gene Hackman and dustin hoffman were friends when they were staying out in acting. Dustin was short of cash to pay his rent so Gene lent him $100.

A few weeks later Gene visited Dustin in his apartment and noticed 3 jars full of quartersvand dollar bills.

He politely asked Dustin when he thought he might be able to have his $100 back. Dustin responded by saying he was totally broke and was actually going to ask if he could borrow a little more until a cheque landed from a recent job.

Gene couldn't resist mentioning the jars of money. Dustins response:

"No! Thats my gas money and my utilities money and the money for if I need to travel back home..."

Don't know how the story ended.

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post #33 of 43 (permalink) Old 11-23-2015, 11:03 PM
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Re: Wifes logic about money vs reality

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OP I can relate. What some people don't understand is that as a self employed person, the business is personal. There is no separation.
Ynot is correct. While a self-employed owner can create some structures to keep personal and business finances separate, and its good practice to do so, in the end any shortfalls are made up from the personal finances of the owner. The IRS and CRA certainly don't make a distinction if the company fails and debts need paying. Lots of sole proprietors have lost homes over failed businesses.

If the self-employed person happens to have a corporation (many professionals set this structure up) they may elect to not pay themselves a salary, or a a reduced one, if finances are tight.

I find people who have actually owned businesses tend to understand these ups and downs much better than those who simply work for others and collect a paycheque. Which is why when financing a business or deal its always less painful to raise money from other business people than a bank. Bank employees, loan officers, just don't get it, most never having taken the risk of starting a business themselves.
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post #34 of 43 (permalink) Old 11-28-2015, 07:23 AM
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Re: Wifes logic about money vs reality

Recently sold business so I can appreciate where you're at - also my long distance "partner" had no interest and refused to go over the household figures or our business numbers.

She has to pay her part of the bills - you have to work out which part of the debt is consumer/household debt - and both be responsible for each of your portions, including you drawing a wage/commission to do so.
Just like any other investment or debt.

Sadly I think it's not going to end well because wage earners have huge (impassable?) difficulty understanding the nature of business and business debt (and things like tax / accounts payable issues).
That is one reason my ex-wife spent everything we had - if I ordered parts for a customer, she figured she was entitled to spend some money too, and since she worked at the bank and handled the cash managment, I could never work out why the company seemed to be in a death spiral no matter what I did.
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post #35 of 43 (permalink) Old 11-28-2015, 10:34 AM
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Re: Wifes logic about money vs reality

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Originally Posted by spotthedeaddog View Post

Sadly I think it's not going to end well because wage earners have huge (impassable?) difficulty understanding the nature of business and business debt (and things like tax / accounts payable issues).
That is one reason my ex-wife spent everything we had - if I ordered parts for a customer, she figured she was entitled to spend some money too, and since she worked at the bank and handled the cash managment, I could never work out why the company seemed to be in a death spiral no matter what I did.
Man can I relate to that statement ^^^^^.
My ex always though I should take a job since it "paid" more that I "made" in my business. What I could never get her to understand was that quite a bit of day to day living expenses were actually paid with pre tax dollars through the business. I would have to take a job "paying" approximately 2X what I earned in the business to maintain the same life style.
If I took a job, we would have even more expenses - such as clothing, commuting, cell phones, internet service etc which would now be paid in after tax dollars since I could no longer expense these in a business.
To her $75,000 was $75,000 regardless of where it came from.

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post #36 of 43 (permalink) Old 11-28-2015, 04:07 PM
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Re: Wifes logic about money vs reality

@3kgtmitsu - let me add a little more food for thought, in addition to all the good advice you are getting here:

There is a (good?) chance that deep down inside, your wife does NOT want to know how your business (or your household) finances work. And that is going to be a continual barrier, adding friction to everything you try. Some part of her wishes you just made enough money to do what she wants, and for it to be supplied without interruption, hassle, or accountability. ( Let me run with this thought for a bit, and see if it or something similar sheds light on her dynamic about money, marriage, etc )

Other parts of her (for lack of a better term) are grounded in the reality of the moment - when you don't have enough money, etc, and need to deal with a specific situation. But when the danger (situation) has passed, her mind reverts back to wishing things were (plentiful/hassle-free etc), and she loses the focus. Which is why she keeps slipping back to the state of not understanding the problem, or doing anything to improve the future. Living (care-free, or at least care-reduced ) financially in the moment is where she wants to be. Tomorrow is your problem, not hers. This is probably an idea she got in her head in her youth, about how things are "supposed" to be (had she picked a good enough (aka successful/rich enough) husband.

This doesn't mean she's a classic gold digger, etc. Just that she has this inner narrative and it sort of acts like a 'baseline' which she reverts to. She says to herself "I'm the woman/wife/mother and it's not my job to deal with xxxx - it's his job. I SHOULD NOT have to concern myself with these things (and thus does so only begrudgingly)" She doesn't come out and say this for maybe multiple reasons: she feels she shouldn't have to, she doesn't fully realize it in a self-aware way, she knows she's "supposed to" step up and help in times of need (though wishes she didn't ever have to), she feels it's her fault for not marrying "better" money-wise and has to suffer through it, etc, etc. And when it's 'not her responsibility', it makes it easy for her to give you crap for not 'doing your job' by making enough, rather than seeing things as a true partnership and 'we're in this together'.

Also wrapping herself up in the "mommy" role may intensify her feelings that she 'deserves' the impulse spending she does, especially if it is 'for the kids'.

None of this means she doesn't love you, or wants to trade you in for an investment banker (though it can make your relationship more vulnerable t that). I just want you to consider that she may have built-in ideas and biases about roles and money that go waaay back in her mind, and they contribute to the Groundhog Day / Treadmill nature of these issues.

Finally, if something like what I just described is going on, then to make real change that lasts you may need to stop treating her as an equal partner when it comes to money, and run both your finances more akin to a dictatorship. If deep inside she see making all the money as your responsibility, then you will need to exercise unequal power over it for the good of your family.

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post #37 of 43 (permalink) Old 11-28-2015, 06:22 PM
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Re: Wifes logic about money vs reality

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Originally Posted by Anubis View Post
@3kgtmitsu - let me add a little more food for thought, in addition to all the good advice you are getting here:

There is a (good?) chance that deep down inside, your wife does NOT want to know how your business (or your household) finances work. And that is going to be a continual barrier, adding friction to everything you try. Some part of her wishes you just made enough money to do what she wants, and for it to be supplied without interruption, hassle, or accountability. ( Let me run with this thought for a bit, and see if it or something similar sheds light on her dynamic about money, marriage, etc )

Other parts of her (for lack of a better term) are grounded in the reality of the moment - when you don't have enough money, etc, and need to deal with a specific situation. But when the danger (situation) has passed, her mind reverts back to wishing things were (plentiful/hassle-free etc), and she loses the focus. Which is why she keeps slipping back to the state of not understanding the problem, or doing anything to improve the future. Living (care-free, or at least care-reduced ) financially in the moment is where she wants to be. Tomorrow is your problem, not hers. This is probably an idea she got in her head in her youth, about how things are "supposed" to be (had she picked a good enough (aka successful/rich enough) husband.

This doesn't mean she's a classic gold digger, etc. Just that she has this inner narrative and it sort of acts like a 'baseline' which she reverts to. She says to herself "I'm the woman/wife/mother and it's not my job to deal with xxxx - it's his job. I SHOULD NOT have to concern myself with these things (and thus does so only begrudgingly)" She doesn't come out and say this for maybe multiple reasons: she feels she shouldn't have to, she doesn't fully realize it in a self-aware way, she knows she's "supposed to" step up and help in times of need (though wishes she didn't ever have to), she feels it's her fault for not marrying "better" money-wise and has to suffer through it, etc, etc. And when it's 'not her responsibility', it makes it easy for her to give you crap for not 'doing your job' by making enough, rather than seeing things as a true partnership and 'we're in this together'.

Also wrapping herself up in the "mommy" role may intensify her feelings that she 'deserves' the impulse spending she does, especially if it is 'for the kids'.

None of this means she doesn't love you, or wants to trade you in for an investment banker (though it can make your relationship more vulnerable t that). I just want you to consider that she may have built-in ideas and biases about roles and money that go waaay back in her mind, and they contribute to the Groundhog Day / Treadmill nature of these issues.

Finally, if something like what I just described is going on, then to make real change that lasts you may need to stop treating her as an equal partner when it comes to money, and run both your finances more akin to a dictatorship. If deep inside she see making all the money as your responsibility, then you will need to exercise unequal power over it for the good of your family.
The only thing I would change in this post is this:

Finally, if something like what I just described is going on, then to make real change that lasts you may need to stop treating her as an equal partner when it comes to money, and run both your finances more akin to a BENEVOLENT dictatorship.


This post is very much along the line of Samurai Jacks letter to his wife concerning the scripts running through her mind. Most of us have been handed one from the time we are born. The script becomes so familiar to us that we perfect it to the point of actually believing it ourselves. And we don't even realize we are only reading a script because we are only doing what was expected of us by others. Once that realization has been made putting down the script is the next thing and from there to adlibbing our own lives based on our specific wants and needs.
Good post, sorry for editorializing on it.

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post #38 of 43 (permalink) Old 11-28-2015, 06:53 PM
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Re: Wifes logic about money vs reality

Just wondering why your monthly expenses are so high and if you can cut back and why didn't you cut back when you only had one income from a business that wasn't supporting your current expenses and lifestyle?
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post #39 of 43 (permalink) Old 11-30-2015, 08:47 AM
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Re: Wifes logic about money vs reality

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Originally Posted by Anubis View Post
@3kgtmitsu - let me add a little more food for thought, in addition to all the good advice you are getting here:

There is a (good?) chance that deep down inside, your wife does NOT want to know how your business (or your household) finances work. And that is going to be a continual barrier, adding friction to everything you try. Some part of her wishes you just made enough money to do what she wants, and for it to be supplied without interruption, hassle, or accountability. ( Let me run with this thought for a bit, and see if it or something similar sheds light on her dynamic about money, marriage, etc )

Other parts of her (for lack of a better term) are grounded in the reality of the moment - when you don't have enough money, etc, and need to deal with a specific situation. But when the danger (situation) has passed, her mind reverts back to wishing things were (plentiful/hassle-free etc), and she loses the focus. Which is why she keeps slipping back to the state of not understanding the problem, or doing anything to improve the future. Living (care-free, or at least care-reduced ) financially in the moment is where she wants to be. Tomorrow is your problem, not hers. This is probably an idea she got in her head in her youth, about how things are "supposed" to be (had she picked a good enough (aka successful/rich enough) husband.

This doesn't mean she's a classic gold digger, etc. Just that she has this inner narrative and it sort of acts like a 'baseline' which she reverts to. She says to herself "I'm the woman/wife/mother and it's not my job to deal with xxxx - it's his job. I SHOULD NOT have to concern myself with these things (and thus does so only begrudgingly)" She doesn't come out and say this for maybe multiple reasons: she feels she shouldn't have to, she doesn't fully realize it in a self-aware way, she knows she's "supposed to" step up and help in times of need (though wishes she didn't ever have to), she feels it's her fault for not marrying "better" money-wise and has to suffer through it, etc, etc. And when it's 'not her responsibility', it makes it easy for her to give you crap for not 'doing your job' by making enough, rather than seeing things as a true partnership and 'we're in this together'.

Also wrapping herself up in the "mommy" role may intensify her feelings that she 'deserves' the impulse spending she does, especially if it is 'for the kids'.

None of this means she doesn't love you, or wants to trade you in for an investment banker (though it can make your relationship more vulnerable t that). I just want you to consider that she may have built-in ideas and biases about roles and money that go waaay back in her mind, and they contribute to the Groundhog Day / Treadmill nature of these issues.

Finally, if something like what I just described is going on, then to make real change that lasts you may need to stop treating her as an equal partner when it comes to money, and run both your finances more akin to a dictatorship. If deep inside she see making all the money as your responsibility, then you will need to exercise unequal power over it for the good of your family.
This hits the nail on the head - my wife is always in Mommy mode and thinks that we can spend whatever we want on the kids. In her mind, because she has a job, she can spend what she makes. She's always throwing away food in the fridge - because we both have jobs, it's not a big deal to her. Give her dumbass sister money because she can't live within her means? Of course, we have savings that we can give her, and if I say anything, it's because I hate her family.
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post #40 of 43 (permalink) Old 12-05-2015, 09:54 AM Thread Starter
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Well the dynamic just changed dramatically because she just lost her job so im going to just have to take an even higher level of control over her until she gets an income.

My fear is that while her intent may be good..she wants to get some bills paid..shes just gonna write a stack of checks and mail them out without asking and then either leave us with no money or massive overdrafts.

Her logic is confusing. She wants everything to be paid NOW and implys that im doing something wrong if i cant just come up with 10k on the fly..lol. As if business is just a matter of turning up a knob that is labeled 'income'.

Secondly, I put in some extra hours this week and she has the nerve to complain about it.

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post #41 of 43 (permalink) Old 12-05-2015, 10:14 AM Thread Starter
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Im really starting to understand why money issues lead to divorice. Im supposed fo feel ****ty because we struggle to stay ontop of a $6k per month budget..while no effort to cut corners is made on her part. I consider my business a success..and at some point the reality of the debt creation this marriage has led to is going to come to a head. The plain and simple harsh truth is that if I were single even with child support my expenses would instantly be cut literally in half..im giving a lot of grace right now and giving her the chance to get on her feet and solid in her career and MAYBE we can one day have a happy marriage. But as far as finances go..the math does not work out in our favor at the moment.

But im not going to continue to be treated as if im the only one whos doing something wrong..thats gonna change even if it takes counseling. Its a big problem even her family has to point out to her. She is always justified and in the right even when proven otherwise..and even when she does admit wrong shes gonna take someone down with her. Funny thing is she prides herself in pointing out others problems. But thats for a whole different discussion.
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post #42 of 43 (permalink) Old 12-05-2015, 10:46 AM Thread Starter
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We were both in better financial states before we met. I had paid off 2 vehicle loans..was working on student loan debt and a few residual debts from a previous business. I was always $2k ahead of my expenses every month and my income was much less than now..go figure. She was a student living off the GI bill and child support as well as monthly drill pay. There were some red flags when we were dating..which I should of taken heed too. For example she always complained to be poor and I paid for everything. I spent Waaaay to much that first summer.. As it turned out she typically had $10k in the bank somehow. I actually didnt even know a lot of this until we tied the knot.

So yes its been 4 years of me essentialy paying for it all..shes obsessed with having more children but im insisting that we get other stuff in line first..the last thing we need is another mouth to feed.
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post #43 of 43 (permalink) Old 12-05-2015, 02:11 PM
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Re: Wifes logic about money vs reality

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We were both in better financial states before we met. I had paid off 2 vehicle loans..was working on student loan debt and a few residual debts from a previous business. I was always $2k ahead of my expenses every month and my income was much less than now..go figure. She was a student living off the GI bill and child support as well as monthly drill pay. There were some red flags when we were dating..which I should of taken heed too. For example she always complained to be poor and I paid for everything. I spent Waaaay to much that first summer.. As it turned out she typically had $10k in the bank somehow. I actually didnt even know a lot of this until we tied the knot.
Yeah, why do we only have to do financial disclosure at separation/divorce, but not at marriage?

Now you have that red flag figured out, you know what you can work with. She has a deeply-ingrained attitude that the man makes the money. Can you divide things up budget wise so that your entire income handles the necessary expenses, and hers is what goes to the frills and fun?

We all know it goes into the same pot, but maybe SHE needs to view it differently, that YOU are doing the supporting, and her income is the splurging.

You cover the mortgage, the utilities, the groceries, the gas, etc, while she covers the restaurants, the entertainment, the new clothes, the haircuts, the saving for a new car, loaning to whiny sisters, that sort of thing.

Quote:
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So yes its been 4 years of me essentialy paying for it all..shes obsessed with having more children but im insisting that we get other stuff in line first..the last thing we need is another mouth to feed.
That might be your best leverage. Tell her you don't agree to having another child unless your finances are sorted out. It's not fair to do that to the family or the new child. Give her a year or two to eliminate your debts AND get used to the new way of budgeting before you agree to get pregnant.

If she wants a child badly enough, it's her incentive to learn how money works.
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