Earning wife won't contribute to household expenses - 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 30 (permalink) Old 02-15-2016, 12:17 PM Thread Starter
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Earning wife won't contribute to household expenses

Hello All,

This is my first time here. My wife and I just celebrated our first anniversary last week. We enjoy a fairly healthy marriage with no major issues so far.

But one thing that has been a source of huge concern, pretty much only for me, is our financial situation. I can see it affecting me a lot and I want to resolve this situation before it really poisons my mind and thoughts.

My wife and I are both employed and are successful in our respective jobs and earn pretty much the same salary. After marriage, we never really talked about how to handle our household finances etc. I was for merging our accounts, while she wasn't, but I never really made a big deal out of it.

The result is a situation where I am essentially covering >95% of household expenses (from rent, to insurance, to groceries, utilities, restaurants) while she covers a couple of utilities (electricity and the phone bill). And given where we currently reside (an expensive county), I pretty much taken nothing home as a result! Even our vacation spending pretty much comes out of my pocket.

As awkward as it was for me, I brought this up for discussion with my wife and voiced my concerns of how I was basically not making any money. That conversation did not go that well and my wife ended up labeling me "cheap" for even bringing it up. She reluctantly agreed to transfer money to me monthly. It was an extremely unpleasant experience for me and I hated having that conversation. That money transfer has not really happened and I really don't want to bring that up again with my wife. I feel bad as it is.

Its not the money that bothers me, but the fact that even though we are equal earners, my wife makes absolutely no effort to contribute to our household expenditure. Although she is perfectly aware that I am solely responsible for all our expenses, she seems perfectly fine with it.

It is driving me against the wall and at some level, beginning to affect my relationship with my wife.

Am I really being "cheap" here? After all, we are family now.

I wanted to reach out to this wonderful community and get some advice on if my situation is a perfectly normal one and if I am the one who is over-reacting.

I am not really sure what I should be doing.

Would appreciate any advice.

Many thanks.

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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-15-2016, 12:21 PM
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Re: Earning wife won't contribute to household expenses

Well....a time machine would be nice -because this should have really been discussed in depth prior to your marriage.

State what you want. If you want her to pay half tell her so.

The next time she calls you cheap......remind her that isn't possible since you pay for nearly everything and projection is unattractive

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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-15-2016, 12:23 PM
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Re: Earning wife won't contribute to household expenses

She sounds lovely.

If you truly love someone you want that person to have the freedom to become everything they seek. You want your partner to soar, not to imprison them. - Pluto2
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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-15-2016, 12:26 PM
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Re: Earning wife won't contribute to household expenses

Sounds like you don't have that great of a marriage.

Your wife is a taker and a user.

Consider whether you want to bring kids into this.
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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-15-2016, 12:33 PM
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Re: Earning wife won't contribute to household expenses

Quote:
Originally Posted by psychoanalyst View Post
That conversation did not go that well and my wife ended up labeling me "cheap" for even bringing it up. She reluctantly agreed to transfer money to me monthly. It was an extremely unpleasant experience for me and I hated having that conversation. That money transfer has not really happened and I really don't want to bring that up again with my wife. I feel bad as it is.
What's going on here is your FEAR. Your fear of her anger, judgment, possible abandonment...which usually stem from one of two things: either you have low self esteem and you're secretly just waiting for her to figure out she can 'get better' and leave you, and so you suck up to her to keep her happy, or else you're just a Nice Guy and you don't understand that women ONLY respect strong men who don't suck up to women.

Read the book I linked, then come back and tell us what you learned.

And btw, start learning NOT to feel bad. And DO bring it up to her. "Wife, it's been a year and you've made it clear you believe MY money is our money and YOUR money is YOUR money, and I just don't believe that. I'm willing to listen to why you think that is, but to be honest, I'm not willing to be in a relationship where we both work and you get to keep all your money."

No matter what, DO NOT APOLOGIZE!
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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-15-2016, 12:37 PM
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Re: Earning wife won't contribute to household expenses

To be honest I think that's a very hard mentality work with. Even if you can get her to contribute it's always going to like pulling teeth because she's a user.

Think about that.
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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-15-2016, 12:58 PM
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Re: Earning wife won't contribute to household expenses

She is the one that sounds cheap, what is she doing with her money?

I would have the talk again, that is the only thing you can do to solve this. I agree how to handle expenses should have been brought up before marriage, but just because they weren't does not mean you don't have a right to talk to her about it.

One way to approach it is had her the total of the amount of bills she needs to pay, tell her that is her share to take care of and when time for grocery shopping had her the list. She is being quite stingy how old is she?

Marriage is team work, and it takes both you can't and should not have to do it alone.



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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-15-2016, 03:06 PM
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Re: Earning wife won't contribute to household expenses

The hard truth is that your marriage is not as healthy as you seem to think. Not sure I would say either of you are "cheap" but one of you is being used and the other is a user.

Can you suggest a bills account where you both deposit an equal amount and all bills come out of it?
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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-15-2016, 06:10 PM
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Re: Earning wife won't contribute to household expenses

OR, she is going to get pregnant any minute now and quit - permanently.
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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-15-2016, 06:33 PM
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Re: Earning wife won't contribute to household expenses

if she wants her own account then fine, have 3 accounts. 1 in your name, in hers, and a joint account. BOTH of you put equal amounts in the joint account for household expenses.

But to be honest this "my money is not your money" attitude is not conducive to a healthy relationship. you are ONE COUPLE, not two INDIVIDUALS.

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post #11 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-15-2016, 07:03 PM
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Re: Earning wife won't contribute to household expenses

Maybe a good 'solution' might be to have a joint account, and then separate accounts where you can't tell her how to spend 'her' money, and where she can't tell you how to spend 'your' money. My fiance and I have discussed what we will do when we are married and sharing bills, etc...(we don't live together now) and that seems to be a very good happy medium. You can still have individuality as a couple.
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post #12 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-15-2016, 07:27 PM
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Re: Earning wife won't contribute to household expenses

Sit her down and let her know that in a marriage it's not yours or mine but ours and the finances are shared. If she gives you any nonsense then let her know that from now on your paying your half and she either pays her half or what's the sense in being married. She can't have it both ways and you better let her know of the rule change and stand pat or sh's going to run you broke.
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post #13 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-15-2016, 08:21 PM
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Re: Earning wife won't contribute to household expenses

Make an agreement, and require that she pay into a joint account for joint expenses. If not, do NOT renew your lease, and move without her. Let her deal with the fallout of that. If you are paying any bills that are in her name, stop now - especially auto loans and insurance on vehicles. And if you have any joint credit cards or accounts, close them and open ones in your name only and don't allow her to use the account.

Love is an ideal thing; marriage is a real thing; a confusion of the real with the ideal never goes unpunished. - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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post #14 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-15-2016, 08:29 PM
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Re: Earning wife won't contribute to household expenses

Do a basic budget....annualize expenses; you know what the rent will be for a year, car payments, insurance, etc., project utility costs. Then use a joint account like an escrow account. Put a set amount from each of your paychecks into it and draw from it to pay the expenses. Sometimes, it will have a large surplus, but that money is untouchable because there will be a need for it for a quarterly or semi annual payment. This is something that can be done with pencil and paper, no need to do a spread sheet.

Your money/my money is a dangerous and destructive philosophy/pattern to allow to develop.

Oh, I'm not an accountant...just a hackneyed old writer and if I can do it, you can too.

Cheers!

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post #15 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-15-2016, 09:32 PM
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Re: Earning wife won't contribute to household expenses

I concur in the previous comments.

And whatever you do, don't get her pregnant!

Always remember the LD motto: "Sex isn't important!!!"
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