Second guessing whether I'm off base here - 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 12 (permalink) Old 08-31-2016, 06:10 PM Thread Starter
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Second guessing whether I'm off base here

A little background- Husband and I have been married 20 years. We've struggled financially the majority of the time just getting by. We both have decent jobs, but continuously keep getting hit with expenses that are uncontrollable/unavoidable (Ex. constant car trouble, guardianship of niece,multiple natural disaster repairs, extensive doctor bills, etc.)

Fast forward to current times. We now have four kids in college with one back home living with us. We've had additional financial stress this year than ever before. I've been telling my husband that we both need to pick up an additional part time jobs. We've been in this place once before and I was the only one who picked up the extra job which lasted just over a year. Here I am again working three jobs this time, the first one being full time at 60+ hours a week. He's made no effort to job hunt for a PT job for himself even though I've mentioned to him twice that he should be.

I'm starting to feel some resentment towards him and I hate that I am. Besides the stress of trying to pay our bills monthly, which we aren't, now I'm thinking he just doesn't care enough. I know it bothers him that we never have enough money and we never have enough to go do things we'd like to do. Besides being concerned over the lack of money we have coming in to cover our bills, shouldn't it bother him that his wife is busting her butt seven days a week while he's sitting around watching tv and playing mobile strike working only one job that isn't even full time every other week?

I'm I out of line with my thinking here? Should I take this as a sign he is just not invested in things as much as I am?

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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-31-2016, 06:29 PM
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Re: Second guessing whether I'm off base here

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shouldn't it bother him that his wife is busting her butt seven days a week while he's sitting around watching tv and playing mobile strike working only one job that isn't even full time every other week?
Yes, it should.

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Should I take this as a sign he is just not invested in things as much as I am?
Yes, you should.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-31-2016, 07:10 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Second guessing whether I'm off base here

Any advise on how to get him to step up to the plate? We're happy in our marriage otherwise, but I know if my resentment builds it won't help matters.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-31-2016, 07:19 PM
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Re: Second guessing whether I'm off base here

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Originally Posted by Morningstar73 View Post
A little background- Husband and I have been married 20 years. We've struggled financially the majority of the time just getting by. We both have decent jobs, but continuously keep getting hit with expenses that are uncontrollable/unavoidable (Ex. constant car trouble, guardianship of niece,multiple natural disaster repairs, extensive doctor bills, etc.)

Fast forward to current times. We now have four kids in college with one back home living with us. We've had additional financial stress this year than ever before. I've been telling my husband that we both need to pick up an additional part time jobs. We've been in this place once before and I was the only one who picked up the extra job which lasted just over a year. Here I am again working three jobs this time, the first one being full time at 60+ hours a week. He's made no effort to job hunt for a PT job for himself even though I've mentioned to him twice that he should be.

I'm starting to feel some resentment towards him and I hate that I am. Besides the stress of trying to pay our bills monthly, which we aren't, now I'm thinking he just doesn't care enough. I know it bothers him that we never have enough money and we never have enough to go do things we'd like to do. Besides being concerned over the lack of money we have coming in to cover our bills, shouldn't it bother him that his wife is busting her butt seven days a week while he's sitting around watching tv and playing mobile strike working only one job that isn't even full time every other week?

I'm I out of line with my thinking here? Should I take this as a sign he is just not invested in things as much as I am?

YOu are not out of line, because you are busting your butt your H is one of those people who takes advantage and lets you do it.
Perhaps you need to draw up an excel spread sheet and list down your monthly incomes and outgoings to see where else you can cut back. It is likely his sitting on his a** also involves spending money you do not have.

Present this to your H and show him how he needs to pull his weight more.
Depending on which country you live in there should be consumer organisations that will help you to financially plan and sort out your spending, such as Citizens Advice in UK.

It would appear that he is letting you carry the load, he may just be that type of guy, was he always like this?

One other question, is it possible you are living beyond your means, i.e. is one of you insisting on the big house, cars, etc a life style that you cannot afford. If so which one of you?
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-31-2016, 10:08 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Second guessing whether I'm off base here

Thanks Aine, all very valid points.

He's always been pretty laid back with most things and has the motto that "It will all work out". I handle all of the finances since it stresses him out to much. We regularly review our budget so he knows where were at. So as far as him spending money we don't have, that not it since I see everything.

As for living beyond our means, we had a bit of that with paying for all of our kids cell phone bills before they turned 18 and trying to provide things they wanted to do like sports, camps, etc. Now helping with college costs and helping to provide for his Mom. Otherwise, there are no nice cars, both are paid off and 10 years or older. Our house is under 1000 square feet and appraised at around $40,000 last year. We live in the US near a large metro area, so cost of basic living is pricey (home and auto insurance, gas, electric, etc.) We cut out cable and home phone. We had to take a loan out for a huge repair due to a sink hole forming under our house. We just seem to have terrible luck. Honestly, most marriages I know would not have made it as long as ours.

I guess I'll just have to sit him down again and have a talk. I have no other ideas how to get us out of this hole, short of moving out of state where the cost of living is cheaper. We haven't gone that route since we are the soul caregivers for his Mom and there would be no one else to look after her. We can't afford assisted living for her.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-31-2016, 10:14 PM
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Re: Second guessing whether I'm off base here

Tell him to Uber. It's decent money, enjoyable and not too hard.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-31-2016, 11:14 PM
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Re: Second guessing whether I'm off base here

Have the talk with him one more time, be very clear about what the situation is and what you see as the solution. Then ask him if he agrees with your solution or if he has something else to suggest. Then ask him what he is willing to do, beyond working one job to fix this.

Working 60 hour weeks is hard, and you work 2 other jobs? How many hours a week are you working?

Have you considered bankruptcy? You might be able to get out of a lot of that debt and not have to kill yourself doing it.

How did you pay for the sink hole fix? Did you take out a new loan? Did you refinance and put it on that?

YOu can keep a home and cars for transportation in a bankruptcy. That's why I'm asking about the house.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-31-2016, 11:29 PM
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Re: Second guessing whether I'm off base here

Quote:
Originally Posted by Morningstar73 View Post
A little background- Husband and I have been married 20 years. We've struggled financially the majority of the time just getting by. We both have decent jobs, but continuously keep getting hit with expenses that are uncontrollable/unavoidable (Ex. constant car trouble, guardianship of niece,multiple natural disaster repairs, extensive doctor bills, etc.)

Fast forward to current times. We now have four kids in college with one back home living with us. We've had additional financial stress this year than ever before. I've been telling my husband that we both need to pick up an additional part time jobs. We've been in this place once before and I was the only one who picked up the extra job which lasted just over a year. Here I am again working three jobs this time, the first one being full time at 60+ hours a week. He's made no effort to job hunt for a PT job for himself even though I've mentioned to him twice that he should be.

I'm starting to feel some resentment towards him and I hate that I am. Besides the stress of trying to pay our bills monthly, which we aren't, now I'm thinking he just doesn't care enough. I know it bothers him that we never have enough money and we never have enough to go do things we'd like to do. Besides being concerned over the lack of money we have coming in to cover our bills, shouldn't it bother him that his wife is busting her butt seven days a week while he's sitting around watching tv and playing mobile strike working only one job that isn't even full time every other week?

I'm I out of line with my thinking here? Should I take this as a sign he is just not invested in things as much as I am?

Yes, you have a right to be upset. But at the same time, when do you say enough? What's the point of even living if you spend every waking hour working to pay for things that you don't have any time to appreciate or enjoy?

That may be what your husband is doing. He knows things suck, and that they're going to continue to suck. So he might as well enjoy himself as much as possible. Idk, just a thought.

As a mother, I eat stress for breakfast. - Megan Conley

I don't trust words. I even question actions. But I hardly ever doubt patterns.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-01-2016, 12:20 AM
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Re: Second guessing whether I'm off base here

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I handle all of the finances since it stresses him out to much.
It is stressing you out too...and you work three times as much as he does. Time to hand the finances over to him, and let him figure out how to make not enough money work like you are being forced too. Maybe then he will start actually helping solve the problem. He may have to miss some time sitting around in his underware scratching his man parts, but hey...you sacrifice for the greater good, so should he.

Ciao,

Spicy
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-01-2016, 10:48 PM
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Re: Second guessing whether I'm off base here

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Any advise on how to get him to step up to the plate? We're happy in our marriage otherwise, but I know if my resentment builds it won't help matters.
Yeah. Start selling his stuff on ebay.

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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-02-2016, 01:30 AM
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Re: Second guessing whether I'm off base here

Well, I may be the one weirdo here.....

If you both have decent jobs, it's hard to imagine having 20 years of financial trouble unless you're making decisions that cause spending to be out of control.

I really hate to see people spending 60 hours a week at work - that's seriously valuable time that could be spent loving, nurturing, contributing to community, etc.

Everybody has unexpected expenses - house repairs, car repairs, etc. If you were to put 30% of your gross income into a bank account, would that be enough to cover any two of the unexpected expenses? Unless your routine expenses are too high, you should be able to create this "emergency fund" in about a year...or two.

Have you ever compared your annual spending with the average for people your age? A web search will tell you this info. You can also find the average by category.

About some specific items you mentioned:
- Car repairs. If my car requires a repair that exceeds the cost of a set of tires, I get rid of the car. I buy 5-8 year old Toyotas and Hondas, the low-end models with few toys, with over 100,000 miles on them, and get another 200,000 without any repairs exceeding the cost of tires. There's no reason, ever, to allow a car to hurt your budget.
- You have kids in college. If you have debt other than the mortgage, and you are old enough to have kids in college, you're not going to have an easy time getting ready for retirement. This would be a red flag. How many monthly bills do you have? We have four. Can you reduce? Cable TV ain't cheap.
- Medical bills: In the US anyway, the law stipulates that health insurance includes out-of-pocket maximums per family, that are relatively low, compared with "two decent jobs" - $10k on the high side, $3k on the low side. However, insurance companies and medical facilities make errors all the time, have you held their feet to the fire?
- Natural disasters are usually covered by homeowner's insurance with a small deductible. Are you using your insurance policies, or paying out of pocket?
- Guardianship of niece - not my domain, but would it be reasonable to consider that the expenses should about equal that of having a child her age?

As an example, my brother:
- Underpaid for his profession, for complicated reasons...at his age, median US income for a male is $70K and he's below that. For his profession, median is $100k. His wife does not work, never has. BTW, when you say you both "have decent jobs", how do you decide this? Are you above median income for your age? Age and industry? Maybe you are underpaid?
- Seven children. All went to private school. All went to college, only one had it paid by a grant. All were taught how to work and start a company before age 16, so they all contributed to college, but Mom & Dad still paid 80%.
- Natural disasters? Sold their Florida home at 33% of what they paid, because in one year, three different hurricanes decimated the entire neighborhood, causing brother's employer to relocate to the midwest...no job, no need for home. Insurance paid for every repair, but didn't do a thing about reduced value.
...Some years later, four of the seven kids had found work in New Orleans, and were "living on the cheap" in double-wides with zero insurance. Katrina wiped out $180,000, and my bro took in the kids...and kick-started them on new homes in the midwest.
- Medical? Three kids and two grandkids have required heart stents...which is done 3X in a person's life.

And yet - they've managed to squirrel away a half million in their retirement accounts.

One ONE below-average income.

Have you ever sought financial counseling? Understanding where your expenses are relative to norms is really useful.

I'm not a "suffer so you can survive" kind of person at all - I'm just bothered when I hear about someone spending 20 years with money being more important than stuff that should be more important. Sacrificing your most precious resource - time - for nothing more than money is a crime. It's no way to live.

I would say, instead of asking hubs to "step up to the plate", raise your own perspective to something bigger than money - life and love - figure out how to need less. Life is a LOT happier with less money, fewer concerns, and simplicity.

My guess? His soul has finally told him "this is stupid - 20 years and our biggest concern is materialism? I'd rather die." I got there in my late 20s. Most folks get there before age 40. Those who don't get there until 60 usually die very sad.

Good luck.

There are three kinds of business. Your business, my business and God's business. Whose business are you in? -Byron Katie
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-03-2016, 06:53 AM
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Re: Second guessing whether I'm off base here

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He's always been pretty laid back with most things and has the motto that "It will all work out".
LOL. Sure it will because his wife will do all the heavy lifting.

Quote:
....and helping to provide for his Mom.
This is particularly nauseating that this irresponsible man-child thinks it's perfectly fine to let his wife work 3 jobs to help support HIS mother while he sits on his dead ass on the couch like a teenage kid playing video games.

From another poster:
Quote:
His soul has finally told him "this is stupid - 20 years and our biggest concern is materialism? I'd rather die."
Well, that's great for his 'soul' - but it doesn't pay to support his MOTHER in her old age regardless of how he FEELS.

I'd be sitting his self-entitled ass down and letting him know in NO uncertain terms that he's getting a second job within the next 2 weeks as you'll be QUITTING one of yours. And I'd also give him a lesson in humility because he clearly doesn't seem to appreciate that you're working YOURSELF to death picking up the slack for HIM.

Aside from resenting him because he's able-bodied but CHOOSES to let a woman do the heavy lifting for him, I would have also lost respect for him a long time ago.
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