Bitter and resentful - 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 21 (permalink) Old 03-03-2017, 12:18 PM Thread Starter
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Bitter and resentful

I have been married for 20 years, two adorable children (13 and 9). Over the past two years, I have become resentful and bitter toward my wife about money and other things.

About 8 years ago, before my youngest was born, my wife wanted to move to a different expensive neighborhood. The key was to be in a good public school district. We were both working at that time. We had looked at many houses just before my son was born, some I liked, but she didn't. She wanted this particular house, that was more than our budget, and kind of talked me into that everything would be fine, as she would increase her hours to help out. I voiced my concerns that I didn't want to be a slave to a mortwgage, and want to be able to sleep at night. She was working for her father. Within a couple of months of moving in, her father died... and so did her job. I was making good money, and have increased it since the move. For 7 years, I kept up with the larger mortgage. I had to stop my 401k contributions in order to pay for everything (housing, bills, property tax, groceries, car payments etc). So my retirement funds are low, just for the sake of the house payments.

My wife didn't get a job until last year, and it is a small part-time from home, which was fine initially, but she seems to have lower and lower amounts every month and doesn't really help. Any time I want to talk about money or budget she would roll her eyes, or get frustrated and usually ends up in an argument. She told me I should get a new job to make more money. We also have credit card debt because she can't seem to understand a budget. I attempted giving her own spending money ($200) every week to keep on a budget, but within the first day or so, it would be gone.

On top of that, I do most things around the house, cooking for the family every night (she says she hates to cook), grocery shopping, mainly the one making lunches for kids, dishes, cleaning, trash etc. She would say she does the laundry, but once it comes out of the dryer, I can sit for days before it gets folded, so I end up doing that too.

Sex life is pretty non-existent, and she expects me to initiate every time. Even though she is affectionate outside of the bedroom. I know she loves me a lot, but she seems to ignore the amount of stress on me, and doesn't seemingly want to help out. She essentially wants to put her head in the sand, and let me take care of it.

I brought a lot of this stuff up recently, and she was surprised on how I felt, while some minor things have changed, it still the same. Even if we fixed everything, I don't know if I can get over my resentment and bitterness that I have that I make around $180k a year, and can't enjoy it, and do most of the chores.

I don't go out, or spend anything on myself, I have no life other than trying to keep a roof over my families head. I don't have anyone to talk to about it. I now keep my head down to avoid arguments, and her making me feel like crap because I don't make as much as others in our neighborhood and don't provide her many vacations. When she wants to go away, she wouldn't want to go for anything cheap (must be five-star all the way).

Thoughts? thank you for listening.

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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-03-2017, 12:36 PM
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Re: Bitter and resentful

Serious entitled princess syndrome. Sad part is she will likely never change.

You seem scared of her. An open and frank discussion about a possible downsizing of the house is needed. Expect serious resistance. If this keeps going the way it is now the resentment will just grow till you literately blow up.

Oh, $180 grand a year is not peanuts.
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-03-2017, 12:46 PM
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Re: Bitter and resentful

Read the books "Love Busters" and "His Needs, Her Needs". Do the work so that you have thought it all through and have a handle on what to say to her.

Then sit her down and tell her that you are profoundly unhappy and why. You need to be willing to tell her that you are seriously considering divorce but you want to save things. Ask her to read the books and work through them with you.

You might also want to tell her that she has to go to marriage counseling with you.

If your wife got a job, what percentage of your joint income would she earn?

She needs to get a job and contribute as much as she can.

As long as she is not working, she needs to be doing the vast majority of things around the house.

I would also suggest some things for fixing your finances. You need to hire a financial planner and get them to talk to her. Get the book "Smart Couples Finish Rich", get her to read it.
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-03-2017, 12:56 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Bitter and resentful

I don't think that I am "scared", it's just that I am just tired and close to giving up. But I can't as everything will fall apart with the amount of balls I juggle.

Put it into context, her father was a doctor, who divorced her mother and then would make up for his guilt by paying for everything for his kids. I step in, and find myself in the shadow of her father.

For years, I have told her if we don't get within a budget, we need to sell the house... again it all turns back on me that I need to find a new higher paying job. I should be proud of my job, 10 years ago I was making about 75k, now at 180k. But it is never enough.

I feel trapped in my situation, even if I divorced, I would be worse off than I am now and and the kids would suffer. I feel that I now one of the people that it is cheaper to stick in this marriage than divorcing.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-03-2017, 01:11 PM
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Re: Bitter and resentful

You need to read the book "No More Mr. Nice Guy". Seriously.
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-03-2017, 01:11 PM
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Re: Bitter and resentful

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Originally Posted by Halloweenjack View Post
She told me I should get a new job to make more money. We also have credit card debt because she can't seem to understand a budget. I attempted giving her own spending money ($200) every week to keep on a budget, but within the first day or so, it would be gone.

On top of that, I do most things around the house, cooking for the family every night (she says she hates to cook), grocery shopping, mainly the one making lunches for kids, dishes, cleaning, trash etc. She would say she does the laundry, but once it comes out of the dryer, I can sit for days before it gets folded, so I end up doing that too.

Sex life is pretty non-existent, and she expects me to initiate every time. Even though she is affectionate outside of the bedroom. I know she loves me a lot, but she seems to ignore the amount of stress on me, and doesn't seemingly want to help out. She essentially wants to put her head in the sand, and let me take care of it.
Twenty years? I'm starting to feel resentful about your wife after three minutes. The good news for you is that your wife seems very easy to replace and upgrade. Seriously, what the hell are you doing wasting your life?
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-03-2017, 01:23 PM
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Re: Bitter and resentful

Read this:

https://www.amazon.com/Your-Perfect-.../dp/1886230854

She's walking all over you and you're not pushing back.

Also read everything everyone else wrote.

Get back into a budget, even if it means taking your paycheck and putting it in a separate account.

Start standing your ground but it's going to be tough. She's gotten her way so long she may never change.
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-03-2017, 01:48 PM
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Re: Bitter and resentful

Halloweenjack, are you aware that you have a third child instead of a partner? The eye rolling and blame when you stress to her that you can't afford it makes it sound like you have a teenage daughter, not a wife!

By all means, pick up that book EleGirl recommended, "No More Mr. Nice Guy", see a marriage counselor, see a financial counselor, and attempt to get your wife to act more mature and start compromising and contributing to the marriage but also see a lawyer and get a realistic picture of divorce because that is the road you are headed on without her making some big changes. Who knows if she can and will do that. Even if she does, maybe years of leaving you to do 90% of the work without any gratitude is just too much for you and that's okay.

Take a different perspective to divorce when you consider it. Sure, you would lose the house you're already about to lose anyways and would have to live in something smaller but what would you gain? A social life. Dignity. Spending money. Considerably more free time and less stress. And with time you will gain a real partner and all the benefits of someone else having your back instead of you needing to parent them and fight with them to have your most basic of needs met. Your future wife may make you wonder why you even stuck around in this marriage, overworked, nearing your breaking point, and under appreciated, for so long. You deserve a fulfilling marriage and happiness too, you know. The choice is up to you but do give it some time and a fair consideration.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-03-2017, 04:42 PM
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Re: Bitter and resentful

Wow, you sound like you are an extremely giving husband. I didn't even know there were women who get away with that!!! Maybe you can start a slow reverse by telling her you put in a hard day and it is her job to take care of the things at home if she is a stay at home parent. It is wonderful that you help her out some when you can!!

I'm visiting this thread because of my own financial related husband problem today and saw this post. $200 a week is a lot of money!! My husband makes very good money but he won't give me anything anymore! We have kids in private schools and nearly everything goes to that or things he decides we need. I do all the cooking, cleaning, kids appts., school stuff, laundry. He won't even lift a finger around the house... if I ask him to take out the trash he yells for my son. What am I doing wrong???!!! He doesn't give me any money. I have to sell things online to earn my own spending money. You are really being taken advantage of. You don't deserve it! I feel like I am probably too.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-03-2017, 06:01 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Bitter and resentful

Thank you for all your comments, and suggestions. It is very therapeutic to be honest for me to try and vocalize my situation. I tend to keep things bottled up too long. I am British, and I guess it is the "stiff upper lip" in me!

I think this all started when I was a "hands-on" husband and dad. But my wife did less and less, so I picked up the slack. With the young kids, I used to walk through the door at 6pm after a 6am work start, and she would be at the door, and hand me the baby, and say "ok your turn" and then leave. So I would have to do it all, and she would tell me to text her when they are in bed. How f'd up? I took that, I until I blew up.

I have attempted just not to do so much around the house and just leave it to her, she would get "overwhelmed" and ***** about it all, and sighing, and snapping at the kids. So, I would help out, and then end up doing all. I am just a guy that try's to help people, and ends up the unhappiest.

I have thought about divorce, but my daughter has a bad anxiety issue, and would hate to see my decision to divorce affecting my kids. If I divorce, doesn't that mean that I am putting my desires before the needs of my kids who would thrive better with married mom and dad?

So many times, I start feeling that I am the one that has messed this up, because I set the expectation of how much I would put into help, and just kept going, until last year. It was odd because it was like a big hammer coming down on me. Last year, she went through a months where she would go to bed around 5pm, and leave me literally everything in the evening and wouldn't wake up until 9am after I did everything in the morning. I didn't say anything, and that is my fault. But I found myself enjoying that she was asleep, because I didn't need her complaining! Its usually about money.

Redpoppies - I am sorry to hear of your situation, I hear that a lot from other wives. When my wife tells them how much I do, those wives tell me how they are frustrated with their husbands not helping etc. Yes, I always thought that $200 was a lot of money, but it would disappear. Giving her cash on Sunday, it would be gone by Tuesday afternoon... You sound like me in questioning "what have I done wrong".

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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-03-2017, 07:07 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Bitter and resentful

A couple of other things, my wife knows full well how much financial stress I am under, she has the ability to increase her part time work hours, but doesn't. If I saw my wife under stress like that, I would do anything to secure a full time job to help.

Geez, I even told the wife that I was thinking about being an Uber driver to try make ends meet!

Recently, I have been having symptoms of an anxiety attack, I a, doing meditation to help. Sometimes, I would like to throw up my arms,say f this, and tell her to worry about it, and just living the way I want and get more into debt!

Thankfully, we have a good amount of money in home equity ($400-500k) and set to inherit from my father (~400k) but if we divorce, I am sure most of this would disappear with legal costs etc. Then I would be living pay check to pay check, paying child support, and depressed in a 1-bedroom studio. Isn't that a true example of between a rock and a hard place? Aren't I better off, waiting until the kids are older, and then trying to enjoy the remainder of my life?

I asked the wife if we could sell the the house (I live in LA), and we could buy a house for cash in many parts of the country, so I can allievate the stress and burden I am under. I won't tell you how she responded..... it wasn't pretty. Yeah, I know - I should grow a pair, and put my foot down. But I am always trying to make people happy, I just need someone to make me happy for a change.
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-03-2017, 07:37 PM
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Re: Bitter and resentful

I would redirect any energy in being an Uber driver and become an Uber in your circumspection...

You are living way beyond your means and paying for it in sanity... not a very good trade.

In addition to the other suggested reads... perhaps:

Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself

...you won't put it down once clarity comes.
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-03-2017, 08:51 PM
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Re: Bitter and resentful

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Originally Posted by Halloweenjack View Post
A couple of other things, my wife knows full well how much financial stress I am under, she has the ability to increase her part time work hours, but doesn't. If I saw my wife under stress like that, I would do anything to secure a full time job to help.

Geez, I even told the wife that I was thinking about being an Uber driver to try make ends meet!

Recently, I have been having symptoms of an anxiety attack, I a, doing meditation to help. Sometimes, I would like to throw up my arms,say f this, and tell her to worry about it, and just living the way I want and get more into debt!

Thankfully, we have a good amount of money in home equity ($400-500k) and set to inherit from my father (~400k) but if we divorce, I am sure most of this would disappear with legal costs etc. Then I would be living pay check to pay check, paying child support, and depressed in a 1-bedroom studio. Isn't that a true example of between a rock and a hard place? Aren't I better off, waiting until the kids are older, and then trying to enjoy the remainder of my life?

I asked the wife if we could sell the the house (I live in LA), and we could buy a house for cash in many parts of the country, so I can allievate the stress and burden I am under. I won't tell you how she responded..... it wasn't pretty. Yeah, I know - I should grow a pair, and put my foot down. But I am always trying to make people happy, I just need someone to make me happy for a change.
Please read the "No More Mr. Nice Guy" book.

See trying to make everyone else happy at your own expense does not work. For one thing, you resent your wife. So if you resent her, what's the point of what you are doing?

People lose respect for someone who does this... letting others push them around. Always being the 'nice guy'.

On thing about your inheritance. That is sole property, meaning that your wife has no right to it. So, when you get it, make sure you keep it in a separate account and do not co-mingle it with marital assets/income.

When your wife is working full time, how much can she make?
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-03-2017, 09:18 PM
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If your wife is spending 200 every couple days or so, that's thirty-six thousand a year! I'd get your paycheck into a separate account and give her an allowance. By the way, with the equity and inheritance and what you make, you will be just fine after a potential divorce. And your kids no doubt will be, too. They'll see less resentfulness and bitterness between you and your wife.
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-03-2017, 09:42 PM
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Re: Bitter and resentful

Just a note - better school districts may be worth the hassle if the education they provide can lead to greater things for your kids. As much as I hate the upkeep of our McMansion both my kids ended up in a far better situation because of their k-12 education.

The rest, is as other posters indicated. Entitled princess galore. Just control your spending, push your kids to their potential, and try to work out that side.

Today is Friday and I'm sanding and priming wood trim for painting tomorrow. Then wash carpets... Paint 2nd floor... Etc.

There's a good chance we will split soon so there's an interior​ motive for me to do all this. But downsizing now for you while staying in the same district may not be financially appealing due to selling costs.
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