Money and a spouse who is irresponsible w/bills
Hi all. I need some marriage advice regarding my husband and our bills. We are newlyweds. Married 1 year and 7 months. He moved into my house when we married. He had an apt and was happy to join houses with me. At first, since everything was in my name and already set up, he just paid me the utilities, I paid the mortgage. We were 46 and 48 and did not desire to join checking accounts or merge money. He admitted to being bad with managing money but we both agreed it would work best for us if I just continued paying the mortgage and he paid for the utilities, which meant giving me x amount of money per month and I paid the bills. He gets paid weekly, I get paid once a month. He gets paid by the hour of job, I get paid a salary. All my paycheck comes in in one lump sum, his in different amounts all thru the month, since he is somewhat self employed.
Well, about 6 months into the marriage, I was tired of managing all the bills and having to always ask him, how much are you giving me this week, the power bill is due on this date, when will you have it, etc....It seems I was always asking him (like a parent/child) when he would have his part of the money. Then he was supposed to give it to me on Friday, but would forget and I'd still be asking for it on Monday, and becoming frustrated. So, I said, "Ok, that's it, I'm going to give you all the online log in information and you can just pay the utilities from you bank account each month. Maybe that will be easier for both of us. So he agreed to that and we both thought it was a solution. Well, not so much. I have learned that he has made a bad habit of paying the bills really late, always late actually. It seems nothing to him to not pay the power bill, water bill, cable, whatever, and say we can go out to eat or on a mini trip or something. Only thing is I didn't know he was choosing to not pay the bill on time for us to do that outing, or for him to buy a new tire, or b/c he didnt budget enough for fuel, whatever came up. He has no emergency fund or savings. He can't save any money. He goes and gets it out if he tries. Well recently I learned, after asking like I do from time to time, "How are the bills, honey? Everything getting paid this month"...I learned the ATT bill (which has internet, home phone, cable, my cell) is 2 months behind, at a tune of 620.00. I also know he doesn't make enough to catch that up. He has many excuses, but I think they are just that. SO, I spent the WHOLE holiday weekend coming up with a budget and having him give control back to me to pay the all the bills and he gives me X amount of money per paycheck. He agreed to it. I went to bed feeling better and less worried and had a good night's sleep. All day he didn't say anything, but a few minutes ago, he wanted to talk. SO, he tells me he has been thinking about it and he going to still pay the utilities and continue as he has been (meaning he paying them and not giving me the money to do it). I just about came unglued. But, I rebounded. I told him I wanted a negotiation. That he needed to tell me if he was going to choose at any point to pay a bill late, why he was doing so, and when he'd pay it. He said he would do that. I fear he won't, based on history. I think Dr. Phil says the past is the best predictor of future behavior, and I have asked him in the past to please communicate with me if a bill was going to be late. He hasnt tho.
So, how do I trust him with this? How can I let it go and not be a control freak about it. I am so relunctant to do this, yet, I know I really have no choice. Advice on how to handle it? Any boundaries to be set up? What is too harsh? I admit I am a control freak and I am trying to learn not to be. But I don't want to be always worried every time he comes in with a bucket of KFC if he chose not to pay the power bill for the convenience of fast food. Know what I mean? Thanks! Sorry for such a long post, Bless you if you made it to the end. I just felt there was a lot of background that needed to be given.