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Frustrated! Long!!!!

1872 Views 5 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Woodchuck
New here. Looking for advice and support.

DH and I have been together 7 years, married 4. We have shared finances for quite a while, we put them together before we got married. I have always been the one to pay the bills, usually online,etc.

DH was in school until this past spring, he says he now has time to "help" with the finances. We recently read Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover and are doing that. I am all for DH wanting to be in on the finances, etc. Its good for him to know whats going on.

That said I am frustrated because last night, he decides to take over. Not just saying oh I want to be involved, but Im taking over and let me have my hand at the finances.
It is really bothering me because Ive always been in charge of our finances.
He holds previous mistakes above me and says now its his try at it. His mother has bailed us out before when we needed the $$ because of irresponsibility in money management in the past(mostly my fault but partially his also), which was years ago when we were first married. I have had a grasp on our finances for at least two years and just because he is going to do the bills now doesnt change what bills we have and what income we have.

DH went on our online banking last night and had to ask me the password to log into the account, I tell him. He looks everything over, which is fine! I have nothing to hide from him.
He changes the password and wont tell me it. Says its his turn,etc,etc that the right hand needs to know what the left hand is doing. I say I do know, I pay all our bills, the only thing that he has is his debit card, which he uses for gas and basic things at the store, for food, etc. It turns into a fight. I feel like I shouldnt be shut out, I should be able to log in anytime I want, fine if he wants to do finances be my guest, but I dont like being blocked out. He says I will show you finances anytime you want, no questions asked. I said fine. I said you do realize I can go to the bank and change it, he comes back with well Ill open a new account and reroute my paycheck to that. I dont want separate accounts/finances. He says I'll figure things out and you will get so much a month for groceries etc.

He thinks we should go to the method his brother uses. His brother pays all the bills, his wife gets a certain amount of $ a month to cover all her needs for the household. Food, household items. SIL is a SAHM with her 4 kids and home schools. Her husband has always dealt with the finances and says he doesnt want to have her worry about bills when she does so much at home already. She prefers it this way, her husband has very good money management skills. That said SIL is a lot more passive than me. She listens to her husband,etc. Thats fine but our relationship isnt the same as theirs. DH and I agree on things and usually come together on things equally. Yes DH is the breadwinner, but I dont feel like a marriage should be a husband controlling his wife. We have always had an equal marriage. To me this feels like I am being controlled and it leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I get his point of wanting to be involved with our money! That is fine! But dont be a dictator.

I just feel like red flags are popping up and feel like I shouldnt be "controlled" and feel like a child that is having to give something up.

I told DH that our financial situation isnt my fault, we accumulated our debt together. He says he isnt mad about our debt. I said the problem is that we have bills and there is only so much income coming in. Hence why we are starting DR and wanting to change our spending habits, and paying off our debt. I said you act like our situation is falling on me but you will see in a month that you will be where I am with the finances.

I think DH is taking over because he is mad at me. I took a phlebotomy class in the spring. I did my clinicals over the summer. I am ready to take the certification exam. I need to study. DH is mad at me that I havent taken it yet, especially because his mother offered to pay for it.
That said I put in an application at our hospital around the time of my clinicals ending, my supervisor seemed to really like me and it sounded like I had a job from talking with her. Well the week before I am done with my 100 pokes they had hired a couple people. They said my application will be on file for a year and if anythings opens up they will let me know. I have called a few times and get the response that they will pull my app and call me to set up an interview. I still havent heard anything. Im worried that they just dont want to hire me. I used to work at this hospital 7 years ago as nurses aide when I was 18 and I was fired for absenteeism. A young adult mistake that I learned from. DH thinks that this probably has no affect on my applying for a job now, it was 7 years ago and a different department.

Im mostly just venting here. I know I need to take my test and I know I should do it soon while I still remember everything. I have all my ducks in a row for it as far as scheduling, I just need to study so I feel ready.

We argued over that yesterday and now today he is taking over the finances.

I am a stay at home mom. Its something we agreed on when I was pregnant. I told DH I would go back to work if I needed to. Which right now we could use it. Things are tight!!! He doesnt think Im trying hard enough, he is determined that if I take my test I will get the job. I also know that our hospital hires people with no experience for phlebotomy and trains them. So for me a person who took a class and has 100 pokes of experience in from their hospital, I should be a good candidate! Why havent they hired me? I really dont know. Will a certificate really change that??

I just feel upset and I guess feel like Im losing the control I had. Which might sound bad, but I liked knowing our financial situation up close and personal. DH says oh well now it wont be the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing. Well its not my fault he never had any interest in finances before. He says it was because he was in school and working so he let me handle all the bills. I said, let me know how it goes when you are stuck in the same situation I was with our bills, and you will realize that I am not being irresponsible and that our situation is what it is. Too much month and not enough money. We essentially are breaking even every month but sometimes some bills have to be a few days late until DH next check. He was already aware of all of this.

I kind of feel like its a personal attack saying that Im not doing a good enough job and he wants me to step aside and let him take over. I feel like we should be in it together.

Thanks for the vent and if you have any advice please let me know!!!
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I don't think you are wrong for feeling shut out. It's not fair, even if you've made mistakes in the past. I certainly feel finance isn't just one persons job. I wouldn't stand for not being able to access 'our' money (and I am a stay at home mom!). Your husband shouldn't pull a 'game changer' like that. And I bet you feel helpless which just makes you more emotionally charged.
Once you have settled down I would tell him that having no access is a deal-breaker for you. And that you are fine to have an "allowance" but that the trust MUST be there for you to access accounts and that the allowance should go two ways, and be decided upon in a budget you two make together.
I don't think you should be blocked from accessing the accounts. You both should have access and if you both want to monitor then that is even better than just one person.

However, did you set up a balanced budget and were you monitoring against this? If you did not, and you were running out of money before your husband was paid, then this is not good money management. You can't just blame him for not bringing in enough. First you have to cut expenses to meet the income. Did you get rid of all the extras... newspaper delivery? dining out? entertainment expenses? cable? Did you enlist your husbands support to attempt to sell things to make some extra cash to apply to any debt? After that, if things are still really tight, then you should look at other opportunities to increase income for yourself and your husband.

Perhaps he is 'taking over' because he was not happy with the way you were "passively" managing the money and budget rather than actively as suggested above, however that is no reason to block you from the access. You do need to work together to develop and budget and stick to it though.

Sorry to be so harsh but you were wrong before in how you handled the money (passively) and he is wrong now in how he is excluding you. But two wrongs don't make a right, so work with him to develop a budget and you will earn his trust back, then request to have the access shared as you work through this together.

Some tools to help:

Good luck! :)
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It's great that he wants to get involved and you want him involved. Not so great that "getting involved" means becoming controlling.

Sounds like he is trying to see how much he can bully you into being "more passive" like the SIL. Remember that people treat you how you allow yourself to be treated. I would absolutely refuse to be shut out. Have a long conversation and if that doesn't work, give him an ultimatum. Or call the bank and have the password reset to put yourself back on level ground.
My knee jerk reaction is it dosn't seem fair, BUT my wife has handled our finances for 47 years, and I don't know the password to our account either...Nor do I know our bank balance....I don't really care, I know it is a lot more than I would keep but she likes LOTS of cushion...Let hubby run the show for a while, ask to see often enough to get annoying and he will give you the password eventually.....Don't get into control games. You have a good start by combining your finances. It is the only way to go.

good luck
the woodchuck
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