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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Can someone help me understand why my wife thinks she can stay home and keep risking money on “ventures?”

Our two kids are 10 And 12. Early in our marriage we both worked full time jobs, then she stayed at home the last 5-6 years after getting laid off from her 6 figure job. Instead of getting another job, she wanted to start some home based business, but it didn’t work out and before she stopped that failure, she started a podcast! Neither one has made a dime. In fact, she lost at least $50K in the first venture and refuses to shut it down, claiming it is about to become profitable. I want her to stop the craziness and go get a real job!!

Her argument is that she has been paying “her” bills just like she did when she had a job prior to staying home. All she pays is the utilities, food, and when we eat out, claiming she pays $20-30K of the bills. No way does she pay that much! I pay the major bills like insurance and taxes and she should foot at least half the bills, especially if she thinks she has the right to sit home and gamble on some venture that has been losing money for years. Our house is paid off so there is no mortgage and I still make 6 figures, otherwise I’d be going berserk!

Her complaint is that she should be able to do what she wants with “her” money since she made the money prior to us getting married (she was 40 when we had our 2nd child). Even though she had the money prior to marriage, she doesn’t have the right to lose it … we have kids to raise and put through college.

Why can’t she see how wrong she is!! Can anyone help me understand the mind of a self-absorbed woman??
 

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Sorry, I cannot help you understand the mind of a self-absorbed woman. Since you are posting here, all I can do is offer you my perspective.

Okay, so you claim she pays for utilities and food. Neither of these budget items are cheap. Still, even with that, I'm going to assume you also pay a mortgage. I think the issue you are grappling with is her stance that the funds she had prior to marriage are hers to fritter away as she so desires. Actually, she does have that right. The problem that enters this equation is whether or not she is also dipping into your funds to finance her business ventures.

I will say this: People who have been married before and enter another marriage with significant assets have a right to protect their assets. Granted, that is merely my opinion. I will also offer another idea I have on this: Money arguments are often not about money, per se. They are more about power and control. After all, money plays a large role in our society because it is often equated with said power and control.

Have the two of you sat down and had a calm discussion about finances? Is that even possible? I'd suggest that rather than trying to understand HER mind, you work at understanding YOUR stance on the issues at hand. After all, you are posting here, not her. What say you?
 

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Can someone help me understand why my wife thinks she can stay home and keep risking money on “ventures?”

Our two kids are 10 And 12. Early in our marriage we both worked full time jobs, then she stayed at home the last 5-6 years after getting laid off from her 6 figure job. Instead of getting another job, she wanted to start some home based business, but it didn’t work out and before she stopped that failure, she started a podcast! Neither one has made a dime. In fact, she lost at least $50K in the first venture and refuses to shut it down, claiming it is about to become profitable. I want her to stop the craziness and go get a real job!!

Her argument is that she has been paying “her” bills just like she did when she had a job prior to staying home. All she pays is the utilities, food, and when we eat out, claiming she pays $20-30K of the bills. No way does she pay that much! I pay the major bills like insurance and taxes and she should foot at least half the bills, especially if she thinks she has the right to sit home and gamble on some venture that has been losing money for years. Our house is paid off so there is no mortgage and I still make 6 figures, otherwise I’d be going berserk!

Her complaint is that she should be able to do what she wants with “her” money since she made the money prior to us getting married (she was 40 when we had our 2nd child). Even though she had the money prior to marriage, she doesn’t have the right to lose it … we have kids to raise and put through college.

Why can’t she see how wrong she is!! Can anyone help me understand the mind of a self-absorbed woman??
I think she can do what she wants as long as it isn't denting anything besides her money she had before marriage.

If the marriage is otherwise satisfying, I would say you have it pretty good.

I'm traditional though for full disclosure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Sorry, I cannot help you understand the mind of a self-absorbed woman. Since you are posting here, all I can do is offer you my perspective.

Okay, so you claim she pays for utilities and food. Neither of these budget items are cheap. Still, even with that, I'm going to assume you also pay a mortgage. I think the issue you are grappling with is her stance that the funds she had prior to marriage are hers to fritter away as she so desires. Actually, she does have that right. The problem that enters this equation is whether or not she is also dipping into your funds to finance her business ventures.

I will say this: People who have been married before and enter another marriage with significant assets have a right to protect their assets. Granted, that is merely my opinion. I will also offer another idea I have on this: Money arguments are often not about money, per se. They are more about power and control. After all, money plays a large role in our society because it is often equated with said power and control.

Have the two of you sat down and had a calm discussion about finances? Is that even possible? I'd suggest that rather than trying to understand HER mind, you work at understanding YOUR stance on the issues at hand. After all, you are posting here, not her. What say you?
I bought the house for cash so no mortgage. She "upgraded it," spending only about $30K. Some how she's entitled to do what she wants.

Thanks for the advice, maybe we can have a sit down but we've been married 12 years and no assets have been combined. Hers are hers and mine are mine. Didn't really think about creating a "joint" since we are both independent minded.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I think she can do what she wants as long as it isn't denting anything besides her money she had before marriage.

If the marriage is otherwise satisfying, I would say you have it pretty good.

I'm traditional though for full disclosure.
Well, in some ways we have it good. We have 2 great kids. Our house is paid off (thanks to me). I have a 6 figure job. But we are not connected as a couple so I'm not sure if the marriage is otherwise satisfying. She says I "tell her what to do" all the time instead of "asking." Says I insult her every day. What? I'm simply explaining to her how to do things correctly.
 

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Well, in some ways we have it good. We have 2 great kids. Our house is paid off (thanks to me). I have a 6 figure job. But we are not connected as a couple so I'm not sure if the marriage is otherwise satisfying. She says I "tell her what to do" all the time instead of "asking." Says I insult her every day. What? I'm simply explaining to her how to do things correctly.
There you go. I'm going to have to side with your Mrs. on this one but you can't be this unaware of self?
 

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So for her venture that is losing money -- have you sat with her to have her explain the books to you?
IS the gross starting to creep up to maybe FINALLY surpass the costs? Have HER show you where/when she expects it to start turning profit. Tell her you are interested in the business (and you should be since SHE is involved in it).
Maybe she IS just about to start turning a profit.

As for the other stuff -- do you have a running track record of all expenses for your family for at least 6 months? THEN you can sit and discuss the costs, etc. that you both are paying for, and if you think it is too heavily on your side, then TALK to her about it.
 

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I don't know how to have separate accounts with my husband. We share everything, and I think this has helped us having the same financial goals. We watch our money because it's both our money in one account.

My kids are the same age as yours. I stopped working full time about 12 years ago, when we decided I would stay home with our kids. Now I work part time, hours here and there. I am an independent contractor, so I guess I have my own business too, but I don't do any home based sales or ventures. I do jobs for companies and they pay me for my services.

I have a friend who's into selling stuff. She's sold pampered chef, lululemon, thirty one, nail stuff, etc. I don't think she has made her investment money back, but she keeps on investing in new "business ventures."
I remember women investing a lot of money on lululemon leggings. They were the hottest thing 10 years ago. Now you can find them at the thrift store, piles of their products, brand new with tags on. I feel sorry for whoever had to get rid of their inventory. I'm sure they lost a lot of money.

I really hate selling those products, I think they are a scam, and they prey on SAHM like me!

What about your wife finding a regular part time job and also keeping her business on the side? What kind of venture is she doing?
 

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Why wouldn’t your wife continue to think that? It’s worked so far. You obviously can’t force her to work at a real job if she doesn’t want to. There have been men over the years who have shown up here with a similar problem. None of them ever came back to say they were happy to report that the problem was solved. My guess was that it wasn‘t. I’m afraid yours may not be either — at least not without her feelings getting seriously ruffled. Are you prepared to do that?
 

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I see there may be a problem with an unequal divide of the effort in the household. The OP has applied his income to pay off debt, while his wife has refused to get back into the workforce (or to upgrade her skills so that she can get another job, if she's uncompetitive right now). I'm not sure why the OP isn't getting more support here. If we were reading about a guy who chilled around the house all day and dabbled in this and that, while his wife busted her tail, we'd be all over him for not stepping up. Not sure why it's different here.

I had a similar issue when married. I was fortunate enough to make pretty good money back then and know how to manage it well. I made about 2.5x what my ex did and worked harder than she did as well. Her attitude was "my money my choices" and implied it's up to the guy to support his wife and family. It was infuriating to see that she lived better than me because we both couldn't live her lifestyle (lots of clothes, lunches out with friends) and still pay the bills. I reasonably expected her to work as hard as I did and be a true partner.

Baffled, your post sounds like the frustration I felt, so I sympathize. But people's attitudes are what they are. If your wife is fine with you working hard while she starts to wind down her career / productivity, you'll have to accept that this is the way it will be, or move on; the likelihood of her changing her behavior after years of not having to grind at work is low.

Your situation is not unique. I can think of two couples - both friends of mine - off the top of my head with this dynamic. The ladies feel it's the guy's job to bring home the bacon and if she's got a soft life, then that's just the natural order of things. And we're not talking about little kids in the picture: one has one child and the other have two children, all college-aged. The ladies still feel "I did my job running the household - he can support us for the next 20 years". I wouldn't put up with it, but that doesn't make that attitude any less real.

You're probably headed for some difficult choices ahead. Good luck.
 

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Why wouldn’t your wife continue to think that? It’s worked so far. You obviously can’t force her to work at a real job if she doesn’t want to. There have been men over the years who have shown up here with a similar problem. None of them ever came back to say they were happy to report that the problem was solved. My guess was that it wasn‘t. I’m afraid yours may not be either — at least not without her feelings getting seriously ruffled. Are you prepared to do that?
It's not a pleasant thought, but if you divorced her she'd probably have to get a job and support herself and the kids to a substantial extent. You can't force her to work, but similarly she cannot force you to stay married and provide a free ride to her. Also, keeping her in the lifestyle to which she has become accustomed is a myth unless perhaps you are super-wealthy. There is a fixed amount of money that now would have to fund two households. If you really are pulling everyone's weight, and she's throwing away money on her ventures while you're supporting her, is there a possibility that you'll be better off alone financially.

I know I was far better off alone in a financial sense. Maybe do some planning to see where you stand, at least that way you'll have a full understanding of your situation before you act.
 

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I'm simply explaining to her how to do things correctly.
Uh, no. And that's a hard no. The way YOU do things are entirely correct for YOU; not necessarily HER. I hope you can see how ^^this^^ mindset could be causing some issues.
 

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There you go. I'm going to have to side with your Mrs. on this one but you can't be this unaware of self?
I'm going to back up the OP on this one. If he's been grinding and supporting the family the years while she just dropped out of her career after getting laid off, then yeah he's going to not be pleasant and be stressed out. Being the sole breadwinner is super-stressful.

Look at the ladies who say that their partners don't step up and pull their weight around the house. These men earn the money but then pretty much come home and don't do much. Our advice to them is that when you have a family, just bringing in the money generally isn't enough; you have to be contributing to all aspects of family life. We also tell him that if she's stressed out, denies sex, etc. due to his behavior, it's his own fault.

This here is just the flip side of the coin. The OP's wife feels that she just needs to do a little around the house (kids like theirs generally are in school all day and don't require a ton of care and oversight like young children do). The same thing applies in this situation. We'd never tell a lady that "we'll he doesn't really pull his weight but he's a good dude so you should get off his back".
 

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It always amazes me when I hear people say that being a stay at home parent is 'chilling round the house all day', or that it's only the one who works outside the house who is working.
Whether the work we do is paid or not makes no difference. If one parent is the one who works at running the home, caring for children with all that entails then they are definitely working.
I also never get this 'yours and mine' thing. In marriage I see everything as joint, joint income, joint bills, joint bank account, joint home etc.
If you earn a 6 figure income and the house is paid off it's not as if you even need more money. It's also really nice for children to have a parent at home, especially for the long school holidays or when they are sick.
You make your marriage sound like a competition rather than a loving commitment where the two people are a team.
 

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I'm going to back up the OP on this one. If he's been grinding and supporting the family the years while she just dropped out of her career after getting laid off, then yeah he's going to not be pleasant and be stressed out. Being the sole breadwinner is super-stressful.

Look at the ladies who say that their partners don't step up and pull their weight around the house. These men earn the money but then pretty much come home and don't do much. Our advice to them is that when you have a family, just bringing in the money generally isn't enough; you have to be contributing to all aspects of family life. We also tell him that if she's stressed out, denies sex, etc. due to his behavior, it's his own fault.

This here is just the flip side of the coin. The OP's wife feels that she just needs to do a little around the house (kids like theirs generally are in school all day and don't require a ton of care and oversight like young children do). The same thing applies in this situation. We'd never tell a lady that "we'll he doesn't really pull his weight but he's a good dude so you should get off his back".
For a non traditional, "modernized, feminized" man, your take is spot on.
 

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Unless you are suffering financially, I don't see the problem. I pay for almost everything, because I make 3 times what my wife makes. Your wife pays for some bills and she looks after the kids and the house. Yes, she has assets, but it's her money. I think, OP, you have a strange concept of "marriage". If you don't like it, maybe marriage is not for you.
 

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For a non traditional, "modernized, feminized" man, your take is spot on.
I agree.

Op you guys are a team, this doesn’t mean dividing every single thing 50/50. She is taking care of the family and house, she is doing the more traditional role. She isn’t spending your money still.

Do you do any housework? Cooking? Cleaning? Laundry? Staying up when the kids are sick?
 
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