Husband Makes Less; He’s Cheap and Controlling

Adobe OpenRoad19
May 4 101 Comments

Throughout my entire life, I’ve made a lot more than the men I’ve been with long-term. None of them ever had an issue with it and I never had an issue with it, either - in other words, for my part, I’m humble and grew up blue collar, so I don’t buy many things or spend for the sake of spending. If I do need or want something, however, I always buy quality. I’m also not cheap with those near and dear to me, either, but I budget (for example, Christmas) and don’t go over-the-top but like to give lovingly.

I’ve been married for six years (and with my husband a total of seven years). As I get more successful, he is becoming more controlling (with money) and cheap. Before I married him, I was single on-and-off for five years having a lot of fun and enjoying myself after having been in a LTR with someone who broke my heart after 13 years. (This is important because I was very independent.)

Lately, my husband has been getting tighter with the purse strings and doesn’t like to spend money on things I want to do or buy, but has no issues with spending and has no issues spending it on his family - we send money to his parents monthly but also spent a lot when a family member visited recently or when we visit his parents. For the last couple of vacations, we’ve gone where he wants to go...and I’ve paid for them.

I’m getting frustrated, if not angry, because I’ve worked hard for the last 19 years to get where I am and have helped him pay off a lot of debt because he feels that I make more, I should contribute more. I pay 2/3 of the mortgage and most of the bills, as I make 2.5 times what he makes. We pool all of our money together and I sometimes feel we have a transactional relationship and he has this checklist/scoreboard of tit-for-tat (for example, if I buy something, he must buy something).

He needs a car as his 13-year old car is dying. And he said I’m going to have to help him with the down payment. Because we are married, I will, of course. But, I’m becoming resentful as what I want always takes a backseat to what he wants or needs.

Men or women who carry the financial household, what do you do? Recommend?

comments

Want to comment? LOG IN or SIGN UP
TOP 101 Comments
  • Google xpsuaix
    I make $400k/year. My wife has made at most $65k/year, and lately has only worked part time and stays home with the kids.

    I'm cheaper than her for big things, and she's cheaper than me for small things. We both defer to the other, because it's not my money or her money, it's our money.

    It would be pretty shitty of me to try to pull weight about what to do with our finances just because I make a lot more. It's a marriage, not a business relationship.
    May 4 2
    • Microsoft pJcW86
      That's a larger disparity but if your wife tried to be cheap at the 65k level on your 400k you'd be questioning what is going on too.
      May 4
    • Google xpsuaix
      It's complicated in OPs case by them treating their finances as "his" and "hers".

      I'd be frugal too if my richer wife kept her money in a separate bank account.
      May 4
  • Google Groogle
    Are you American? If so, not sure why you are complaining. As far as I know, many American women choose to stay at home and they spend lavishly on designer brands and buy everything they want if they are married to someone making a lot, like a tech worker. Yet haven’t heard many complaints from men about this.

    If you are not American then I do understand. I come from a culture where wife and husband have completely separate finances, but the husband is responsible for 100% of household expenses, regardless whether wife works and how much she makes.

    My wife chose to stay at home, she isn’t a materialistic person, spends very responsibly, and I have no regrets about my or her choices.
    May 4 13
    • Adobe skhale
      "I have expressed to him how stressed I am working long hours and taking care of the house; we actually communicate a lot but he uses his anxiety as a crutch" OP unfortunately you're getting a taste of what men have been facing for centuries, and getting the bad-guy/deadbeat tag if they dare complain. I'd like to sympathize but this seems like a case of what goes around comes around.
      May 4
    • Google / Eng hooli.xyz
      @Groogle

      “Basically the customs say that it is a man’s responsibility to financially provide for the family”

      Which culture are you talking about? Most modern cultures in the world have left that stupid custom behind.
      May 4
    • Adobe OpenRoad19
      OP
      Skhale, I totally feel sorry for my make friends and colleagues who have gone through this. I always tell my single male friends to wrap it up because I’ve seen many high-earning friends get trapped by the Pill not working. 🙄 I’m not saying accidents can’t happen, but station its effectiveness prove otherwise.

      My parents raised my sisters and me to be independent and have our own careers and not to rely on men. I know SAHMs who stay-at-home long after the children are old enough or gone to take advantage of the situation.
      May 4
    • Adobe akishi
      @OP as I said in the other thread, don't mind the snarkiness....and I do hope it works out for you.
      May 4
    • Oracle 7uuy444
      I think you should split your bank accounts, contribute 50-50 for family expenses and anything beyond that is upto each person. For instance gifts for each family should not be part of the family budget. Each person should take care of his/her family. Keep a strict plan on finances. Talk it out, go for counseling if it helps. But what you earn should be yours in the end.
      May 4
  • Amazon lkjhgfpoi
    TC?
    May 4 13
    • Facebook undrpa1d
      There is no way OP isn't from the subcontinent. NO WAY!!!
      May 4
    • Adobe OpenRoad19
      OP
      skhale, nope, born and raised in America.

      xpsuaix, when I was with my first husband, I deferred as I helped put him through school - yes, I see a pattern here. That interest was a lot, which is why it is taking me more time. I can speed it up but at the interest rate it’s at, I put more in my 401K, etc.
      May 4
    • Facebook undrpa1d
      You have no connection to the subcontinent?
      May 4
    • Adobe OpenRoad19
      OP
      No connection to the subcontinent at all...
      May 4
    • Adobe akishi
      @undrpa1d give them the benefit of the doubt...sometimes the worst thing in life is people refusing to believe you have a problem since you fit so-and-so stereotype...it's something I've experienced myself
      May 5
  • Apple AirDrop
    This is kind of toxic 😢
    May 4 0
  • Cisco / Eng eHhr48
    Kids? The first step is to use different account, and all the expenses (not on children) to be shared equally.

    I am in similar situation. However, since we started dating in high school (over 25 years ago) when I had nothing, I always consider my earnings hers. So I just told her to be reasonable in her spending.

    Good luck!
    May 4 8
    • Cisco / Eng eHhr48
      Isn’t resentment the gist of the problem already? At least that would put the higher income earner in the driver seat @xpsuaix
      May 4
    • Google xpsuaix
      Right. What I'm saying is that OP has an unequal marriage and resentment has built up because of it. Making it more unequal by putting significant financial stress on her partner will not improve things.
      May 4
    • Visa
      yooooo

      Visa

      BIO
      .
      yooooomore
      OP, from what you've shared, it sounds like he doesn't respect your opinion and is not committed to anything he says in the moment. I have no advice, but hope it works out for you.

      Also, as a guy that's had a vasectomy, I make that very clear to women when we first start dating. Things like that are important life decisions that people have to stand behind, for any long term relationship to last. It's not fair for him to suddenly change his mind about kids, another degree, etc without talking to you and explaining why.
      May 4
    • Cisco / Eng eHhr48
      Well, the question is how to change/condition the spouse’s behavior? Offer her some solutions other than “just talk” :)
      May 4
    • Cisco ciscosucks
      Damaged goods? My god. He has a very narrow mind and conservative outlook.he likely grew up with the patriarchal environment and is also struggling to deal with you making more money, likely more charming and great personality. High inferiority complex. This will take next 10-30 years to get better. And it's not your job to fix him or be subservient, or lessen your shine to make him feel better.
      May 4
  • Amazon wimwi
    1. Your husband is a bit of a dick. Consider a divorce
    2. On the other hand, if you switch the genders, what you just described is a perfectly normal married relationship
    May 4 2
    • Google Groogle
      Yes, that’s what I am talking about. Why the discrimination?
      May 4
    • Tesla ElonB
      Underrated comment
      May 4
  • Intel babubhatt
    Therapy.
    May 4 1
    • Adobe OpenRoad19
      OP
      We are in therapy for his anxiety.
      May 4
  • eBay mSQG77
    Leave him and look for a new boy friend.Trust me you will enjoy your life
    May 4 0
  • Microsoft
    Microsoft

    Microsoft

    PRE
    Expedia
    Microsoftmore
    Have you tried this?
    May 4 0
  • Microsoft / Sales SudoCode
    This isn't a great place to get empathy. I would encourage you to go to counseling and seek to understand why he's feeling this change or desire to control. I would guess you would learn a lot about your spouse while also giving you a platform to share your feelings.
    May 4 4
    • Adobe OpenRoad19
      OP
      Not seeking empathy. Just a way to handle it. He says he loves the fact that I’m independent but then reverts to his more traditional view (which his parents and brothers retain).
      May 4
    • Microsoft / Sales SudoCode
      I didn't mean seeking empathy from the aspect of people feeling sorry for you, but I meant it in that others here aren't too kind to people's personal situations. I used to make a lot less than my wife and I was fine by it. I wanted her to be as successful as she could be. I knew it was benefiting both of us anyway and she was fulfilled.

      Now I'm the bread winner but I've never thought about keeping score with income. We both contribute to the household and our separate incomes are just one in the same. We share the same financial goals as the other and make plans together, despite me earning 3x over what she does.
      May 4
    • Adobe OpenRoad19
      OP
      OIC. I’m sorry I misunderstood.
      May 4
    • Salesforce 你我也
      Ask him to revert back
      May 4
  • Amazon jQpf16
    Looks like you got a raw deal with this husband. If you dont have kids I really dont know why youa re still around, its clear you are just his meal ticket. I swear cheap and controlling guy sounds like an Indian, if not Asian atleast. I really cant see an American Woman putting up with this shit. You probably are afraid to leave him out of fear of loneliness but atleast be priudent with your money, squirrel away and have a seperate account he knows nothing of. also, check for affairs men like this are seldom loyal. I feel for you.. my father was like this with my mother and to this day I resent him. In your case no kids Id say just RUN
    May 13 3
    • Google dowbskci
      Wow, good job of sounding like a racist dbag.
      May 13
    • Adobe OpenRoad19
      OP
      He is not Asian or Indian - that is a very racist thing to say. I’m not afraid to leave him. I enjoyed being single and was quite independent before I met and married him.
      May 13
    • Amazon jQpf16
      racist douchebag yeah right... I am Indian and thats how I kniow, first hand experience. It is not racist if its true, google any stats on Indian women, the most burdened and harassed women. Higher number of womens suicides world wide, a good indian husband is an exception not the norm. Nobody can help someone who can get out but enjoys their suffering . good luck
      May 15
  • New pawpaw
    OpenRoad so sorry you are going through this. As a licensed psychotherapist with 10+ years of experience working with clients in the usa I would say there are clear red flags in his behavior and in your relationship. His actions could be some kind of a passive aggressive response to underlying issues like maybe he is holding some resentment or feels uncomfortable with the unequal earnings. Whatever the underlying issues the bottom line is if you aren’t feeling happy it’s time to talk to him and address how you’re feeling. Feel free to dm me if you need to talk. Thx.
    May 4 0
  • Expedia / Eng anony🐭
    I don't like the sound of this. Your money vs my money is a bad sentiment. So is "you can't buy but you have to buy me this".
    May 4 1
    • Amazon ridicule
      Agreed. My TC is 30x my spouse’s but we pool our money and each get an equal weekly allowance for discretionary spending. The rest of expenses are paid from the pool.
      May 4
  • New / Eng ggg1
    Personally, it's a 50/50 split of responsibility. Man or woman, doesn't matter. If one partner makes less and the other wants a better lifestyle that the other can't afford or doesn't want to pay for (housing, vacations, first class, etc) then they get to voluntarily pay for it and it's a gift to the other.

    If it were me, absolutely do not pay for the car or debt. His car, his responsibility. His debt, his responsibility. As for vacations, try cutting them off completely for a while. It's your gift to him, and sounds like he's not appreciating it.

    You say your marriage is transactional, but it absolutely is not. Your marriage is giver and taker. I'll give you 1 guess who is who.
    May 4 0
  • Kaspersky Lab / HR aye dais
    I’m in the same position. My husband is stay-at-home-dad for the past 2 years, and he hustles on the side.

    For me it essentially comes to 3 questions (minus one for you):
    1) Do you still love him?
    2) Is sex still good?
    3) Is he a good father?

    Everything else can be worked out.
    It feels like you started your relationship with traditional “man is the boss, girl is a princess” model, and it stopped satisfying you lately, so you started sabotaging your role, and your husband tried to get you back into it.
    You may try and re-negotiate your unwritten marital contract into another model. But you need to figure out what works for you.
    May 4 1
    • Adobe OpenRoad19
      OP
      No, never have I subscribed to that model. I’m not a princess in the least sense.

      I still love him. Sex is ok. We can’t do a lot due to his anxiety. No children.
      May 4
  • Hulu / Design dzgn_rulez
    Woman here, I’m in a similar situation.

    It sounds like deep down your husband is resentful you make more money then he does. This is causing a lot of unnecessary stress as he probably feels dependent on you for larger purchases while he wants to support himself on the day-to-day things but can’t keep up with your spending preferences. He might feel like he’s wasting his hard earned money on things he could spend a lot less on. Sound familiar?

    I suggest you two sit down and make a list of items with price ranges you both agree to before buying or splurging. Include a monthly budget where all the expenses you contribute to for his family are included. Don’t talk about the past, none of this tit-for-tat bs, only talk about your future together and how you’re going to make it work.

    You two need to go to therapy, he needs to address why he’s upset you make more money then him, and you need to address why you’re resentful over his inability to follow through with employment or educational promises, his anxiety and why he won’t support you with things you want etc.

    If that doesn’t work after 6 - 8 months get a divorce.
    May 4 0
  • Cisco acidbase
    Get his job changed
    May 4 5
    • Adobe OpenRoad19
      OP
      Yep, I keep encouraging him as he hates his job, but he wants to only work 9-5. He has a very prized degree that he never used.
      May 4
    • Salesforce pmyz88
      What degree?
      May 4
    • Adobe OpenRoad19
      OP
      Chemical engineering. Barely passed and took no offers because he talked to a few places and got turned down out of college. He got the degree because his parents wanted him to. He then joined the family business and did that for the next ten years.
      May 4
    • Salesforce pmyz88
      K so not very easy to reuse
      May 4
    • Adobe OpenRoad19
      OP
      pmyz88, exactly. He’d have to go back and relearn as he never used it. Plus, it wasn’t something he wanted - his parents did- and I would never force him to do something he had no passion for.
      May 4
  • Amazon ridicule
    Also, ignore the divorce talk. You made a vow. Put in the work.
    May 4 3
    • Adobe OpenRoad19
      OP
      Exactly.
      May 4
    • Snapchat dilbert123
      THIS is IMPORTANT advice. We think.."screw this ..will leave and life is greener on other side" ..it is not.. different kind of challenges. So work on this marriage
      May 4
    • Adobe OpenRoad19
      OP
      No, would never think of that.
      May 4
  • Amazon lMex45
    I am not fan of my money vs your money in a marriage. It's one of the guaranteed recipe to end it sooner or later. However, rules should be same for both. You need to highlight how he's going overboard while asking you to be conscious and put down your foot if need be. If he's genuine he should get it.
    May 4 0
  • Apple KGHP41
    Leave this marriage.
    May 4 0