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husband is mad at my spending


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A part of me feels like I’m not in the wrong here but I just really need an outsiders perspective. I am a SAHM of four who financially relies on my husband. Over the years I’ve become low maintenance and I do not spend any money outside of the weekly online order for groceries. Groceries are pretty high rn, so I admit that I’m spending a lot more now than I needed to years ago, but I genuinely feel I cannot spend any less than I already do. I placed an order yesterday for a few items we needed and I decided to add a $12 firework on the order. My husband is adamantly against large crowds and public places, and having been together for 8 years, I already know we won’t be going to watch fireworks on the 4th. I just wanted the kids to have SOMETHING that day. He picks up the order, sees the firework, and gets MAD. He says that I hid the fact that I bought it from him because I told him about the other items but not this. I told him I didn’t think it was necessary because it was only $12, but really I knew there would be a problem so I didn’t mention it. For that, I’m wrong I know. He says that I am disrespectful and that I’m basically lying and hiding things from him when I think it’ll make him upset. We have argued in the past about similar stuff, and I just feel like a child having to get his approval for all purchases, no matter how small they are. I oblige most of the time to avoid a fight or the cold shoulder but really I feel like I should be able to make small purchases on my own without approval. I’ve told him before that I don’t think it’s right that I don’t have access to the bank accounts or credit cards. Within the last year he opened up a bank account and credit card in my name, but he’s an authorized user on both accounts and there is less than $100 available for me to spend. I’ve never touched the cards because I feel like it’s just to say “look you have something, stop complaining!” I thought maybe we’re really struggling with money because he’s ALWAYS complaining about my spending for groceries but recently I broke down saying I wish we had more money because the stress of it all was weighing on my mental health. He told me to stop worrying because we’re fine, and he told me how much we have in savings. I was surprised by how much we have because it’s always SUCH a big deal if I spend anything extra. He always says that it’s a respect thing. I feel like I can’t talk to him about it because then he will be upset at me for thinking badly of him or treating him like a villain. It’s always “wow, that’s how you think of me. That’s fine.” I’ll try to backtrack because I’m not trying to attack him, I just want him to understand how I feel but he will say “no, it’s okay. I see how you truly think of me.” It’s not about the firework, I just wanted to do something fun with the kids and I feel like such a child for being “in trouble” because of it. I’ll have to deal with the anger and cold shoulder for the rest of the week now. 

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So he jumped down your throat because ONE time, you decided to spend TWELVE dollars for the kids? 

Here's what I think. I think your husband is self-centered, controlling spiteful and manipulative. I am offended for you that he thinks of you so little. You have no say in this relationship as long as he has control of the finances.

Have you thought about getting a job so you don't have to rely on him for $ ? 

I know childcare is expensive but do you have a family member who can help with the kids?

My husband pretty much makes decisions (except for 2 things) about what we spend money on but he isn't going to freak out about little things as long as I don't have a pattern of buying things we don't need. I don't think you did anything wrong, like going on a shopping spree or purchasing something with a high price tag.

Also why do you put up with the cold shoulders? He talks about you being disrespectful and he doesn't realize that giving someone, who happens to be the mother of your children, the cold shoulder is just plain rude. I don't know where he thinks that type of behavior can win you over. It would just demoralize me.

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I suggest you get a sense of how much you could earn outside the house & then figure out how much childcare, meal prep  & a cleaning service will cost.  Present those figures to your husband & hopefully seeing it in black & white will cause him to shut his trap.  He clearly doesn't value your contributions to the household. 

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Wow... That was tough to read.

He's a controlling person who likes to see you plead for some approval and suffer.

A healthier partner would give you a card with a good balance and no need for approvals unless it's a big purchase. You're an adult and his partner, and he would trust your judgment.

Sigh... I'm afraid what your partner exhibits is a personally trait. He's a controlling and manipulative person using wanting to be financially safe as a BS excuse. You can't change it hun'.

You need a better man at this point... But can you workaround with what you got until then? Do you have any family member who could financially lend you a hand so you can confidentially (and off record) seek legal advice? I'm sorry it's like this.

What he does is unacceptable and he refuses to acknowledge the behaviour. Please let that sink in, and know you are worthy of good treatment as a woman and mother.

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1 hour ago, Blueskies8 said:

He always says that it’s a respect thing. I feel like I can’t talk to him about it because then he will be upset at me for thinking badly of him or treating him like a villain.

 Speaking of "respect" he could use a few lessons, himself.  He needs to grow up, and treat you as an adult.

You have every right to speak up, otherwise he'll continue to feel he has you over a barrel. You're better off showing your self-respect, where, he'll either sink or swim.  yet he'll get the message, and hopefully he'll be singing a different tune.

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He's got an abusive streak. However, this is exactly why I think it's every woman's responsibility - not choice, but your responsibility to yourself and kids - to provide financially. It's never ever up to someone else to do this for you. 

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When I was a SAHM for 7 years I felt better contributing half the rent from my expenses.  It was my idea to contribute $$.  To me you are contributing financially if the alternative was to pay $$ for daycare/sitters/nannies.  Whose idea was it to stay home? For my husband and me it was a joint decision.  I think it might be time to start doing something from home/part time and maybe barter babysitting with friends?

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What a control freak!  Not that this happens in all marriages but there tends to be more respect when the wife is employed.  It is rare to be able to afford to be a SAHM nowadays.  You might want to start thinking about seeking employment and either supplement your husband's income or eclipse him.  You can work from home as well.  This is how you get your power and have more of a voice in your marriage.   Your husband controls the marriage because he's the sole breadwinner.

Despite your inferior status in his eyes,  his mistreatment of you is terrible.  You should have access to bank accounts and credit cards.  It's awful that the credit cards are in your name yet he is the one who has free reign to charge to them.  So let me get this straight,  in the event of a financial fiasco,  you are the one to take the fall and not your husband?  😡

You need to start thinking about your financial independence because I don't see you surviving in a miserable marriage like this.  You need to figure out how to be economically strong on your own.  Money gives you independence and power.  No one can tell you what to do nor order you around.  Those days are over. 

This is the 21st century,  not the 1930s and prior to that anymore.  Get with the times!  Barefoot and pregnant days are over!  Women are financially strong and powerful nowadays. 

I've sat on both sides of the fence.  I was a SAHM and my husband always deferred to me as your husband should to you as his wife and the mother of his children.  He's extremely disrespectful and abusive.  Remember,  money is power in this world.  Go get it.

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I think women who marry on the younger side can’t afford to be SAHM because they likely don’t have savings to contribute to the family income. And a husband who - understandably these days - cannot afford to be the primary provider. I had the downside of marrying and becoming a mom much later but the upside of having planned for SAHM when I was single so I could contribute as needed. It wasn’t needed but I needed it and so I share the wisdom and echo what Cheryln wrote that in certain marriages rhe dynamic is greatly impacted by who contributes money instead of in kind as in child care. 
I also agree that of course he shouldn’t control spending in the way he does. Or control access to the extent he does.
 

I think each couple should decide - what is the $ amount limit you can spend without consulting with the other spouse. So it might be $50 - if he wants a $50 something- whether a thing or a monthly subscription to a certain game or tv network- he checks in. For us it’s more than $50 and we actually don’t have a specific amount but more of an understood amount.

also I believe in joint and separate accounts.

In your situation I’d see the writing on the wall and start making some $ - and putting some away in a separate account. Not hidden. But yours. Take care. . 

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That was tough to read.   OP, I am sorry to tell you, but your husband is abusive.  What you describe is classic abuser logic with the "that's how you think of me."  This sets it up to keep you in your place as the subservient one.  It's a "take the abuse with a smile" tactic, cause if you complain, you will just get abused more.   

He is a control freak, a manipulator, a gas-lighter, and emotionally and psychologically abusive to you and frankly to your children by proxy. 

You feel like a child, because he is treating you like you are his CHILD, not his equal spouse. HE doesn't like crowds, so why can't HE stay home while you and the kids go out?    Is this how everything is?  If HE doesn't like something, you and the kids can't do it either? He's essentially holding you all hostage to having any sort of experience or life that isn't fully controlled by HIM.  I hope you can recognize how unhealthy and frankly, UNSAFE this is. 

You need access to money- if nothing else, as a Safety thing.  What if there's an emergency with your child (or you)  and you don't have enough money on you to take care of it?  Beyond emergencies, you need your own money and you shouldn't need to nickel and dime everything to your husband.  That's beyond controlling and abusive on his part.  

I REALLY hope you consider separating from this man.   Plan out a safe escape.   Is this really the type of environment you want your child to grow up in?  Please note, your children are observing what is happening and the are learning future expectations and habits from this.   If you have a daughter, she is going to think this is what being a wife means.  If you have a son, he is going to think this is how to treat women and how to be a husband and father. You should think about this. 

MOST IMPORTANTLY of Everything- This isn't a SAFE environment for you or your children.   Please consider making an exit plan to keep all of you safe.  This behavior of your husband isn't going to change and he clearly doesn't think he is doing anything wrong. 

This is a case of it doesn't matter if you love him or think he can change at this point.  What matters is you and your children are in an unsafe situation, if you can't do anything without his express permission or "respect" as he is framing it.  I feel really sad for you that you feel like you are doing anything wrong, it shows he's got you firmly in an abused person mentality.  

OP- You and your children should NOT have to live this way.  This is NOT healthy or safe.  PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE consider leaving him.    He isn't going to change.  You and your children deserve better.  if you are scared to do anything for your own sake, PLEASE do it for theirs.   

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On 7/2/2024 at 12:10 PM, Blueskies8 said:

He always says that it’s a respect thing.

It is a respect thing. It's a matter of him NOT respecting you.

If finances were tight and you needed ever cent to pay for necessities, that would be one thing. It still wouldn't justify getting mad at you, but you could at least see why he was upset. If, by his own words, you are doing fine, then he has no reason to be upset over $12. It wasn't even for you, it was for the children. That is controlling and a sign of an unstable person and relationship.

Please consider if this relationship is really healthy for you. Even if you stay in it, work towards getting some kind of financial independence. It's never wise to be entirely dependent on someone. What if something happened to him? You'd have to find a way to make ends meet. How old are the children? Any way you can arrange alternative plans to watch them and give you some free time to do something for yourself? It's not fair to you to have to be entirely under his thumb and mood swings.

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Try to get some money on the side. Not because you are in the wrong, but to test what his reaction and to have some income if push comes to shove. A lot of the time is good to have some independence. It might not lool like a lot, but getting 200$ on a side hustle a month ain't impossible to achieve, and in your situation it might be a finantial respice. 

 

I don't personally think he is right, but if he isn't abusive in other areas... have you looked into the possibility that he is feeling distressed by his inability to provide? The economy right now is wild, so he might be feeling pressured there and paying it on you (which it ain't great, but at least is not a super bad reason to act like this.) 

If that might not be a problem... you should look into finantial abuse and investigate a little, just to be safe

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While I kind of agree with the others, I have to ask is there some underlying reason that hasn't been mentioned as to why your husband is to tight with the purse strings?

Is there a history of credit card debts being run up? Lots of frivolous spending? Are you all saving up for a bigger purchase?

It just seems like there's more than we are being told.

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On 7/2/2024 at 1:38 PM, DarkCh0c0 said:

Wow... That was tough to read.

I agree.  I actually felt a little sick to my stomach.  I can't imagine living under such control and oppression.  I couldn't and wouldn't.

I think I would rather be in prison than live like that.  Which it kinda is, except for your kids. 

What about essential items for yourself?  

This is a form of abuse plain and simple.  

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I don't like the idea of "purse strings" between married people. Separate accounts are fine but there should be a joint account where each adult whether they are working for $ or otherwise can spend for the house or themselves and perhaps the couple checks in with each other before spending above a certain amount they determine.  Funny enough today my husband and I had a discussion about drugstore brand makeup.  I rarely buy makeup for myself and I am not a fan of $$$$$ for skin cream or makeup.  Maybe a bit more for aromatherapy lotions which I love before bed.

I told him it was funny that a certain low cost drugstore brand makeup (we probably all wore and tried on as preteens) was actually so much better in texture and feel than a more expensive brand.  And it happened to be on sale at the chain drugstore.  He said he'd always thought this famous brand was expensive -because -well -he doesn't wear or buy makeup!  He wouldn't have cared at all if I spent $$ on makeup since he knows in general I don't spend a lot on myself and more importantly there has never ever been the purse strings mindset and we've been married 15 years.  Wouldn't have it any other way. 

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On 7/5/2024 at 8:01 PM, Coily said:

I have to ask is there some underlying reason that hasn't been mentioned as to why your husband is to tight with the purse strings?

It just seems like there's more than we are being told.

I agree, there probably is some underlying cause that we would have no clue about. There always is. I Though in this case, I think that;s best suited to figure out long term. Top priority is getting some since of independence.

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On 7/6/2024 at 2:06 PM, rainbowsandroses said:

Interesting, I'm not getting that sense at all.

There are plenty of men who exert such control like this -- financially.  Just their nature, they're abusers. 

A friend of mine has 2 ex wives who used the "my husband is controlling me" while simultaneously running up $50k in debts. (His picker is broken for women) Not saying this is the case here; but I am wary of just jumping to abuse without more data.

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3 hours ago, Coily said:

A friend of mine has 2 ex wives who used the "my husband is controlling me" while simultaneously running up $50k in debts. (His picker is broken for women) Not saying this is the case here; but I am wary of just jumping to abuse without more data.

Fair enough and I know plenty of women who've done same, in some form or fashion, I just didn't get that sense here from reading OP's post, that's all.

That said, even assuming she did run up thousands in CC debt or whatever, it's no justification for that type of control.  It sounds really oppressive and no one should have to live that way.

Seek counseling as a couple and individually or something.

JMO

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