Welcome to Group Therapy where someone gets to tap into the collective wisdom of the genius Mamamia community. Today, it’s a question about love, marriage and cash and what happens when you clash…
We have been together for 6 years and my husband has never been good with money. He has never saved. And he has the attitude of “If you want something just buy it”. He was brought up with parents who didn’t so much spoil him as help him out when he needed it. Unfortunately, that has bred someone who has no financial responsibility. I was brought up with parents who said “if you want something you work for it, we aren’t giving you anything” and for that I am totally grateful. But as you can imagine, these two clashing attitudes create huge problems, especially when it’s the one that’s good with money that isn’t earning any!
Apparently we share a goal of owning a house, but I don’t see how that can happen when the one that earns the money can’t save, and the one that can has no money. We have a shared bank account, and I put it to my husband that I was better at managing finances than he was, and that, as a trial, he let me pay the bills for 6 months, just to see how I go. Well, in that 6 months I saved much more than he ever has, proving the fact that he has no control when it comes to spending. But now, thanks to gigantic dental bills of his (not his fault, fair enough) we now have no savings left.
The fact that I am married to someone who is so bad with money actually makes me want to cry. I don’t want to live in this tiny little weatherboard house with 2 adults, 2 kids and a dog for the rest of my life. I don’t want to live in this pokey suburb with absolutely NOTHING for me to do around here, for the rest of my life. And the idea that this looks like it won’t happen, at least not until we are both working full time, makes me miserable.
I originally never wanted to own a house, preferring to rent and save that money to travel, and quite happy to do that for the rest of my life (please no one lecture me about stability etc for children, because I had every intention of providing stability for them), but I put that dream aside to share the home-owning one with my husband. Only now it looks like neither of them will happen.
How does one deal with this? We tried counselling briefly before we married, because I knew this was going to be one of our major issues, but nothing was really resolved.
And before anyone lectures me about knowing this before we got married, and still marrying him, money has never been a reason for me to marry/not marry someone. I can think of far worse things that could happen. I guess I just hoped that his money attitude would mature along with the increase in financial responsibilities of having two kids etc. But it just hasn’t. It puts a huge strain on our relationship, and I just don’t know how to deal with it any more.
I should add, as an aside, that I love my husband with all my heart, and in every other way he is wonderful, and we have a great relationship. I’m not bitching about him, I just want some advice on how others in my position have handled it.
What do you do when, in a marriage or relationship, the person who is the “breadwinner” is awful with money, and the person who earns nothing is excellent at money management and budgeting?
Over to you guys…..
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