I wouldn't say this is affair related, just general marriage stuff for us, really.
Financial issues are a major contributing factor in our marital "issues" as they are a part of many other marriages out there.
I would say that we have a typical "middle class" lifestyle. We are both employed, we own a home and have a mortgage, & car payments, & some credit card debt. We live pretty comfortably.
Yet I am accused of spending way too much money all the time. I'm the one who pays all the bills (on time BTW, AND I usually send extra money to pay things off faster).
The other day I came home with a new $12 throw rug from Costco for the kitchen because mine was looking shabby. I got a lecture on how I'm throwing money away and I should have put it toward paying down debt. I got angry and accused him of being just as wasteful. Shall I remind him of how much money he spends on a daily pack of cigarettes? :-/
I realize I'm being petty with my examples here. Clearly there is a bigger problem here than just throw rugs and cigarettes. LOL
At least too many to list here.
Divorced from and remarried to XBH
My BH manages the money and would talk to me over every penny I spent. It was like a parent/child dynamic.
After d-day we had many conversations about it. We talked about the dynamic and how unhealthy it was. He admitted he had control issues with money. He worked on it, we opened up our lines of communication and now if anything related to it comes up, we just talk about it.
I believe it boils down to control. You guys should have a conversation about it when you're not in the heat of an argument about it.
Just acknowledging it helped immensely. If it doesn't work, I think it's a good topic for MC.
In our case, I make a lot more than he does. I manage the money too. He's admittedly said that I'm better at it than he is. But yet I wonder if it is a control thing for him? Maybe he feels he has little control over anything else, so this could be what he's grasping at?
As for a budget, we do have one, for all the main stuff like fixed expenses. I do plan ahead when I know that we'll have something to save up for, but whatever little things that come, I usually use what is left over at the end of the bill paying. Perhaps its time we made the budget a little more detailed..
We have a budget for everything including which category a throw rug would come from.
Maybe each of you should have a "fun money" budget that you can include a throw rug without a lecture?
Money issues are very often about control. I don't think that is all that uncommon, not that it's ok...
Start with, "I feel like you don't respect my spending choices when you question every penny I spend. Are you concerned about something? It's upsetting to me when you do this and I'd like to talk about it and come up with some solutions."
Now, to the gritty stuff, we have a budget. Everything is accounted for in separate budget lines, mortgagee, fuel, groceries, incidentals, etc. This keeps down surprises, especially as neither of us can spend over $20 on a non-budgeted item without an OK from the other person.
However things are VERY tense right now because of money. Why? Well, because when he started his new job with a startup company for more money, we had a long talk. I was good with it because he needed to get out from his toxic then-job and it was more money. However, being a start-up, it was risky. So the deal we cut was that all of the extra money would go towards paying off our debits and we would be debit free in one year. Which we were on our way towards.
Until his DUI. Now, not only are we not paying off those debits, we are going into more debit because of his stupid choice to drink and drive vice calling me. And I am majorly stressing out. So yeah, while we are doing all the correct budget things, he's undercut us with all of the fees, fines, mandatory classes, and increased insurance costs. Yeah, I'm pissed.
D-Day, June 10, 2012