December 22, 2012,
J.B. asks from Billings, MT on June 11, 2011
Husband Thinks I Don't Contribute Enough Financially
Does anyone else have a husband who thinks you don't contribute enough financially? And if so, how do you deal with it? My husband knew from the very beginning I would never put a child in daycare full-time. So when we had a baby, I quit my full-time job and found a part time job where I work 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. 4 days a week. I contribute $900 a month, which goes towards nearly half the mortgage, and all of daycare for our one child. (God forbid if I was a stay-at-home mom and contributed $0.00.) On top of that, I do most of the caretaking for our little one.. bathing, cooking, cleaning, dressing, etc. I am criticized at least once a week for not carrying what he considers to be my part of the "financial weight". It is a constant sore spot in our marriage. We'd both love to have a second baby, but we can't even have a rational conversation about it without it escalating into a horrible fight about finances. And me being condescended to. I'd like to know if anyone else has had this problem, and how you've dealt with it. Thanks so much.
Addition: I forgot to mention in my original post that he does pay for everything else we need - health insurance, food, bills, gas, utils, etc. He just complains about the financial burden being mostly on him. And complains that he does all the yard work, handy-man stuff, etc. He is very tit-for-tat. I guess I need to start keeping a list of every single thing I ever do. Also, we *are* living from paycheck to paycheck. We don't live an extravagant lifestyle by any means. I just wish he would accept the fact that this is what it takes to have a family, and I will never make the same as he does.. that he needs to suck it up. I garantee you my dad never said to my mom: "You're not contributing enough financially." He won't even open his mind to looking for a better-paying job, or moving close to my parents so my mom could do the daycare. Just has tunnel vision and thinks the problem is all me, and my refusal to work full-time. He should have married someone else if he wanted 50-50 financially. Sorry.. now I'm starting to go off.. anyhow, thanks for all of the advice, sincerely!
S.H. answers from Los Angeles on June 11, 2011
I would contact a therapist NOW. Wait before you have another child (at least in my opinion). Sounds like you have a good reason to be frustrated, but I would try and resolve it before things get worse. Sometimes a neutral party can help with this type of situation.
4 moms found this helpful
K.D. answers from Denver on June 12, 2011
Would you BOTH really "love" to have a 2nd child!? There is NO way I'd do that with him. Sounds like it would make matters a million times worse.I would seriously reconsider that.
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M.P. answers from Portland on June 11, 2011
List all the things you do at home and add up the cost of hiring them done. Perhaps make some actual inquiries of cost of child care, housekeeping, taxi service, etc. I also suggest counseling. You go even if he won't go. Condescending indicates a greater problem than being concerned about finances. Sounds like he discounts "women's work."
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C.W. answers from Las Vegas on June 11, 2011
Hmm, I'd like to get $225 extra a week ($900/month). Sorry but your husband is an a*shole. You sound like you contribute a LOT. Working, paying half the mortgage and all the daycare, on top of stuff it sounds like he doesn't even do. All the caretaking, etc. When I got out of the Marines I was pregnant and when I had my daughter he said something to the effect of your hubs comment one day. Lucky my daughter was sleeping in the other room, I let him have it. I did all the cleaning, laundry, dishes, taking care of the baby. I think he changed 3 diapers in the months he was in her life. Meanwhile he goes to work, where I KNOW they do nothing but goof off most days, which I know because I worked for their unit for several months during a busy time of year (and they still did nothing most days). Personally, I stopped cleaning and told him he should hire a maid if my cleaning is not considered a "financial" contribution (financially free with me). Dishes piled up, laundry piled up... he finally got the picture. HE cleaned up everything that day and shut the hell up about my "financial contribution". That was the one and only time. It's not my fault I didn't get paid for being a stay at home mom. Ugh, some men. Cry when you make more than them and cry when you don't make what they think is enough.
Go to marriage counseling, tell him that financial arguments like that are the number one cause of divorce. I could never live with someone who condescended me. Plus as Hazel said, childcare eats up a lot. I go to college full time on the gi bill and if I got a job, daycare would take my whole paycheck so there'd be no point unless I made over $20/hour.
Addition: You know, it is stressful to live like that. My parents do. They moved from SC, sold 2 houses (1 was a rental they had) paid off ALL their debt, moved to UT and my mom ordered new credit cards that they had just paid off and ran their debt back up. Now they live month to month, should my dad be furious? yes, totally. Is he? yeah. Does he complain to her and blame it on her? no, because he knows that isn't going to help their marriage. They sit down and do a budget and figure out what goes to what and if he gets mad he will step out of the room for a little while and calm down (99% of the time, he's not perfect by any means lol). Even with the stress of financial hardships you have to know how to communicate and it sounds like your husband does not know how to communicate at all about his frustrations. It seriously sounds like you need marriage counseling or he needs to go to personal counseling or a communications class. Sounds like maybe you need to save up and spend the extra money to go to a communication marriage/couples seminar. This is a very serious situation that if he keeps beating you in the head with money money money and doesn't see the value you are to the family, it could likely break up the marriage or your child could grow up thinking it's okay to condescend to people. It honestly sounds like the whole problem is your husband. If he can't see that he is nagging and degrading you as a human being than it may break up the marriage or at least make the marriage very hard to keep.
It does NOT matter WHO pays what because when you are married you shouldn't be keeping tab that is NOT marriage, that is a business partnership or a roommate situation NOT a loving marriage. The money, know matter WHO makes it, is OURS not mine or yours. That is what creates failed marriages, is that selfish it's mine/it's yours mindset.
9 moms found this helpful
D.H. answers from Louisville on June 11, 2011
Look up the costs in your area for a cook, maid, etc and price that and ADD that to your bring-home! Cause if you were not there, who'd be doing that stuff?? *L*
7 moms found this helpful
S.H. answers from Honolulu on June 11, 2011
You ARE contributing.
In money and in 'labor' caring for your and HIS child.
You are not 'paid' for doing Mommy duty/labor.
You are saving him money.... and he does not have to pay for childcare. Because YOU are paying for it, too.
Your Husband, has to grow up.
His attitude about it, is immature and childish.
He has a child. What is HE doing for his child... on a DAILY basis????? Does he help in the house and with baby? Does he buy his child clothing/soap/toothbrushes/diapers/food/shoes/toothpaste/shampoo/socks/jackets, etc.?????
Having a child, is not only about who puts in more money.. .it is about, PUTTING IN labor and DOING child related care, for your child.
A person puts in, financially, what is proportionate to their income. It is not 50-50. It is proportionate to what their income is.
And, what about your own expenses? I bet he does not even help you? What about hair cuts? Doctor co-pays? Your personal items???
He is treating you like a 'room-mate.' Not a Wife.
AND HE IS NOT BEING A 'DAD.' Because, his contributions to his child, are, not even. YOU are doing it. All. And working too.
He is NOT contributing.
How is he caring about you? And his child?
It is not only money.
7 moms found this helpful
D.B. answers from Charlotte on June 11, 2011
Your husband is a jerk. Sorry, did I actually write that?? Yes I did.
Sit down and do some real research. List everything you do for your family and find out how much it costs for someone ELSE to do it. Then present his highness with a bill. Tell him that you expect him to pay you for it and then you'll deposit said payment into the bank.
If THAT doesn't work, make him go to counseling with you. Your husband needs a wake up call before you two split up.
I really mean it.
6 moms found this helpful
G.L. answers from Salt Lake City on June 12, 2011
I'm so sorry that your husband doesn't value what you do. I've had to deal with this in some of my husband's more neanderthal moments, and it has only come up when $$ are tight and he's stressed, and therefore perhaps not thinking. When it has come up, I've started by taking a deep breath and counting backwards from 100 by sevens in my head so that I don't tear his head off with my bare hands. Then once I have calmed down (since people don't really hear what you say when you're shouting) I remind him of a few truths -
1. He knew when he married me that I was in a career field where my top earnings would be about $40,000 a year. My staying home to raise our two children produces a larger cost saving than that annually. And if I go back to work now (if I can even find work in my field at 44 with 10 years out of the job market) I won't be earning at the top of my field. Getting back to those number would take 3-5 years. Worth it?
2. Part of the deal when we had kids was that I would not allow my babies to be raised by strangers. So, what part of his schedule was he going to change (he works long, irregular hours, partly by choice since he is a coach) so that I could go back to work?
3. Which did he want to do, pay a maid service or pick up the toilet brush? Right now I do the bulk of the housework (sometimes not too thoroughly, I'll admit), the yard work, the shopping, the food prep and clean-up, the child care, and the scheduling and management of lessons, doctors' appointments, etc. If I go back to work, he needs to step up at home, and not just by cherry-picking the household jobs he likes.
4. Right now I am homeschooling one, at my husband's request, because she did not do well in the public schools here. This year at home she has shone! Does he really want her to have to go back into a disastrous (for her - not slamming public school, ours just didn't work for her) situation, or would he prefer to pony up for private school tuition?
Equal contribution adds up to more than money.
Please, for your own and for your family's sake, do NOT have another child with this man until you have resolved this.
6 moms found this helpful
S.W. answers from Minneapolis on June 11, 2011
Any time there are recurrent arguments about one subject, you need to get to what is really driving it. It may take a neutral third party (counselor or coach) to help the two of you get out of the pattern of this argument and get to the bottom of it.
6 moms found this helpful
K.H. answers from Phoenix on June 11, 2011
Every couple has at least one issue that is recurring in their marriage and can't seem to be worked out between the two of you. If this issue is causing you huge conflict and keeping you from being able to move forward with other decisions (ie- having a second child), I would really recommend counseling. Personally, I think all couples should have some sort of counseling at various times in their marriage.
6 moms found this helpful
D.K. answers from Pittsburgh on June 11, 2011
Perhaps he is feeling a lot of pressure being the primary breadwinner. He may worry about how you will survive if he loses his job or is injured or even dies. I would try to discuss whether these are real issues. Do you guys have a financial plan for these eventualities? Disability and/or life insurance, etc? Perhaps setting up a plan will help. Also when you say he knew you would never put a child in daycare FT, did you actually discuss this? Or was it an assumption that you believe he knew how you felt. If it was not openly discussed, you probably owe it to each other to discuss your working FT with an open mind. Perhaps on different schedules if you feel strongly about FT daycare (maybe one of you work weekends/evening so the other can watch the baby when not working).
I am a bit confused by all the comments about how it 'costs' women money to work. It seems that all the single moms on this site work and don't feel that it would be better for them to stay home because child care and a maid would cost more than it's worth. On the other hand, we all assume that a woman who is married can't possibly provide enough $$ to make her working make sense. Because it is the man's job to work and support not just a child/children but another adult? It seems we all have open minds about women who decide they would like to SAH, but not about men who decide that they don't want to be the only one financially responsible for 3+ lives. Doesn't seem fair to me.
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