Hubby Wants to Buy Another Old Hobby I Have to Be the "Bad Guy" Again!?

Updated on January 06, 2011
C.B. asks from Reedsburg, WI
10 answers

My hubby and I are just trying to make ends meet. His job is not stable right now with the economy, and I only work very limited part time hours and stay home with our kids. We're really trying to save up for a desperately needed new house with more room and fix up our current home for sale. My hubby came to me yesterday to tell me that he was going to sell his truck to buy another old hobby car. I know this is his passion, and I completly support everybody having their own passion in life. But right now my passion is our kids (2 1/2 and 3 months) and trying to do what's right for our family! I told him that if he wanted to make whimsical decisions like that that he would have to do it on his own as a single man, because right now our family needs a husband and father, not another kid! He thinks I'm completely out of line and that he should be able to do whatever he wants because he says this car is "his dream". I don't want to be a dream crusher, but I'm trying to be realistic here! I want a new house for our kids! He thinks this won't affect us at all since he's selling his truck to buy the car, but I think it's being completely unrealistic to sell a perfectly good and useful truck for an old car that will only steal his time away from this family - we've been there before, every weekend spent working on the old car, driving the old car by himself, etc. This is right after he promised me he wouldn't buy any more "toys" until we were in a new house. Now we're going back down this same road again, same arguments, and I'm so sick of taking one step forward and two steps back. Am I really being unfair? Should he be able to just go get what he wants? I can't imagine spending that kind of money on a "toy" for myself at this point in our lives!! Why should he? Why isn't he thinking of his family first? I don't know if I'm just venting or need advice, but any help would be appreciated. Am I really out of line here to give him an ultimatum - either the car or his family?

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answers from Detroit on

Ok... I'm going to be the devil's advocate here.

I am the one with the 'hobby car'... Have you considered learning something about cars WITH him?

I know if he wants this all for himself and you tell him that you want to be out in the garage with him to learn some things about rebuilding a car, he won't want to do it anymore. : )

When he asks why you want to learn, tell him that you think it would be a good way to spend time together and give you a hobby too.

I haven't spent a lot of money on my project car... There ARE ways around that.

And depending on what kind of car he's looking for... I can tell you what you should say to 'curb his interest' in this hobby. : )

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

What can I say other than, men go through these stages. Better an old car than a young girl.

Never-the-less, you are right in trying to keep the family together and running smooth. What I like to do is tell him to show me how much you can get for your truck and how much you can purchase the car in running condition. Then bring reality back into the picture.

I hope this helps. Nearly all of them do this!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Anchorage on

Are you out of line with your ultimatum, the car or his family? In short, yes. How would you feel if he implied you were so easily dismissed from the family? You say the car is his passion, yours in the kids. Are you saying his passions are not valid unless they are the same as yours? I take the stance when it comes to cars that I have mine and he has his. If I want something else I can sell mine and get it, if I can get enough for the one I have. If I needed more money than I could get from my car than it would become a family matter. Same goes for his car. If the trade will take nothing out of pocket, and fixing cars up is the thing that brings your husband joy, than I think you are being unfair. Do you take any down time to do things you enjoy? Like being on the computer, or crafts, whatever you enjoy? Doesn't your husband have the right to have a hobby as well, with out the risk of his wife walking out on him? Big changes/expenditures should always be discussed, but with your ultimatum you way crossed a line, and calling him a child for having a hobby? That was very childish of you. Not trying to be mean, just giving my honest opinion.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I think you do have a right to be upset. No, I don't think he should be able to get everything he wants. It is frustrating for one person in the family to have to shoulder the burden of making the difficult decisions, denying themselves and everyone else the things they want, being the heavy in order to insure that everything is stable. I am all for having dreams but he needs to work WITH you here. I guess the question is, what is bothering you more? The money involved or the time away from the family? If the truck really will pay for all of the old car than that eliminates that problem. As far as time, would he be willing to make an agreement with you in terms of how much time he spends on it? Or you bot commit to setting aside special family time as well? Good luck, I do know how hard it can be to be the un-fun one!


answers from Dallas on

Well I don't know what advice to give because I'm dealing with the same thing with my husband. You are not alone in this!! In my case, my husband has an oppurtunity to sell his tractor for like $4,000 and instead of using the money to pay off some debt and to put towards a new vechicle (seeing how we are going to need to get one soon), he's insisting that he is going to get a boat. While I'm thinking of trying to improve our financial status and our transportation issue, he is thinking of himself. Hmmmm.....Don't get me wrong, I do want him to have a boat but now's not the time but I am not going to get him to budge on this. While I know there is always going to be something, so there will probably be an ideal time but I'm sorry life gets in the way sometimes of our "wants". What I have done in the past with my husband that maybe could work with yours. In passing, just make an innocent comment like, You know it would be nice if....... Say what it is you would like to see happen or say what you think ya'll should do. Don't confront him about it, just say it in general conversation. Basically, what you are doing is planting a seed so to speak. I've done that several times with my hubby and within a few days or a couple of weeks, he'll come in and say you know I was thinking, why don't we......All of the sudden it is his idea. It's unfortunately a very thin line we have to walk with them sometimes. When we see something that isn't going to help improve our lifes we have to be somewhat creative sometimes to get our point across. Because if we don't and we go to them directly with it, they will most likely back off of what they want to do but they will resent you for it. I've had to learn the hard way. I got tired of him throwing it back in my face so I started this new approach. It takes a bit longer but I usually have the results I'm looking for. However, if ya'll had an agreement that is another story. I would be upset even more. I would remind of that promise he made to you. That's a tough situation. I didn't mean to go on as long as I did but I wanted to let you know that you are not alone. I'm interested to see what others say on this seeing how I too am facing basically the same issue.



answers from Philadelphia on

Be strong! It took me many years before I learned that I had the right to say "no" to hobby cars. Finally, I realized I wasn't depriving my husband. Plus, the car of his dreams will come around again when money is less tight. Sure, your hubby wants to pout, but you have totally valid reasons for saying no. He may, with a few days thought, realize how right you are, but his first reaction was probably to push to get what he wants. Please! All our cars had to go to the mechanic recently and it really set us back, it was ridiculous and my hubby has had to have many reminders that all our cars are not needs, but wants. You remind your husband too, but try to understand it may take a bit for him to come around. You keep doing your part. I'll bet he does want to put his family first, he is just blind in this case. Everyone has their blind spots.



answers from New York on

I would remind him of his promise of "no more toys" and say, why don't you save that car as a congratulatory gift to yourself once we get the new house? My hubs is into serious tecki stuff, always a new computer, gadget etc. He also wanted to start spending again when I started a new job. I just put the brakes on and said "honey I get it but if you can hold out till we catch up to our bills you will be able to afford all the add-ons you will need for "xyz". So he just trolls the internet looking at stuff he wants keeps notes and is waiting for the day he can buy his new "toy"



answers from New York on

Well, your ultimatum seems a little harsh but your message is certainly appropriate. It doesn't sound like money is the issue here (at least not the primary issue) but the idea that he would so easily give-up time with his family.

I do think your immediate response (if that's what you actually said) needs to be ammended. When you made that statement, you shut off all dialogue and put him in the position of caving or walking away from his family- neither or which he really wants to do.

Lots of "I want... he wants..." but no "we want or we need".... apologize for your reaction and have a real conversation about this. Be honest in that you feel that the priority now is getting your home ready to sell and that his extra time and $$ should be focused there. After you have sold the house and moved into a larger home, then promise to revisit the topic of his dream car again.

I see your point, but your response was a little out-of-line!


answers from Los Angeles on

My SO is big time into old cars. We have the classic muscle car but we also have vintage (pre 50's) cars. He builds from frame up, and does everything on his own, so it can get costly. He gets good deals on parts and stuff, but when you only have a little bit of spending money it goes quick when it all goes to parts. We try to split the spending money so its fair, we make sure all of our bills our paid and we have a certain amount in savings.
You can't buy a new house with the money it takes to by an old car. I understand its frustrating because your thinking that money can go toward something, but he also isn't spending extra money if he sells one to buy another. So technically you don't have the money in the first place.
We also have rules on working on cars, and such. I understand he needs his private guy time, but I also need my girl time, and the kid has to be taken care of and we need time all together. So we just manage our time accordingly so we all get it. At first he didn't realize how important it was, but over the course of a few years he understood, and is now more careful about it. In fact he does most of his work at night.
I honestly do think your out of line in the way you said what you felt. There are better ways to express yourself then basically telling your husband he's acting like a kid and he can easily be tossed out of the family. Him working on that car should be a family affair. My SO, our baby, and I will all go to swap meets, and car shows to find parts, etc. I am even practicing pinstriping so I can have my little mark on the car when its done. He wants us to be in that car with him because we support him on it. If I were in this situation, I would tell my SO if he wants to buy the car, then I get all of the money from our tax return for repairs to the house. I would find a way to support him at what he likes but still do what needs to be done.
Good Luck to you.



answers from Colorado Springs on

It's so easy to promise not to buy any more toys - until a dream toy shows up. Maybe old cars aren't that appealing to some of us - but, sad to say, it works the same way with, um, shoes....

Can you make a deal? Explain to him that your dream is a safe house for your children to live in. You're willing to do what it takes to make that dream come true - fixing up the present house so it can be sold and a better house purchased.

If he can put his hobby car desire aside for now and help do this, for the children, then when you are settled in the house you need to be in, YOU will help him look for another dream car (they do pop up from time to time, just like great shoes do) and you will encourage him to get it - even though by that time you might like him to be concentrating on landscaping or painting instead.

Does that sound equitable? There would be sacrifices made on both sides, and along with the correct amount of bedrooms and a fenced yard (and whatever else you need) in your new house, you might want to add a good-sized garage so your husband can "play" there.

(You're right - there are worse things he could be passionate about, and at least it keeps him home nights!)

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