Feeling Fearful

My husband and I FINALLY completed on our house purchase just a little over a week ago. It was one hell of a long and stressful process, taking 7 months and including 2 breaks in the chain, having all our belongings in a storage unit and living with my husband’s parents for 3 months. It was HARD.

On completion day I felt such relief and such hope and pride and was so happy that when I received the call to say it was done, I burst into tears (in a coffee shop with my husband’s emotionally closed-off parents).

That evening when everyone finally went home, we popped open some bubbles and merrily unpacked a few bits and bobs and then a day later we begun decorating the living room. That was a long arse process and took SO much longer than I had ever imagined. Who knew how much was involved with painting a room??? Filling holes, sanding walls, cleaning walls, painting ceilings, painting skirting boards, undercoat, two/three more coats… Christ it was never ending. But it was mostly fun.

Lovely.

So imagine my disappointment in writing that actually this week has been pretty shitty because my husband and I have bickered almost constantly about money to the point where Tuesday night I sobbed twice. I’ve cried myself to sleep twice since being there.

Ugh.

It’s all about money…. bloody money.

Basically my husband and I are very different when it comes to money. It’s the only thing we argue about. He is (what I would call) tight. He’s all about budgets and money-saving websites and spreadsheets etc and he even works out how much he can spend PER DAY on a spreadsheet. Imagine what happens then when a lot of money needs to be spent or something happens that is not budgeted for?! HELL.

My husband would say that I am reckless and impulsive but that’s not actually true. What would be true is that I USED to be. I am not anymore and haven’t been for some years. I no longer buy OTT gifts for people trying to buy their love. I no longer take myself shopping when I am sad or angry or insecure. I no longer bulk buy things and then take them back. I’ve not used a credit card in over a year now and in the last few years I’ve been slowly paying off my debt whilst also saving for a wedding and a house. My money and spending habits have changed. I am more sensible now, but I’ll never be the way my husband is. I do not plan every penny out.

I feel disappointed that this is happening. It’s really sucked the joy out of what should have been a happy and exciting time. I’m way, waaaayyyy more secure in myself and my relationships than I’ve ever been, but admittedly it’s begun to make me feel some stirrings of fear that the happy, loving marriage I had, has suddenly gone.

I know that’s probably silly, and realistically I suppose I know that it’s just a blip and it’s just something that happens but I’m a little worried because the longer it’s going on, the further away “he” feels. We were SO happy, like stupid happy maybe. I went to sleep every night happy (well, maybe not EVERY night but you know what I mean). Suddenly I go to bed and feel stressed, disappointment and fear. And it’s shit.

For the past 7 months we’ve been planning to replace the windows at the new place, buy a new sofa and have a small section of roof recovered. We have saved hard. We have some savings left to cover some works and we were planning to get the windows on finance. We’ve since had 2 window companies out to give us (ridiculous) quotes.

Suddenly on Tuesday night my husband has decided we should not be getting windows on finance (or at all as we don’t have a spare £5k). We can’t get a new sofa on finance or at all (not enough savings after everything else) and we should be buying nothing at all and should only be concentrating on paying off his debt.

He started to say that in two years when our fixed mortgage term runs out, we will need to remortgage and that we will struggle if we add window debt to existing debt, especially if I have gone part time by then due to any (miracle) baby.

Erm panic stations.

We argued and I cried and I spent the next day worrying that I have finally got myself some security only to now feel it may not last long at all. That triggered me.

I’m not stupid, I see these things are important. I see there’s truth here BUT what gets me is my husband’s ability to convince himself and me that we are destitute. This happens sooooo often you would not believe.

After talking about this with T yesterday o realised it’s the same thing that happens when we talk about holidays, weddings, Christmas etc. It’s the same thing that happened when we begun our fertility tests (expensive). When we need (or want) to spend some money, he goes off into this place where he becomes extreme and over the top and we argue. I become frustrated and disappointed and resentful.

I start to feel resentful that despite working full time in a decently paid job, looking after him and the kids (at weekends), doing all the general house stuff like the washing and ironing and buying and cooking the food etc- suddenly I’m told that we cannot in fact afford anything.

The other thing that really pisses me off is that I feel (using “i words here”, I feel that he becomes a bit controlling and a bit of a dictator. Suddenly all our money decisions are HIS decisions. Suddenly he gets the final say in everything. Suddenly I am not an equal part of this marriage/house/life…… and that pisses me off big time because 1) control And 2) feeling dictated to – big no, no’s.

He has children. He pays for them – rightly so. I knew that when I met him and I’ve known that for the last 6 years that we’ve been married. We also pay 50/50 for the bills regardless of the face he earns £10k more than me. He may say that after his CSA payments, we earn about the same but actually, truthfully, is his CSA my issue?

We pay 50/50 for a house big enough that his children have bedrooms and we have done for the 6 years that we’ve lived together. Is that fair? Who knows.

He has money issues. He wouldn’t hear that said, he wouldn’t agree, but he does. He’s so extreme that he must do. T is worried that this may end up causing a real issue in our marriage because it will chip away at things. I didn’t agree at first but I am starting to.

It feels like when he may need to let go of some money (or let go emotionally? Psychologically) he holds on tighter. We need to spend some money, so he makes it that we cannot spend a single thing!!! It must be about control somewhere in there, he certainly makes me feel *controlled* when he does this.

Next time this happens I think I’ll prevent myself from taking on his projection and feeling the fear for him. I think it must be some unconscious fear…. but that’s not to say I won’t find it bloody stressful and annoying.

We have a wedding to go to in Italy next summer. The arguments that caused you wouldn’t believe!! I booked and paid for the flights, he hasn’t had to pay a single penny. I sorted out our passports as much as I could but then he decided he didn’t want to do his yet (stalling things). I found and booked the cheapest hotel I could AND I’ve even started doing overtime one evening a week at work in order to put the money aside especially for this trip. He still does not want to go. He gets annoyed when it’s mentioned. Goes on about how much it will cost. The thing is, we haven’t been abroad in 3.5 years!!! Not even for our honeymoon, I keep telling him we need and deserve a mini break away. It’s only a few nights, not even a week but he does not agree.

Looking back it’s always been the same. I guess because I did need to be better with money, I didn’t see it but now I would say I am healthier than him in a way because at least it doesn’t rule my life and take over my mood and ruin good and happy times.

T thinks it’s all to do with his dad and about money and love. His dad is a wealthy man. T also said I should remind him next time he does this, that he is treating me like his dad night his mum. She has never worked and he has always been in charge of money. That’s how he makes me feel but the difference is, I am not his mother and I do work and I work bloody hard as well as running the home like his mum did. I do not expect to be treated like the little woman at home.

I’m upset and disappointed about all of this. I am nervous and fearful that it could end up becoming a real issue. I do think it’s something he needs to do some work on – i actually think couples counselling could help…. but he will not go for that (not to mention the money!!!!).

It’s just a blip I’m sure. He did this when we had to spend money on fertility stuff, we argued then. We got over it. I’m sure we will find our way back to each other soon.

I hope so.

Until then, I’m going to try to detach from it and not discuss money with him. I’ve told myself windows and sofas can wait until next year. For now we should just forget about them and try to enjoy decorating our house.

Time for a bubble bath and a glass of wine for me.

X

4 thoughts on “Feeling Fearful

  1. Hey lovely!

    I’m your husband in this scenario, planning the money I can spend down to the day 😳, and I drive my actual husband nuts with it 😁. Sounds like we might be a little different but I can add some perspective from my side in case it helps:

    I love money and I love numbers and love working it all out. I used to just count other people’s bottles of spare change for fun. I love spreadsheets.

    Don’t judge me 😂.

    Part of that stems from my mum not having much money, I think. She never made a big deal of it as such, but we pick up on these things as kids don’t we. I have typically always preferred to always pay for something with my own cash saved up instead of finance wherever possible. I also super love planning ahead which ties in really nicely with saving cash, I like to see my pot grow and then I don’t like to spend it 🤦‍♀️. My husband hates it when I want to “go through the spreadsheet” but it makes me feel super calm when he does listen to me talk through costs, as I can usually see the penny drop when he gets on the same page as me and I know we are working from the same information when we start debating the spending decisions…he will usually either be able to agree with me, or be able to put my mind at ease by adding some perspective (like reminding me that the nursery fees will reduce soon, or even if we spend X we’ll have Y left which is enough to cover emergencies).

    I like the term “overused strength” that I came across a while ago. His ability to budget like that is a strength, but it’s just a little overused to the point he has some stress attached to it and might be over thinking it. I’m sure he’ll have good basis for his concerns as you say but maybe it’s not all as bad as he thinks…and I think the best way to have that conversation with him would be to jump into his spreadsheety world to really hear him out, so you have all the information to be able to agree with him or add perspective and help put him at ease. If you haven’t been spreadsheeted already that is 😁 (note – I can always tell the difference between my husband tolerating the spreadsheeting (when he doesn’t really take it all in) vs when he’s genuinely listening (even if he hates it) and joins me in a good helpful debate.

    Money can be a bit scary when it hits a nerve for someone and they’re not fully in control of it because they have a partner. I understand he sounds like he’s making it become his decision, but it also does sound like an internal fight like he has to protect the money and fight the case because in reality you do have a say. Else I imagine if he were a righteous knob, which we know he isn’t ❤️, he’d calmly dismiss you and send you to the kitchen or something piggish.

    Lots of ramblings – hope some of it helps!

    Xxxxx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I may be thinking in completely the wrong direction, so please forgive me of so, but I just wondered whether he is detail orientated in other areas of his life? Is he emotionally inhibited? A workaholic? Or have inflexible and high moral standards? Being excessively frugal with money is a symptom of OCPD, but obviously that alone doesn’t warrant a diagnosis. I’m diagnosed with it myself and so naturally it kept popping into my head as is as reading your post. Either way it likely stems from overall anxiety and not because he is intentionally dismissing you as an unequal parter. I’m sorry things are so tough for you right now 😦 x

    Like

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