When one partner takes control of the finances and makes all the decisions, it can lead to resentment and problems, even if they have good intentions. Both partners should clearly understand their financial situation and work together to create a plan that works for everyone.
A user asked the forum, “Am I wrong for wanting my wife to contribute towards household expenses proportionally?”
Here’s their story.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
When the original poster (OP) and his wife married, they decided she would be a SAHM. She is Russian and has had no contact with her family since around the time the two got married – they are alcoholics. She came here as a student, and they have a 5-year-old daughter.
THEY HAD AN ARRANGEMENT
They arranged for OP give his wife an allowance for buying anything she wanted for herself. Then he paid for other expenses that they both agreed on. “I make more than enough for all of us,” explains OP.
THEY DISAGREE ON EXPENDITURE
Money matters have always been a point of contention between them. “She wanted me to increase her allowance,” says OP.
“Sometimes, when we disagree on a purchase like a toy for our daughter, she will use her allowance to get it and then expect me to reimburse her allowance for it. Additionally, she wants to buy expensive makeup and use it even to see friends casually,” explains OP.
OP’S WIFE IS WORKING PART-TIME NOW
Since their daughter started school, OP’s wife has started doing a few gig jobs like dog walking.
“I was not for it, but I can’t stop her from doing what she wants. However, the time she spends doing that means she has less time to be a SAHM,” says OP. So he told her that he expects her to pay the house expenses proportionally to what she earns.
HOW DOES OP’S WIFE FEEL?
“She disagreed, and I said I could just reduce her allowance in that case as she now earns,” says OP. She got pretty angry with OP, and they fought.
“Things seem better now, but sometimes I feel she is still slightly upset. She used minor things against me, like the few times I asked her for money as I did not have change for small purchases,” says OP.
OP HAS CONTROLLING RESTRICTIONS ON WIFE
“I know I have controlling restrictions on her. We rushed into marriage for her visa issues, as she could not find a job and hence married me. I always intended to lessen them once I trusted her, and I realize I really do,” says OP.
OP’s dad insisted OP be careful because of what people say about Russian brides. “She has an Ivy degree in physics, and I know her dream is to be in science; I will talk to her if she still wants to get a master’s or try getting jobs again now that she has permanent residence,” adds OP.
“I think it is only fair to change the arrangement now that she works. Was I wrong here,” asks OP.
Here’s what people had to say.
OP IS A FINANCIAL ABUSER
“Some will just call you wrong, but not me… I’ll go with Financial Abuser.”
SOMETHING FEELS OFF
These words – “My dad told me to be careful.” “I have restrictions on her but planned to lessen them once I trusted her.”
Is she his wife or hostage? Sheesh! Sorry if I misunderstood, but that makes me feel icky.
THE LINE ABOUT RESTRICTIONS GAVE ME SERIOUS ICKS
“It’s not just you. That line about “restrictions” gave me serious icks too. If their kid is five, they’ve been together for at least six years, and he still doesn’t trust her? And she has no family of her own, so she’s isolated.”
OP WANTS TO CONTROL WHEN SHE SHOULD WEAR MAKEUP
“She wears that expensive makeup on everyday outings with friends. OP wants to judge when it is appropriate to wear HER makeup! Geez.”
LET THE WOMAN LIVE
“I’m pretty sure he’s upset she shops at Sephora or something that’s a baseline level of decent quality. I doubt she’s spending her “allowance” on luxury brand stuff. But even if she were, so what? Let a woman live.”
TO HAVE THESE FEARS AFTER 6 YEARS IS CRAZY
“I understand you’re careful with marrying someone because they need a visa. You will think: did the person like me, or did he/she want a visa and see me as an easy target? But to still have these fears after six years is crazy.”
THIS FINANCIAL ABUSE IS CONCERNING
“Omg, it is SO ICKY. This level of financial abuse is concerning. Hopefully, OP follows through with his plans to treat his wife as an equal in the relationship.”
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