Or is DH being controlling?

(81 Posts)

Me. Again. DH, normally lovely (bit flawed, has problems thinking things through, but true of most people?), & has been pretty good this weekend as I'm quite ill (on the mend a bit now). BUT:

It's half term, so no playgroups, pre school & other activities. Just 1 half hour swimming lesson. DD 3 & DS10 months old. Weather to be crap & soft play will be rammed, not a great deal else to do around here. I can fill a coue of days with baking biscuits, painting g, food shopping etc but decided it would be good to catch up with a close old friend who has a DS 3. Kids can play, we can chat & she lives at seaside (approx 45 miles away) so we can do bracing beach walk/shivery ice cream thing. I told DH & he went a bit cat bum mouth. I ignored it at first but then he said 'I know it's nice for you to see your friends, but...I'm thinking of the petrol'

My response was to explain how long a week with no planned activities can be in crap weather & that if he wanted to entertain 2 DCs (bearing in mind I have bronchitis & am getting 3/4 hours sleep in 24 due to cough), he could be my guest. He said, hmm, I think we need to talk about it, but not now (as it was bedtime).

I'm a SAHM. DH has good job, so although o.n one income it's a decent (although not massive) one. We (well him really) budget & whilst thi gs are tight (we think before we spend anything, have meagrely personal money & I sell anything that's not nailed down we no longer use, on eBay.

So aibu to do a 90 mile round trip as described or is he being a tight arse? Also for the first time in 11 years, feel he's being a little controlling.

My gut instinct is to say, I'm sorry you don't think it's important, perhaps you have some suggestions for what we could do? Then maybe you could have both DCs one Saturday whilst I take the train to visit x?

Had anti-b, they've worked. Can take up to 2 months to get over. Shall I join a closed religious order? Hate ridiculous thread tangents.

Tulahoob Mon 11-Feb-13 13:54:03

I think he is being controlling. Your whole situation and his attitude sounds remarkably like the situation a friend of mine is in. I do actually think her DH is financially abusing her. Not saying this is the case with you BTW as obviously I know a lot more about my friend's situation than I do about yours, but at first glance they sound similar.

I think with your DH it's ok to spend money when it suits him. There seems to be a lot of mentioning of what he wants. He wants to pay off the mortgage. He wants to make provision for redundancy. He wants money in the bank. Which to be fair are all sensible aims, however it's unfair and controlling that he is trying to deny you any fun/spending at all due to his issues.

I would to go see your friend. Stand up to him and do what makes you happy and what you will enjoy. £20 on petrol is not a fortune and it sounds as though you can afford it easily. Please don't get into the situation that my friend is in, where she never stood up to her DH and now she isn't even 'allowed' £2 to go to toddler group some weeks, and she's not had any new clothes or underwear in 2 years.

NicknameTaken Mon 11-Feb-13 14:35:21

He doesn't immediately sound controlling to me. The test is really what will happen if ou make the visit anyway. It's a grown-up thing to discuss the cost of a day out - if you can say, "listen, I think we're looking at an all-in cost of £30 for the day, which we can afford", and he accepts that, then I don't see there is any problem at all.

A bit of cat's bum mouth isn't the end of the world, assuming he gets over it soon enough. Obviously an extended strop/sulk indicates that you have more a problem on your hands.

CecilyP Mon 11-Feb-13 14:41:53

I think he is being controlling. I didn't think so at the start of the thread, as I know how difficult it can be with only one wage coming in and I thought your might be really hard up. But the more you have said about your true circumstances, the worse his attitude seems.

It is perfectly normal to want to go and meet an old friend, especially one that only lives 45 miles away, and the fact that she also has a DC and lives by the sea makes it extra special. The petrol cost is nothing - just 2 trips to his preferred swimming baths. Normally, a DH would be pleased for you to be able to do this, unless you are living in penury, which you are obviously not.

I think he is becoming like his parents. Obviously keeping up your mortgage repayments is an absolute priority but also paying off the maximum extra allowed is not. Especially with only one wage coming in. This might be something to aim for when your DCs are older and you are back at work, but not now - that is ridiculous extra pressure.

FeistyLass Mon 11-Feb-13 14:53:48

babies we used the different accounts when I was a SAHM too. We decided how much of our monthly income I needed for shopping, household, dc stuff and then that was transferred into my account. It suited both of our neurosis - dh wanting to control finances and my hatred of being in a position where I felt I might have to explain my spending decisions grin I'm actually fairly careful with money too but dh and I would prioritise differently sometimes - I'm a two scoops of ice cream girl whilst he isn't wink

lottiegarbanzo Mon 11-Feb-13 16:22:10

Hmm, well read this earlier and quick thoughts, though I'm sure it's all been covered by now are:

He doesn't want you to go. You should probably ask him why. (From what you've said I'd blithely guess that he thinks daily childcare is easy if you're organised, certainly easier than his job and this is a frivolous extra, primarily for your benefit and he's a bit jealous of your freedom).

You're going to do a 90 mile round trip once, in half term, he adds a 'nice but uneccessary' 39 miles to every weekly swimming trip. Why is it your mileage being questioned? If you have a joint aim to avoid unecessary expenditure on fuel, you both know where the low-hanging fruit is.

Your very different attitiudes to money must create tension as, however much you both strive for a middle ground, there must be a tendency to think that the other will naturally stray in the opposite direction, so he has a built in assumption that you'll carelessly overspend if he doesn't keep you in check. Similarly (though your evidence for this sounds convincing), you assume he'll get obsessed with saving if you don't remind him that money is for the life you have now, as well as for an unpredictable future.

I think what you need to talk about is him doing a bit more with the dcs at the weekend, especially while you're ill and to give you a little break when you're better and can enjoy it. He needs to understand better what looking after them day after day entails, it sounds as though he doesn't. (I wouldn't be at all surprised, if, left alone with them for a week, they spent Friday out a succession of paid entertainments, amounting to gazillions of pounds, because he'd be exhausted and at the end of tether by then - but I hope recognise the lesson, not make excuses about how it's all right for you because you're used to it.)

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