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?

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.)

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

Bogeyface Mon 11-Feb-13 13:37:06

Why is that U Mimi?

The OP has said that she is on the mend, and presumably has had treatment.

Mimishimi Mon 11-Feb-13 13:10:53

You want to and visit your friend when you have bronchitis? That's pretty unreasonable.

Hmm, yes. May even a double scoop because I'm a greedy cow

grin

Pandemoniaa Mon 11-Feb-13 12:58:15

Go madder. Have two scoops and two Flakes!
Have a lovely day out.

Numberlock Mon 11-Feb-13 12:57:29

Go mad and have a flake in your ice creams. wink

Wok smile work of course.

It is £20, that's why I AM going. I think I need o remind him of the principle

Numberlock Mon 11-Feb-13 12:34:20

We're talking about £20 ffs!!!!!!!!!

Feisty I don't wok, so that wouldn't wok for us. We have equal spending money. I feel I am involved as I need to be in finances. I am aware & consulted on every change. I prefer a 'work to your strengths' approach to household management.

I will enjoy the beach, but can't stay over. Friend has TINY house.

Also his swimming trip is half he distance, not the same.

bogey he wants the savings so that if we need a new car, we can get one. Redundancy has factored in both our upbringings in a big way, so he wants to create a decent buffer for that.

I think he is prone to saving as a habit due to ASD dad, who sees it as a virtue. BUT dh repeatedly telling his parents to spend their money, they can't take it with them etc. our life IS NOT miserable, we still have nice food, niceish clothes, wine, family days, nice house, regular trips to see my family in NI,. His parent's life is miserable, really, really miserable. I can't begin to explain how much they scrimp. It's a constant source of discussion for me & dh who hates it. They have approx £350k in savings & property as well as owning their £250k house. They tell us this. A lot. Cause they're sooooo great for it. They argue with each other (in a very pa way) about it too.

Like I say dh is so cross & wishes they'd live a little or give us the cash now so normally calling him fils name in an annoying pa way is enough to shake himup. It's worse since ds was born, I think he feels pressure being sole breadwinner. Before, I earned a little more than him & he was much more relaxed.

NettleTea Mon 11-Feb-13 12:26:51

maybe if you could stay the night and extend it to 2 days then it halves the spend for the trip effectively, as its now a £20 petrol for 2 days thing.

he would, of course, have to get himself dinner that night though!

FeistyLass Mon 11-Feb-13 12:24:11

And enjoy the beach smile

FeistyLass Mon 11-Feb-13 12:23:46

YANBU and he is being controlling. If he makes a weekly trip to the swimming that costs the same then I don't think he can see your planned trip as something out of the ordinary and overly expensive. I'd be worried it's about him stopping you from seeing your friend.
Myself and my dh have very different attitudes to money so we came up with a solution that works for us - we have separate accounts. We share the household expenses (taking into account our different salaries) and have comparable disposable income each month. You're going to keep having conversations about money unless you find a process that works for you both. By being less involved with the finances, you're feeding a perception that you're not good with money and that may let your dh feel that he is in a position to question your spending and priorities. Remind him you're equally responsible.

Numberlock Mon 11-Feb-13 12:22:25

Just to clarify, are you going for the day to your friend's or planning to stay overnight?

I have access to money. I mean to talk to him about his attitude to this day, what others have said, you're a long time dead etc. I'd hate to be like my mum, scrabbling around to pay bills, not so secretly crying over how to make ends meet. But, there is a happy medium, we often manage it, but every so often things like this happen & I have to 'hit reset' do a reality check.

We have a good relationship & can both talk like grown ups smile but I am quite bossy/determined in a lot of ways & need to check in re financial attitudes every so,often. MN is great for this as I don't like discussing financial things IRL.

Pandemoniaa Mon 11-Feb-13 12:17:28

I dont see the point in being short in life to be rich in death.

This is what I've tactfully tried to say to my savings obsessed friend. Sadly and rather ironically, she has no partner or dcs to leave her money to either. She's paid her mortgage off, has a good job and an index linked occupational pension as well as thousands and thousands in the bank. But it doesn't stop her continuing to save money. It's wonderful to be so responsible with money but she's lost sight of the need to live for now.

Bogeyface Mon 11-Feb-13 12:11:39

What are the savings for?

You pay off the mortgage, great, but then what? What does he plan to spend all these savings on once you have them? My grandparents were obsessed with saving, every spare penny went into the bank. They died leaving every penny behind them, because they couldnt ever bring themselves to spend any of it. I dont see the point in being short in life to be rich in death.

Hullygully Mon 11-Feb-13 12:11:03

he sounds a bit mad

any "normal" person would think it a great idea for you and the dc to go and have a couple of days away.

the life he wants sounds a bit grim

he would really get on my nerves

Numberlock Mon 11-Feb-13 12:09:55

But I can't understand why you're even entering into discussion with him about your day out? Unless you mean you want to instigate a talk about the whole issue of finances?

Do you have access to money or do you rely on him to give you money for the week/month?

glastocat Mon 11-Feb-13 12:07:32

Blimey, mums net is always a revelation in how other people live. I would hate to live like this, saving every available penny. Life is for living, you are a long time dead etc. it's not like you are planning a last minute trip to Bali, it's a trip to the seaside! You need to have a cht with your husband I think he is being way over the top.

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