Author Topic: Is this financial infidelity?  (Read 14913 times)

Steph41

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Is this financial infidelity?
« on: August 13, 2014, 05:55:18 PM »
Hello, I am looking for some input on my situation!  I'll try to give enough info without droning on.  My husband is not very frugal like I am.  He works full time and makes the majority of the income.  I stay home with our kids and work a few side jobs.  We save about 20% of our gross income.  I would like to save more but H doesn't want to.  He spends a lot on lunches out, beer, sports equipment, DVDs, gas for SUV that he drives a few blocks to work while his expensive bike sits in the garage, etc.  I handle the bill paying and IRA contributions.  He refuses to go by any kind of budget or cut back on his money wasting, so I have given up on nagging about it and just try to live by example in order to keep the peace.  Once in awhile he will comment about how he has no idea where our money goes and I better not be stashing any away, to which I always tell him to just check Mint and he will see where the money is going.
The only debt we have is my student loan, which was incurred before the marriage, for a degree that was not required for the kind of work I do now.  From the beginning of our marriage he has NOT wanted me to make extra payments on the loan.  It's like he sees it as only "my" debt, so he doesn't want "our" money to go towards it any more that it has to.  It is down to around $15,000 now, and I am really itching to just get that thing paid off quickly.  We haven't discussed paying extra on it for awhile, and for the last year, I have secretly been making extra payments on the loan.  The extra payments have not taken away from the needs of the family at all, and he doesn't notice the money because I use it from one of my side jobs that pays through paypal.  I am starting to feel more and more stressed about it, because I feel like maybe this counts as "hiding" money away.  Also, the lower the balance gets, the more I just want to get the stupid thing paid off faster, which he will notice.  The rate is pretty low, but I just hate that lingering debt.
So my problem is, do I tell him about the extra payments as a conversation like "I have something I need to confess..." or do I just make a casual comment about the extra payments and then act like I thought he wouldn't care?  The crazy thing is, if I were blowing money on things like getting my hair and nails done or going out for coffee/lunch all the time, I don't think he would care, because he wastes so much money himself.  It's the fact that I am spending money on my loan that would bother him.  He is going to notice eventually that the balance has been going down faster than usual, and I'm not going to lie about it if he asks me.  Does anyone think I have been doing something very wrong?

Jennifer in Ottawa

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Re: Is this financial infidelity?
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2014, 05:59:43 PM »
Pardon me but 'you better not be stashing any away'????????????

Is the goal to piss it all away so when he passes before you, you can survive off of catfood and wishes?

cdttmm

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Re: Is this financial infidelity?
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2014, 06:00:00 PM »
Let me be sure I understand what you're saying...

You're using money that YOU earn to pay down debt that is in YOUR name. Why would he have a problem with that?

Emilyngh

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Re: Is this financial infidelity?
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2014, 06:00:37 PM »
Hello, I am looking for some input on my situation!  I'll try to give enough info without droning on.  My husband is not very frugal like I am.  He works full time and makes the majority of the income.  I stay home with our kids and work a few side jobs.  We save about 20% of our gross income.  I would like to save more but H doesn't want to.  He spends a lot on lunches out, beer, sports equipment, DVDs, gas for SUV that he drives a few blocks to work while his expensive bike sits in the garage, etc.  I handle the bill paying and IRA contributions.  He refuses to go by any kind of budget or cut back on his money wasting, so I have given up on nagging about it and just try to live by example in order to keep the peace.  Once in awhile he will comment about how he has no idea where our money goes and I better not be stashing any away, to which I always tell him to just check Mint and he will see where the money is going.
The only debt we have is my student loan, which was incurred before the marriage, for a degree that was not required for the kind of work I do now.  From the beginning of our marriage he has NOT wanted me to make extra payments on the loan.  It's like he sees it as only "my" debt, so he doesn't want "our" money to go towards it any more that it has to.  It is down to around $15,000 now, and I am really itching to just get that thing paid off quickly.  We haven't discussed paying extra on it for awhile, and for the last year, I have secretly been making extra payments on the loan.  The extra payments have not taken away from the needs of the family at all, and he doesn't notice the money because I use it from one of my side jobs that pays through paypal.  I am starting to feel more and more stressed about it, because I feel like maybe this counts as "hiding" money away.  Also, the lower the balance gets, the more I just want to get the stupid thing paid off faster, which he will notice.  The rate is pretty low, but I just hate that lingering debt.
So my problem is, do I tell him about the extra payments as a conversation like "I have something I need to confess..." or do I just make a casual comment about the extra payments and then act like I thought he wouldn't care?  The crazy thing is, if I were blowing money on things like getting my hair and nails done or going out for coffee/lunch all the time, I don't think he would care, because he wastes so much money himself.  It's the fact that I am spending money on my loan that would bother him.  He is going to notice eventually that the balance has been going down faster than usual, and I'm not going to lie about it if he asks me.  Does anyone think I have been doing something very wrong?

Do you get any specific amount of money to spend on anything you'd like?   If not, perhaps ask him about starting this.   IMO every adult should have access to a small amount of money that they don't have to account to the other about.   And once you have agreed upon a set amount (maybe look back at how much he seems to blow every month on stupid crap and ask for the same amount), you can do what you want with it, IMHO.

Emilyngh

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Re: Is this financial infidelity?
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2014, 06:03:10 PM »
Let me be sure I understand what you're saying...

You're using money that YOU earn to pay down debt that is in YOUR name. Why would he have a problem with that?

TBF, they're using the money that HE earns to pay for everything else, so highly doubt it's very wise for a SAHP to get into a "I can choose how to spend all of the money I make" precedent.   With this said, every adult should have some money that they can direct as they'd like, regardless of who earns what, IMO.

resy

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Re: Is this financial infidelity?
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2014, 06:08:35 PM »
No. I am reaaally biting my tongue though; I am having trouble expressing myself without sounding harsh however'
It sounds like there are much bigger issues in your situation than what you are doing to pay your debt.
IMO your husband needs a reality check on what marriage is about.
Best of luck.

cdttmm

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Re: Is this financial infidelity?
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2014, 06:10:54 PM »
Let me be sure I understand what you're saying...

You're using money that YOU earn to pay down debt that is in YOUR name. Why would he have a problem with that?

TBF, they're using the money that HE earns to pay for everything else, so highly doubt it's very wise for a SAHP to get into a "I can choose how to spend all of the money I make" precedent.   With this said, every adult should have some money that they can direct as they'd like, regardless of who earns what, IMO.

Okay, fair point. I guess I took the OP's comment that "The extra payments have not taken away from the needs of the family at all. . ." to mean that her income was not necessary and, therefore, she could simply choose not to work. Instead, she's choosing to work in order to pay off her own debt faster as opposed to relying entirely upon her husband's income to do so.

Self-employed-swami

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Re: Is this financial infidelity?
« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2014, 06:15:32 PM »
I think your husband sounds like a boor at the best, and abusive at the worst. 

I would start saving an emergency fund for yourself, so you have some money to leave him, if his abuse turns physical, or you just decide that it is time to leave.

Please reach out to a family member or a friend about your situation, it sounds very unhealthy.

Steph41

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Re: Is this financial infidelity?
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2014, 06:40:36 PM »
Ouch, I didn't mean to make my husband sound like such a monster!  It is true that my income is more extra and is not usually necessary, except for the few times he has overspent a little and it enabled us to pay the credit cards in full rather than carrying a balance for a month or two.  I have suggested allowances for each of us, but he doesn't like the idea of a spending limit for himself.  To be fair, he has encouraged me to spend more on myself and said that he doesn't care if I want to splurge too, that he realizes I also work hard.  There's just this weird thing about the student loan that bugs him. 

Eric

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Re: Is this financial infidelity?
« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2014, 06:45:02 PM »
It sounds like he's reasonably unaware of what the balance is.  I'd probably just tell him that the remaining balance is really bothering you and that you're going to start throwing your side gig money at it to be done with it.  I don't see how telling him how it got to the balance it's currently at helps.

zataks

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Re: Is this financial infidelity?
« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2014, 06:45:37 PM »
I think your husband sounds like a boor at the best, and abusive at the worst. 

I would start saving an emergency fund for yourself, so you have some money to leave him, if his abuse turns physical, or you just decide that it is time to leave.

Please reach out to a family member or a friend about your situation, it sounds very unhealthy.

Unfortunately, I agree with this.  The 'you better not be stashing any money away' bit sounds like controlling, oppressive language/mentality and also what I would guess to be the statement of a very insecure/fearful person.  This is sad.

JoyBlogette

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Re: Is this financial infidelity?
« Reply #11 on: August 13, 2014, 07:34:18 PM »
it enabled us to pay the credit cards in full rather than carrying a balance for a month or two
Reality Check is needed here!  Your husband needs to wake up and realize that if he doesn't want to work until literally the day he dies.  He needs to save something.  Spending all the money you earn is something teenagers do.  Time to grow up.
I'd probably just tell him that the remaining balance is really bothering you and that you're going to start throwing your side gig money at it to be done with it.
This is what I think you should do too.

G-dog

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Re: Is this financial infidelity?
« Reply #12 on: August 13, 2014, 07:58:17 PM »
I will apologize up front as this is going to sound harsh, really harsh - my gut reaction to your situation is that your husband sounds very controlling (no rules for him, but lots of rules for you), domineering (tells you what you can and cannot do), and possibly abusive (emotionally).  Why are you afraid and feel the need to ask his permission to pay off your student loan at a rate you are comfortable with?  If there are any signs that he does things to keep you isolated from any support network (your family, friends, etc.) that is another huge red flag.  This dynamic in your marriage sounds troubling at best, frightening or dangerous at worst. Again, I realize that in trying to give a succinct background for your question, it may go have accidentally given an inaccurate and misleading view.  But just in case, you and anyone else with a controlling or abusive person in their life needs to know that such behavior is wrong, and you/they deserve better. There is help out there for anyone that needs it (e.g., see Carolyn Hax columns for many links to hotlines etc.).

PilotsWife

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Re: Is this financial infidelity?
« Reply #13 on: August 13, 2014, 08:03:30 PM »
Let me be sure I understand what you're saying...

You're using money that YOU earn to pay down debt that is in YOUR name. Why would he have a problem with that?

TBF, they're using the money that HE earns to pay for everything else, so highly doubt it's very wise for a SAHP to get into a "I can choose how to spend all of the money I make" precedent.   With this said, every adult should have some money that they can direct as they'd like, regardless of who earns what, IMO.

It sounds like he gets to choose exactly how his money is spent. True, he's ok with the OP spending his money on herself, but it doesn't sound like she gets a say in how it's spent (or saved).

OP, I agree with everyone else who is saying that your husband sounds controlling. I know you're the SAHP but that doesn't mean you shouldn't have 50-50 control of the money. I would not be okay with this situation & I would be stockpiling cash just in case anything ever happened. Better safe than sorry.

pipercat

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Re: Is this financial infidelity?
« Reply #14 on: August 13, 2014, 08:17:31 PM »
I would tell him, simply to avoid any future accusations that you've been secretive about money.

However, I would say it very nonchalantly, as if you couldn't possibly imagine why it's a big deal.  If he responds negatively, simply say something along the lines of "Well, I already worked the numbers, and this really won't change anything for you or the kids".  Again, keep your own attitude very dull and unemotional.

pipercat

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Re: Is this financial infidelity?
« Reply #15 on: August 13, 2014, 08:23:06 PM »
One more thing,  if he responds negatively then you need to have a more serious conversation about it.  Let him know that you don't expect him to agree with you or to adapt the same philosophies you have, but getting rid of this debt is important to you.

No matter how much my own husband and I may disagree, we value each others opinions.  If I expressed that something was really important to me, it would become important to him.  Obviously, each partnership is different, so YMMV.

KMMK

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Re: Is this financial infidelity?
« Reply #16 on: August 13, 2014, 08:43:44 PM »
If you are entitled to 50% in a divorce you are also entitled to 50% of income within the marriage. I think separate accounts can still work (and be a good choice) even when 1 person makes a higher income. If only my husband worked he would give me half of what remained after the basic bills were paid to spend or save as I saw fit. I don't know why this scenario isn't more commonly done as it's fair, protects both parties and reflects the 50/50 nature of finances within a marriage. Doubt your husband would agree to this but it's something to think about. Just because his name is on the pay check doesn't mean it all belongs to him.

NCGal

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Re: Is this financial infidelity?
« Reply #17 on: August 13, 2014, 08:46:48 PM »
To me he sounds very immature, selfish and totally oblivious to a huge problem. He could be saying stupid things about you stashing money due to his inability to deal in reality like a grown-up. Personally my approach would not be to treat this lightly however I would not even be discussing money at this point. I would sit him down and convey how utterly upset you are with your relationship, with feeling under-valued and unimportant to him, and that you would like him to agree to go to counseling with you. If he refuses, or refuses to discuss it, then I would be stashing away money like crazy with the intention of leaving him, if not permanently, at least until he gets his head on straight. At some point he will need to see `your` loan as shared debt or at least a joint obstacle that`s in the way of building a financial future as a couple. He will also need to agree to limitations on his own care-free spending. Otherwise you will always be unequal, and I couldn`t stay married in that situation.

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Re: Is this financial infidelity?
« Reply #18 on: August 13, 2014, 08:52:40 PM »
He does sound a bit bossy about 'his' money, which is not good.  I wouldn't frame a conversation about your extra loan payments in terms of a confession of yours.  He doesn't seem concerned about the numbers.  He's left you to manage bills and savings, so in effect, you are planning for your (plural) financial future and he's trusted you to do so.  If it were me, I'd bring it up by saying, "I've been looking at the bills and would love to get rid of our (you are married after all) last bit of debt - the student loan."

Of course he doesn't want to feel the pinch - he has no idea where the money goes, but maybe that makes him a bit nervous too.  Luckily you're not blowing it at the mall every weekend.  Tell him, "I'd like to put all my side hustle income into it." If he's still possessive about "his" money going toward "your" debt, this might be the angle.  If he gets really excited (ie. angry, emotional, defensive) in this discussion, I'd say it's time to figure out why it's touching a nerve.

Good luck!

Dr. A

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Re: Is this financial infidelity?
« Reply #19 on: August 13, 2014, 09:26:33 PM »
... Once in awhile he will comment about how he has no idea where our money goes and I better not be stashing any away, to which I always tell him to just check Mint and he will see where the money is going... From the beginning of our marriage he has NOT wanted me to make extra payments on the loan.  It's like he sees it as only "my" debt, so he doesn't want "our" money to go towards it any more that it has to... I have secretly been making extra payments on the loan... l the time, I don't think he would care, because he wastes so much money himself.  It's the fact that I am spending money on my loan that would bother him... Does anyone think I have been doing something very wrong?

(No disclaimer about harshness here)

Let's back the fuck up. Your marriage is a partnership, including a financial one, and if you're not being treated as an equal financial partner, that's a big fucking problem. <\facepunch>

My wife is currently stay-at-home and I run all of our finances. If I ever implied that she did not have equal say on where our money goes, I would get a piece of her mind, and it would be an awfully big piece.

Similarly, if I found out that she felt she needed to hide her side income from me in order to use it (to responsibly pay down debt no less!), that would make me feel like the biggest sack of shit this side of the fertilizer plant.

In my opinion, you need to take a big swig of assertiveness and lay things out. "I've been paying down our debt. I feel bad for not telling you. I don't feel bad for doing it, and I will continue to do it with my side income. I would like to talk about our financial goals and how we can make sure we are on track with them, and I want you to be with me on this."

Know what you want out of that conversation, and hold on to it, especially if you get an emotional reaction. At the same time, if he does engage you on this, be ready for real compromise. Also remember that he probably sees 20% pre-tax savings as doing really well, because compared to most of the country, it is!

Cpa Cat

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Re: Is this financial infidelity?
« Reply #20 on: August 13, 2014, 09:47:28 PM »
Well, you have some problems here, obviously. No matter how you want to play this situation, you should admit to yourself that you are hiding money. You're hiding it to protect yourself from an argument that would not occur in a relationship that had a healthy financial attitude.

The scenario that you're hiding from is this:
You: "Honey, I want to use money for my student loan instead of beer and the hair salon."
Him: "Gah! How dare you! I cannot tolerate this awful behavior from you!"

It doesn't really compute for most people. But this has somehow become your normal.

I don't think that your husband is a monster. But for some couples, having a stay at home parent doesn't really work. They can't manage the financial inequity in a healthy way. If this conversation doesn't go well, then you should probably consider engaging in full time work in order to increase the parity between you. He does not believe that you contribute enough to make decisions. Now that you realize that, you need to accept it and start taking steps to fix that.

4444

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Re: Is this financial infidelity?
« Reply #21 on: August 14, 2014, 08:38:13 AM »
this is a marriage problem (communication problem), not a money problem.

i'd be looking to sort out an evident lack of communication, and what i perceive to be a lack of respect. I'd advise marriage counselling (there's nothing wrong with this, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure) - you may think this is harsh, but you're stressed. Stress is not cool.

As previously said, marriage is a partnership, regardless of proportional income generation. That partnership's earned income is to be spend based on partner consensus.


PloddingInsight

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Re: Is this financial infidelity?
« Reply #22 on: August 14, 2014, 08:45:27 AM »
OP, your relationship sounds like a great candidate for keeping separate accounts.  All income earned by either party should be split 50/50, and the two of you should contribute equally to any joint purchases like housing and groceries.  After that, you each run your financial life the way you see fit.

If he opposes this, ask him to explain why.  I can't imagine what his answer would be so that's as far as I can take my advice.

firelight

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Re: Is this financial infidelity?
« Reply #23 on: August 14, 2014, 09:00:37 AM »
Just make extra payments, finish the loan and then say your student loans are paid off if and when it comes up. Keep it simple and on a need to know basis(only because your husband doesn't care about any bills, including this one). Why make a mountain out of a mole?

firelight

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Re: Is this financial infidelity?
« Reply #24 on: August 14, 2014, 09:02:19 AM »
Other than that, there are some issues that you need to work through with your husband but they are not the i-need-it-fixed-now kind. Pick your battles but move the war towards a more equal and hopefully frugal mindset.

shotgunwilly

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Re: Is this financial infidelity?
« Reply #25 on: August 14, 2014, 09:08:22 AM »
There are alot of people in this thread drawing harsh conclusions on one comment that, read over the internet, you can't possibly tell actual intentions or the seriousness of.  You may be doing more harm than good.

former player

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Re: Is this financial infidelity?
« Reply #26 on: August 14, 2014, 10:11:30 AM »
OP's husband seems pretty uninterested in the details of their finances.  He probably doesn't know how much the student loan is for, what the interest rate is or what the minimum payments would be.  If he doesn't know all of those, he probably doesn't know what the expected paid-off date is either.  In which case, what he doesn't know can't hurt him.  If the time ever comes when OP and her husband can sit down and have a rational discussion about budgets, its current status can be dealt with then ("That old thing?  Oh, I paid that down out of side hustle X, and it turned out to be nothing much to worry about").

If I were the OP, I'd want to make sure 1) there is enough going into the pension to cover a normal retirement age, 2) there is something in place to cover accident/long-term disability to either parent, 3) there will be at least a little something to help the kids launch themselves into adult life, and 4) I had access to an emergency fund.

matchewed

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Re: Is this financial infidelity?
« Reply #27 on: August 14, 2014, 11:10:49 AM »
Need to fix the marriage before approaching the financial aspect. The financial aspect is just a proxy fight for communication issues. You have a goal and he has his goals. You two need to learn how to compromise prior to anything else. He's being controlling and you're being dishonest. Stop doing that and learn how to do the good things.

NoraLenderbee

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Re: Is this financial infidelity?
« Reply #28 on: August 14, 2014, 11:48:22 AM »
It's sort of funny/sad that you worry that *you* have done something wrong. Yes, you're hiding money. But why? Because your husband doesn't manage money well. Your "infidelity" is you doing what's necessary to keep your finances sound.

TrulyStashin

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Re: Is this financial infidelity?
« Reply #29 on: August 14, 2014, 12:57:49 PM »
I will apologize up front as this is going to sound harsh, really harsh - my gut reaction to your situation is that your husband sounds very controlling (no rules for him, but lots of rules for you), domineering (tells you what you can and cannot do), and possibly abusive (emotionally).  Why are you afraid and feel the need to ask his permission to pay off your student loan at a rate you are comfortable with?  If there are any signs that he does things to keep you isolated from any support network (your family, friends, etc.) that is another huge red flag.  This dynamic in your marriage sounds troubling at best, frightening or dangerous at worst. Again, I realize that in trying to give a succinct background for your question, it may go have accidentally given an inaccurate and misleading view.  But just in case, you and anyone else with a controlling or abusive person in their life needs to know that such behavior is wrong, and you/they deserve better. There is help out there for anyone that needs it (e.g., see Carolyn Hax columns for many links to hotlines etc.).

+ 1,000   I LOVE Carolyn Hax.  She's the MMM of the human relationships world.

I highly recommend that you read "Why Does He Do That?"  by Lundy Bancroft.  I was married to a man much like your husband and Bancroft's book was the playbook to the inner workings of his mind. 

By making you doubt yourself (to the point where you're asking us if you've done something wrong by paying off debt!), he is protecting his entitlement to spend money however he pleases -- basically, he's shifting the spotlight away from HIS behavior onto YOUR behavior and keeping you off-balance so that you don't trust your own judgment.  This is not ok.

I bet that if you start paying attention, you'll see him doing this on other issues too.  Example:  Maybe he doesn't want to do the dishes tonight.  He'll never SAY that but he will initiate a conversation with you about something that YOU supposedly did wrong/ not well enough/ could-have-done-better.  The next thing you know, he's (pretending to be) angry with you for disappointing him and you find yourself not only apologizing (though you did nothing wrong) but also.... doing the dishes.  Watch for this pattern, I'd lay money that it's there in your relationship.

He might also be gaslighting you.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaslighting

I really, really hope you read the book.  PM me if you want to talk more.   In your marriage, money is only the symptom.    Stop paying down your debt and put all of that extra money into your own personal FI fund.  I'm sorry to say this but I really think you'll need it.

DoubleDown

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Re: Is this financial infidelity?
« Reply #30 on: August 14, 2014, 01:20:08 PM »
I'm a husband, with traditional views. I've always been the primary breadwinner by far, and with wife as a SAHM for significant periods during the marriage. I cannot fathom treating my wife this way. His money is your money, plain and simple. If he doesn't believe that, he can ask any divorce attorney.

Yes, you are being "sneaky" and justifiably so, because he has set up a system where you can't win for doing the right thing. If he won't honor your justifiable goals and needs, or find a compromise you both see as a win, then you have to decide if this is a situation you can tolerate for the rest of your married life. Best wishes to you, I hope you can work it out with him.

TrulyStashin

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Re: Is this financial infidelity?
« Reply #31 on: August 14, 2014, 01:21:39 PM »
This thread is really bothering me.  I'm coming back to add a fresh thought. 

Steph, I very much hope that you will do/ say nothing to your husband right now.

I hope you'll spend a couple of weeks doing some careful observations of him and the dynamic between you two while also reading "Why Does He Do That?" and also "The Gift of Fear"  by Gavin de Becker.

There is something wrong in the landscape of your marriage and you need to have a better sense of what that is.   This is a time to gather information before you make any decisions about what to do or say.   You might also want to find a counselor for you to talk to, alone, as you flesh out the topography of your whole marriage.

If I"m wrong and your relationship is healthy, then you'll have lost nothing by waiting, observing, thinking, and reading.  If I'm right, you will be able to make decisions knowing information that is currently hidden to you and that will save you from making some very costly and painful mistakes.

Edited to add:
   My ex did not appear to be a monster either.  He was charming and witty and fun -- so long as his Zone of Entitlement was unchallenged.  Even then, he never hit me.   Steph, if your husband is like my ex, then all the comments posted here about you needing to assert yourself and talk to him honestly to align your goals, or go to marital counseling, etc. will be no more effective than a fart in a windstorm and could result in real harm to you.   That's why I strongly suggest that you do nothing while you take the time to learn more about what may really be going on.   You're afraid to tell him the truth and you're gaming out strategies for saying the truth in just the right way so he won't be mad.  These qualities have no place in a healthy marriage and odds are strong he won't like it one bit if you point this out.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2014, 02:41:06 PM by TrulyStashin »

BaldingStoic

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Re: Is this financial infidelity?
« Reply #32 on: August 14, 2014, 02:02:43 PM »
Here's my take as a man.  Using money you earned to responsibly pay down dept is ethically fine.  However, in a successful marriage, goals either need to align or you at least have to agree-to-disagree.  Thus you need to confront your husband and let him know that you've decided to pay down your debt.  He may not like your decision, but I think you'll feel better for having asserted yourself directly, even if it's uncomfortable in the short run.  Hopefully, asserting yourself now will contribute to a long-term relationship with mutual respect, even when you don't see eye-to-eye.  Best of luck... 

ecmcn

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Re: Is this financial infidelity?
« Reply #33 on: August 14, 2014, 02:14:30 PM »
Honesty and trust are important for a successful marriage. So is treating it as a true partnership, moving past ideas of "my money" and "your loans" to "our finances and future."

You've said he's not a monster and I assume there's enough love in your relationship that you plan on growing old together. You have different financial priorities, which is a big-ticket item like whether or not to have kids. Not everyone wants to be Mustachian, and that's ok. Maybe he's perfectly fine being on the work-to-65 track. What's important is that you can have a conversation about it and come to some agreement that will hopefully be a compromise you can both live happily with. Talk about what you want out of life, use the calculators to see what effects your choices have. It's your life and your family's financial security - if he's reluctant to discuss it after you've made it clear how important it is to you that could be an indicator of deeper issues, and warrant a couples therapist.

As part of the larger conversation you could work in the fact that this has been bothering you so much that you've been secretly paying off this debt that *both* of you owe, and yet you're feeling even more anxious because you've been afraid to be honest with him. Best of luck.

former player

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Re: Is this financial infidelity?
« Reply #34 on: August 14, 2014, 02:57:04 PM »
I'm a bit surprised at all the "your husband could be a monster and your finances are worrying"-type replies.  OP's husband has some spendy habits, but the family have no debt other than the student loan and are saving 20% of gross income: this is not completely mustachian but is much better than half the population.   They are basically OK financially.

What I mostly got from OP's original post is: here is a man who supports his wife and kids in a fairly traditional manner, has almost no interest in managing the family finances and doesn't like talking openly and directly about money issues.  The comment about "you better not be stashing" I would take more seriously if he ever did check the family finances on Mint or show any sign of controlling them himself.  But it seems that in practice he is trusting the OP to do right by the family finances, and the "stashing" comment could be no more than his way of saying "I'm leaving it all up to you, and trusting you to do it right".  Subtext: please don't take the kids and the money and leave me broke and broken-hearted.

There was another thread on here recently where the wife was asking whether she should be paying off the husband's student loans incurred before the marriage, and there was a variety of opinion.  This is a similar question the other way around: should family money go to student loans incurred before the marriage.  I would guess that if OP's husband didn't go to college or have student debt that might also contribute to him feeling ambivalent about family resources (which he mainly earns) going to pay it off.

I do think OP's husband is lucky in his wife.  I hope he appreciates her.


solon

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Re: Is this financial infidelity?
« Reply #35 on: August 14, 2014, 03:00:51 PM »
As a couple other posters have pointed out, I don't think we have enough information to correctly diagnose the OP's marital circumstances. Yes, she asked for help and opinions, but our response should be to ask clarifying questions, not to jump to conclusions. This is an anonymous internet forum and we have no idea what the OP is really like, what her husband is really like, what their marriage is really like, etc.

OP, can you provide us with any more information? Can you respond to some of the questions that have been asked?

BlueHouse

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Re: Is this financial infidelity?
« Reply #36 on: August 14, 2014, 03:01:43 PM »
He works full time and makes the majority of the income.  I stay home with our kids and work a few side jobs.
Uh, that sounds like more than full-time work.  Maybe start phrasing that differently to remind yourself of your contribution.  you don't just "stay home with" the kids.  You "parent" the kids.  Big difference, right?

Quote
" just try to live by example in order to keep the peace. "
"I better not be stashing any away"
The above statements are red flags. 

Quote
The only debt we have is my student loan, which was incurred before the marriage, for a degree that was not required for the kind of work I do now. 
Maybe not required, but it helped shape you into the person that your husband wanted to marry.  The fact that you are making a statement like this leads me to believe that you now think that you are not worth the money spent to become you.  This is another red flag to me. Your self-confidence is clearly shot and whether that's from external forces (husband) or internal forces, I hope you will work on that.   

Quote
I have secretly been making extra payments on the loan.  The extra payments have not taken away from the needs of the family at all, and he doesn't notice the money because I use it from one of my side jobs that pays through paypal.
Do you feel that you are less important than "the family" as a whole?  You're an integral part of the family, and your needs are just as important.  If the needs of one person aren't met, then how can the needs of the family be?

Quote
  Does anyone think I have been doing something very wrong?
I think YOU think you're doing something wrong.  And for that reason, it's sort of wrong.

Quote
So my problem is, do I tell him about the extra payments as a conversation like "I have something I need to confess..." or do I just make a casual comment about the extra payments and then act like I thought he wouldn't care?
Before you say or do anything, please google "Amy Cuddy power pose".  It's a 15-minute Ted Talk that will explain how in 2 minutes, you can increase your testosterone levels (confidence and assertiveness) and decrease your cortisol levels (stress hormone).  Use this power pose before talking about anything.  I promise, it makes a huge difference.  It literally takes 2 minutes to change the hormonal balance in your body to calm your nerves and increase confidence. 

I wish you the best.

okashira

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Re: Is this financial infidelity?
« Reply #37 on: August 14, 2014, 03:20:30 PM »
He works full time and makes the majority of the income.  I stay home with our kids and work a few side jobs.
Uh, that sounds like more than full-time work.  Maybe start phrasing that differently to remind yourself of your contribution.  you don't just "stay home with" the kids.  You "parent" the kids.  Big difference, right?

Quote
" just try to live by example in order to keep the peace. "
"I better not be stashing any away"
The above statements are red flags. 

Quote
The only debt we have is my student loan, which was incurred before the marriage, for a degree that was not required for the kind of work I do now. 
Maybe not required, but it helped shape you into the person that your husband wanted to marry.  The fact that you are making a statement like this leads me to believe that you now think that you are not worth the money spent to become you.  This is another red flag to me. Your self-confidence is clearly shot and whether that's from external forces (husband) or internal forces, I hope you will work on that.   

Quote
I have secretly been making extra payments on the loan.  The extra payments have not taken away from the needs of the family at all, and he doesn't notice the money because I use it from one of my side jobs that pays through paypal.
Do you feel that you are less important than "the family" as a whole?  You're an integral part of the family, and your needs are just as important.  If the needs of one person aren't met, then how can the needs of the family be?

Quote
  Does anyone think I have been doing something very wrong?
I think YOU think you're doing something wrong.  And for that reason, it's sort of wrong.

Quote
So my problem is, do I tell him about the extra payments as a conversation like "I have something I need to confess..." or do I just make a casual comment about the extra payments and then act like I thought he wouldn't care?
Before you say or do anything, please google "Amy Cuddy power pose".  It's a 15-minute Ted Talk that will explain how in 2 minutes, you can increase your testosterone levels (confidence and assertiveness) and decrease your cortisol levels (stress hormone).  Use this power pose before talking about anything.  I promise, it makes a huge difference.  It literally takes 2 minutes to change the hormonal balance in your body to calm your nerves and increase confidence. 

I wish you the best.

agree 100%. I was panned in the other thread for calling out the guys wife, and calling him out for always backing down. Now everyone is jumping all over her.
It's the small clues that people give that tell the real story.

OP, too bad you guys can't spouse swap with this guy http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/wife-flipped-out-when-i-brought-up-the-idea/

Cpa Cat

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Re: Is this financial infidelity?
« Reply #38 on: August 14, 2014, 04:27:11 PM »
I think people are jumping to conclusions here. Clearly there's a communication and financial-equity problem here, but to suggest it's abuse seems very extreme. This kind of "It's my money because I earned it" attitude exists in many people and it's usually not a sign of abuse.

Compare the reactions in this thread to the ones in "Should I pay My Husband's Student Loans"
http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/reader-case-study-should-i-pay-my-husband's-student-debt/msg368450/#msg368450

No one suggested that she was abusing her husband because she was hesitant to pay off HIS student loans with HER money. In fact, a few people said, "ZOMG Don't pay them off, it's unfair and you'll lose it in the hypothetical divorce!"

Jumping to extreme conclusions about abuse is alienating to the OP. She already posted once that she didn't mean to make her husband sound like a monster. I don't see why folks can't trust her on that.

Emilyngh

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Re: Is this financial infidelity?
« Reply #39 on: August 14, 2014, 05:35:13 PM »
I think people are jumping to conclusions here. Clearly there's a communication and financial-equity problem here, but to suggest it's abuse seems very extreme. This kind of "It's my money because I earned it" attitude exists in many people and it's usually not a sign of abuse.

Compare the reactions in this thread to the ones in "Should I pay My Husband's Student Loans"
http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/reader-case-study-should-i-pay-my-husband's-student-debt/msg368450/#msg368450

No one suggested that she was abusing her husband because she was hesitant to pay off HIS student loans with HER money. In fact, a few people said, "ZOMG Don't pay them off, it's unfair and you'll lose it in the hypothetical divorce!"

Jumping to extreme conclusions about abuse is alienating to the OP. She already posted once that she didn't mean to make her husband sound like a monster. I don't see why folks can't trust her on that.

Very good points, CPA Cat.   Very good points.

To me, it doesn't seem like he has a problem with her having equal access to money in general.   He has a problem with paying off debt early.   As odd as that seems to us Mustachians, it's just an opinion about spending priorities that he's entitled to and they have to work through.   Differences of opinion on how joint money should be spent does not equal abuse.

What if instead of wanting to use the money to pay off debt, a man wanted to use joint money to buy a sports car?   Imagine his wife were fine with him spending joint money in general (eg., eating out, buying other toys, etc), but objected to spending joint money on the car.   I highly doubt we'd be calling him an abuser.

I get the sensitivity to SAHP's having less say over spending and the bad sitch that that puts them in, but that doesn't seem to be the general case here.

Steph41

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Re: Is this financial infidelity?
« Reply #40 on: August 14, 2014, 05:39:17 PM »
I really appreciate everyone who took the time to reply.  I've been absorbing all the advice.  Not sure what I'm going to do at this point.  I did actually read the Bancroft book a few years ago, and a lot of it really hit home.  I realize a lot of what I've been accepting as normal is actually not.  For years I've also been kind of hoping he will one day, suddenly realize what he has been doing and make this big apology and then change, and I have to accept that I can change but he probably won't.  I'm going to check out that power pose too, that sounds interesting.  Again, thank you so much for listening and helping me out.  It is hard to discuss these things with people I know in "real life," because when you tell someone something negative about your spouse, especially to a family member, it feels like they won't ever forget even if you have long moved past it.

Rural

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Re: Is this financial infidelity?
« Reply #41 on: August 14, 2014, 05:43:42 PM »
This thread is really bothering me.  I'm coming back to add a fresh thought. 

Steph, I very much hope that you will do/ say nothing to your husband right now.

I hope you'll spend a couple of weeks doing some careful observations of him and the dynamic between you two while also reading "Why Does He Do That?" and also "The Gift of Fear"  by Gavin de Becker.

There is something wrong in the landscape of your marriage and you need to have a better sense of what that is.   This is a time to gather information before you make any decisions about what to do or say.   You might also want to find a counselor for you to talk to, alone, as you flesh out the topography of your whole marriage.

If I"m wrong and your relationship is healthy, then you'll have lost nothing by waiting, observing, thinking, and reading.  If I'm right, you will be able to make decisions knowing information that is currently hidden to you and that will save you from making some very costly and painful mistakes.

Edited to add:
   My ex did not appear to be a monster either.  He was charming and witty and fun -- so long as his Zone of Entitlement was unchallenged.  Even then, he never hit me.   Steph, if your husband is like my ex, then all the comments posted here about you needing to assert yourself and talk to him honestly to align your goals, or go to marital counseling, etc. will be no more effective than a fart in a windstorm and could result in real harm to you.   That's why I strongly suggest that you do nothing while you take the time to learn more about what may really be going on.   You're afraid to tell him the truth and you're gaming out strategies for saying the truth in just the right way so he won't be mad.  These qualities have no place in a healthy marriage and odds are strong he won't like it one bit if you point this out.


+100

CommonCents

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Re: Is this financial infidelity?
« Reply #42 on: August 14, 2014, 05:59:57 PM »
I agree, you should sit think and process before doing anything.  I also agree the issue is that you think you're doing something wrong, not that you actually are doing anything wrong.

I'd also suggest you add up how much was spent on things entirely for him, and how much was spent entirely on things for you, and how much went to your loans.  I think it's good to do just to know, but you can also discuss it with him.  Ask him how much he thinks he's spent on those things, and then tell him the annual figure - and what else it compares to (half your mortgage payment?  utilities for the year?  etc.)  Ask him how much he thinks you spent on things for yourself like spa, manicures, makeup, etc.  Tell him what you spent.  And then...just leave it.  Leave it for him to process for a while before you bring it up again.

And the next time he says something silly like you better not be stashing, tell him that you are concerned that he sees something wrong with you saving for your families future rather than spending it frivolously, and that you'd like to discuss this perspective further with him.  (I suspect he said that because he doesn't want to be guilted into give up his frivolities.)

The Hamster

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Re: Is this financial infidelity?
« Reply #43 on: August 14, 2014, 06:17:04 PM »
The OP's post raises a lot of red flags with me, and her response that she didn't mean to make him sound like a monster also raises red flags.  What she has written tells us a lot about what she feels subconsciously about the marriage and balance of power, without any political correctness filter. 

OP if I was in the same situation I would be stashing every cent I could either to escape from the marriage down the track if you need to, or to contribute to the retirement kitty when hubby stops working.  I would also be very diligent at maintaining my work skills so I could re-enter the workforce full time once the kids are at school to make extra money.

Without a good deal of attitude change about money and spending on hubby's part, I fear that you may end up a lot more financially worse off than you need to be.

wtjbatman

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Re: Is this financial infidelity?
« Reply #44 on: August 14, 2014, 08:21:48 PM »

PloddingInsight

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Re: Is this financial infidelity?
« Reply #45 on: August 15, 2014, 05:32:34 AM »

soccerluvof4

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Re: Is this financial infidelity?
« Reply #46 on: August 15, 2014, 06:11:43 AM »
I think people are jumping to conclusions here. Clearly there's a communication and financial-equity problem here, but to suggest it's abuse seems very extreme. This kind of "It's my money because I earned it" attitude exists in many people and it's usually not a sign of abuse.

Compare the reactions in this thread to the ones in "Should I pay My Husband's Student Loans"
http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/reader-case-study-should-i-pay-my-husband's-student-debt/msg368450/#msg368450

No one suggested that she was abusing her husband because she was hesitant to pay off HIS student loans with HER money. In fact, a few people said, "ZOMG Don't pay them off, it's unfair and you'll lose it in the hypothetical divorce!"

Jumping to extreme conclusions about abuse is alienating to the OP. She already posted once that she didn't mean to make her husband sound like a monster. I don't see why folks can't trust her on that.


I agree here!  seems like people are jumping the gun. Alot of things in marriage are said and unless you see or hear it and dont know the dynamics of the marriage I dont think telling someone to prepare for divorce or?? is constructive.  Anyone in a relationship should be looking out for how there treated and I think she clearly stated its mostly about the college debt he has a problem with and encourage her to spend more on herself.

I would take that message and spend more on yourself by paying off your debt since it bothers you.  At the end of the day you can simply say " I did what you said and spent more on myself and got rid of my our/my debt for ease of mind.  By mentioning that it hasnt changed the way you lived in doing this I wouldnt feel guilty and he probably will say "Good" if not then perhaps look even more into the framework of the relationship.