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Joined: May 2009
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I've been married for 10 years and over the last year, I've felt an increasing feeling of sadness in my relationship with my H. I found this website a week ago and it hit so many issues square on the head, I just had to write. I told the whole story to my sister, but for the sake of our two children, she said this marriage is something I can't walk away from. There is no physical abuse, but mentally, I feel trapped. My husband is very controlling of money and he feels the need to account for every dime. He makes very good money, but can't seem satisfied with any amount that we are putting away. He has no problem giving to charities or church, but doesn't want to ever go out to eat, take the kids somewhere fun or treat me to an evening out. If we do, he can't comment on how fun it was, only on how expensive it was...or would be. I recieve a disability compensation from the Veterans Admin and the way he hords money made me make separate bank accounts. One for "HIS" income and one for my VA income that I could use for the kid's clothes, haircuts, eating out, and little trips that he didn't want to take. I also paid the gas, electric, and water bills, along with my cell phone bill so that he wouldn't nag me about how I didn't turn lights off or took too long of showers. So, my question is this...could he possibly have a psychological disorder calle OCPD, Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder, or is he just a short tempered, miserly, unhappy man that can't seem to find happiness himself, so he brings all of his anger and pain down on his family? He has always been frugal, mostly due to his upbringing...6 kids and not a lot of money. His frugality goes far beyond that though. He really only wants to pay for basic needs and wants that HE wants. I've brought this all to his attention and he said he's trying hard to be more relaxed about the money thing, but he doesn't think that I'm trying to change the way that I am or the way that I do things. He says he feels like he always has to watch what he says because I may take it the wrong way. I just feel like we are completely out of touch with one another and I don't know how to turn it all around. Reading about the Love Bank made me see how neither of us are making deposits anymore and it seems that we just keep taking away from it. We probably got to a ZERO balance within the last year because I have gotten to the point of apathy or "whatever" and just basically tune him out when he's griping about something. (not eating enough leftovers, leaving the lights on, buying groceries that I didn't tell him I was going to get, not using the debit card so that he can keep track of expenses by the day, etc.) I also read on here somewhere about a woman who asked herself, "Am I happier when he's not around?" Except for the fact that he will sometimes entertain our two children when he's home, I am much happier (or happy go lucky) when he's not around. I mentioned that I thought we needed to go to counseling and he said that he wouldn't go. We've read Dr. Laura's books about "Proper Care and Feeding of Marriage" and he said that he just needs to read it again. There's got to be something more that we can do together. Any thoughts?

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I stumbled on this site myself about three weeks ago. I think i found a goldmine.
I have read through all the concepts and still trying to grasp and apply most of these.


Last edited by ssali; 05/14/09 07:11 AM. Reason: will give better advice in following posting
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Originally Posted By: Aquarious
I've brought this all to his attention and he said he's trying hard to be more relaxed about the money thing, but he doesn't think that I'm trying to change the way that I am or the way that I do things.


This may sound backwards and completely foreign to you, but I suggest you DO make some changes towards his miserly ways. The easiest one I see for you to work on right now is LEFTOVERS.

I love, love, love to be able to cook once, and eat twice (or three times, lol, however long I can stretch it). And there's lots of creative ways to do it and still have variety. Roast beef one night with potatoes and beans, then the next night use the leftovers to make beef and cheese paninis (sp? You know what I mean, grilled sandwiches) with 'leftover potato' soup. Any beef left? Chop it up for vegetable beef soup or chili.

Just about any leftover meat can be repurposed into tacos.

Make a game of it. I challenge myself every week to spend as little as possible at the grocery store and as little time in the kitchen as I can. I'm the Frugal Queen when it comes to this stuff, know what I spent last week on groceries to feed a family of six? $72. Without coupons! lol. *pats self on back*

No, it's not fair that you should have to change in order to get him to change. But I think, once he sees effort on your part to address the exact things that bother him ('kids eat free' restaurants, cheap or free entertainment like festivals), he'll be open to negotiating a budget that includes more of the stuff you and the kids want. And use that debit card, so he can see proof of everything that you're doing to make him happy.

Do NOT get into diagnosing him. How would you feel about your spouse slapping a label on you to identify WHY you are wrong? Could you see that helping at all?


Marriage is the triumph of imagination over intelligence. Second marriage is the triumph of hope over experience.
(Oscar Wilde)
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There are a lot of changes you can make, but let's start slow. I'll agree on the leftovers. Make a bigger portion, cut it in half, freeze half of it!

First, read here about Love Busters. Ask him to fill out the questionnaire. You can fill it out, too, if he's willing to read YOURS. But YOU need HIM to fill out what YOU do that he doesn't like. Once you know, stop doing it! Work on that for 2 months. It takes that long to stop or start habits.

You have to stop being the person who does things he doesn't like.

Once you have that down, ask him to fill out the Emotional Needs questionnaire, to see what he needs from you. Spend a couple months concentrating on the top 2 or 3 ENs.

If he is a decent person, and I'm sure he is, you'll start seeing a change in him. He will start being happier, and will thus start wanting to make YOU happier. Weird, but it works.

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I also found this site about 4 weeks ago. I was on the verge of having an EA with a guy I previously dated. My husband and I have been married 10 years. After reading so many stories about how damaning afairs can be to M. I stopped!!! Sincethen I have gone out an purchased HNHN and havin been trying to put them into practice. My H is not going to read but I have been sharing the things with him and I have faith that things will get better for us. I dont really have much advice to offer. However I have also read Dr. Laura's book and think my using the principles from this site and her books your marriage can get better.


WW-40; 2-EA's
H-37

Married 11 years

Now he's been caught

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Imontheverge, congratulations. I'm glad you found the wisdom you needed before you made the ultimate mistakes.

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Originally Posted By: Aquarious
I've been married for 10 years and over the last year, I've felt an increasing feeling of sadness in my relationship with my H. I found this website a week ago and it hit so many issues square on the head, I just had to write. I told the whole story to my sister, but for the sake of our two children, she said this marriage is something I can't walk away from. There is no physical abuse, but mentally, I feel trapped. My husband is very controlling of money and he feels the need to account for every dime. He makes very good money, but can't seem satisfied with any amount that we are putting away. He has no problem giving to charities or church, but doesn't want to ever go out to eat, take the kids somewhere fun or treat me to an evening out. If we do, he can't comment on how fun it was, only on how expensive it was...or would be. I recieve a disability compensation from the Veterans Admin and the way he hords money made me make separate bank accounts. One for "HIS" income and one for my VA income that I could use for the kid's clothes, haircuts, eating out, and little trips that he didn't want to take. I also paid the gas, electric, and water bills, along with my cell phone bill so that he wouldn't nag me about how I didn't turn lights off or took too long of showers. So, my question is this...could he possibly have a psychological disorder calle OCPD, Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder, or is he just a short tempered, miserly, unhappy man that can't seem to find happiness himself, so he brings all of his anger and pain down on his family? He has always been frugal, mostly due to his upbringing...6 kids and not a lot of money. His frugality goes far beyond that though. He really only wants to pay for basic needs and wants that HE wants. I've brought this all to his attention and he said he's trying hard to be more relaxed about the money thing, but he doesn't think that I'm trying to change the way that I am or the way that I do things. He says he feels like he always has to watch what he says because I may take it the wrong way. I just feel like we are completely out of touch with one another and I don't know how to turn it all around. Reading about the Love Bank made me see how neither of us are making deposits anymore and it seems that we just keep taking away from it. We probably got to a ZERO balance within the last year because I have gotten to the point of apathy or "whatever" and just basically tune him out when he's griping about something. (not eating enough leftovers, leaving the lights on, buying groceries that I didn't tell him I was going to get, not using the debit card so that he can keep track of expenses by the day, etc.) I also read on here somewhere about a woman who asked herself, "Am I happier when he's not around?" Except for the fact that he will sometimes entertain our two children when he's home, I am much happier (or happy go lucky) when he's not around. I mentioned that I thought we needed to go to counseling and he said that he wouldn't go. We've read Dr. Laura's books about "Proper Care and Feeding of Marriage" and he said that he just needs to read it again. There's got to be something more that we can do together. Any thoughts?


Why do you characterize him in a negative way?

You have two choices, you can choose the negative, as you have, or you could say that he finds his joy in being frugal.

You see this as a negative. He (and I) see this as where he finds his joy.

How do you turn it around? You start by not being so judgmental, as if his frugal ways were wrong, inferior, or whatever. What's wrong with letting him have his joy of saving?

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EE, I don't even know if she's been back, but I'd like to provide an answer to your question from my pov.

It's very hard to see something as a positive when you see your spouse fulfilling a need of yours to everyone but you. She said her husband is very generous to charities, church, and himself, but when it comes to his wife and children, he's super-tight (in her view, which we all know is subjective).

I think of it in light of one of my H's most admirable qualities. He is very kind. Soft-spoken, considerate, giving...to everyone but me (in my own subjective opinion). He has no problem yelling at me, or the children. So finding admiration for this quality in him is difficult. However, I have worked very hard at getting him to see this difference in the way he treats us vs the world in general in non-judgmental ways (when the uber-judgmental ways didn't work, surprise, surprise!), and he's getting it. But first, I had to stop giving him things to get mad at me about, and just let him blow on his own. smile

I guess I'm saying Aquarious could do it either way, feelings follow actions or actions follow feelings, I'm just a big fan of what I know works for me...action first. Feelings follow. If she gets into being thrifty, it will bring her joy, too.


Marriage is the triumph of imagination over intelligence. Second marriage is the triumph of hope over experience.
(Oscar Wilde)

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