Originally Posted by Soolee
"I am continually perplexed when you bring something to me, like this, knowing it is outside the scope of what we can do. Feels to me like you want me to feel like a failure, to feel bad, knowing I want you and DS to be happy and successful."

For some reason, I don't think it's that she necessarily wants him to feel like a failure. I think she's really disconnected and not 'getting' the extent of the damage she did with the spending. She doesn't 'get' that he's waiting for her to take steps to help rectify it. She's sort of glossing over it in her mind, almost like she doesn't believe him - doesn't believe that what she did was all that bad...

One thing that could possibly be part of that is if Hold is keeping the bill paying, balance knowledge, cc balances, etc. apart from Mrs. Hold and not showing her the numbers monthly. Could be he isn't explaining to Mrs. Hold just how much they need in the bank before he can retire and how long that will take or before the son starts college, or before a home renovation can take place - things like that.

If you're not being open and honest on a monthly basis about the finances, she may be assuming the finances are better than you say they are. Perhaps if she saw the actual numbers regularly she would realize how ridiculous it would be to approach you for more money.

I wrote that from Hold's POV...my way of asking was this close? Could this be a hidden payoff in the way he addresses his life...can't know what MrsHold is really thinking/not thinking...she's not here. She hasn't been in all this time, has she?

But if he feels she does this to reinforce his belief that she wishes she could go back in time, pre-kids and marry a bigger sugar daddy (and I am implying that Hold has played that part at times in their marriage), then that's a false payoff...he likes that she reinforces what he thinks of himself...the self-hatred, proving he's right, he's a loser, not enough...again, a distorted payoff.

Hold, you didn't address if this was how you felt or not...that she will bring these ideas to you as if they are doable, when she knows they are not. My statement was a way to ask her what her pay off was in doing so. You seemed to flip it over onto her in your response.

And in your monthly budget, do you have a slot for each of the kids, to keep expenditures somewhat balanced? To show an annual total, as well, to make sure neither are consuming more than the other to a great degree? Would you consider having a marital slot in the budget, for UA time, marital vacation, separate from family vacation? Anniversaries?

I'm picturing my own spreadsheet; I thought "slot" was better than "cell".


Why not move the boundary, Hold? When she comes to you, before you hear her out, ask her, "I'd love to hear your ideas for our kids education, entertainment, events (insert appropriate one). What I will no longer do is listen to them until you've checked our financials...gone over our current spreadsheet. Once you do that, I'm all ears."

What do you think? Respectful. Healthy. You can do both without even liking yourself.


So, is part of what you experience when she does this feeling like a failure? Or does it just give you a big dose of resentment, where you weren't considered, who was left out, her using you to dash her dreams, again?

False payoffs don't go just one way. Or else we'd stop doing the dance.