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Isabeau #2486765 03/10/11 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted By: Isabeau
So, are you saying that your wife refuses to be accountable to you about her spending? And she knows that overspending is a painful concern to you, but she continues to do it anyway? frown


Yes, however in her defense, I have not done the best job of meeting her other primary EN's. Not making excuses for her, as your statement is accurate, but I also know that our Takers are out due to our love bank withdrawals and therefore it is easier to continue to chooose LB'ing behavior. I am in the midst of putting together a plan to better meet her EN's in an effort to determine if she will become more amenable to meeting my EN's in the process. I am skeptical this will work, as I've done so in the past and the overspending still persisted, but that was a number of years ago now so I'll give her the benefit the the doubt. Besides, I'm the only one here so I have to do the changing. smile


God Bless,

HitchHiker

All I want to do is learn to think like God thinks. , I want to know Gods thoughts; all the rest are just details. , When the solution is simple, God is answering. - Albert Einstein

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Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
Hitchhiker: I sympathize with your situation. No fun when both spouses are unhappy with the family finances.


I agree. frown

Quote:
As for the pure financial picture, my suggestion is that if you aren't brave enough to have the conversation with your wife, then you need to get another job so you can afford the life your wife wants to live. Then the FS problem will go away. Of course, you will probably have a DS or FC or lack of UA time problem to address, but maybe you will find those topics easier to address with Radical Honesty.


To be clear, while I do prefer to avoid conflict, I have repeatedly brought this issue up over the past couple of months. Initially I outlined a solid plan to pay down roughly half of our consumer debts by taking some profits on some investments and using a bonus and our tax refund, and then cutting down on monthly expenditures for approximately one year to pay off the remainder of the consumer debts. I outlined the entire plan, and enacted the plan last month, and have already paid down our debt by a third, and it will be down by half by the end of next month. However, we have since added to the total number over the past two months, by roughly half of the amount that resulted in paying down a third of the outstanding debts. I won't use real numbers here, but as an example, if I just paid down 10k in debt, we added 5k in the last two months.

My DW says that my lack of meeting her FC EN is my biggest problem right now, particularly not spending enough time with the kids, which is very hurtful to her. So, I'm creating a detailed plan to address this issue this week, and am already taking basic steps as of two days ago. I am skeptical though, as I said before, because I've been down this road before, and while I fulfill my end of the bargain, I don't see much reciprocation. With no reciprocation, I eventually stop trying, because my love bank gets too far depleted.

Some at this point may ask, why would your FC, particularly spending time with my children, be something that I stop doing? This is a hard question to answer. My first honest reason is that I have narcissistic tendencies and am therefore overly self centered. The second reason is that the more indebted we become, the harder I feel I have to work, in order to succeed, receive good raises, promotion opportunities, etc., in order to be able to service our debts. At this point, I already work 12 hour days, counting commute time, sometimes more. I leave the house at 7:00 AM and return at 7:00 PM M-F. Not much time left for FC by the time I get home factoring in homework, housework, etc. I've never been able to get DW to really clearly understand that the lack of FS for me makes it harder for me to meet her FC needs. My argument makes no sense to her given her own core values, so she cannot get her head around it best I can tell.

I am an IT Director by trade, so increasing my income would be difficult at this point. I'm already high on the pay scale by industry standards, and the next step up (CIO) is a doozy, I'd literally never be home. I see the hours my CIO keeps, the workload, and the politics she has to navigate. Quite frankly, I am not equipped to handle the political aspects of that job, I just don't have the skillsets. A jump into any other industry sector means a serious paycut, so that's not an option either. Much like you, I feel my options are limited, however unlike you, I do really like my current career.

Quote:
As for how does a couple who fights over FS stay in love, surely you cannot expect me to have an answer to that. I can't even remember what it felt like to feel romantic love for my wife. Now, if you ask me how to keep the cold dark flame of frustration and resentment alive, THAT I can wax poetic on all day and night. But love? All I can do is refer you to that Tina Turner song from her Private Dancer album.


Good point. smile


God Bless,

HitchHiker

All I want to do is learn to think like God thinks. , I want to know Gods thoughts; all the rest are just details. , When the solution is simple, God is answering. - Albert Einstein

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Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
Why don't I feel safe, hmmm, let me see. Maybe because I keep getting kicked in the teeth whenever I am physically close to her? Forget 18 years of being rejected sexually. Now she won't even let me get near her. First I touch her hip and she screams she can't stand to be near me and jumps out of bed and runs away. Then the next night before I even get into bed she tells me to stay away and not get anywhere near her and give her space. Then the next night she says she is sorry for pushing me away, and she wants to make it up to me, so she will allow me to have my foot touch her foot. No, I can't imagine why I don't feel safe when I am near her.

And that is just the physical side. Mentally, I am disinclined to tell her the truth about how I feel, because she is so dismissive when I tell her I am unhappy. Her basic response is "you wouldn't be happy no matter what I do, so it doesn't matter whether or how I hurt you, because whether I treat you well or poorly you'll still be unhappy, so I might as well do what is easier for me and keep rejecting you."


HOLD, that's what I thought, just wanted to be certain. Thanks for the clarification. While I don't share your issues surrounding SF in my M, I do also feel unsafe when having conversations and/or negotiations with my DW for many of the same reasons, I get a dismissive attitude, mostly because we have longstanding disagreements over the same old problems. I'd imagine if my DW were open and honest, she would probably agree that she feels I'd never be happy, and therefore it's just easier to listen to her Taker and do whatever she wants at my expense. frown


God Bless,

HitchHiker

All I want to do is learn to think like God thinks. , I want to know Gods thoughts; all the rest are just details. , When the solution is simple, God is answering. - Albert Einstein

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I think both of you guys, Hold and HitchHiker, would feel a lot better if your wives were actively contributing to the household finances in a substantial way.

In my previous marriage, my wife didn't want to work, spent a load (keeping us in the red EVERY month), and on top of that, wasn't interested in sex.

Honestly, it was the financial fallout that led me to realize I could not continue int he marriage, not the lack of sex.

If she had seriously helped out that way, I could have worked with it.

Let's face it, providing for a family financially is a huge task.
And for some reason, it seems to be taken lightly and for granted in many marriages.

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Hitch, please help me understand your situation. Your plan is to pay down debt, but you ran up new debt. Was that a joint decision? Or did your wife incur the new debt without seeking POJA? If the latter, and she is now SAHM, please explain why she still has access to credit? As you know, this issue bedeviled me for years. The only way I got resolution was to convince Mrs. Hold to give up all her credit cards. Pretty much the only debt we have run up the past few years has been by mutual consent.

I know it is not easy to ask for her to give up the cards. It took years for me to work up the courage. Learn from my mistake. Ask immediately. When she asserts that you are a control freak, do judo. Agree with her. Then ask for the cards. If she insists on keeping them, cancel them. Or if they are in her name, stop paying them. Yes, you will eventually be liable and it will hurt your credit. But if she is willing to blow up the family budget by overspending, and you don't want to meekly acquiesce in her misbehavior (like I did for so many years), then you have to draw a firm boundary. No payments until she hands over the cards or agrees to close the account. That means no joint checking account, and all your income goes into a separate account.

Maybe you fear your wife will file for divorce if you take these steps. Unlikely but possible. I am guessing she will give you warning and you can back down if it comes to that. But I think some firmer boundaries will reap large dividends in your case.


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Easy, you are correct. I did feel better about my marriage when Mrs. Hold got a part time job and started bring in paychecks that were more than a tiny fraction of her weekly allowance (her allowance still runs 2 - 5 times her income, but that is alot better than income of 0).

Silly me, I reacted to feeling better by reaching out to meet her needs. In exchange, she slammed the door shut in my face. Now she keeps telling me she doesn't understand why I am reacting so negatively to her presence. She keeps asking me "where are you going?" when I get up and leave the room after a few minutes of talking to her. I am not brave enough to say "I have reached my limit of being able to tolerate being near you if we are not going to hug or kiss or have sex any time soon, so I am going to go do something I actually enjoy."

I don't want to get into another of those endless arguments that I only want her for sex. Which, in one sense, is correct. After being deprived for so long, I am not interested in spending UA time that is not going to involve sex. Unfortunately, given my inability to perform, it is not possible for our UA time to involve sex (at least not while her repertoire when partnered with me is so limited). So it is going to be very difficult for us to reach a POJA which involves me spending much UA time with her. Yes, I know this dooms our marriage to a lack of romantic love. So what else is new?


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That is an awful stalemate. She has you over a barrel sex wise, knowing full well she is your only chance at SF.

And you are her sole source of wealth, her most cherished commodity.

It's an interesting case. She did try to circumvent the situation by spending anyway, leaving the family with huge debts.

In my previous marriage, it was the same way, and she did circumvent by spending anyway. How do you prevent someone from getting their own credit card and racking it up? Or gouging into shared accounts?

She could get pretty mean, too, for a pint-sized little blonde.

My current relationship is much different, much more equitable.
We both work professional jobs, we both save for the future, we both do the chores around the house, and we both enjoy each other greatly.

It makes for a much more enjoyable existence.

EasyE #2486866 03/10/11 06:07 PM
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I have to wonder, also...let's say you were wildly successful in your career, like hundreds of millions of dollars type of success; would she be holding out on you still?

Or would she joyfully give SF with wild abandon?

I'm thinking she would still hold out.

EasyE #2486867 03/10/11 06:13 PM
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Originally Posted By: EasyE
In my previous marriage, it was the same way, and she did circumvent by spending anyway. How do you prevent someone from getting their own credit card and racking it up? Or gouging into shared accounts?


Took me a while to have the guts to solve this one, but it is doable.

Separate accounts. My paycheck goes into my account. Then her allowance gets transferred from mine into hers. So she cannot pull more out of my account than we have agreed.

As for credit cards, you cannot stop her from opening them. But when I was most desperate, I got her to agree to put a fraud alert on her credit file. That means the credit reporting companies send a letter every time she opens a new account. And I had her list my office as the place where the letters go. So while I cannot stop her from opening new accounts, I can see them fairly quickly. Since the fraud alert got posted, I don't think she has opened any new accounts. Gee, I guess opening new accounts isn't so much fun when you have to pay the balances back yourself!

Oh, and I keep my checkbook in the credenza in my office. So no more stealing checks and forging my name to pay off credit cards.

So a combination of separate accounts, fraud alert, and keeping all papers in my office has worked fairly well to cut down the overspending. Every so often she still finds a way to do an end run. A couple of times she asked to borrow my card so she could buy something online for one of our kids. She had the web site save the credit card information, so she could go back online later and order more stuff. I had to sit her down and delete the information from the web sites. For a while, I slept with my wallet in a locked drawer. For a while I slept with it under my pillow. But lately it has been safe for me to put it on my dresser at night. She doesn't get up in the middle of the night and use the cards online. At least not so far as I can tell, and I do make sure to review carefully every monthly statement to make sure there are no unexpected charges.

As I said to Hitchhiker, I can't imagine why I don't feel safe around her.


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Originally Posted By: EasyE
I have to wonder, also...let's say you were wildly successful in your career, like hundreds of millions of dollars type of success; would she be holding out on you still?


Who cares? If I had that kind of money, and she continued to reject me, I'd leave. As I have said before, one of the reasons I am not motivated to be more successful at work is that it enables me to avoid having to draw a boundary. I can tell myself I can't afford to divorce her. If I COULD easily afford to divorce her, then I would have to make a difficult decision. This way, I can continue to avoid taking responsibility for the situation.


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Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
This way, I can continue to avoid taking responsibility for the situation.


Your honesty made me laugh out loud.

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Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
Originally Posted By: EasyE
I have to wonder, also...let's say you were wildly successful in your career, like hundreds of millions of dollars type of success; would she be holding out on you still?


Who cares? If I had that kind of money, and she continued to reject me, I'd leave. As I have said before, one of the reasons I am not motivated to be more successful at work is that it enables me to avoid having to draw a boundary. I can tell myself I can't afford to divorce her. If I COULD easily afford to divorce her, then I would have to make a difficult decision. This way, I can continue to avoid taking responsibility for the situation.


I wrote my critical thesis for my MFA on passive characters in the fiction of Anne Tyler. You would make a very fascinating character Hold. I think Anne Tyler would love you.


Me: BS/FWW: 48
BS/WH: 50
DS: 30, 27, 25
DD: 28
OC: 10
BH and I are raising my OC together.
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Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
I am not brave enough to say "I have reached my limit of being able to tolerate being near you if we are not going to hug or kiss or have sex any time soon, so I am going to go do something I actually enjoy."


What about saying something like, "I have reached my limit of being able to tolerate being near you if we are not going to hug or kiss me any time soon, and, no, this isn't about sex, so I am going to go do something I actually enjoy."

I know you said it really *is* about sex, but since that's not going to happen given your, um, current limitations, maybe you can make it about hugging. Or kissing. Its been awhile since I could be on the boards regularly, but last time I was here I remember you both making good progress in this area. Im surprised to hear of this regression.

Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
I am not interested in spending UA time that is not going to involve sex. Unfortunately, given my inability to perform, it is not possible for our UA time to involve sex (at least not while her repertoire when partnered with me is so limited). So it is going to be very difficult for us to reach a POJA which involves me spending much UA time with her.

Hold, I feel so sad to see you in this no-win situation. I admit I dont know much about sex, but if thats all you want and you really cant perform, then you have no way to be happy. Almost like nothing she does can make you happy. Because even if she stopped spending too much (and looking at you as simply a bank) you still wont be happy. You cant get what you want, even if she offered it to you. Please tell me Im reading this wrong, and that there are some very real, concrete things she can do to make you happy.


"If you will stop feeding your feelings, then they will stop controlling you" -Joyce Meyer
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Wow, Hold, these steps are such good ones to take! Thank you for sharing this input. I remember how emotionally hard it was when I first opened up a new account separate from my ex (who was jobless, but running up my credit cards and spending my pay faster than I could earn it). I didnt even take my whole pay check. Just a part of it. I blamed my military travels and the ensuing screw-ups. It was such an emotional experience for me (since I come from a traditional submit to your husband background for me to do this to him felt like blasphemy). Even now, remembering it, brings tears to my eyes even though I know it was for the best. But I had to do it or we wouldnt have had the money to pay bills.

Im saying all that to let you and Easy know at least one other person on this board understands how hard it can be to enact these financial boundaries. But we get there by taking baby steps. Im glad you took those steps, and I will continue to celebrate your future progress.

Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
Took me a while to have the guts to solve this one, but it is doable.

Separate accounts. My paycheck goes into my account. Then her allowance gets transferred from mine into hers. So she cannot pull more out of my account than we have agreed.

As for credit cards, you cannot stop her from opening them. But when I was most desperate, I got her to agree to put a fraud alert on her credit file. That means the credit reporting companies send a letter every time she opens a new account. And I had her list my office as the place where the letters go. So while I cannot stop her from opening new accounts, I can see them fairly quickly. Since the fraud alert got posted, I don't think she has opened any new accounts. Gee, I guess opening new accounts isn't so much fun when you have to pay the balances back yourself!

Oh, and I keep my checkbook in the credenza in my office. So no more stealing checks and forging my name to pay off credit cards.

So a combination of separate accounts, fraud alert, and keeping all papers in my office has worked fairly well to cut down the overspending. Every so often she still finds a way to do an end run. A couple of times she asked to borrow my card so she could buy something online for one of our kids. She had the web site save the credit card information, so she could go back online later and order more stuff. I had to sit her down and delete the information from the web sites. For a while, I slept with my wallet in a locked drawer. For a while I slept with it under my pillow. But lately it has been safe for me to put it on my dresser at night. She doesn't get up in the middle of the night and use the cards online. At least not so far as I can tell, and I do make sure to review carefully every monthly statement to make sure there are no unexpected charges.


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Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
Hitch, please help me understand your situation. Your plan is to pay down debt, but you ran up new debt. Was that a joint decision? Or did your wife incur the new debt without seeking POJA? If the latter, and she is now SAHM, please explain why she still has access to credit? As you know, this issue bedeviled me for years. The only way I got resolution was to convince Mrs. Hold to give up all her credit cards. Pretty much the only debt we have run up the past few years has been by mutual consent.


HOLD, sorry for the delay in response, been busy at work. smile

Was the debt payment plan a joint decision? I thought it was, but in hindsight it was not. I put together a detailed email outlining my plan and get a very terse response indicating agreement, however what I do not get is any real negotiation or involvement on the part of DW. She literally has no interest, never has, I am far from certain she ever will. This is challenging for someone like me because I believe that knowledge is power, and that bringing awareness of our reality also helps with accountability. DW would rather just stick her head in the sand from what I can tell, and leave me to work miracles to resolve our financial circumstances. This has been our pattern to date for the most part, off and on as the pendulum swings.

She has access to credit mostly because she either takes credit cards from my wallet without agreement, or she opens new credit cards without my knowledge.

Quote:
I know it is not easy to ask for her to give up the cards. It took years for me to work up the courage. Learn from my mistake. Ask immediately. When she asserts that you are a control freak, do judo. Agree with her. Then ask for the cards. If she insists on keeping them, cancel them. Or if they are in her name, stop paying them. Yes, you will eventually be liable and it will hurt your credit. But if she is willing to blow up the family budget by overspending, and you don't want to meekly acquiesce in her misbehavior (like I did for so many years), then you have to draw a firm boundary. No payments until she hands over the cards or agrees to close the account. That means no joint checking account, and all your income goes into a separate account.


Understood, tough love in other words.

Quote:
Maybe you fear your wife will file for divorce if you take these steps. Unlikely but possible. I am guessing she will give you warning and you can back down if it comes to that. But I think some firmer boundaries will reap large dividends in your case.


Yes, this has been why I beat around the bush rather and don't take draconian steps like you took. She has threatened divorce in the past whenever I've made mention of taking more drastic steps to reign in her spending. This morning she is over at a family friend's house supposedly looking into full time work where our friend works, hoping to get an inside track. This is partially in reaction to a recent conversation we had where I basically indicated to her that we both have to work full time in order to stay afloat. She overlooked the fact that this isn't what I want, I want her to curb her spending and remain a SAHM, because historically when she works f/t it has been hard on our family unit because I work a lot and cannot contribute enough at home to meet her DS EN when she is also working. I reiterated these points this morning while commuting (we text each other quite a bit). Should make for an interesting conversation when I get home tonight.


God Bless,

HitchHiker

All I want to do is learn to think like God thinks. , I want to know Gods thoughts; all the rest are just details. , When the solution is simple, God is answering. - Albert Einstein

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EasyE #2487142 03/11/11 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted By: EasyE
In my previous marriage, it was the same way, and she did circumvent by spending anyway. How do you prevent someone from getting their own credit card and racking it up? Or gouging into shared accounts?


That doesn't give me much hope. frown

Quote:
My current relationship is much different, much more equitable. We both work professional jobs, we both save for the future, we both do the chores around the house, and we both enjoy each other greatly.

It makes for a much more enjoyable existence.


That's my dream for sure.


God Bless,

HitchHiker

All I want to do is learn to think like God thinks. , I want to know Gods thoughts; all the rest are just details. , When the solution is simple, God is answering. - Albert Einstein

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Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
Separate accounts. My paycheck goes into my account. Then her allowance gets transferred from mine into hers. So she cannot pull more out of my account than we have agreed.


Technically we still have a joint checking account, but I can remove her at any time as I am the primary and she is only an authorized user.

I've tried the allowance model on multiple occasions, cash, debit cards, checks, etc. None of it has worked long term as DW refuses to track her spending and then gets upset when her actions and lack of planning result in overdraws or not having enough cash for whatever she wants to do. This entire concept is completely foreign to me as I always know exactly how much money I have everywhere and I track everything closely, but I do recognize that everyone is different. Still, I struggle not to DJ DW in this area because a part of me feels she is purposefully being clueless when it comes to money and then always expects me to resolve our financial problems.

Quote:
As for credit cards, you cannot stop her from opening them. But when I was most desperate, I got her to agree to put a fraud alert on her credit file. That means the credit reporting companies send a letter every time she opens a new account. And I had her list my office as the place where the letters go. So while I cannot stop her from opening new accounts, I can see them fairly quickly. Since the fraud alert got posted, I don't think she has opened any new accounts. Gee, I guess opening new accounts isn't so much fun when you have to pay the balances back yourself!


Fraud alert, didn't know that was an option, I'll look into it.

Quote:
Oh, and I keep my checkbook in the credenza in my office. So no more stealing checks and forging my name to pay off credit cards.


The checkbook stays at the office for me as well. That and I switched my primary checking to ING Direct's Electronic Orange so I only keep a traditional check writing account at our old bank for deposit purposes for miscellaneous checks, all of my autodeposits go into the ING account which only has website based access for me (she has read only access to the account).

Quote:
So a combination of separate accounts, fraud alert, and keeping all papers in my office has worked fairly well to cut down the overspending. Every so often she still finds a way to do an end run. A couple of times she asked to borrow my card so she could buy something online for one of our kids. She had the web site save the credit card information, so she could go back online later and order more stuff. I had to sit her down and delete the information from the web sites.


Same thing happens to me quite often. She gets a credit card number and enters it into amazon.com and spends money without any POJA.

Quote:
For a while, I slept with my wallet in a locked drawer. For a while I slept with it under my pillow. But lately it has been safe for me to put it on my dresser at night. She doesn't get up in the middle of the night and use the cards online. At least not so far as I can tell, and I do make sure to review carefully every monthly statement to make sure there are no unexpected charges.


Never gone that draconian and I hope not to have to, I should know more after this weekend.


God Bless,

HitchHiker

All I want to do is learn to think like God thinks. , I want to know Gods thoughts; all the rest are just details. , When the solution is simple, God is answering. - Albert Einstein

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Hitch, if your wife is willing to divorce you unless you allow her to overspend, then you face some unpleasant choices. I think you should test whetehr she is bluffing. Look, you can always back down and give her back the cards. If she continues with the divorce because you dared to deny her, then you have your answer what kind of marriage she wants.

My wife would not divorce me over the money. She might divorce me if I don't want to spend any time in the same room with her, and make it clear by tone and body expression that I can barely force myself to talk to her to discuss more than pleasantries. Hitch, do you really think your wife would leave so she can go find someone else who has more money?


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Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
My wife would not divorce me over the money. She might divorce me if I don't want to spend any time in the same room with her, and make it clear by tone and body expression that I can barely force myself to talk to her to discuss more than pleasantries. Do you really think she would leave so she can go find someone else who has more money?


No, I don't think she will divorce you for any reason. I wish she would, though. That might be the best thing that could ever happen to you.

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Originally Posted By: HitchHiker
Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
Separate accounts. My paycheck goes into my account. Then her allowance gets transferred from mine into hers. So she cannot pull more out of my account than we have agreed.


Technically we still have a joint checking account, but I can remove her at any time as I am the primary and she is only an authorized user.

I've tried the allowance model on multiple occasions, cash, debit cards, checks, etc. None of it has worked long term as DW refuses to track her spending and then gets upset when her actions and lack of planning result in overdraws or not having enough cash for whatever she wants to do. This entire concept is completely foreign to me as I always know exactly how much money I have everywhere and I track everything closely, but I do recognize that everyone is different. Still, I struggle not to DJ DW in this area because a part of me feels she is purposefully being clueless when it comes to money and then always expects me to resolve our financial problems.


I just wanted to point out that the breadwinner can also have the attitude that these wives of yours have. My XH did. He refused all attempts at budgeting and tracking money. He would get angry if I pointed out we didn't have enough money to buy whatever it was he wanted. I was/am a very frugal person. I wanted to stay home with our son and I did....XH felt that gave him the power to do what he wanted money wise. I think it also gave him the feeling that he could cheat on me and I would never leave him.

However, if I were in the shoes of you men who make the money with over spending wives....I'd take drastic measures.

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