My husband is addicted to spending

coyote_grammaAugust 8, 2007

I am a 61-year-old lady who is fed up with my husband of 5 years who insists that I continue to work so he can spend, spend, spend! Ebay is his biggest addiction (he spends about $600/month on JUNK). I have talked to him about this until I'm blue in the face, but nothing has any effect. I'm tired of working (have been working for 40 years), my health is suffering (I've developed angina and must carry nitro with me) but when I point this out to him he claims I'm "overreacting" or "oversensitive" (my angina was diagnosed by a doctor and the cause identified as stress). He says that it's only "fair" for me to keep working as long as he's working. He makes a very good salary (though he truly hates his job) and if he would cut back on his spending we could easily live comfortably without me having to work. At the moment I only do short-term temporary work (my way of slowly trying to get completely out of the job market), but his constant nagging about me getting a job is becoming a serious problem in our marriage. I just can't seem to make him understand my point of view.

So far my only defense has been passive-aggression (which I hate). I just don't look very hard for work anymore and have turned down jobs and lied to him about it. Of course it really IS difficult for a woman of my age to find employment. Still, the nagging is really getting to me.

Anyone out there have a similar problem or have any suggestions for me? He won't even consider counseling (either for himself or for us as a couple).

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zone_8grandma

Run, don't walk to a counselor for yourself (if he refuses to go). This is a serious problem that isn't going to be solved by a message board.

Unless you make some hard decisions, this will only get worse and worse.

You need way more help than you'll find here. My heart goes out to you.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2007 at 10:18PM
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ntt_hou

First, may I say that I feel for you and can understand your physical illness getting in a way of living a normal life. You want to do many things to avoid headaches but you're unable to.

Although, I can see your viewpoint, in a way, I can see his "male" viewpoint too. Men (in general) seems to be less secrificial than women. Thus, he may not be able to see your viewpoint and needs as equal. At your end, you see him as fault but remember, by what you're doing as your defense, you would put yourself in the fault toward him too. This will make matters worse and would turn him away from listening and understanding you even more.

I'm not married but I used to live with 4 brothers and understood them well. Things that would make us, women, upset would not even occur to them to be upset over it.

In your case, it seems that you'd need to deal with him as a business partner, rather than husband and wife. He sort of set that out when he wanted you to get a job to be of equal to him.

I'd suggest that to partly satisfy your husband's wish/request, just get a job. Get a job that you can do within your physical limit. The job salary wouldn't need to be matched with his if you're not able to find one. Any job would do just so that he'd stop nagging about it. Perhaps, seeing you putting an effort toward it, would keep him quiet for awhile.

Once you get a job, make a deal with him that the combine salary would first pay all the monthly bills and don't forget to get all the yearly expenses covered too. Then, what is left over monthly, devide the amount in 2. He can do whatever he wants with his half of the money and you can do whatever you want with yours. If he complains that he makes more than you, then devide the leftover in 3 parts. Let him keep 2 parts and you keep with 1. Remember, 1 is better than none. He'd be forced to spend within what he has. You should keep your portion on a separate account. This way he can't touch your part of the money. If he complains, you can tell them that he's welcome to do the same with his portion of the money. Remind him that you're talking about leftovers that were devided between the 2 of you after all the bills are paid.

As for his addiction with eBay, this may not fix his problem with the addiction but it may make him awared of his limitation without putting you penniless.

As for you getting a job within your physical limitation, there are jobs that you can work from home. I'm assuming that by joining and using this forum, you know how to use the computer and the internet.

In the past few months, Good Morning America has been covering this topic, working from home. They list a few trustworthy companies that you can apply for to work with your computer from the comfort of your home at your own schedule. They even list warnings to avoid scams. Check out their website for more information.
http://abcnews.go.com/gma

You may also want to check jobs with airline companies. Many now allow employees to work from home making reservations. I know one for certain is Continental Airlines.

It's only fair that you should know a bit about me too. I've been disabled all my life. With a semi-deteriorate condition, I am now forced to use a power wheelchair 98% of the time.

I had to live with my family for a long time due to financial reason. I found my independent at the age of 40 when I found a decent job with a decent salary. I now own a home. My job allows me to work from home 3 days out of 5 of the week. If I have bad days, my supervisor doesn't mind that I work from home just as long as work is done within the due date.

If you're able to, you may want to look jobs with large corporations. You may have to go to work (in the office) for awhile but later may be able to ask to work from home. Let them know that you can be more productive working from home due to your physical limitation. To save overhead costs, many large corporations allow employees to work from home.

I hope, my posting help you some. Best wishes.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2007 at 10:31PM
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duluthinbloomz4

I sense you're in pain both physically and otherwise, but zone8 is right - you need the kind of help these forums aren't equipped to give. The very WORST reason for you to continue to work or seek additional job opportunities is to feed your husband's addiction. Worse than being a doormat is being an enabling doormat all the while risking your own health and financial well being.

If your husband won't join you, please seek help alone. And don't wait. I think you might need a lawyer; someone who specializes in Elder Law who can ensure your rights within the marriage are protected. Hopefully the assets (after 40 years of work, etc.) that you brought into the marriage five years ago are still in your name alone. I'd hate to see some guy nickel and dime your hard earned security away on eBay.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2007 at 1:17AM
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nycefarm_gw

Who controls the checkbook?

    Bookmark   August 9, 2007 at 5:28PM
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coyote_gramma

Thanks to all for your thoughtful and heartfelt responses. I think I already knew that at least one of us needed counseling; maybe it took hearing it from "strangers" to finally make the deicision to do so.

I control the checkbook, pay the bills, etc. I show him each month how much our regular expenses are in a vain attempt to get him to realize that we are spending more than he brings in each month. While he seems to understand the concept of income vs. outgo, it makes no difference to his spending. He keeps telling me that when "we" retire, his air force pension and 401(k) from his workplace, plus social security, will give us plenty of money. I've run the numbers, and it's true - IF he can stop spending so much!

It was also very helpful to hear someone say I was being an "enabling doormat". I always knew I was being a doormat, but the addition of the word "enabling" was startling - and so true. Gives me more incentive than ever.

Even when you understand the reasons behind someone else's addition (and I understand very well why he does this), it's hard to deal with.

Thanks again to all!

    Bookmark   August 10, 2007 at 6:52AM
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flyingkite

coyote_gramma,

With all due respect, but with the "air force pension and 401(k) from his workplace, plus social security" spending 600 dollars on your husband's hobbies definitely is not a big deal. I believe that the real reason of your anger is much deeper the 600 dollars spent on the EBay. Something started deteriorating in your relationship and unless you step forward with some compromise you marriage is in the real danger. I know a lot of families where husbands and/or wives are coin collectors, china collectors etc and they spend much more then 600 dollars on their hobbies, but they respect each other and their spending usually doesn't exceed some reasonable limit.

What seems to be in you opinion as a junk, may be is a big value for your husband, how about some respect?

    Bookmark   August 15, 2007 at 11:48AM
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zone_8grandma

flyingkite,
With all due respect, the OP is 62 years old and has been working for 40 years. She suffers health issues and wants to retire. Her husband wants her to keep working. I think she deserves some respect and I hope she gets it.

I certainly understand that one person's "junk" is another person's treasure, however, I also believe that her husband should not ask her to keep working to support his ebay addiction.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2007 at 12:48PM
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zone_8grandma

Correction, she's 61 not 62 - my typo, sorry.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2007 at 1:25PM
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flyingkite

Well, so far I heard only one side and her testimonials look very biased. I still dont think that $600 per month (7200 per year) would crash their financial wellbeing and keep coyote_gramma from dropping her job. I would also highly appreciate it if some details about junk purchases could be provided, unless there are some privacy concerns.

Of course, statements like "it's only "fair" for me to keep working as long as he's working" sound very alarming, but I donÂt think that "passive-aggression defense" is the best way to resolves ongoing conflict...

    Bookmark   August 15, 2007 at 1:49PM
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zone_8grandma

Well, so far I heard only one side and her testimonials look very biased

Yes, she was the OP, and she posted her side of the story. Responses were to her side.

I still dont think that $600 per month (7200 per year) would crash their financial wellbeing and keep coyote_gramma from dropping her job

$600 may be chicken feed to some households; it is a lot of money to others. Without knowing the whole picture (and none of us does), I don't see how one could arbitrarily decide that it wasn't enough money to be a problem.

statements like "it's only "fair" for me to keep working as long as he's working" sound very alarming

Sounds alarming to me as well. I retired last year after long talks with DH and both of us in agreement.

I dont think that "passive-aggression defense" is the best way to resolves ongoing conflict...

Agreed - that's why I strongly suggested she get professional counseling - ideally for both, but if he refuses, then she needs to get it for herself.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2007 at 3:29PM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana

I'm not making light of the Ebay problem, but I can relate to the addiction. I been there, done that...to a small degree years ago.

Your post reminded of something I saw/read long ago.

Sue

    Bookmark   August 16, 2007 at 12:52PM
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harriethomeowner

LOL chemocurl ...

    Bookmark   August 18, 2007 at 6:03PM
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