My wife kindof out of the blue last night got an idea for a short family vacation over Christmas time which is totally unappealling to me. (I don't even need to tell her that, she stated right up front "I'm sure you're not interested in this at all.")
We have 3 kids, late teens/early 20s, and she wants to invite their significant others, which would make this a trip for up to seven people. With airfare, hotels, etc, that could get really pricey. (She wants to go to Vegas, which, to me, is a strange place to take "kids" who aren't all 21.)
We *never* take expensive trips like this, so this is really kind of out of the blue. We do technically have the money, but we had earmarked it for other purposes (kitchen remodel is the big one).
I guess I'm mostly a little hurt that she would push to spend a lot of money on a trip she's fully aware does not interest me at all. I know that I would never do that to her.
It did, but it still bothers me that, when we disagree, she clearly sees my differing preference as an obstacle (standing in the way of what she wants) to be overcome, rather than as something to be honored and reconciled with her own.View Thread
Yeah--I did propose a couple alternatives. It appears that the idea has died a natural death to to incompatibility of our two older kids' schedules.
My wife and daughter are now looking at going to Cancun. I'd actually be totally OK with that. We are moving my elderly mother to our town in a few weeks, and if they took off for several days, it'd give me some time to spend with my mom helping her get settled in.
I go backpacking without my wife a few times a year (because she is not interested in backpacking), so I'd have no problem with her taking a trip she'd enjoy without me.View Thread
Sounds like cheating could definitely be a possibility, but one thing you need to keep in mind is that everyone has (and needs) some secrets. For most people, those secrets are fairly harmless--coming home early from work for a nap every now and then, spending $50 on that thing you didn't tell your spouse about, buying a bag of your favorite candy and hiding it, etc.
I know, when my wife is away for the day or the weekend, I enjoy that independence of just doing what I want, not being responsible to someone else. (Our kids are teens, so they are either off at college or don't care about my comings and goings.) I wouldn't secretly take a day off to enjoy that freedom, but it's not inconceivable to me that a person might do that.
Or, maybe he's cheating--if it's really important to you (oops--to "the wife"), than "the wife" will have to ask him and press for an answer.View Thread
One more thing about spending money: For almost everyone, major purchases are always a compromise to some extent between what we'd really like and what we feel we can prudently spend.
You said: "But, when it comes to significant purchases, like a car, or something expensive for the house or a trip, its usually a debate and there's always a certain $ amount that ends up getting put on it...."
I think this would be an accurate description of how major purchases get made in most families. Now, if he's buying an $80,000 luxury car for himself but insisting that you spend no more that $25,000, then obviously that is not reasonable. But if that's the process you both go through for a major purchase, that seems completely reasonable to me.
Again, I don't know you or your husband. Maybe he's completely controlling. But the examples you've given don;t paint the picture of a controlling husband to me--they just seem pretty typical.View Thread
My wife tends to communicate and act in passive aggressive ways sometimes. It has been a major source of frustration for me at times. Recently, I have taken to the simplest possible tactic for trying to change her behavior: I try very hard not to allow passive aggressive behavior or communication to get her what she wants.
So, if she asks me to clean up the kitchen, or speaks to me in an adult fashion about her desire for me to clean the kitchen more often, I try hard to respond positively. If she communicates that desire through passive aggressive actions, I make a point of not cleaning the kitchen more. A couple times when she has confronted me about this, I have just copped to it in a very honest fashion--"If you want me to be responsive to your preferences, then don't communicate them in a passive aggressive way."
On another note, I would add that neither my wife nor I would ever, ever, EVER make a purchase as major as living room furniture or travel without consulting the other. You mentioned something about how most wives would just buy the furniture they wanted and their husbands would be happy. I suspect you may be imagining that.
Your family clearly has a lot more disposable income than mine does, but even beyond that, I think you may have a conception of what is normal among your circles that may be distorted. I think most husbands would not be happy about that--they would prefer to have a say about spending significant amounts of money, and probably also about what style of furniture to purchase.View Thread
I'm the same age and have been married almost that long.
Some perspective: Men look. Pretty-much all men. My experience is that most women do, too. If my wife looks at some ripped 20-something guy (on TV or in real life), I'm not threatened by that at all. Of course I can't match that, physically: I'm 49 years old, balding, etc. But I'm her husband, and that guy isn't.
It sounds to me like you have a lot of stress in your lives right now. I think it's very telling that you didn't notice this before. I think it's quite possible that you've honed in on this one relatively little thing that it seems might be fixable because there's so much happening that seems out of your control.
Now, if he's openly flirting, that seems to cross a line. Maybe you might have some success separating the two issues: "Look, I know that you enjoy looking, and that's fine. Everyone looks. Who doesn't enjoy seeing a beautiful person in their prime? But you shouldn't be flirting--that's disrespectful to me."
Also, you could even make it kind of a game. My wife and I do that. She'll point out someone and say, "she's just your type--I bet you think she's pretty hot, don't you?" Heck, I'll rewind a scene of a hunky shirtless guy on TV if she missed it, 'cause I know she'd like to see it.
But mostly, I think that the stress in your life is really taking a toll, and you really should get some professional help in dealing with it.View Thread
On the paying for college thing--there's plenty of middle ground between "the kids are on their own" and "Mom and Dad will pay for every penny." We help out as much as we can with our college kids. I wouldn't pay for every penny, even if I could, for the reasons you cite, but college is tremendously expensive these days: to me, to saddle your kids with huge educational debt when you are comfortable and debt-free is terrible.
(When I was in college, if you had a good summer job and a part-time job during the school year, you could pay for college. That is most certainly not the case now.)
But the main thing for the OP is that it's not his money, its their money. And she should be an equal partner in deciding how it will be spent.View Thread
That's why you consult an attorney. Most states in the US have fairly comprehensive community-property laws: meaning that whatever is owned by one spouse is owned by both spouses in the eyes of the law, regardless of whose name the account or item is in.
Look, I'm not saying that you should just go straight for divorce. But you should use the leverage you have to improve your marriage. From what you've said, your husband doesn't seem like the kind of person who would just agree to go to counseling, make changes, share power, etc. And you have to start by knowing what your options are.View Thread