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
"Its frustrating because we are not poor! In fact, we are sitting very well, financially - no debt whatsoever and substantial savings and investments."
I think you have put your finger on what, to be blunt, is important to him.
If you were to divorce him, half of those resources would be yours. Maybe you need to remind him of that?
Seriously, I think the two of you need professional counseling--badly. My advice would be to invite him to participate with you with the understanding that if he chooses not to , you will be consulting with a divorce attorney.View Thread
How about just being very honest? Hug and say "I wish I felt as safe and comforted in your arms as I used to. I hope that I will again some day."
Honestly, that's the main reason I started posting here some years ago--I was having some marital issues and didn't really have any confidant IRL other than my wife that I could discuss it with.View Thread
The TV thing does sound a little controlling, but here's the sentence that really stuck out to me:
"He wants to do something with me every single weekend so we'll usually go walking or shopping."
You say that as if you think it's unusual or a burden to you (unless I'm misreading you). I would think that doing *some* thing together every weekend (unless someone is out of town or something) would be a minimal basic expectation for married couples. The two of you may be operating under very different assumptions about this sort of thing.
Whether I or anyone else thinks he's controlling is really not important--clearly you feel that way, and that is what matters. Have you considered seeking counseling together to talk about that? Do you talk to him about it? (I mean outside the heat of the moment, when you're angry about this or that specific thing.)View Thread
What do the two of you do together when you are home? He may be controlling, or maybe he values that companionship time more than you realize.
My wife and I are a little younger than you--our youngest child is still at home (he is 16), we both work full-time, and both have other pursuits. So our companionship time can be limited sometimes. I notice that this bothers me more than it bothers my wife. To me, it is a high priority to leave some time for companionship with her. To her, it is more like what just happens sometimes when we both happen to be home. I'm not controlling--I want my wife to be healthy and happy and to take care of herself mentally and physically and emotionally, and to have pursuits of her own. But I also want to spend time with her.
Or maybe he's just controlling, I don't know. Have you asked him? We had a counselor once recommend scheduling at least 30 minutes of one-on-one companionship every day. It could be walking the dogs, doing the dishes together, sex, whatever, but it's 30 minutes that you both set aside for being together. That was very helpful advice for us.View Thread