You are here

Anyone have a cheap husband? (petty rant)

Justthesecondwife's picture

Hi all,

Just a petty rant to get some things off my chest which have been burning me up the past while. Does anyone else have a DH/SO who is cheap with you and your family? Bonus points if he is cheap with your family but was the opposite with his "first" family?

Please don't peg me as a golddigger, I am far from it. I came into this marriage with the assets and savings, while my DH had much much less (nothing of substance). I work full time and earn a very nice living, as does DH, earning similar incomes. I am not looking for a man to pay my way for me. I pay far more than my fair share already.

My DH is a miser in this marriage. He is obsessed with not spending any money on our family or house, even for investment purposes, and if we have to, he insists on it being the cheapest way possible. I stopped the remodel of our home because he was so insistant on DIYing everything, or only using unlicensed cheap contractors, that it was dangerous (I sustained injuries which I count myself lucky - potentially someone could have been killed) and looks terrible. It actually devalued our home due to the terrible workmanship and poor finishes, like a kid did it. We can't go out to eat, or see a movie because it is a waste of money. If we go out on a weekend I pay for everything. DH never pulls his wallet out.

I am a frugal person, and rarely spend money on myself. I work hard and always have. It's not like I am trying to mooch off DH. I had my ducks in a row well before I met him. He, on the other hand, bought himself a high end sports car, and likes to wear designer clothes since he married me. I drive an old banger which breaks down at least every couple of weeks and my clothes are years old. It doesn't seem to bother him. Just for context.

Here is the twist. When DH was married to BM he not only supported her not working (and "turned a blind eye" i.e. enabled her criminal activities) but provided her with a live in maid, nanny, gardener, the works. He never expected her to lift a finger. He built her designer mansions with no expense spared, and the skids had every possible material items and activity to do, even show ponies! Their yearly birthay parties cost more than an average wedding. He blew all his money on the first family (never saved) and gave BM just about everything in the divorce as well as taking on the debts she accrued from credit cards he didn't know about. She left him for another man. 

I am getting very resentful of the huge double standard between DH's marriages. The kids are starting to notice and ask questions. What am I supposed to say, that DH valued his first family more than us? The skids and DH (not to mention his family) have told so many stories of the life they used to live that it is impossible to hide it from the kids. 

What I don't understand is that I would work hard anyway, and save anyway. But knowing that he expects me to bring home the bacon, and the kids to miss out, but treated his first family completely differently, stabs me in the heart. 

I feel like I am paying (literally) for DH and BM's sins. Some of you may remember my now estranged SD stole $20k from us which was our wedding and honeymoon money. So we missed out on all those celebrations. My resentment of this situation is increasing. I'm tired of hearing about, and seeing photos, of the life DH so gladly gave to BM, while I am exhausted, injured, and feel I'm being taken for granted.

What is it about some men who see an unintelligent, lazy, train wreck of a woman and want to look after her, but when a capable, educated and hardworking woman is in their life they lose all desire to look after them, and instead take advantage of that they bring to the table, expecting everything of them that they never expected of anyone else.

Apologies for my rant. I find it carthartic to write down. Currently DH is not speaking to me because after I was injured I lost my temper and told him he would never put his first family in this kind of situation. He just yelled at me that I was ungrateful and nothing is every good enough for me, including the remodel of our house. He is right, it is not good enough and I am not grateful to be on the downside of a double standard and the house remodel was a dangerous joke. I feel like he should have been saying those things to BM and the feral skids, not me who has provided more than he has ever had in his life. I don't like the feeling I am a scapegoat for everything he has done wrong in his life. It's not my responsibilty to make up for his poor financial decisions with spoiling BM and the skids. He had many years to set himself up, but chose to have BM and the skids live in the lap of luxury instead. It's one thing deciding to be more reponsible with finances, but another to expect the second wife to get the sloppy seconds and pick up the pieces becausee he already gave it all to the first.

Thanks for letting me vent :)  


Gimlet's picture

This is terrible, OP.  I would also feel hurt and devalued. This isn't petty at all.

Are your finances separate?  If they aren't, I would separate them ASAP and make sure Scrooge pays his fair share.   There is no way I would subsidize his poor decisions and continue to sacrifice just so he can spoil himself and his first family kids.  I wouldn't pay for a single thing for this man ever again.

What makes you want to stay with a man who would allow you to be hurt  because he doesn't want to share his resources with his wife and children?   You're driving an unreliable car, but have a good job, because you're either subsidizing him or allowing him to dictate what's worth it? 

Personally, if he doesn't want to change and isn't open to counseling, I would take my kids and move out.  At least if he pays CS he would be helping to support your mutual children.  

What a jerk.

Edit: So he has money for a sports car and designer clothes.  Does he pay his fair share of your mutual expenses?  Does he have any retirement money?  Are you driving a beater because you're paying more than your share?  Is he still giving money to skids? 

I'm curious about the details. 

Edit2: what happened with the "apology" from the SD who stole the 20k from you? 

Justthesecondwife's picture

petty. DH and I have quite separate finances, in fact he is very secretive with his accounts. We agreed we would each pay set common bills when we moved in. It seemed fair and the time but it has turned out that I actually pay double what DH does. Other than that we each pay for our own personal bills, insurance (separate), cars, phones, life insurance (DH's is a massive amount for skids to inherit, I have no idea why as he has nothing to leave me and the skids are adults who should be working forward their own futures - but don't). I also have been stuck with paying eveything for the kids. DH seems to think they live on air, and cannot grasp the actual costs of them.

We each pay for our own cars. DH decided to use all his savings and all the money he got from a part share in an asset after divorce to pay for it. It was meant to go into the family savings, as his sole contribution. Now the savings are only what I brought into the marriage. I consider this to be him not contributing to the marriage and have documented this in the case of a divorce. 

I drive a banger because I have issues with spending money on something which depreciated (my issues which I accept) and also because I don't have a lot of extra cash now my expenses are more than anticipated. He usually pays for his own designer clothing, though I have bought some as gifts. Needless to say DH is not what would call thoughful or generous in the gift giving department.

DH has some retirement in a fund, but much lower than what someone of his age should have (he is a decade older). I have retirement which corresponds to my age and also have assets which are for retirement income/liquidation.

Thankfully, aside from CS which should end this year (hopefully - though I think BM will go to court for further maintenance for poor adult skid), DH doesn't give money to skids any longer. I could be wrong as they have done it behind my back in the past but I'm not dwelling on it as I think he is quite disappointed in adult skids life choices.

As for the apology from SD so far I have not heard anything from her. I don't know is DH has been in contact, he likes to hide that from me. But apparently she isn't interested in his condition that she make things right with me and our family. Honestly, I have been relieved. I hope to never hear from her again.

Gimlet's picture

I read your other comments as well.  I'm sorry to hear that he's choosing to gaslight you and insult you when you're trying to have a calm discussion with him.  

Let's put the first family contributions aside for a moment.  Even without that, your husband makes foolish financial choices.  Choosing to buy a sports car instead of putting the money in savings when he does not already have adequate savings is a selfish and immature decision.   Not helping to pay for the needs of his own children is not acceptable ( and I know that stings even more when you regard it in the context of his other children, but for the sake of argument we won't here).  He doesn't have enough in retirement and he's a decade older than you are.  Where does that leave you in the future?  Are you willing to help fund his retirement?  Because it sounds like you will be doing that.  

If he makes as much as you do, do you know where his money is going?  If he was paying his fair share and saving for retirement, then I wouldn't worry about it, but in this case he's not and there seems to be a pretty big gap in what he earns vs. what he's able to contribute.  Something isn't adding up. 

Does his life insurance policy include your mutual children?  How old are they?  

I'm frugal too and I drive an 11 year old car, but it's pretty on the inside and it's very reliable.  Maybe consider getting a used Honda or Toyota and finding a good mechanic who can make sure you don't have any issues, while keeping the cost of ownership down.  I also hate putting money into something that depreciates, but you do need reliable transportation.  

Would he be willing to go to counseling with you?  This doesn't seem like a very equitable marriage and the fact that he gaslights and insults you is troubling.  What kind of father is he?  I'm really not seeing a lot of redeeming qualities in this man and I'm really not sure why he's telling you to be "grateful". 

You don't deserve to be treated this way.  This isn't OK.

Justthesecondwife's picture

I agree DH makes foolish decisions with finances. It feels like, because he now has me and I can look after myself, he is taking the opportunity to get all the things he wanted throughout his life. Whereas in his previous marriage he used his money for the desires of BM and not himself.

He has has a small life insurance policy which I am the beneficiary of. He expects me to look after the kids via this, even though they are young elementary ages and will need much more to raise them in the years to come if something happened to him. I think he just puts this in his basket of things I can take care of. Nothing for them separately, and my payout would be less than his adult skids. 

During our (calm/blow out) discussion, I put forth my feeling of being burdened with organising and funding retirement for both of us. he dismissed it, of course, but could give no explanation of how he expects to live off his own retirement. One of my issues is, as I mentioned to him, that I feel upset that while he was blowing his money on BM and skids and neglecting to save anything, I was sacrificing in my life, working hard and building a retirement. I told him this should not be my responsibility and it is not my burden to make up for his poor choices. He angrily said that is my problem that I "wasted" my youth by working hard and saving rather than having fun. So, no, I will not be willing to fund his retirement. He has had more than a decade of life than me, why is it my problem than he was stupid? It's not as though I gained anything from his flashing cash and got the maid, nanny etc. That was before my time.

He wants to to therapy on his own, to "find out what he is doing wrong and how to handle it". No mention of couples therapy. How I see it is he will tell a very biased side of his story, of course the therpist will tell him he does so much and I am using him and he will come home spouting even more that I am wrong and ungrateful. I suggested couples therapy. He pretended not to hear. I suspect he would be concerned the therapist would tell him he is taking advantage of me and to pull his own financial weight and also tell him he has double standards for wives.

He is/was a terrible father to skids. Total disney daddee, from birth and well beyond divorce. They never had chores, were waited on hand and foot (with a full time maid what can you expect!), and were told they were more special than anyone else in the world. He was the best friend/boyfriend to them and never set any boundaries, no parenting whatsoever. That backfired hard. They are both now lazy ferals who believe they should be provided with everthing they want on a golden platter. Drugs defnitely, just waiting on an arrest. 

With our kids he is much firmer. I am a strict mom, I expect high standards from my kids, as my parents did from me, and they have chores, etc. They both excel in academic and sporting pursuits which they understand comes down to working hard and diligence. DH seems a little jealous (not sure if that's the right word) regarding how well they do, and how well mannered they are. People are constantly telling us how polite and well behaved they are. To me, this should be a given at their ages if it is instilled in them from the get go. But I am noticing that more and more DH is making weird comments, like at a sporting game he will point out in a condescending way anything one of the kids did wrong, or could do better. He ignores when they make a great play. He downplays their achievements (I now they are only young so achievements may not continue but its good for self esteem to acknowledge them when they happen instead of knocking them down). There has been too many instances lately where one of the kids says something silly, or gives a wrong answer (DH quizzes them at the dinner table) and DH mocks them. He tells them he can't understsnd why they are in gifted programs when they say such dumb things. While this has been going on DH has started saying it is a shame older skid dropped out of college because it a waste of being "super smart". Skid was okay in school but only just above average. He said this to my parents too in front of me and they gave me the raised eyebrows. They know older skid is not "super smart". They asked me later what is up with DH exaggerating about skid?

I'm not sure why DH is insisting I "must" be grateful. I think he had a white knight complex with BM where he felt like a big strong man for rescuing her (little did he know that she was hanging on every swinglng d**k around and older skid isn't even his - this is a big secret that skid has no idea about) and providing for her. It's very strange though, as I know fir sure that BM never appreciated anything. She constantly went to his parents, and her parents, complaining about how bad of a husband DH was and how he didn't provide adequately for her. So, it's not as though she was a grateful goddess who lauded him as a king, the opposite really. The she finally left him for one of the guys she was sleeping with. Maybe that's it, though. She wasn't grateful, no matter what opulence he provided for her, and he is desparate to be lauded. Narc trait. And it won't be by me unless he actually does something which I'm not providing for myself and the kids already Smile

fakemommy's picture

Hmm. I really think couples counseling and financial counseling would help you both. It seems DH made a lot of financial mistakes in his first marriage and has now over-corrected. I doubt it has anything to do with you vs BM, but more of a panic not to end up in the same situation he was in before.

lieutenant_dad's picture

It sounds like he was TOO open in the first marriage, so in this one, he has swung all the way to the other side to be TOO frugal.

I can appreciate someone saying "I overspent in my last relationship and need to course-correct in this one". DH and I have done that. His credit was in shambles when we met, and I was in debt up to my eyeballs, both of us from funding our first marriages far outside our means to "keep the peace" and feel like good providers.

Now? We live as debt-free as possible and both have great credit. We COULD afford a bigger house, nicer cars and clothes, etc. We just don't. I'm usually the one keeping the wallet shut because I don't want either of us to fall back into old habits.

However, we enjoy the money we have and contribute as equally as possible to our mutual enjoyment. Your DH, though, sounds bitter over how he was treated by his XW (not realizing that he allowed the treatment) and is treating you like you'd treat him the same. That's both fair and unfair. It's fair in that he can spend his money how he wants to. It's unfair when he's doing that to the detriment of your relationship AND is benefitting from the fruits of your labor but not offering anything in return (e.g. you having to pay for all the dates out with your own husband).

I think you are at a tipping point where you and DH would benefit from couples, individual, and financial counseling. I don't think it's unfixable, but if your DH keeps his head buried up his arse much longer, your resentment is going to be too much to overcome.

I don't want to believe that he's purposefully doing this because he "loved" his first family more. I think this is a knee-jerk reaction from someone who tends to play at the extreme ends of the spectrum. He can easily swing closer to the middle and not make you feel second-rate while also protecting himself. If he can't, he has no business being in a relationship.

Justthesecondwife's picture

Course-correcting is a good thing after finances have gone awry.

Unfortunately this does not seem to be the case here. I wish it was. I opened up a discussion with DH (ignoring his silent treatment) regarding how I have been feeling. I had some expectations that DH may offer the same valid points which you raised, and we could come to a reasonable compromise. I considered what posters said about trying to turn his spending around to make up for his irresponsible lifestyle with BM and was ready to cut him some slack and ove forward with a fair financial plan.

Well that was a mistake. DH went ballistic at me. He completely denied that he provided BM and skids with a lavish lifestyle (which is a fact with plenty of evidence) and repeated over and over that I was making false assumptions. He justified everything he did for his first family and completely revised history. He tried to convince me that BM paid for half or more of their expenses, totally contridicting everthing he has told me previously, which I have seen in documents, and what his family and skids have repeated multiple times. He told me BM worked throughout their marriage. That she purchased her own expensive car and got a loan for it herself (how is that possible without a job? DH paid for it, I have seen the documents). SMH, did he honestly expect me to believe his revised version of the evidential history?

He got nasty again, and was yelling, while I remained calm. He accused me again of being ungrateful and that I should be happy with what I have. Yeah, the things I have I earned and bought myself. If I'm going to be grateful it's because my parents taught me the importance of education, a work ethic and being responsible with money. What I have has nothing to do with him. It came from me. 

I ended up saying to him why does he feel the need to speak to me in the manner he does. He treats absolutely everyone else with nothing but respect and kindness, no matter what evil things they have done, yet I am the only one he would ever deign to yell at or call names. His answer was that I treat him worse than anyone else ever has. 

Wow, this was a surprise to me, considering I've read the emails SD has written him blasting him for being a terrible father and telling him she hats his and never wants to see him again, I've seen dozens of emails/letters from BM from when they were together as well as after the divorce saying the most horrible things that I have never said anywhere near the realm of.

Yet I'm the worst. At that stage I was done. I told him the only thing I could ever rely on from him is that he will protect his first family and defend them to the death. Then I told him he should go back to his only loves and walked out. I am sleeping in another room. I coud hear him keeping on going with his tirade about how I "never" stop.

Thanks Lieutenant, I agree with your sentiments, and appreciate you replying. I agree that everything you said could and should have been the reasoning behind DH's cheapness. Unfortunately it seems your last paragraph doesn't add up to his behaviour after the extremes he went to in order to protect his first family and completely denigrate me. I am not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but to tell me I was the worse person he has had in his life just topped it all off for me.

thinkthrice's picture

Chef gives ZERO thought to price 99% of the time.  He shops in the highest priced grocery stores, is disorganized and often loses expensive tools so he'll just go out and buy another one.  He has at least 3 of everything.  He overbuys food and makes too much thinking we'll eat leftovers for 5 days. He's the first one to say "no more leftovers" though!

He wants Tbone steak?  Off he goes and buys it with at full retail price with no qualms ever because everything he buys, "he deserves."   He never stocks up when something is on sale.  

Will never look to see if we have something already (spices, ingredients etc.)  Just will buy more. 

One of the reasons I look forward to retirement.  He'll no longer be able to spend, spend, spend.  I will take back the kitchen and grocery list.  Then I will tackle his huge piles and get them organized (selling what we don't need of course)

SeeYouNever's picture

My husband is overly generous which has its own set of problems. However he was even more generous (stupid) with BM. I feel as though I subsidize his lifestyle. With me around he can afford a luxury vehicle while I drive a small fuel efficient car. I chose the car so I'd have money for other things, turns out those other things are him. 

thinkthrice's picture

"overly generous with others"

Another classic narcissist sign

Justthesecondwife's picture

You have a very good point. My DH may not be a full blown narc (which his daughter is) but he has many narc traits, he has not been tested to see if he is dx as narc. We have discussed this and he has admitted it. One of them being his is simply incapable of ever taking personal responsibility for his actions, and will blame others (me 99% of the time) for his own mistakes. There are other unpleasant things which go along with it, such as expecting ove the top praise for everything he does, caring only about what benefits him etc.

Justthesecondwife's picture

I feel for you. It is a horrible feeling being taken for granted to subsidise your DH, when it is for his pleasure and your sacrifice. I'm sorry you are in this situation.

Monkeysee's picture

Do you have separate finances? If not you need to separate finances. And he should be paying you back every single cent you put towards the $20k that was stolen, seeing as how he doesn’t see a reason to get it back from his kid. 

He likely regrets spending the way he did in his first marriage & is overcorrecting by being far too frugal, and I can understand completely why that upsets you. The good thing is that you’re in a good financial position yourself, and you don’t have to subsidize his designer clothing at all if you don’t want to. Split the bills down the middle, or in whatever split makes sense for your situation, and keep the rest for yourself. I’d also stop asking him about the remodel, save your money and just get it done the way you want it done yourself. 

Justthesecondwife's picture

she took the money. And he now demands I "leave the past in the past" and never speak of any of it again. Like I can just forget being stolen from, having no wedding/honeymoon, constant stress and fighting throughout the marriage due to his shitty choices. Apparntly it doesn't matter that SD, or his other poor choices, caused an immense amount of hurt, sacrifice and ruined what should have been a happy time. He doesn't want to take responsibility for his actions, nor will he admit to any fault of his spawn or BM. It is very invonvenient for him so instead he demands I "move on" and tells me every issue in our relationship is because of us (namely me) and that it is not caused by anyone else so I must stop "blaming" (he loves this word) and be grateful for what I have. 

ndc's picture

If he was cheap with you and your family, but also cheap with himself, I might suggest counseling to help him get over whatever financial issues he has from his first marriage.  But if he's buying himself a sports car and designer clothes while putting you in a dangerous situation with a cheap-ass remodel and making your kids feel less than, then I think he's just a selfish ass.

Is the rest of your relationship good?  Is there any reason you couldn't start treating yourself and your kids and let him pick up some of the day to day slack, as it sounds like you are contributing more than your share.

Justthesecondwife's picture

as long as I don't ever bring up his "past", which includes the SD who is again trying to blow up our lives, as well as never again speak of the money she stole, how we didn't get a wedding/honeymoon, how his choices even after we were together caused a bucketful of financial loss and stress and nearly divorce. 

Basically it's great if I don't have any feelings, never have any issues with anything whatsoevery, and praise him for being a shining god of a man in everything he does. You may be able to tell I am feeling a lot of anger towards him at the moment, so my answers may be on the negative side. 

GoingWicked's picture

I'm going to just take a wild guess that when your DH was with BM they ran up a huge debt.  Mine did too, DH and BM spent tons of money while they were married.  Though, between the two of them they made less than what DH makes alone now.  So they weren't exactly living the high life.  When we got married and I learned the full scope of his situation, I paid off their debt, took his finances under control and taught him how to say no to spending unnecessary spending.

My DH, for the most part, treats me like his queen.  If I let him, he would spend all his money making me happy.  To me, this is the only thing that makes this stepfamily situation bearable.  

Stepkids aside, I don't think I could be with someone that could spend money on designer clothes and fancy sports car, period.  Just not the kind of person I could imagine being happy with.  Add in the fact that he couldn't then "afford" to take me on a date and I wouldn't have ever gone on a second date with him.  

I think you need to stop expecting that because you're a successful woman that can pay for that date and take care of herself you deserve to be loved (because really that is just as shallow as the guy hoping his fancy car will make someone appreciate him), and start looking at yourself as a just a woman with intrinsic value, who deserves and expects to be valued by her SO and taken care of.

Justthesecondwife's picture

BM ran up a huge debt. Crdit cards DH didn't know about and even went as far as going to several member of his family claiming DH was too embarassed to admit it himself but they were short of money and needed loans. In the thousands. DH, in all his misery of BM leaving him and trying to get her back, even after the divorce, volunteered to take on all her debts. Yay for him.

My DH often opines about how he wishes he could do all these things for me, buy me a nice car, etc. I have trouble believing him though considering he earns much more money now than when he was with BM, and the lifestyle he gave to her was just ridiculously lavish, new cars etc. He didn't go into debt for her lifestyle, but he did't save any money. But now he earns much more, I earn just as much and for some reason he "can't" afford anything. Funny that. 

I really like your last paragraph. Thank you for this insight. You are completely right. I don't think I deserve love because I can look after myself, but I definitely think I deserve to be respected and valued by my DH. He chose to marry me, and I deserve to be treated well and valued by him, just as I do to him.