You are here

DH doesn't want to work but wants to spend money

ladybug3's picture

I've seen the warning signs for a while but I'm kicking myself for being so stupid. When DH and I were dating he lied about his work history. Not huge lies, but small enough that I didn't realize he jumped from job to job every few months. He said things like, "I've worked at such and such a place for three years," when in reality he had technically worked there for three years, just not consecutively. As far as I can tell he's never held the same job for more than a year at a time. 

About a year into our marriage he got his "dream job" (his words) and was making almost double what I was making. We had plenty of money to put in savings and buy the things we wanted. Nine months into that job he quit out of the blue. He had promised me that he would never walk off the job, and he definitely wouldn't quit without another job lined up. He did both of those things and didn't seem to care how much it upset me. He had plenty of excuses for why it should be acceptable for him to be unemployed. 

Meanwhile, I'm working the same job I've had for almost two years and my income barely covers our bills. 

DH found a new job about two weeks after walking off the last job. This one pays way less and it's only part-time (versus the other job that was giving him 15 hours of overtime every week). Now, I don't care much about money. I shop at Goodwill and I've always been fine with that. DH, on the other hand, seems to not understand the concept of money. He convinced me to buy him a brand new motorcycle (back when he had a really good job). He is constantly trying to get me to buy him drones and model cars and other extremely expensive toys. 

I say that he asks me to buy them for him because we combine our finances and DH has absolutely nothing to do with money management. I've tried to educate him and get him involved but he won't. He has a credit card but I've told him before that if he starts making irresponsible purchases without talking to me that I'll shut it off. Our marriage didn't start out this way, it's turned into a dictatorship as far as money is concerned due to his irresponsible behavior. 

His boss gave him a broken 3D printer that he has been begging me to let him fix (it'll cost $500, so that's a no). He wants to buy a PS4 because his brother has one, and when his brother asked him when he was going to get it, DH had the nerve to say, "The wife won't let me get one." Your PART-TIME JOB won't let you get one you a**hole. 

This rant was prompted by a phone call from DH this morning. I'm at work, like a normal adult, and DH wasn't scheduled to work today. For some reason he felt the need to call me after I'd been at work for about an hour to let me know that his boss had called him to see if he wanted to work today. DH told him no. He thought I would find that funny. I didn't and so he hung up on me. 

I texted him, "You can't work a part time job while constantly asking me to buy you things and then expect me to think it's funny when you won't work more hours that your boss is offering you. No offense." I guarantee that I'll get the silent treatment until tomorrow, which I'm kind of looking forward to. 


Gimlet's picture

This isn't a husband.  This is a spoiled child.  

Separate your finances right now.  Let him feel the pain of his decisions and stop subsidizing his petulant ass.

beebeel's picture

He won't magically become responsible if you separate your finances. You will still be stuck paying the majority of your expenses. He will blow his money on stupid toys he can't afford and expect you to keep footing the bills. 

ladybug3's picture

You may be right. I'm hoping though that by separating our finances and forcing him to pay half for rent, electric, etc., he gets an idea of just how much our bills really are. His entire income for a month will just barely cover rent, let alone the rest of the essentials we have to pay for.

beebeel's picture

How old is he? My DH sucked at managing his finances in his early 20s. He was fully aware of this, however, and turned it over to me. He wasn't a child about it, never blamed me for what he couldn't afford, and he always had a job or two. Working part time was never an option as He had two kids to support. He has matured a lot concerning finances now that we are approaching 40, but had he done what your DH is doing, I would have chucked his ass out 15 years ago.

He sucked at keeping track of when bills were due and keeping track of how much was in his account ( those were the days I was still balancing a physical checkbook!) That is a problem with money management. Buying $500 toys when you can barely afford rent isn't a money management problem. It's a lack of maturity problem.


ladybug3's picture

DH will be 30 in two months. He's way too old to be acting this way. I'm fine with managing the finances because I'm good at it and DH isn't. We both know that. I'm even fine with telling DH what he can and cannot buy. But then like you said his immaturity comes in and ruins everything.

StepUltimate's picture

I am experiencing similar spendy DH issues right now... although DH has a great FT job & we split accounts. SUCKS!

Sorry you're dealing with this too.

Gimlet's picture

Agreed beebeel.  I'm hoping that at least he won't see OP's money as "ours" and might have to recognize that he can't afford a PS4 instead of making her the bad guy.

But with someone with this mentality, you're probably right.  Same problem with a different layout.

susanm's picture

TALK to him?  Talk is cheap.  Action is what gets peoples' attention.  It is not like he has not gotten plenty of notice and opportunity to make changes.  Just separate the finances and tell him when it is done.  Pay what you are legally required to pay and that is all.  

ladybug3's picture

He's only been at this part-time job for a few months. His behavior has only recently started to turn more immature in regards to him wanting me to buy things for him that we can't afford. I'm not willing to take such a drastic step like separating our finances unless I know he won't change. I've started taking tiny steps (like cancelling his Netflix account) to get his attention. 

susanm's picture

A few months?  The man is 30 and a father and has been lying to you about his history.  This behavior is part of a pattern of his life and that does not change unless something drastic happens.  And you know that in your heart whether you want to deal with it now or not.  I wish you nothing but the best as you figure this out.  

lieutenant_dad's picture

Yep. 100% this.

OP, been where you are before. My XH HATED his job and would work as few hours as he could. So long as bills were paid, he was fine with that. Except, just like your DH, he wanted expensive things.

I was THRILLED when he finally graduated college and got a "real job" because I thought it would fix the behavior. Nope. Within 3 months of having that job, he was complaining that he wasn't making what he should have been since he had a degree. His pay was low, sure, but he was a BRAND NEW grad with ZERO experience working in a pharma research lab and getting his name published on research! Didn't matter - wasn't enough money.

When I left him, I lived with my parents for nearly 2 years just so I could dig myself out of the debt hole we had put ourselves in trying to help him keep up with the Joneses.

If you aren't in debt, separate finances, turn off his credit card, and file for legal separation NOW. Protect yourself first and foremost since he isn't willing to.

ESMOD's picture

Are you married to my EX husband.. or my Ex Boyfriend? (in the latter case.. he has a fugitive file out for his arrest.. so be forwarned).. lol.

For people with such enormous egos it's amazing how there are guys out there that will have zero problem leaning on their SO for financial assistance... no shame.

You are exactly right.. "it's been tight financially with you only working a part time job.. THAT is why we cannot afford fancy toys.  Once you find a full time job, these things may be possible".

It's ridiculous that he can't find work.. there are jobs everywhere.  But I guess his work history and work ethic are holding him back.

ladybug3's picture

I started searching through court records with DH's name when I found out he had been lying about his job history lol... so I'm pretty sure he's not a fugitive. 

The worst part with DH is that he is completely capable of finding a job. He actually has people contacting HIM to see if he'll come work for them. He just doesn't want to work, it's literally that simple. I got him a job interview and when he went to it they told him he had the job, he just needed to fill out some paperwork. He never called them back because he found the part-time job that he works now, which was much more appealing to him than 40 hours a week. 

ladybug3's picture

He goes through moments of clarity where he realizes how childish he's being. In the past that gave me hope that he would grow up and be an responsible adult. But the clarity always passes and he's back to not wanting to work.

tog redux's picture

I could not be married to someone like this. As far as I am concerned, being able to manage money in a reasonable manner is an adult skill that everyone CAN and SHOULD learn, and people who don't are just not capable of delaying gratification or are selfish and immature.

I don't want to work either, but guess what, I have to, it's not DH's job to support me. Ugh, total deal breaker for me.

Agree with Gimlet. Separate finances now. Demand his share of the bills and don't let him off the hook.

Winterglow's picture

Maybe an appointment with a financial adviser to go over your situation with him might get it through his thick skull that you don't have money to play with?

Kiwi_koala's picture

What?! He's treating you like your his mother!!! I wouldn't have any respect for him and I know I would be totally turned off sexually. 

Do you have a joint account? I would be shutting that down immediately. As far as I understand even if he doesn't manage that account if his name is on the account he still has access to it. I just wouldn't be able to trust him because he already lied about his work history, he abruptly quits jobs without a second one lined up and spends money on toys essentially. I would be afraid that when he starts becoming even more comfortable in the relationship that he would take money out of the account and rack up debt.

How on earth does he pay for his child with this part time job?

ladybug3's picture

He currently doesn't see his son due to custody issues with BM. They're going to trial in February. The part-time job is somewhat recent, so DH has always been able to provide for SS since up until a few months ago he has always had a full-time job. I don't know if not needing to be responsible for a child has given him the feeling that he doesn't need to be responsible at all, or if he's just devolving as the relationship progresses and it has nothing to do with SS. 

Kiwi_koala's picture

So he doesn't care if he leaves you in financial ruins and isn't interested in providing for the life he has with you? Just his son? It seems to me that maybe now his issues are coming to your attention after being with him for some time. They've probably always been there. 

Siemprematahari's picture

So many red flags, let me count the ways.

1. When DH and I were dating he lied about his work history.

2. Nine months into (his so called dream job) he just quit out the blue?

^^^^^^^^^^^what happened at this job that you have no knowledge of?

3. He convinced me to buy him a brand new motorcycle back when he had a really good job.

Let this be a lesson that he cannot "convince" you of making crazy purchases like that regardless of how good a job he has. He's not capable of sustaining one for more than a year.

You have to separate finances and please know this will place you in more debt and probably financial ruin because he can't manage or make sound decisions regarding finances to save his life.

How long will you continue with this little boy that keeps jeopardizing your financial wellbeing and not giving a f@ck when the next bill is paid?

ladybug3's picture

1. DH has serious self-esteem issues. I'm not making excuses for him but he exaggerates and tells white lies about a lot of things because of how insecure he is. It's something he's working on and I've seen him improve a lot in the past two years. But yes, when we were dating he lied about a lot of things to try and impress me and people around us. 

2. It was a very physical job. DH broke his back two and half years ago and he was in pain every night after work and it was getting worse. That doesn't excuse quitting out of the blue with no other job lined up, but that was his reason. 

3. Yes, he definitely will not be convincing me to buy him anything else. From now on, if he wants something, he can save his own money for it after he's paid half the bills.

ndc's picture

This is a problem that separating finances isn't going to solve.  This is a laziness/work ethic problem.  And it's not temporary - if he's gotten to almost 30, with a child and a wife, and he's still like this, the likelihood of real change isn't great.  Even though you say you don't need a lot of money and it isn't important to you, I don't hold out a lot of hope for your marriage.  A husband with a poor work ethic, who in spending habits/wants vs. responsibilities is acting like a child, isn't going to have your respect for long.  You will begin to resent him.  You don't seem to have the same values - you value responsibility, hard work, stability, family.  None of those seem to be on his priority list.

What I would do in this situation *is* to separate finances, even though I think it's a short term band-aid.  Do not pay more than your share of the household expenses.  Do not buy him any toys.  Do not pay anything toward his child or his court/legal costs.  Ask him to have his paycheck direct deposited into an account that YOU control so it can be used for bills.  If it's not enough, tell him to get a second job or add hours to the one he has.  You'll learn a lot from how he responds to all that.  Meanwhile, I'd also be getting my ducks in a row in case things don't work out.  And most important, DO NOT procreate with this man unless and until he shows you that he can be responsible.

Exjuliemccoy's picture

is everything I was going to say, with emphasis on not getting pregnant.

I'm sorry, but this "man" is showing you that he's not the type you want to start a family with. He's a mess, and no matter how much effort you put into trying to improve his character, he is who he is. You may be able to force him to change a bit, but it will come at the cost of your respect and regard for him. By the time he shapes up (if he ever does) you may not even like the end product.


Lollybobs's picture

None of  us 'want' to work but hey it's just part of adult life. Don't tell him you're going to separate your finances - just do it. Then go through all bills with him and tell him that he will be paying half. I think he probably needs to see the reality of how little money will be left.

advice.only2's picture

Is your DH behind in CS? Does he quit the jobs when the CS department gets wind of where he's working and so he leaves and finds a new job?

I know a guy that is doing this, he is going through sever PAS with his ex and he refuses to pay her a dime until he see his kids. He largely works under the table, but when he gets an actual job he doesn't last there long because then the CS starts to take his paychecks. Not saying that's a good way to be, but I understand his reasoning.

Harry's picture

Making excuses for him only helps you.  Breaking his back is a major thing.  He has to find a non physical job.  Maybe retraining for something will help..  This is not the life for you.  You have to work to survive,  He does not care.  This does not make a good marriage 

DH does what he wants all the time, never thinking of what bad can happen.  He see BM when ever he wants, he do for BM when he wants.  He does not respect you. Instead of respecting you he lies to you to make it look like it's it not his fault. When in fact it is his fault.

NotSoStepStepmom's picture

I wouldn't last five minutes with someone like that. My DH is horrible with money BUT he has acknowledged it and now I handle the finances and things are much better. He works hard, too. Honestly, some people simply have no sense when it comes to money and budgeting.

Tell your DH to stop being a MAN-CHILD and get to work!

Aniki's picture

I was married to this and I will tell you straight out that it is unlikely to change AND that you will need to lock down the finances like Hannibal looking for brains after a ganja binge. 

  • I had to take away ex's bank access (checks and bank card). He would see how much money was in the account and spend it. Then the bills would hit the account and there was not enough money. 
  • He stole MY credit card number, bought things, and hid them from me. At that time, the bill came in the mail. I was a bloody wreck and disregarded the missing bill because it should have had a zero balance. The CC company called me about the missed payment. When I heard the charged amount (in the THOUSANDS), I damn near had a nervous breakdown. Why? BECAUSE I HAD TO PAY THAT BILL SINCE IT WAS IN MY NAME. 


Sweetie, I'm sorry, but your 'D'H is a freaking ASSHAT. You are, as previously mentioned, married to a spoiled child. No, he does NOT want to work. He wants to be a SAHC (Stay At Home Child) whlle you play Mommy, go to work, and pay all the bills, AND buy him his $$$ toys. 

Don't expect him to change. DO expect him to be royally peeved IF you are able to lock down the finances. 

Only you can determine if you want to remain married to a spoiled, petualant child. {{hugs}}

ladybug3's picture

Thanks for the advice, I really appreciate it. I have already taken steps to make sure he can't put me in a bad situation. Thankfully, part of his immaturity is him not caring about our money at all. When we got married he was given access to the bank app I use, but he has literally never checked it, and it isn't installed on his phone. He has no idea how much money we have unless I tell him, which means he's never tempted to blow it. 

I also check out bank statements almost daily on my phone because I do sometimes worry about him misusing the credit card. At least he handles being told "No" a little bit better than a petulant child lol

Petronella's picture

"At least he handles being told "No" a little bit better than a petulant child lol"

It's really not funny at all. 

Aniki's picture

Are you certain the steps you took will protect you from having to pay his bills? If you divorce, you may have to pay him alimony.

A manchild who reeeeeeally wants money for pricey toys will find a way to get them. Because you are married, he sees the money YOU earn as HIS. I believe that, if he knew how much was in the bank, he would make an effort to "cash in" on it. 

And he very much DOES care about money - for HIMSELF. If he did not care, he wouldn't want a $$$ motorcycle or $$$ toys. He'd be content with relatively few, inexpensive things. Certainly not man toys.

Petronella is right: it is really not funny at all. Perhaps you chose to laugh instead of cry...

ladybug3's picture

I don't think I would be stuck paying alimony. I know enough about how the laws work in my state to know that if I hired a lawyer I would 100% be able to prove that DH's earning potential is wayyyy higher than mine. The fact that he has a CDL automatically raises his earning potential, and then add to that the fact that he held a very high-paying job for nine months I'm not worried. 

He does know how much money we have. We've saved up a lot in the past two years and he's never done anything to try and mess with that. Sure he constantly asks for expensive things, but he has never taken out money if I said no. 

I laugh about the situation because even though he makes me angry I love him. I know I make him angry with some of the things I do, but he still loves me. I just needed to rant about this to peole who don't know DH and therefore can't say mean things to him (like my family or his family would). I really do appreciate the advice though.

HowLongIsForever's picture

I also check out bank statements almost daily on my phone because I do sometimes worry about him misusing the credit card.

Everything else aside, look at this statement and really think about the emotional aspect of this behavior.  You trust in him so little that you compulsively micromanage your account balance.  That is your (short lived) security.  That is how you cope with this imbalance in your relationship.

You don't need to answer to us but a few questions to think about:

Is that a dynamic that you're comfortable with for the rest of your life?

If not, what would you need from him in order to change that dynamic and make you feel safe in trusting him financially?

Do you believe he's willing and capable of that?  

Are you willing and capable of allowing for that?

Do you know where your deal breaker is?

Try to not set yourself up to be the only adult in the relationship.  There is so much more at stake here than monthly bills and credit scores.  This affects not only your present but your future.  Such extreme differences in values can be difficult, if not impossible, to overcome in a healthy manner.


DarkStar's picture

Your comment "I'm not willing to take such a drastic step like separating our finances unless I know he won't change." says that you, my dear, are enabling this a$$hat's behavior.
How will you ever "know" he won't change? Past behavior indicates future behavior. You can make all of the excuses in the world for him (and you are making a lot of them) and still justify to yourself that you need to give him a chance, give him time, give him give him give him.....until he bleeds you dry and you're crying your way to divorce and bankruptcy.
He is telling you LOUD and CLEAR who he is and the type of person he is likely to be tomorrow, next week, and next year. It's up to you if you want to listen.

ladybug3's picture

I've never communicated with him the way I feel about these things. Sure, for normal adults the way I feel is a given, but expecting him to read my mind is not realistic. I will talk to him about how I feel and about how the way he acts affects us, and then I'll give him a chance to change. We aren't in debt, not even close, which is why I'm not freaking out and separating our finances ASAP. 

So yes, you could be right, and he might never change. But I've done my fair share of changing in this marriage after he TALKED to me about my behavior. If he had cut me off or shut me down just because he didn't like something I was doing, I would be beyond hurt that he couldn't at least communicate with me first. So I'm giving him the same treatment. 

CLove's picture

so maybe print out your post and read it to him?????

I know you wanted a vent without solutions presented, but well you got pleny of opinions and solutions already. Ill just give you an idea of how we work the finances in my household. So no jugement, simply information.

When I first met DH I was jobless and living with my ex in an abusive situation, but I was being supported financially and VERY dependant.

When I first got together with DH in a monogamous relationship, he was separated not yet divorced and I had a VERY parttime job. He supported us by paying all rent and bills as well as food. I just paid for my car needs as well as phone.

We have gradually become 50/50, for various reasons. I NOW make the exact same amount as he, however he has $1100 of debt monthly that I do not have. I end up being able to buy more and do more than he, because he has a car loan and my car is paid, he has child support and spousal support and I do not.

We have in the past discussed what he would like to do in his future, to ty another career at a government job with benefits and retirement accounts. He would have to take a cut in pay, but it would result in possibly adding 20k to his now pay, over time and it would be enjoyable.

These things we discuss between us, and as we are buying a house (in a few days), we discuss home improvements we want to make and I honor his wishes (mostly) and he honors mine.

I hope that you work things out and he honors you, dear lady.

ladybug3's picture

I need to vent anonymously on the internet because if I keep it in or blow up on DH I end up hurting my relationship. And I'm fine with getting advice from people on here, but I am genuinely not interested in getting divorce, which seems to make people on here angry. 

DH has been dependant his whole life, which is something I'm just now starting to understand. I believe he can change, just like you did in your situation. 

I appreciate your kind words, and I'm glad your situation worked out so well for you. 

CLove's picture

Its a work in progress, always! And we are now 51/52. DH has always been the one who is concious of money and spending, but then he will go out and buy a pair of Jordans or take me out for a lobster dinner. He has no savings and I do. We are working on that together.

So, he can change as I have changed, but you wil have to ratchet things up a bit. As I read your first post, and then the subsequent comments, I would suggest that you ask him what is going on? Why not get a job that he loves, and can handle without being in constant pain?

I say this because the only job I walked out on without having another one lined up, I was working for an abusive CPA, and was sick constantly. I did temp work, and that was horrible, but it caused me to look around and REALLY focus on what I wanted. Like as in visualisations. Maybe he needs a career change and didnt want to mention going to get a certification or degree...I id tax prep school to help me change careers/build careers. And then each crappy job helped build me to a better place.

So - about the "angry" comments - we all see this so often in steplife - and maybe we are a little rough sometimes...trying to help people with a sledgehammer lol. But take what you need and leave the rest.


hereiam's picture

DH doesn't want to work but wants to spend money

I'd tell him to start looking for a sugar mama, 'cuz I am not it.


tog redux's picture

So, here's what I would do:

Sit him down tonight and tell him in no uncertain terms that you two cannot survive on your income and his part-time income, and he will need to get a job with more hours.  Show him the budget and what is spent on what.  Set a date together for when he will have this new job. 

Make him learn about the finances.  I think it's one thing to split chores in a home when both parties are capable of it, but when you take over because he's "not good at it", you are enabling him.  Let him know your limits and what you will and won't do if he doesn't get another job. 

If he refuses, you do not have a partner, and it may be time to call it quits. Don't treat him like a child just because he acts like one. Let him know you expect to be married to a man who can pull his weight, not a boy. 

thinkthrice's picture

But then again you knew that shortly after the "bait and switch."  In my case Chef is a hard worker BUT if he doesn't like the boss, etc he'll QUIT ON THE SPOT which he has done SEVERAL times much to my chagrin. 

He also knows that I am working a full and steady job so it makes it easier as there's a safety net. 

Let me guess.  He is the baby of the family?  Not all baby of the family kids are like this but the majority are.  I am the eldest in my family and even if I LOATHED a job, I would never in my wildest dreams quit without a backup.

Either you become a sugar mama and harbour boatloads of resentment or you INSIST he gets a full time job AND a part-time job to keep him working seven days a week.  If he doesn't, then turn tail and RUN!