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Going from combined to separate finances without WWIII?

bd-sm's picture

Has anyone gone from combined to separate finances with DH without causing serious a angst? How did you manage it?

I'm starting a new job, and DH's optional extra money to BM has gone through the roof. His child support is going to go up a stack in the next year or two as well.
I'm going to be out-earning him significantly, I'm fed up with him sneaking money out of the joint account to BM, and given that we're going through a period of change it seems like the time to separate finances before a new precedent of him undercontributing even further to our household is set.

DH is VERY sensitive, though, and thinks that what's mine (money) is ours and what's his (skids) is equally my responsibility since "we're meant to be a team". I don't want to start a war or spend another month getting the silent treatment (the dude can commit, I'll give him that).
It's not my way, but I think I need to find a bit of an underhanded way to go about this without just saying "sorry, pay for your own kids".
Is there a way to financially disengage while not copping the "you hate my kids" speech? Has anyone come up with a plausible excuse?

notasm3's picture

Don't let him bully you. Just separate your finances and tell him to get over it.

Set up your paycheck from your new job into a new account in your name only. Transfer money as needed for joint (non skid) expenses into the joint account.

SugarSpice's picture

i agree. dont let him bully you. when marrying a man with children and other obligations, the best thing you can do is have separate finances. i realised this shortly after i married dh. he though his money was his and my money was his! i put an immediate stop to that.

LochnessStepMonster's picture

If he's sneaking money then he is already setting up a mismatch in y'all's joint finances.

Go to a new bamk and start a solo account there. Set it up with that bank so that your dorect deposit goes there but also have a portion go to the old account that y'all have together. Once it is already done he won't really have a leg to stand on trying to force it back the way it was. And ifnhe asks why, very non chalantly say you want to save for a few personal items. I think if you don't come off as trying to hide anything it could possibly be a non issue.

notarelative's picture

You don't necessarily need another bank. I have a separate account and a joint account at the same bank. They are not linked. Every payday my check is direct deposited into my separate account. The bank then transfers my portion of our joint expenses to our joint account. DH has the same set up.

notsobad's picture

They shouldn't be linked and the bank shouldn't transfer funds without your signature or other confirmation but it happens. It happens much more than you would think.

The only way to be absolutely sure it doesn't happen it to have another account in a completely different bank.

24 years as a SM's picture

That was my DH, the teller was fired about two months later for doing the same thing to another customer. My son opened a bank account at a different bank, I've been slowly moving money to his account. DH will never not find that account, since it's not in my name.

thinkthrice's picture

yep I vote for separate banks!
The very good friend of the Girhippo who happened to be Chef's nephew's ex wife was working at a bank and we got our funds the heck out of there.
A few months later she was fired for delving into people's accounts unauthorized

ybarra357's picture

"DH is VERY sensitive, though, and thinks that what's mine (money) is ours and what's his (skids) is equally my responsibility since "we're meant to be a team""

Brilliant. I didn't come up with any 'excuses'. I just didn't do it. Sneaking MY hard earned $$ to BM?? Not just no, but HE!! no. That sh!t needs to be shut down.

hereiam's picture

I'm fed up with him sneaking money out of the joint account to BM

This right here ^^^^ is what would be starting WWIII.

He has no right to get bent out of shape because you don't want to finance BM and the steps.

Aniki-Moderator's picture

^^HeavenLike nailed it.

My DH and I are also a team, but he has NEVER asked me to contribute one cent towards the skids. They have 2 parents contributing. My money is NOT a factor. Period. Dot.

SugarSpice's picture

again a comment about silent treatment. its a form of emotional abuse and should be treated accordingly. do NOT give in to this abusive cry baby dh of yours. he want you talk to him and crawl for forgiveness. just ignore his cruelty and dont give him the attention he craves. go shopping or leave the house. dont say a word to him.

bd-sm's picture

It's going to go up by about 3/4 of a week's wages per month, so not insignificant.

He almost definitely won't be able to afford it and to also pay half our rent and bills, unless he totally stops Disney-daddy weekly gift spending and trips, stops giving extra money to BM, gives up eating out for lunch every day and gives up going out for a massage or two every month.
The last time I mentioned giving up the latter two temporarily due to a tight month he got hysterical, stormed around the house and threatened to quit his job because "what's the point of even working if I can't enjoy my money and have some quality of life", so I know he'd struggle to do without. Three quarters of that tantrum was the fact that it was me asking and he figured there was a chance of getting out of having "no quality of life" if he leaned on me hard enough, though, and I don't think he'd rage at me if it was "out of my hands".

mommadukes2015's picture

That is seriously child behavior.

My ex boyfriend used to do that. Separate your finances now before he ruins you both. You clearly work for you money, it would behoove him to do the same.

He wants a sugar mama. Not a partner. Let him have his fit and see what happens. If he quits his job you cover your half. If he can't afford to live with you anymore he will either A.) get a jo or B.) move out thus proving the sugar mama theory.

notsobad's picture

From what you've said in this post there isn't really any way to avoid WWIII

He is going to throw a tantrum, berate you, rant and rave and then give you the silent treatment until you give in.

You need to decide how much of this behaviour you are willing to live with.

bd-sm's picture

Sorry for the hit and run thread, I'd assumed it was the middle of the night in the US and that nobody would respond while I was working!

The current setup is that I transfer all but $100 of my fortnightly pay to the "joint account" (which I don't actually have access to, but that's mostly my fault). My pay is direct deposited in my account.

The issue is that he drains the joint account on skids so often that I'm forever emptying the stash to keep the lights on. I'd love to say "tough luck, you spent the money so you make up the shortfall", but I live here too, I'm on the bills, and I'll be taking ice cold showers in the dark with a trashed credit score every bit as much as him if I don't jump in and rescue him every time he blows our mutual funds to assuage his daddy guilt.

Sueu2 is right, if I just drop half the bills into the joint account just before they're due, the money will vanish into BMs pocket before the bills come out. (And it'd have to be half, my life was hell for weeks last time I dared suggest he might contribute more to rent since I'm only 1/4 occupants).

If my pay was "oh, wow, less than I thought" as per anotherstep2's idea that might force him to step up, and I could hide some part of my pay, but I'd have to live in terror of payslips or tax statements getting posted to the house. There would be a hazing period of things not getting paid for, but maybe he'd eventually adjust to having less money to give away because he needs to help with bills and get his shit together.

hereiam's picture

The issue is that he drains the joint account on skids so often that I'm forever emptying the stash to keep the lights on

So, basically, you are supporting him, as he is not paying his share of the bills. If you insist on living with him, you are going to have to drain the joint account for the bills, as soon as he puts his share in.

But frankly, I would not live like this.

ETA: Wait, you don't actually have access to the account? Oh, hell.to.the.no.

notsurehowtodeal's picture

How is it a joint account if you don't have access to it? So your DH pays all the bills from this account and you have $100 for personal spending out of each paycheck? I can't begin to count the ways all of that is wrong.

You need to get access to the joint account. If you can't, then don't deposit any more of your paycheck there.

Figure out your share of the joint bills and either put the amount in the "joint" account or directly pay some of the bills. The only thing that will immediately effect your credit are things like house and car payments and credit cards. Most utilities don't go against your credit. If a utility gets shut off go stay in a hotel.

notsobad's picture

So the underhanded totally passive aggressive way to do this is just like everyone said.

Open a new account in a new bank, one not connected with your joint account in any way shape or form. Direct your pay check to that account.

Let him make all the payments while blaming the HR department at your new job. Tell him they are working on it but no one seems to know what's happening with your pay.
Not to worry though because what's yours is his and visa versa.

Keep putting him off and let him cover all the costs. Drag this out for as long as you possibly can.

Then when he's about to go over the edge, sit down and go over all the household costs. Put all the money going out down on paper. Pull out your red pen and cross off all the costs that are related the skids. Add up the actual joint costs and transfer that amount into the joint account.

Then enjoy the silence when he stops talking to you for the next month or so.

bd-sm's picture

My DH is one of those "when they're good they're great, when they're bad they're awful" types. He's a big kid, which has it's niceties - he's very sentimental, very affectionate, endlessly optimistic, and lots of fun to be around - and it's horrors, like the tantrums and not really being equipped to handle adult responsibilities.

Wish we all had the luxury of living in fairy land! He's perpetually in some sort of happy denial, and doesn't take me bursting his bubble with reality very well.

bd-sm's picture

I don't stay out of love - I love DH, but I'm not IN love with him.
Mostly, other than inertia, I stick around our of a sense of protectiveness. DH had some awful stuff happen to him as a kid, and it's like he's emotionally stuck at the age that things went off track. I've watched him let himself be taken advantage of repeatedly and awfully, not just by skids.
I feel more like his mum than a wife, which is gross and about as good for the sex life as you'd imagine, but I don't think he'd make it if I ditched him. Historically he's been very unsuccessful at looking after himself.

Most of the skid issues come down to the fact that he's basically a kid with kids, and provides about the level of parenting you'd expect from a big hairy eight year old. All this financial stuff is another facet of that.

mommadukes2015's picture

Just make a separate bank account for yourself and have one portion of your check deposited there and enough deposited in your joint account to cover your joint bills.

Then play dumb when there isn't money for him to steal to sneak to BM which would honestly piss me off.

Acratopotes's picture

This is what I would do...

Find out he's sneaking money to BM... that's not what a team mate does, immediately separate finances, all of it...
then I will calculate the house hold expenses and only pay part of that, not even 50%.... maybe 40% and h can pay 60% cause his kids visits.....

DH can rant and rave as much as he like, keep on smiling and say - Hon you sneaked money to BM, I'm not responsible for supporting your Ex wife and with that your children. You said we are a team... yet you do what you want and can't even talk to me about it, you choose this way, I'm only obliging..

Powerfamily's picture

You should be creating WWIII.

I would setting up a new joint account that he does not have access to and doing a budget for what you your bills and food are and both of you pay into that account and you make sure all your bill are paid on time.

If he want's to give his Ex the rest of his pay cheque to her then that's his problem.

hereiam's picture

I feel more like his mum than a wife
I don't think he'd make it if I ditched him. Historically he's been very unsuccessful at looking after himself.

Then I will tell you what we tell everybody else who enables their adult children, stop enabling him. He needs to learn that paying the bills come first and that his kids are HIS responsibility.

Users always like to use the "we are a team" concept, and the "what's yours is mine" line, and the "OUR responsibilities" bull, to convince someone else that subsidizing their life is the right thing to do. It's manipulation, plain and simple, as is the silent treatment. And for a month? Really, there is something very wrong with that, at least, in a healthy marriage.

You are not doing him, or yourself, any favors in this co-dependent, unhealthy relationship.

Merry's picture

Yep, this. My DH couldn't/wouldn't say no to the money flow to SS. He used joint funds, borrowed my money and never had enough to pay me back. One come to Jesus meeting and a few follow up reminders, and he decided he'd rather live with me than with SS and learn how to be a better partner to me. SS had one additional "emergency" (out of drug money, it turns out) and DH begged to borrow more money from me. I wouldn't do it. It was icy in my house for a long time, but I was not going to be taken advantage of any longer. Even so, I let that sh!t go on way too long, as you have. It's time to take care of yourself.

Fast forward to today, and SS is clean a couple of years now and is working a real job with benefits. He's not a bad person and I'm trying to build a relationship with him. I am not sure I'll ever completely trust him, but I am doing whatever I can to support his ongoing recovery. And you know what one of the biggest things is? I remind DH not to try to "fix" anything for SS--let him be a grownup man and solve his own problems and enjoy his own victories.

sunshinex's picture

This is absolutely financial abuse.

My husband and I share an account. I make about 70% of the income that goes into said account, but we both have completely equal access to it. If one of us needs something, we just clear it with the other person (not because we need permission but in case they have plans for the money we don't know about or the account is running low and one of us hasn't checked but the other has). We equally want eachother to enjoy the money, so we often end up switching off "big purchases". IE a couple months ago he wanted an xbox one so we bought it, than the following month, he didn't hesitate to say "go ahead!" when I told him I wanted to take a few hundred dollars and go shopping.

Neither of us spoil my stepdaughter without first clearing it with the other adult. Why? Because we're the ones who earn money, not my stepdaughter. BOTH of us work hard for the money in our joint account. If she needs clothes or new shoes or something, it's put in the budget and we buy it, but if one of us just wants to take her to lunch and buy her a new toy, we talk about it first and we certainly don't prioritize it over other important things like bills.

It sounds like you and your SO are not on the same page at ALL about money. First of all, you both need equal access and equal say to the account, regardless of who makes more. Second of all, you both need to come to some sort of agreement on spending. What comes first? Bills? (that should be the case!) After bills, what gets prioritized: date nights, hobbies, etc. If you prioritize saving but he prioritizes spending, and worse, spending on a child that's not yours, you need to sort that out.

sunshinex's picture

I forgot to add... Some stepparents don't want to spend their money on their stepchildren, some don't mind at all; you need to decide which one you are and go with that.

Personally, I don't mind, hence why we share an account. But I definitely WOULD mind if he was out spoiling her every other day. I don't mind because he's not a disney dad, so she gets her "needs" covered by our money and SOME "wants" covered by our money, but she's not getting all my hard earned dollars put towards toys and crap she doesn't need.

Decide how far you're willing to go and tell your SO about it. If he's not happy that you don't want to spend $500 a month (or whatever it is he's spending) on crap for his kid, than that's too bad. He should be happy you're contributing at all to her upbringing.

SMforever's picture

We both have skids. We would never expect each other to fork over one dime to support the other's kids.

So, we keep,a joint account only for groceries, house expenses, mortgage payments. Nothing else can go out of that account. Everything else gets bought with our individual money. If we do a big mutual purchase like furniture, then we split the bill and pay haldf each.

That bullsh!t about "we are a team" makes no sense. I am astonished at people who don't define the ground rules around money prior to marriage. To the OP, the long term outlook for you with this guy is grim from a financial viewpoint. Fast forward ten, twenty years...still no savings for you...what will you retire on? You may simply need to accept this doesn't work for you. Supervising Peter Pan is an expensive hobby.

thinkthrice's picture

I tried joint accounts for about a year with Chef. Was constantly being overdrawn by chefs guilty spending on his kids. Funny thing was Chef blamed me for the over drawing when it was clearly his inability to budget.
There's no way around getting flack from this; let me tell you I got plenty of it when we separated bank accounts. Then the overdrawn notices and penalties started adding up on Chefs account only. Hmmm.

bd-sm's picture

Sorry for bailing, ladies, we're mid tantrum in the bd-sm household and I'm trying to avoid getting busted on Steptalk. Back soon!

Quick minor update while he's off:

Called the bank, and as my name is technically on the account, was able to argue for access to online banking.
Thought I'd been clever, and he couldn't get angry about me having access to the "joint" account without letting his reasons (admitting he doesn't want me knowing how much of it is being spent on himself and BM) slip.

Obviously he'd anticipated I might and was a step ahead, though - he'd "forgotte to mention" he's set up all the bills to direct debit from his account (despite him having told me many times previously that they come out of the joint account, and that being the purpose of the joint account), so he's just been transferring my pay to his personal account as soon as it comes into the joint account.

Suggested we might switch it back to the joint account, my lack of trust has not been well received, and I'm disrespectful and "always right" (his favorite insult/escalation when I question his behavior after You Hate My Kids is Why Do You Always Have To Be Right!?!)

Hopefully I've made an inroad by forcing greater transparency, but the cost is high right now - slamming doors, screaming "bitch" across the house, messaging mutual friends cancelling all our plans for the next week and telling them we can't go because I'm being a bitch.

This too shall pass. Just keep swimming.

notsobad's picture

Stop this and stop it immediately.

Get a bank account at a different bank, in your name only.

Give your employer your new banking information and have your pay check deposited there.

It's your money, you earned it and you have the right to decide how it's spent! Pull your head out of your ass!

bd-sm's picture

Before anyone has a heart attack, skids aren't here, or I'd be actively working to pacify him by whatever means needed - I'm not putting them in the firing line of this, wicked step-mom or no. I'm only ignoring his raging since it's just me here so I've got the luxury of enforcing boundaries.
No littlies are here or at any risk.

Harry's picture

How much exter money are we talking about. Have add total pay you both get. And subtract your bills, house, car, insurance, fools, CS, cable , ect,ect your date night money vacation money, are we talking a $100'. $500. $1000s a month exter ??

hereiam's picture

my lack of trust has not been well received

That's rich, considering what he is doing. They always get pissed and turn it around when they are caught.

Seriously, why would you put up with this? Why would you want to keep swimming in this cesspool?

FieryEscape's picture

Oh hell no! STOP putting any of your money in this joint account . You need to immediately set up your own personal account and a new account to pay bills from. I wouldn't let him have access to anything - he clearly can't be trusted. His tantrums are to distract you from the terrible truth of his actions. Figure out what a fair monthly contribution would be and tell him this what he needs to pay towards the household. Let him cry and yell about life not being fair . He is being a loser mooch ...he needs to man up and pay his own way. I hate it when people have caviar tastes on on a hot dog budget.

If he dosent like it...tell him to find somewhere else to live. Stop subsiding his choice to overpay the BM and spoil his kids.

notsurehowtodeal's picture

Please re-read this as if a friend had sent it to you about her DH:

"but the cost is high right now - slamming doors, screaming "bitch" across the house, messaging mutual friends cancelling all our plans for the next week and telling them we can't go because I'm being a bitch. This too shall pass. Just keep swimming."

What would you tell her? What do your mutual friends say to you after he calls you a bitch? Does anyone stand up for you? If not, you need to find some friends of your own who will point out to you that what he is doing is not acceptable.

notasm3's picture

Kick his MF user/loser ass out of your life ASAP.

Trying to "pacify him" - bullshit. You need pointy toed bitch boots aimed at his ass.