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Long vent

August 9th, 2009 at 02:23 pm

Grrr...BB made me mad yesterday. I am not so mad now because I know he did not intentionally mean what he said- he was trying to be helpful. I think. Or maybe he was being selfish. I prefer to think helpful.

SO- the story goes like this:

I have been squirreling money away for the past few weeks to save up for a flower bed border to be put in and maybe also have our front steps redone. I have not gotten any formal quotes but will call for prices when I have $500.00 stashed away.

This is obviously a purely want based purchase, so I have been saving money from my spending money- not taking any money from the automatic savings accounts I already have set up.At the moment I only have $80 so I still have a way to go.

ANYWAYS- I mentioned to BB that I was saving up to have this done during one of our phone calls. BB says "you know that job might be around $4-500 don't you?" I tell him I know this but I want to do it anyways. The call continues nonchalantly and that's the end of it.

A few days later I am talking to BB on the phone and he says, "I was thinking. You know how you are saving up money to have the front lawn border put in?" "Yes" I say. "Well, why don't you put that money towards the windows getting insulated and we can get that done when I get back into town?"

To provide backstory: Our 100 yr old windows work fine but are old and also sealed shut. We were quoted a price of $1500.00 to get all our windows re ballasted, unsealed and insulated a little better. We planned to have our windows done this past spring but the roof came up and we put the window money into the new roof instead. When BB went off to baseball this season he said that during the season he will save up the money to have the windows fixed. That was going to be his contribution to the house.(When he decided he would save up money during the season for the windows I knew he would be short $4-500 and rather than go through the math to punch holes in his theory I just mentally decided to shell out the remaining couple hundred because I knew the windows are a big deal to him right now. I think it has to do with the whole taking apart and putting back in aspect of the work- he gets really excited when he explains the process to other people. However I did not TELL him I would cover whatever funds he was short on- I just started putting away some money every paycheck so it would be there when he returned from the season.)

So when he asked me to use my flower border savings to contribute to the windows...that told me has not saved anything CLOSE to what it will cost to have the windows done. I am not surprised by this at all- for my birthday he purchased plane tickets for me to visit him and that was $350.00. So I knew that ate up a large part of his savings and he would be returning from the season with only a few hundred dollars to live on while he looks for a job.

The issue I have is many:
1. This goes back to the promising me financial things and not following through with it. Several times he has promised me money he will have in the future only to end up forgetting he promised it to me, needing it, or spending it elsewhere. And when he does not give me the money he promised he never apologizes or aknowledge that he is completely contradicting something he promised a few weeks or months beforehand. Its like he is hoping I will not remember or if I bring it up he get's defensive and pulls a "Gamecock..I don't have money to EAT and you want money for our wedding/windows/ect.." (And of course I want him to eat! But it was poor financial planning that got him into a situation where he had to decide to eat or give me the promised money!) Honestly I don't expect him to give me money for anything but he needs to STOP VOLUNTEERING IT because it really makes me angry when he does not follow through.

2. I am fine if he cannot pay to have the windows fixed. It is a priority for both of us to get done but if I don't have the extra money in my paycheck for it then why should I expect him to have the extra money in his paycheck? I do have a problem that he wanted me to take the money I had been saving from my spending money and apply it towards one of his priorities. He has his own list of priorities for getting the house fixed up and I have mine. He wants the windows done and then he wants a new refrigerator. I want my garden border and then this winter we need 3 trees removed that are growing into structures and then
I want the master closet taken out (yes I said out. It was an add-on and juts into the room oddly and leaves our bad squished up against 2 walls.)I plan to squirrel money away all year for each of these projects to get done because they are not really NEEDS so logically they should come from spending money. Likewise I think our rusty refrigerator will last another year or two so if BB wants to replace it now then that is his job.

3. I am just tired of 100% of my paycheck expected to cover everything. I feel like because I pay the bills for this house then none of my money is sacred. If he can create a compelling enough argument of why we NEED to get this or that done then it becomes my fault that it is not getting done. On the phone yesterday after my surprise he asked me to reapply the money I got very hostile. He got defensive and started rattling off assumptions about how much air/heat we are losing every month out of the windows and ended it with "well don't complain to me when our heating bill is $300 this winter." Which is ridiculous because I pay 100% for the electric bill so if I want to lose money every month then it is my right to do that. (Of course I don't WANT to but that's not the point today.)AND it is BB who ALWAYS must be comfortable! I often joke around that for the rest of my life I will never be comfortable because I married BB. I will always be too cold or too hot because BB controls the thermostat. BB always freezes me out in the summer and prefers to run the heat in the winter over putting on a sweatshirt. So the pretense that he is concerned about the electric bill just infuriates me. I AM concerned over the electric bill and that was my hot button for him to push. The ace he had up his sleeve to manipulate me into giving him what he wanted.

So we didn't talk for a while and then I talked to him last night and everything was cool.He had totally dropped the subject but I am still angry about it.
In his head he was just suggesting something but in my head it was a symptom of a way bigger issue.

I am just angry in general about the situation. I feel like I pony up enough of my paycheck for house responsibilities and since BB is not contributing to our financial situation then why should he feel entitled to be telling me how to spend my paycheck?

10 Responses to “Long vent”

  1. Broken Arrow Says:

    Hmm, I don't know if this is related to you in any way, but I have male friends who tend to state and almost "promise" many things, but try as they might, they don't always come through. And when things don't go through, it's almost as though they've forgotten that they've even mentioned it.

    I wonder if it's a different mindset? Because I tend to be the opposite. I promise very few things... because I am zealous about not making promises I can't keep. So when I do state something or promise something, I'm going to do everything in my powers to make sure it goes through; as though my life depended on it.

    Over the years, I've eventually accepted that it's just a personality difference. Because we're all still friends, and I know they don't mean anything bad. I think they're just not that organized or zealous. So, I just don't take it too personally or anything.

    Then again, I'm not married to someone like that either so....

  2. gamecock43 Says:

    BA that's exactly it. BB does not follow through on a lot of stuff! It drives me crazy. I need to stop listening to him because as much as I refuse to get emotionally attached to his promises he still disappoints me when he does not follow through.

  3. Apprentice Bliss Hunter Says:

    Emmm.... I think you are right to be concerned , not about the windows, but about the bigger issue at play here...

    And to show I'm not BB-bashing.... out of all the House fix-up projects you mentioned in your post I, personally, would get the windows done first... The flower bed won't do anything to insulate your house right ?

    Anyways, the bigger issue at play here, I think, is that the two of you have different financial habits/attitudes and different feelings about paying their way. Financial issues cause more marriage break-ups than infidelity apparentlty. I'm not suggesting AT ALL that your marriage is in danger, I just saying it is important to fix this problem now instead of lettting it grow over the next 10/20 yrs...

    The problem as I see it (Dr Phil here !):

    1.You are financial "parent" in this relationship. You worked hard at getting a good job. You're responsible. You take care of a lot of bills. You're committed to spending on the house. Most of your money has been spent/saved before you get it.

    2. BB appears happy to be a "kid" financially speaking. Play baseball because he loves it. Hold off on getting a regular steady job until his playing days are well and truly over even when this may not be the best thing financially. Pay bills/spend on house projects when he can... but when he can't- no biggie... Mammy Gamecock will take care of that...

    I think BB needs to come up to your level of maturity financially speaking....I know you don't want to change him necessarily... just grow up financially...

    So I suggest:

    1. Plan a pleasant evening for the two of you where you put all this on the table and see what can be done to improve things.

    2. Show him you are serious by taking him to a counsellor/financial advisor to get a 3rd person's input on how fair your situation is...

    Take above with a pinch of salt as I don't know either of you. Good Luck !

  4. gamecock43 Says:

    BB and I are totally different in our spending habits and ugh it can drive me crazy at times! I know things need to improve. And I believe they will once baseball is over for the season and BB can begin looking for a regular job. I just get impatient!
    And I know the windows need to get done. I am just kind of worn out from the roof for doing responsible spending. I want a flower border for me. When BB wants to start going in 50/50 on stuff then we can start getting back to the responsible things.

  5. cptacek Says:

    I was going to suggest that you two need to combine finances. The fight seems to stem from "my money" and "his money". Really it is both of your money because you are now married. Of course with you in separate states it would be hard now, but when he comes back, that might be a big, but necessary, step to take.

    When he is done with this season, is he done playing? Or will he go back next year?

  6. frugaltexan75 Says:

    Gamecock, I don't have any experience being married, but I dated someone (elevator guy) and the gym manager, who both are very much like that. They both can/could spin the blarney - and both they and I (at first) would actually believe it. Then it would come time for whatever they were spinning to actually happen ... and I'd be the only one who remembered what had been said.

    It *is* extremely frustrating. I got to the point with elevator guy that I ended our relationship because I couldn't believe a word he said. With the gym manager, well I just take everything he says with a grain of salt and roll my eyes (privately.)

    Like Apprentice, I am in no way suggesting anything about your relationship. But I do think her suggestion of sitting down with BB and having a 'come to deity' meeting regarding how your financial life is run may be in order. Otherwise I think you may grow to be more and more resentful of BB and that wouldn't be good for you, or for your relationship.

  7. Mrs Says:


    Having just been through a Financial Freedom Seminar with my DH, I believe that communication is the key here - or the lack thereof. Since your married, I believe that it should all be "your" money. It has to be fully integrated (in my opinion and experience) for it to work. That isn't to say that you shouldn't each have your own "fun" money, allowance, etc. to do whatever you choose with it, because you should. You should also have clear goals on what you want to accomplish monetarily. Allocate percentages for things in order of importance. That was where DH and I got hung up on - he worked the second job for my dad with really no benefit to himself - it all went elsewhere. He has a $2,000 bumper repair to his 73 Corvette that we've never budgeted for. It is now a line item and gaining money momentum to being achieved.

    I say this only coming from someone who spent a lot more years in the money war with her spouse. Get on the same page, share the financial boat - turns out that even after this seminar our money roles are still pretty much the same, but we have a committed discusion time each month and DH is aware of everything.

  8. baselle Says:

    I can't add too much more to this except for two things:

    1. I think you should be mad at this, its an important problem, and he should respect that you are mad. Don't let him think PMS or whatever. I don't get any sense from your post that BB harbors this ... but my DH did.

    2. BB doesn't realize that he's married, or rather, he's behaving as he did when he was single. He's got to stop that.

  9. whitestripe Says:

    lots of guys look at things on a purely superficial basis - i don't mean this in a bad way, but as you said, he looks at it one way (it's just a little bit of money to redirect) and you look at it a different way (which is a lot of other issues all bought together as one, which get bottled together and make you angry and frustrated). it is hard to get them to see it from your perspective.
    i don't really have any advice - DF and I are different in some areas like that. He will say something like 'we should do this' or 'we should do that', but i have come to learn that when he says that, it's either him saying his pipe dreams or otherwise, i will have to listen to him say it for about six months before it actually gets done. i've come to accept this and i kind of tune it out now, but at the start of living together it was reaaally frustrating, because i actually thought he meant that we SHOULD do whatever it was he said, soon, instead of realising that he was just thinking out loud. Big Grin

  10. ceejay74 Says:

    Stick to your guns on what you're saving your money for. One thing that helps keep financial harmony in my household is that we're very respectful of one another's spending money. Case in point: I chose to spend all my accumulated spending money, plus took a very rare advance on my next week's allowance, to buy a Netbook. Then we had a wedding to go to which involved a card and a long cab ride. Now I am more or less (OK, completely) flat broke until Friday. When I mention this, my partners feel bad and say "Oh, well let me give you some money for the Netbook, since you've said it's for all of us to share." To which I say firmly NO. They have been diligently setting aside their spending money for other things, and whether they're shared or completely selfish, these things are sacred. If I choose to spend my money on something shared and did not discuss it as something they were to contribute to, I do not expect them to contribute and will not allow them to. (I did, however, accept AS buying me a scoop of sorbet at the ice cream shop, because she felt like treating me.)

    These fine distinctions may seem silly to outside observers, but the sanctity of personal spending money is one of the things that helps us each feel in control. 90% of our total income goes toward shared expenses and goals, but that other 10% helps keep us sane and on track.

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