Saturday, May 1, 2010

Fighting About Money

We just had another fight... about money. I hate fighting about money.

Here is how it started today. We were in the car, running errands. He had brought a bottle of water, which was sitting in the cup holder between us. I took a drink of the water. Here is how it went down:
Husband: "are you drinking MY water?"
Me: "well, I bought it (I do the grocery shopping).
Husband: "No, I bought it!" (meaning I bought it with HIS money).

Silly, right? Well, I reacted badly. I was hurt. This happens pretty often, with him reminding me that everything is "His" rather than "Ours".

I feel like my husband thinks I am a freeloader, and that hurts me. For twenty of the twenty five years we've been married, I worked. I never made as much as he did; my earning power did not match his. But we pooled our money and never thought about what was "yours" and what was "mine". Since we moved here, however, I have not had a job. The kind of job I had in downtown Philadelphia just isn't available here in rural Kentucky. Anyway, jobs are tight in general. So, I gave up and started collecting Social Security. Now he keeps reminding me that the money is "his". He's right... he is the earner now; but he makes me feel as if I should be contributing.

I would be happy to go back to pooling our money; but every time I buy something he says "I hope you bought that with YOUR money!". He told me that when my dental work exceeds our insurance maximum, it will have to come out of MY money. So now we have "his" money and "my" money (mine isn't very much).

I feel we are a partnership; I do contribute in non-monetary ways. I cook and tidy and shop and keep things in order. Besides, we are married; doesn't that connotate a certain "oneness"?


Natalie said...

If he lost his job, or was injured, would you stop cooking and cleaning for him? Would you withhold anything?
Tell him you found work, then charge him for every service you provide... It's easy to get *smart* ideas, but mostly, I am just sad that you are even having to go through this sort of thing. It is unkind, and you should not be subjected to it.

judy in ky said...

Thank you Natalie. I can feel your support all the way across the miles.