I am exploited by my own husband.
I have been married for almost 10 years. When my husband and I first got married, he convinced me to quit working after about a year, which I regret.
A few years ago, my mother passed away, leaving me a tiny inheritance of around $60,000. We decided to use some of this money to buy a house.
My husband and I both had negative lines on our credit reports, so I paid for it all. I told him to build up some credit, we would probably need a few credit cards for small purchases and payments. He ignored me until a lender gave him the same advice, stating that I should be added to two of his cards as an authorized user so we could both build up credit. He did not follow this advice.
We found a house we liked, but he didn’t give me a mortgage, saying my credit wasn’t good enough. Still, I paid the down payment, paid the closing costs, paid for the actual move, paid the final bills for the old house, purchased furniture for the new house, and we supported for the first two months.
““I paid the deposit, paid the closing costs, paid for the actual move, paid the final bills for the old house, purchased furniture for the new house, and we supported for the first two months.””
I also started working again and I earn almost as much as he does per year as a freelancer. I continue to make the mortgage payments even though I’m not on the loan, even though I’m on the title deed.
Luckily, the value of our house has increased considerably, so we decided to take out a small home equity loan for some repairs.
I went through my bank because they offer a fixed rate. They also refinanced my car and gave me a credit card with a $5,000 limit.
I suggested my husband inquire about refinancing his truck, and he got a great rate as well. But he was given a credit card with a $15,000 limit because his credit is better (thanks to me).
I have to put him on the home equity loan because his credit is better.
““I told him that I felt there was a serious lack of balance. He says he put a deposit on my car so I can’t complain. But that’s worlds less than what I’m paying.”
I’m angry because I pay all the bills except his personal truck and his credit cards. He contributes 11% to his 401(k). I also have to pay $10,000 a year in income tax because I am self-employed, and he will only contribute $2,000 to that amount.
I feel like I’m doing all the work and he’s getting all the benefits. I asked him to pay the $180 electric bill. He refused because he had “only” $600. Then he spent $100 on frivolous things for himself.
I told him that I felt there was a serious lack of balance. He says he put a deposit on my car so I can’t complain. But that’s worlds less than what I’m paying.
Am I wrong here? At 52, I feel like I should be able to have my own financial profile and benefit from my hard work instead of just increasing credit and finances. He thinks I’m ridiculous. What do you think?
Thanks a lot.
The woman, feeling exploited in Wisconsin
You need a register and a lawyer. In this order.
The ledger will outline all of your expenses and savings and clearly show how much you both contribute to your marriage. Marriage is a romantic promise to love, honor and respect each other for as long as you live – divorce notwithstanding – but it is above all a financial and legal commitment. Your husband has to respect his end of this bargain. Create a joint account for household expenses. Finished the tit for tat. Otherwise, you will have the same argument for 20 years.
If he doesn’t meet his end? You have the choice to decide if you want to be in a relationship where one of the parties does not respect the other and / or does not get out of the game. This is where the lawyer comes in. Asking you to give up your job is an attempt, intentional or not, to deprive you of your financial agency and your power in this relationship. You need to know your options and where your ‘red lines’ lie, ie what is to be negotiated and what is unacceptable.
It is unusual for one person to be on the mortgage while both parties are on the title deed. But that’s the good news. The mortgage is legally his responsibility to pay. However, it is in your interest both to make sure you don’t default, both for your credit ratings and obviously to avoid the bank foreclosing your home. You want to avoid being on the mortgage and not listed on the title deed. This would mean that you would be responsible for the mortgage, but you would not have a stake in your home.
Wisconsin is a community property state, which means that anything you earn during marriage is divided equally if you divorce. Inheritance is generally not included in marital/community property, even if you receive this inheritance during your marriages. In case you have another inheritance, it is better to keep this money separate. I assume your husband would do just that. But you made what you thought was the right decision for both of you at that time. You are a team, after all.
From what you’re saying, your husband seems to appreciate expert advice and needs a little help seeing things from a different perspective. For this reason, you can also hire a mediator or financial advisor to go over your finances and differences of opinion to help you come to an agreement so you don’t have the same conversation about who pays what on cars, houses, furniture, utilities. and groceries.
You both bring the same salary and you should be able to meet halfway.
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