“Am I A Jerk For Wanting My Husband to Split Our Bills Equally (Even though I Earn a Lot More)?”

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    November 18, 2023 at 4:46 pm #1126672

    From a LW:

    “Hello. I am a female breadwinner of our household, on a teacher’s salary to put it into perspective. I am also the one that cooks and cleans 75% of the time. I recognize that our household is super imbalanced. To be transparent, I do have 2 children from a previous marriage (he does not have any of his own) who are on our cell phone plan but at 19 and 20 neither one of them live at home anymore. They are in college and on their own but I admit, I like to help them when I can with groceries or by sending care packages. My husband and I have been together for 8 years now, and I have been the breadwinner the entire time. I have grown in my career and work really hard everyday but he seems happy in his hourly job of watching TV for a living and isn’t interested in seeking out any professional growth. I am tired of not having a man who wants to provide for me. The cherry on top is that even though I make almost $2,000 more a moth than him, he just got a brand new car with a $700/mo car payment, while I am driving a car I don’t love but is extremely inexpensive ($330/mo). I want to have separate bank accounts and split the shared bills down the middle so I can pay off my credit cards and save for the future, even though I know this option will leave him extremely broke. Am I the jerk for wanting to kick my husband off of the free ride?”

    November 18, 2023 at 5:22 pm #1126674

    I think it’s pretty clear that it isn’t really about the money. Your letter is seething with resentment. Why has the division of household labor not been more evenly split?

    I generally don’t think finances should be evenly split, but it sounds like your husband isn’t pulling his weight in any area and is making big decisions without your input. You’re right for wanting to walk away from it.

    If there’s any possibility you think he might change, it may be worth discussing with him, but I’m guessing if it’s never been addressed now there might be an insurmountable amount of resentment built up.

    November 18, 2023 at 5:29 pm #1126675

    I’m wondering why you didn’t mention talking to him about this at all in the past eight years. You’ve tried that, right? Try that!

    I don’t understand why you have a shared joint account in the first place. Separate your finances. If you’re not in love with the loaf, then address that. Why does he have a new car? That wasn’t a conversation? It seems you have serious communication issues.

    November 18, 2023 at 5:53 pm #1126676

    You don’t like him. At. All. And you seem to have very good reasons. Why do you continue to carry him, both financially and by doing the lion’s share of housework. Just MOA. You haven’t given one reason why you shouldn’t do that. Frankly, you haven’t even hinted at anything positive about him. If you are to be believed, he is a totally irresponsible, sexist, mooch. So, put your views in action and dump him. There are worse things than divorce in your situation.

    Part-time Lurker
    November 19, 2023 at 9:30 am #1126686

    There are two ways you can go here. First, you can try counseling to see if you’re even interested in staying together if he’s willing to make changes and then work toward those changes. Second, contact a lawyer in your area to find out what your options are. In some areas, as the spouse making more money, you might have to pay alimony and you’ll want to know beforehand how much that might be and for how long so that you’re prepared for that.

    How does someone make money just watching TV?

    November 19, 2023 at 9:32 am #1126688

    When you think of being on your own, just you to worry about, smaller apartment, doing whatever you want, how does that make you feel? Would it be a relief? Would you be able to pay off your loans and save if you only had to buy things for yourself?

    November 19, 2023 at 9:41 am #1126690

    But no, I don’t think you can just demand he pay 50% of the bills. What you can do if you are in love with him and want to stay with him, is sit down together and make a realistic household budget that includes a debt repayment plan. If you have joint accounts and you already see everything he spends, that’s a great start.

    Start with essentials, obviously, like your housing payments, utilities, gas… add a monthly amount toward an emergency savings account if you don’t have that. Figure out where the gaps are, cut what you can, and then it’s like, ok, how much more does your household need? And what are you willing to do together to bring in that amount?

    November 19, 2023 at 10:17 pm #1126695

    “Am I the jerk for wanting to kick my husband off of the free ride?”

    Not the jerk, but doubtful you can kick him off the free ride and keep him as your husband. You need to decide what you want, then what you absolutely need, and what you are willing to sacrifice to get that. I still think MOA and begin the next chapter of your life.

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    November 20, 2023 at 10:32 am #1126718

    You’re not a jerk for wanting the division of finances and labor to feel equitable, no. But from what you wrote, I can’t even tell if that’s what you want since you say you want a provider. If you want an arrangement that feels fair and more balanced, even though it may not be a 50/50 split of expenses, I think you can get there (if you can get past your resentment). If you want a partnership where your spouse is the breadwinner, I don’t think you’ll ever get there with this man.

    Reading how much a cheap car costs makes me grateful to live in a walkable city.

    And, I’d really love to know how one makes money watching TV. That sounds like it’d be an excellent side hustle for me.

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