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Hi there, I’m just looking for a bit of advice on a matter. My husband and I have just signed on to buy a house. We have been renting and have put aside an agreed on amount to put forward for the down payment. We have now since purchased the house and have agreed to put aside an amount of money that he wants to use for a lump sum payment each year. He knows it was very very important to me to take a trip prior to having children. Since purchasing this house, he says we can no longer take this trip. Him and I split everything 50/50 with the exception of our TV/Internet. He also makes more than I do. We have decided on a number that we think is a good amount to put away and I don’t disagree it is a good idea to pay off the house faster. However I told him with the extra money I have, I want to put it away so I can take this trip. He says I can do what I want but he won’t be gojng with me. He makes more money for working on the road and wants to put that extra towards the house.
In a few months I will no longer have a car payment which will save me approximately $400 a month. He now wants me to put even more money towards the house (which I will have done regardless) and doesn’t see the point in me saving for a vacation at all. I feel he is unwilling to see that a trip is important to me even though I am willing to save a large chunk to pay off the house which is something he wants. If it were up to me, I’d be fine just paying my monthly mortgage payments and not paying lump sums. I’m worried that any extra income I have he’s going to get mad if I don’t put it towards the house because he wants to put every last penny he has towards it. Some advice would be helpful. Thank you.
It’s totally fair that a vacation is important to you, to make some great memories alone together before you start a family. He may not see it yet, but if he’s planning on picking up more work to make more money, he’ll also need a relaxing break to avoid burning out. However, you’re not seeing eye to eye right now and probably need to sit down as a team and do a better job communicating about the big things and putting together a long-term financial budget. You have some of one started right now since you’ve agreed on initial amounts, but there’s a lot you haven’t agreed on yet and you want to make sure both your expectations are properly set so no one’s unexpectedly changing the plan later (for example, making you put more of your income towards saving than you initially agreed to).
I suspect what’s really happening here is he’s going into provider mode and getting nervous about all the long-term huge investments he’s about to take on. There’s not much more expensive than buying a home or having a kid (except maybe unexpected medical bills and schooling costs if you’re in the US, and I’m going to write this assuming you are in the US). The first thing I’d want to understand from his perspective is if he ever experienced financial insecurity when he was younger, because if so, big investments like this may be scary. He may not be communicating well about how he’s feeling if he’s nervous because either it’s uncomfortable or he wants to be a good provider and doesn’t want you to worry or to see him sweat. Instead he may just be going tunnel-vision to get through paying off the bills as fast as possible.
Even if he wasn’t that worried about money growing up, if he’s a planner, then I assure you he’s considering the following:
– Interest rates in the US went up like crazy recently, so monthly and long-term costs of buying a house are way more than if you’d started discussing this even only a few months ago. The reality of that may have kicked in, and he’s realized that paying the interest each month and not much principal could costs tens of thousands of dollars or more extra over time.
– You don’t know how you’ll feel when pregnant or after maternity leave. You may unexpectedly find yourself too sick to work in the first trimester, causing friction with your job or requiring short-term leave. You may not want to go back to work right away after maternity leave (childcare is so expensive too). So there may be an upcoming time that you’re a one income household making payments.
– There’s a lot of job insecurity in certain fields right now (I don’t know if that affects either of you). Back to potential nervousness about loss of income.
So sit down and talk, figure out each other’s priorities and concerns and long term goals, and approach it as a team. I think there’s a compromise here, especially if you will be saving a lot of money on your car payments. You can probably show him that if you save those for a few months, it would barely make a dent in house monthly payments over several years, but you could have a great vacation together with it, even if it’s not a fancy one. You also may be able to refinance the mortgage and end up with lower payments later on if interest rates go down.
Congrats on all the big milestones coming up!
I think it would be a good idea for you too find a good book on “The Art of Negotiation in a Marriage.” There are going to be times when couples don’t agree and now would be a great time to find a way to communicate what’s important to you so it doesn’t become an “all or none” (his way or the highway), as that is a direct path towards resentment that will eventually lead to divorce. There must be compromises and allowances in a partnership, and being able support each others needs, plans or goals without having to sacrifice your happiness.
I agree that paying off your house early is a good idea but it shouldn’t be to the point that you negate everything else in your lives for one thing. Honestly a one lump sum is not a good idea and should really be paying extra on the principle every month, such as $200 ($100) or an amount that would equate to your pay-off goals without having to sacrifice other needs, such as vacations, home improvements, repairs, date nights etc.
Trust me, when the baby comes it is going to take a pretty good chunk of your income so you really should start saving by allocating what your anticipated extra monthly costs will be for that too—its like having another mortgage where his financial plan will most likely fly out the window1 best to have a manageable monthly budget v. an arbitrary lump sum amount that is not realistic as life has a way of being very unpredictable so need to allocate (save) for those unknown events too—its called risk mitigation :o)
It sounds like your husband is calling all the shots. Maybe sit down with a financial advisor to make it more comfortable for you and have a third party explain what are good options.
If you don’t get the trip, I think you will always remember that. So, this is about communication.
I am also hearing that perhaps it shouldn’t be 50-50 for everything.
Is it like he makes $100,000 and you make $50,000 or Is it closer than that? If you were on maternity leave most people don’t get 100% of their salary, so then he would have to cover more than 50% – Life is not 50-50.. if one person is ill – the other covers and there should be flexibility and compassion. Marriage is not a business deal. Calculating everything is a plan but not a marriage plan.
I’m curious. How old are you two and how long have you been married? When did you agree to split expenses 50/50? Why did you agree to that arrangement? I’m kind of amazed at the number of women I hear about who are in this situation when the man is making so much more.
this is what always makes me wonder, people save money to buy a house for them to then live like they are poor and save even more money , instead of actually enjoying their lives. You only have one, it is amazing to buy a house but then go and live your life , not think about how much money we have to save, how quickly we need to pay it off etc.
I know some people who bought a house and then rented all the rooms so they could make money, they didn’t even have a living room as it was occupied. It is crazy. Buying a house is a milestone but it shouldn’t mean you stop living your life because now you’ve got to pay it off.
I also don’t understand this 50-50 agreement , I have a feeling your husband is one of those men who don’t like spending money, surely he is able to save more than you if he is earning more and paying the same towards the house/bills as you. I think this arrangement is very unfair on you.
Hi everyone. I really appreciate the responses. To answer the question, he is 32 and I am 29 and we have been together 6 years but married only 3 months. He has difficulty with any major change and yes communication is the biggest issue. I do feel it’s fair to ensure we are both left with an equal amount left over but I feel he is draining my energy and taking away from things we had originally agreed upon, and his response is “things change.” I have been doing a lot of reading and there is so much more to this, but he has many qualities of a narcissist. We are talking to a therapist tomorrow.
Not trying to be a ‘mean’ girl; but, WHY did you marry this guy knowing this?!
Mary – no it is not fair to split 50/50 to “ensure you have equal amounts left over.” Is that what he told you? That’s BS. You are paying a disproportionate amount of the bills. Also, I’ve observed that there’s something wrong from the get-go when people who get married split everything 50/50. What was the point of getting married?? That’s how roommates live. Not that you have to commingle everything but I’ve noticed that couples who do this often don’t stay together. Money is one of the top two reasons for people divorcing. (The other reason is growing apart.)
Here’s an example. You net $4000 a month and he nets $8000 a month. Your mortgage payment is $2000 a month. You each pay $1000 which leaves you with $3000 – you paid out 25% of your income. Whereas he paid out 12.5% of his income. Proportionately, you paid double what he paid. If you really want to split things, the fair way is to do it by percentages, not straight dollar amounts. Sorry to be geeky but this really ticks me off when a man pushes a woman into “let’s go 50/50, that’s fair” when he makes so much more and the woman feels pressured into agreeing.
I had a feeling you were on the younger side and hadn’t been together long. Now that you’re married and can’t just walk away, he will start forcing his will on you, will ignore your wishes and input and you will have no choice but to do it his way. This is ABUSE. What you said he was doing is only the beginning. I was watching the others tell you to talk with him and work it out but the “my way or the highway” approach was very troublesome to me. All of a sudden everything you had previously agreed and what was most important to you was completely out the window and he was calling the shots entirely. Not healthy. And it’s probably going to get worse because like I said now you can’t just walk away and he’s knows he’s got you.
Do not get pregnant. You do not want children with a narcissist.
Narcissists are bad news. You may need to bail on this marriage and if that becomes the case, cut your losses sooner rather than later and protect yourself. I hope the counselor can help.
If you have reason to think he’s a narcissist, I agree, absolutely do not do not do not have children with him. It’s going to be harder for you to potentially leave the marriage too now that you bought a house together before actually figuring out any of the stuff Lane and I suggested (which is a list to consider in a relationship between two emotionally healthy people and does not apply if one is a narcissist, as then it’s only about control). I hope you can get somewhere with the therapist, but if he gets diagnosed with NPD, there’s very little in regards to treatment options. And it will hurt to leave after all this time together, but with that diagnosis, things will get worse not better the longer you stay with him.
Very seriously, make sure he can’t tamper with your birth control methods in the meantime while you are figuring this out.
I totally agree with this percentage splitting. If he earns 10 k per month and you 5 k, is it fair that both of u shell out equal amts? If you guys decide to contribute 2 k, your left with just 3 k per month and he 7 k. Fair split shld be based on percentage. And pls do not think of having a baby till all these issues hv been sorted.
You hv known him for 6 years before you got married. Wasnt his narcissistic tendencies there then? There must be many other reasons which made you decide to get married to him after knowing him for 6 long years. Am sure many of those must be postive?
I dont think you shld focus on splitting just after 3 months of marriage. Taalk out ur issues and see if you guys can reach a middle ground. Also one long trip may be expensive and he cld hv a point there. But instead cldnt you guys hv brief trips to nearby places? That way you get ur outings and vacatns without spending too much?
But pls do not think of getting pregnant till your issues hv been tesolved.
Just to be clear, I’m not advocating that the OP start planning the divorce now. I’m saying, if counseling doesn’t work, he’s not going to budge on these issues and he really is a narcissist, It’s better to get out sooner rather than later. There is no negotiating or reasoning with a narcissist, life with them is truly hell. I’m suggesting a mental preparation that this may not be the forever man she thought he was when they said “I do.”
Thank you everyone. I greatly appreciate the feedback and support. We are not planning on having kids any time soon and he seems to have calmed down about this issue for the time being. There are many good qualities that I love about him, but yes, when we need to make any decisions about something to happen in the future, we always seem unable to come to a conclusion without turmoil. I think its better to leave discussions until the circumstances arise. Buying a first house is a scary step for anyone and I really think he got in his head and was freaking out about it. It’s the things he said to me during that time that I have a problem with. We spoke to the therapist and she is really good at using metaphors to have him understand both sides of a situation. He’s agreed to put money away for a “relationship fund” on top of saving to pay lump sums. And we will be splitting bills so that we are both left with an equal amount leftover. He does currently make more because he works on the road, but he says he will be putting all of that money into our joint savings… this way he isn’t left with a whole lot more than me and it is being used for something for both of us. We have been really good these past couple weeks now and we will be speaking to the therapist again. I’m hopeful, but I am scared this is going to happen every single time we don’t see eye to eye and I need to find a better way to manage it. I have a problem with pushing and continuing on with a conversation that should be dropped. It’s probably better for me to listen and talk about it if we are both calm. He does have narcissistic traits I think but I dont always feel he is that way. For the most part, he is caring and loving.. it’s when he gets worked up over an idea in his head it’s like there is no other possible way to do things and it’s very challenging. I need to learn how to manage that without feeling like I’m giving up everything I want.
Thanks for the update!
Its gud to hear that both of you hv identified the issues and are working on them. All the best.
Not every man is a narcissist. I am screaming this from the darn rooftops. Narcissism is a clinical diagnosis. What is not narcissism: selfishness, having other opinions, managing money differently than you, not wanting children.
If he is a bad fit, then end it. Or work with the partner you chose and make it work.
And every person has narcissistic traits. We all do!!!
Tallspicy I know this topic of narcissism triggers you and gets you riled up because of past experiences you’ve had.
However, narcissism isn’t just a clinical diagnosis. Like autism, narcissism is a spectrum. On the extreme end are those who are diagnosable NPD – Narcissistic Personality Disorder. On the other end are those who just have traits here and there.
So when it’s commented here that someone MIGHT have some narcissistic traits, as has happened here the past day and gotten a strong reaction from you, they’re not saying that person is full-on NPD. So with due respect, I think you overreact to the mentions of narcissism due to your own experience.
Yes, all of us may show a bit of narcissism sometimes but generally we grew out of thinking the entire world revolved around us and only us. All children are narcissistic, they can’t help it. In healthy children, they grow out of it. In an unhealthy home, they do not grow out of it for various reasons.
Narcissism is also a personality trait. Instead of having a full-blown disorder, some people simply have narcissistic tendencies, in that they are self-centered and have a big ego.
“Someone who is narcissistic may be selfish in some area of their life but not disordered. An example would be if someone was very vain about their body and constantly obsessing about their looks and seeking approval for their appearance. This may not be NPD. This may just stem from some childhood or adolescent insecurity,” says Joye. It is also important to note that adolescents have a propensity for narcissism, which is developmentally appropriate. Keep this in mind if you notice narcissistic behavior in kids and teens.
Those who are narcissistic also often feel some level of empathy for others and treat the people in their lives with kindness: “A narcissistic person will probably have some empathy and kindness in other areas of life. They don’t use or exploit others maliciously. Being self-absorbed in some area of life doesn’t mean you’re narcissistic in all areas. It takes some healthy narcissism to achieve higher goals. However, if that person walks over and harms other people on their way to achievement they may be disordered,” Joye concludes.
Thank you everybody. Dust has really settled these past weeks and we have our second appt on Thursday. I’m hoping it continues this way.