When two people get married, we always hope that everything will work out for them.
But some marriages inevitably lead to divorce or other problems, admitted the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor kacrats was conflicted by how her marriage was going because her husband discouraged her from continuing with an admittedly expensive hobby.
But when the situation worsened, the Original Poster (OP) realized the hobby may have been a sign of bigger problems.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for being mad that my husband is trying to financially edge me out of my ‘expensive hobby’?”
The OP’s financial situation with her husband was imbalanced.
“The back story: My husband and I have always had joint accounts and up until last year when our 3rd child was born, we made about the same amount of money.”
“We made the decision that I would leave my FT (full-time) job and work PRN (part-time), so we could avoid the costs of daycare. This has cut my income in half.”
“In addition, last year my husband started running a successful eBay store.”
“He opened a separate account that I have no access to at all, and he started taking extra money from his paychecks each week and depositing it into that account, as well. He uses that money on whatever he wants.”
“I manage our finances, budget, and pay all of our bills. I don’t have a separate personal account, so all of ‘my’ money is poured into our mutual accounts, and he can see all of my spending.”
“I keep spreadsheets that he has full access to but never looks at. We have savings and basically no debt aside from a mortgage and my student loans.”
The OP’s favorite hobby unfortunately came with a high price tag.
“And now: I am a very active Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) competitor and go to tournaments frequently. I would probably call bjj an ‘expensive hobby.'”
“In the last few weeks, several entry fees came due at once, totaling close to $600.”
“I have always cleared with him that I am going to do a certain tournament before I sign up and then I build the fees into the budget, and this was no different. And other than Jiu-Jitsu, I don’t really spend money on anything else.”
“He texted me while I was at work yesterday saying, ‘Not really happy about your excessive spending recently. I think you should get your own account with an allowance to pay for this stuff.'”
“This was shocking to me because this has never been a problem until yesterday, and I’ve never spent so much money on BJJ that we can’t save or pay our bills.”
“Then he told me that he bought a car a few weeks ago with his personal funds.”
The OP was concerned about her husband controlling the family’s finances.
“I feel like he is trying to control me and financially edge me out of my hobby that he knows I love.”
“I can give myself an allowance out of each of my paychecks, but I make a lot less money than him, and pretty much all of it goes to bills, so it would take me longer to save for each tournament, and I would have to do way fewer per year.”
“If I want to do Jiu-Jitsu, I have to rely financially on him to do so, and again, it’s never been a problem until yesterday because up until last year I made just as much money as him.”
“Our mutual decision for me to leave my job only affects my paycheck.”
“He can spend money on whatever he wants (like a car) without any oversight or accountability because he has his eBay store that he makes I-don’t-know-how-much-money from each month (he never tells me but I’d say it’s prob about $1000/mo).”
“Anyway, it started a big fight. He said he doesn’t have to rely on me financially for his hobbies, so I shouldn’t have to rely on him financially for mine.”
“He said that our mutual money should go to bills and the kids only.”
“Who’s the AH?”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some thought the husband was controlling and potentially abusive.
“If OP’s husband wants to handle things this way, she needs to sit down with him and ‘charge’ him for being a nanny for their child. That money should come out of his income every week and go into a separate account for her.”
“Additionally, he should be paying his portion of the bills differently. If between his eBay business and his career he makes 3X what she does, he should pay 3X the amount for bills.”
“This is financial abuse and OP should be seeing her husband in a new and bad light after this.” – crystallz2000
“I am not one to push breaking up a family, but there is a reason I said she needed to protect herself.”
“In my husband’s social circle (not necessarily our friends, but friends of friends) there were two divorces where SAHMs got really strapped for cash when their husbands didn’t seem too frugal, so I am like, ‘Goodness, Alice, and Amy seem financially strained…’ while my husband is seeing the guy side, and thinking, ‘Weird, Walt and Doug aren’t?'”
“Yeah, the husbands were both doing some shifty financial stuff and soon their wives were communicating marital issues and then divorces.”
“Our state does not give much in the way of alimony, a few times I have seen friends not get temporary support orders granted during the divorce proceedings, and divorces take a while so during their separations, the SAHMs start working and that lessens the alimony further.”
“I wouldn’t trust someone who puts me in a financially dependent position while continually constraining my financial means. That screams things will not get better, only worse.” – wildferalfun
“NTA. Listen to this advice. You are losing your independence and professional growth. Every year that you are out of the job market leads to lower earning power in the long run.” – Maxium-Company2719
“OP, Either ALL money is joint (given the situation of you being a SAHM for budget reasons) or you both have entirely separate accounts, you go back to work FT and a joint account is funded based upon percentage of earnings for each of you (including his eBay income).”
“But, given how incredibly untrustworthy he is being, I would absolutely get myself back FT in the workforce as quickly as possible because he is proving to be controlling.” – thingsarelookingup2
Others thought the husband was planning to leave her.
“It seems like he’s getting ready to leave her. Made her financially unstable, take his own money out of the shared account& make a separate one she doesn’t know anything about, this is all steps you’d take before filing for divorce if you didn’t want your partner to have too much in the settlement.”
“Either that or he’s gambling/ having an affair and doesn’t want her to know about it.”
“But either way, it’s edging closer and closer to financial abuse.” – acjl28
“My first thought is he is having an affair, I know it’s out of the left-field, but this kind of personality shift coupled with buying ‘new toys’ like a car for no real reason just makes me think he’s trying to impress someone, and it’s certainly not his wife.” – bookynerdworm
“Friend, bite the bullet. Go back to FT work, split the daycare costs. Sounds like he’s laying down the plans for a divorce, and cutting you out of as much money as possible.”
“You both should benefit from you being a SAHM. Right now he’s the one who has full-time housekeeping, childcare, and financial management, while you are losing out.”
“Also, his eBay business should benefit both of you. But he set it up so that you don’t even know how much it’s producing. Lots of red flags.” – Maximum-Company2719
“But your husband is hiding something. I have no idea what and I’m not going to speculate. But for him to suddenly change his stance and unilaterally decide that you two should have separate finances…”
“There’s always a reason for someone’s behavior. Not ‘reason’ as in an excuse, but a motivation for why they’re engaging in that behavior.”
“Your husband has some motivation for wanting separate finances. To an outsider (i.e., me), it seems like he’s trying to make you financially independent from him. I’d love to know why that’s suddenly so important to him.” – LavenderGooms_
Either way, some urged the OP to make a plan for herself and her children.
“Now is the time to leave while you are not making money… your alimony and child support will be higher. Also, have his eBay business valued and ensure you get half that, not just what is in the accounts.”
“This isn’t a partnership anymore. Sorry OP. This is his character. Don’t even try to change him or threaten him. Just leave and find someone who cherishes you.” – lovebombme2u
“I think you should try to figure out how much he is saving and the business is yielding. You might want to go back to work to get the salary and then share daycare?”
“It feels like your pay cut is subsidizing his ability to save money. I would also apportion the bills to the new income levels because you took on more burden while you were working. He contributed less during that time.” – Turbulent_Patience_3
“NTA. Sounds to me that he is taking steps to leave, and you probably should as well. He’s already separated his finances from yours and is further cutting you off from any of his income.” – errerr
While the OP was primarily concerned about her husband financially forcing her to give up her favorite hobby, the subReddit was more concerned what the hobby might represent, which would be controlling behavior and even financial abuse.
No matter what was going on inside the husband’s head, the subReddit agreed that the OP needed to return to her full-time work, so she could be financially independent of her husband, whether it was to fulfill her dreams in BJJ or in case a divorce was in her future.