Financial Infidelity

It’s been a while since Hubby and I had a true “money honey.” We finally managed to have a date night (god bless visits from grandparents!), but our only financial discussion was more big picture than day-to-day bills. 

At any rate, I was a bit taken aback when Hubby called me up at lunch to discuss our bank balance. I had recently paid our two credit cards and paid a delinquent T-mobile bill to my sis…more on that topic soon. I hadn’t actually hidden any expenses, but the truth of the matter is that I have made several purchases lately. With the exception of some summer clothes, all of the items were discussed in advance. 

Yet, I do have to admit that I was somehow hoping that he wouldn’t notice the $1k missing for the initial vet bill. We discussed the cost in advance, and I agreed that I would call him before making a decision about any potential surgery. The truth is that I knew Hubby wouldn’t be happy about the cost, but I felt like it was my call (and our responsibility) as a pet-owner to get x-rays done to find out his situation.  I’ve also decided that we will opt out of the surgery, partly based on the x-ray results that show arthritis in both knees and hips and partly because Hubby couldn’t stomach the cost.

But the whole situation leaves me wondering how much leeway I have as a spouse to make decisions that I feel are best for our family. I think my version of so-called financial infidelity is more family oriented than the shop-aholic who hides purchases…yet I think there is always a fine line when it comes to purchases you know your spouse may not agree upon. 

Are you financial faithful?

Sustainable Family Finances 
The story of a family creating an abundant and sustainable life.

8 thoughts on “Financial Infidelity

  1. Financial Independence

    $ 1 K for a pet is a bit over the top, I have to confess ; -)

    Honestly. Life is a collection of experiences.

    The best way to save – have two-three jobs, do not go out or on vacation. Do not have anything on your mind but job and savings.

    Sure you can retire at 40+. Even better – you won’t need much, as during your life you did not do much.

    Is it what the life is about? You spent a grand on your pet.

    I am not advocating it, as a life style. But when I analysed our family expenditure over three years. I just got some information and we decided to freeze them. Not cut, just try to control ourselves.

    Otherwise what is the point? A penny for your thought.

  2. Anonymous

    Your husband sounds a wee bit awful. This has been true in several other posts over the course of the blog where he clearly comes across as a bit controlling and way too traditional with gender roles and expecting you to bear the burden and cost of child rearing. So very unfortunate, especially when it happens to a nice, strong woman like you.

    The dog thing is tragic. He has no right to object to the cost of surgery for the family’s dog. The dog only has your family. The dog has no control over anything in its life. You choose what it will eat and what healthcare it will get. The dog can’t even talk to express an opinion. When people adopt animals, they also adopt the costs of caring for them for LIFE. Not until it gets inconvenient. Your family clearly has enough money to pay for surgery and anything else for the dog – your husband would just rather direct it to luxuries and non-necessary purchase (as you surely are not struggling to meet basic needs). Pay for the poor dog’s surgery. Tell your husband off (in a sort of nice way). He is out of line. And he’s way to controlling, which is why you were inclined to sorta, kinda hide spending in the first place.

  3. Sustainable Family Finances

    @Financial Independence – Owning a dog is a big financial responsibility, which we are now experiencing first hand. It’s not that I want to spend a grand on my pet, but we made the lifestyle decision that our life experience would include a dog. Like having kids, that includes paying for things you don’t want to, regardless of your retirement goals.

    @Anonymous My husband is a bit traditional, but he’s hardly awful or extreme and I never meant to portray him that way. The truth is that he liked the idea of owning a dog much more than the reality of it, and I’ve had to step up and take lead responsibility in order to even keep him (suppose I should finally write a post on that…I did put my foot down in that situation) I agree that I wouldn’t have needed to skirt talking about the expense if he had been supportive of our basic obligation as pet owners.

    Thanks for your comments.

    There a great post on the Simple Dollar about facing critical issues, so this feels good to engage in:

  4. Anonymous

    This is the same anonymous as before. Thanks for your reply. I’m wondering how on earth you deal with a more traditional husband, especially since you seem like a progressive, bad-ass woman. I could never tolerate someone who wanted me to go backwards in terms of societal progress on gender roles, and I’d rather not even have kids than have them with someone who wasn’t going to be a fully participating parent (in ALL the work, not just the tasks he finds fun). It must be a challenge to navigate this. I’d also have constant conflict about what was being modeled for my children – how unfortunate that he is modeling behavior that teaches them that men should do less at home and that it’s okay to just get rid of a living creature once you decide that it’s tiresome to have that creature. Did he not understand that getting an animal means providing it a home for life, not just until you are sick of it? It’s such a gift for children to grow up with animals, feel that bond of unconditional love, and learn to take care of something. Glad that you’ve been a positive force in their life for this.

  5. Sustainable Family Finances

    Anonymous – I never meant to give the impression that my Hubby isn’t a full parental participant, he’s quite the contrary. We share almost 50/50 on bed time routines and helping the kids dress. He’s always done the majority of our house cleaning (partly because he has a higher standard than myself), and he grocery shops often (which I find quite the task). It’s true that I cook more of our meals (although when we first lived together it was truly 50/50), but he’s the king of throwing together leftovers and if he hasn’t cook, he always clean up after meals. We alternate on who takes the lead on laundry each weekend. The only real traditional gender split in our tasks is that I do the ironing and he mows the lawn. I happen to detest ironing, but I’d rather garden than mow the lawn any day.

    I agree that our dog has become a point of contention and I disagree with his viewpoint, but he does see how much the kids love Kiki.

    Perhaps we are a somewhat traditional couple, but we are still more far progressive than even my parents in gender roles (and they were back-to-land hippies). I am a feminist, and look forward to the day that women find their equilibrium, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t love and accept my husband for who he is. I am convinced that the most important “traditional” value is growing in a marriage and not backing down from life’s challenges.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *