{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "How would you feel if your spouse remained financially dependent on their parents when your income could easily support you both? My husband’s parents still pay for his cell phone, car payment, car insurance and evidently are giving him an allowance of $60k annually. He doesn’t see an issue with it since we have separate accounts and in theory split expenses, plus he is trying to start a business and sees it as help with that, but it still makes me uncomfortable and I wonder if I am being unfair", "post_id": "6197ca7f975a58002cf72b78", "reply_count": 31, "vote_count": 1, "bowl_id": "5da60c126e5f0d001f32f497", "bowl_name": "Women in Law" }

How would you feel if your spouse remained financially dependent on their parents when your income could easily support you both? My husband’s parents still pay for his cell phone, car payment, car insurance and evidently are giving him an allowance of $60k annually. He doesn’t see an issue with it since we have separate accounts and in theory split expenses, plus he is trying to start a business and sees it as help with that, but it still makes me uncomfortable and I wonder if I am being unfair

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There’s definitely something that’s not adding up. How can he be, on the one hand, receiving secret money from his parents - BUT - on the other hand, not contributing money towards the house expenses? The fact it’s secret money is already a lot to unpack, but adding in the 13k that’s outstanding, it might require a moving truck. And also, I say this with a lot of love because I tend to overextend myself and give all I can - but the most painful concern (in your original post) related to being hurt because you wanted him to rely on you more — despite already knowing the above. Before you do anything else, you might want to explore why you would default to wanting someone (who happens to be a man) who hasn’t paid you his share, and has a steady stream of income - to take even more of your hard-earned money. Perhaps there may be some unhealed core wounds around that area. For me, I tended to over-function while wanting to be hyper-independent - and realized that I had to learn how to lean on others for support. Are you able to lean on him for support? If you were to open up your checkbook to him, would he respect those boundaries and be respectful with your money?

likesmart

Yup. This seems designed to set him up financially in the case of a divorce.

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If his parents would like to also support me please let me know.

likefunny

If he’s fine with it, and they aren’t using it to control him, let them give him money. 🤷‍♀️ I also grew up with controlling parents and would rather live under a bridge than take money from mine. But I recognize that is my issue and not every parent is like that. If they are controlling your lives with the money it’s an entirely different issue to discuss that is separate from the money. If there are no strings to the money, why would he turn down free money.

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I’d be more concerned with a 32 year old not having his own steady stream of income (even in the process of starting a business) than with parents helping out. Better them wasting their money than you, though.

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This.

Seems odd he wouldn’t mention it to you before you got married, and that the secrecy continued until you accidentally found out. I’d also be concerned about the lack of transparency in the marriage (& even if it’s due to his embarrassment, he still should’ve told you). Also, it doesn’t sound like he’s working? If this $60k is to help support him, and he’s not working, then it should definitely go to the household. Another thought I had is, are his parents using him to help with their taxes (like paying him as an employee to their business) to reduce their tax liability? Lots of weirdness and unknowns here that you are entitled to get to the bottom of.

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That is an interesting thought about the taxes, thank you for that insight. I surely hope they aren’t still claiming him as a dependent because we filed our taxes jointly last year

This is just odd. How old is he??

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(I’m 36)

My dad was financially abusive so I have supported myself 100% for years and I tend to view this as a mechanism for control and access. Also I wonder if it’s sexism for not wanting to be supported by his wife… but I could be the sexist one for feeling like a grown man shouldn’t be living off his folks so I don’t even know anymore

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Right. Plus I get the feeling he would not be pleased if the shoe was on the other foot and he was the breadwinner while I kept running to my daddy for phone, hair and nails money 💅

Is he working? Why would you want to use your income alone to support the both of you when his family is willing to help? Your husbands situation seems kind of similar to the the many many people who’s lives are subsidized by way of trust funds/inheritances. But maybe i’m missing something…

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I think I’m not convinced that it isn’t controlling, and none of them are exactly up front about the situation. The money goes just to him for his personal expenses, not to us as a couple. I only found out about the car and phone right before we got married, and only found out about the allowance because they started talking about it late one night when we were visiting and I’d dozed off on the couch and they thought I was still sleeping. I might add that I said we “in theory” split expenses because he is currently $13k in arrears…so maybe my real issue is that this whole thing is fucking shady

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If you have separate accounts but are supposed to be splitting bills evenly, I’d focus on that. Many parents want to help their children without it being a control thing, at least not intentionally. It sounds like maybe you are still recently married (?), so I’d say just give it time with the in-laws to become more forthcoming. That’s great you set up the Venmo account so you can see what’s happening. Maybe you can suggest switching some of the bills to come from his account to even things up? If you aren’t doing a joint account “what’s mine is yours deal” (and I know married couples who like and don’t like that arrangement) then you should not have to pay more than your share for common expenses. Maybe tell him you have plans for how to spend your money - whether it’s a vacation, investments, a new hobby, Peloton or whatever. See how he responds to that. I’d avoid bringing up the allowance and hope that at some point he opens up about it himself. But in the meantime, the bill paying should not be skewed.

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Would you want him to not accept an inheritance from his parents? Maybe his parents would rather pay that money out incrementally now to assist him. If there are no strings attached, then I’d let it be. If the parents are using the money for control purposes, that is a totally different issue.

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That is a good point, thanks.

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I wish my wife’s parents were giving her 60k a year and paying for her stuff! I’m the only one who pays bills in our house and I’m over it.

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