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“I’m being taken advantage of by my own husband”: I pay all the bills and put the down payment on our house, and all he does is buy stuff and contribute to his 401(k).

I’m being taken advantage of by my own husband.

I’ve been married for almost 10 years. When my husband and I got married, he persuaded me to stop working after about the first year, which I regret.

A few years ago my mother passed away leaving me a very small inheritance of about $60,000. We decided to use some of that money to buy a house.

My husband and I both had negative lines on our credit reports so I paid everything. I told him to build up credit, we would probably need some credit cards to make small purchases and payments. He ignored me until a lender gave him the same advice, saying that I should be added to two of his cards as an authorized user so we could both build credit. He didn’t follow that advice.

We found a home that we loved, but he wouldn’t mortgage me because he said my credit wasn’t good enough. But I paid the down payment, paid the closing costs, paid for the actual move, paid the final bills at the old house, bought furniture for the new house and supported us for the first two months.

“I paid the down payment, paid the closing costs, paid for the actual move, paid the final bills at the old house, bought furniture for the new house and supported us for the first two months.”

I have also started working again and earn almost as much as he does per year as a freelancer. I continue to make the mortgage payments even though I’m not on the loan, even though I’m on the title deed.

As luck would have it, our home’s value has increased dramatically, so we decided to take out a small home equity loan for some repairs.

I went through my bank because they offer a fixed rate. They also refinanced my car and gave me a credit card with a $5,000 limit.

I suggested my husband ask for a refinance on his truck and he got a great rate too. But he got a credit card with a $15,000 limit because his credit is better (thanks to me).

I have to put him on the home equity loan because his credit rating is better.

“I told him I felt there was a serious lack of balance. He says he put a deposit on my car so I can’t complain. But that’s worlds less than what I’m paying.’

I’m angry because I pay all the bills except for his personal truck and his credit cards. He contributes 11% to his 401(k). Also, because I’m self-employed, I have to pay $10,000 in income tax a year and he will only contribute $2,000 to that amount.

I feel like I’m doing all the work and he gets all the benefits. I asked him to pay the $180 electric bill. He declined because he had “only” $600. Then he spent $100 on frivolous things for himself.

I told him I felt there was a serious lack of balance. He says he put a deposit on my car so I can’t complain. But that’s worlds less than what I’m paying.

Am I wrong here? At 52, I feel like I should be able to have my own financial profile and benefit from my hard work, rather than just improving his credit and finances. He thinks I’m ridiculous. What do you think?

Many Thanks.

The woman who feels exploited in Wisconsin

Dear Lady,

You need a book and a lawyer. In this order.

The ledger will list all of your expenses and savings and will clearly state how much you both contribute to your marriage. Marriage is a romantic promise to love, honor, and respect one another for as long as you live—regardless of divorce—but it is primarily a financial and legal obligation. Your husband has to keep his end of the bargain. Set up a joint account for household expenses. No more tit for tat. Otherwise you will have the same argument for 20 years.

What if he doesn’t keep his end? It’s your choice if you want to be in a relationship where one party disrespects and/or pulls the other’s weight. This is where the lawyer comes in. Asking you to quit your job is an attempt, intentional or not, to deprive you of your financial agency and power in this relationship. You need to know your options and where your “red lines” lie – that is, what is negotiable and what is unacceptable.

It is unusual for one person to be on the mortgage while both parties are on the title deed. But that’s the good news. The mortgage is legally his responsibility. However, it is in both of your interests to ensure that you do not default, both for your creditworthiness and of course to avoid the bank foreclosure on your bank. You want to avoid standing on the mortgage and Not it says on the title deed. This would mean that you would be responsible for the mortgage but would not have an ownership interest in your home.

Wisconsin is a community state, which means anything you earn during the marriage is divided equally in the event of a divorce. The inheritance is not usually included in the marital/common property, even if you receive that inheritance during your marriages. In the event you have another inheritance, it is best to keep that money separate. I suspect your husband would do just that. But you did what you felt was the right decision for both of you at the time. After all, you are a team.

As you say, your husband seems to value expert advice and needs a nudge to see things from a different perspective. For this reason, you could also hire a mediator or financial advisor to go through your finances and your disagreements to help you reach an agreement so you don’t have the same discussion about who pays what for cars, houses, furniture, utilities, and Food.

You both bring in the same salary and you should be able to meet halfway.

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Also read:

“I’m really upset”: I borrowed $10,000 from my brother on a $200-per-month payment plan. We fell out, and now he wants all the money back

“I’m a 53-year-old single man with very little savings”: I want to take out a 30-year mortgage but pay it off in 7 years. Is that possible?

I received an inheritance of $130,000 from my mother. My husband says it’s mine to spend. What should I do with it – and why do I feel so guilty?

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/im-being-taken-advantage-of-by-my-own-husband-i-pay-all-the-bills-and-gave-the-down-payment-for-our-home-and-all-he-does-is-buy-stuff-and-contribute-to-his-401-k-11654798393?rss=1&siteid=rss “I’m being taken advantage of by my own husband”: I pay all the bills and put the down payment on our house, and all he does is buy stuff and contribute to his 401(k).

Brian Lowry

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