If there’s one things couples are super likely to fight about, it’s money. Especially in an era of high inflation and economic anxiety, even the most loving and compassionate partnerships can have friction when it comes to budgeting and bills. But one Redditor caught some flack in r/AITA after arguing that “his” money shouldn’t be used to fund his partner (a SAHM)’s personal expenses.
Per the poster, his wife (who both has a disability that makes work challenging and cares for their child), received an inheritance from her only family that foot the bill for them being able to buy a house, two new cars and put money toward both of their retirements. After the death of this important family member, she became a stay-at-home parent to be with their daughter, deal with her grief and over-come some work challenges.
“Thing is though, I’d rather not work and be a stay at home dad too but I’ve been sucking it up because we still need an income to get by,” OP wrote — and then went on to say that he had issues with his wife attempting to talk to him about budgeting his income to fund their shared lifestyle. Specifically in funding his wife’s hobbies like sewing and going to the gym.
“I said if I’m the one who has to work (and I’d rather not) I don’t think I should have to spend my money funding her hobbies and spending money. If she chooses not to work then she can buy clothes at the charity shop instead of new and get a friend to cut her hair for free etc. Or she can get a job working a night shift or start an online business or something to fund her spending money,” he wrote. “I don’t see why I should have to pay for stuff like her sewing materials and gym membership since I don’t benefit from them and they’re not my responsibility. I’m happy to pay for stuff for our daughter seeing as she’s my responsibility so I don’t think I’m being unreasonable here. I work 36 hours a week and I already pay for the bills and food.”
When she tried to broach that her inheritance (that she shared without question) certainly made up for a lifetime’s worth of work and that it was unfair for him to view her hobbies/lifestyle needs as “not his responsibility” in such a cold way, he reiterated that, to him, “the difference is I’m paying for them with my money.”
Unsurprisngly, Reddit had some words for this poster. As the house and cars were paid for out of her inheritance on top of her providing childcare they would otherwise have to pay for, the numbers in this equation just weren’t adding up.
“But also, as a SAHM OP’s wife provides round-the-clock care for their daughter… She should start charging him for that service. If he dOesN’T wAnT to fUnD her wellbeing, then why should she provide free child care?” another commenter wrote. “OP you sound like a competitive, jealous person, not a partner.”
There’s also the issue here where it seems one partner is open to viewing funds as “their” money — as in for their shared life together trying to increase one another’s happiness and stability — and the other is viewing funds as simply “mine.” And while it is absolutely important that partners mutually contribute to their households in the ways that make sense and match their needs and it’s valid to maintain some semblance of financial autonomy/independence in your relationship, the willingness to view his partner as “not [his] responsibility” coded as really off-putting and selfish.
“He wouldn’t have a new car and new house if it wasn’t for his wife buying them. I can’t believe his selfish mindset, especially after his wife so freely shared her money. She treated it as their money, not hers, so in return he should do the same,” one commenter wrote. “If I were her I would consider kicking him out of MY house, selling the car I bought him, and divorcing his selfish self.”
Ultimately, it sounds like there might be a talk with a couple’s counselor in order to see if these two can’t come to an understanding about how resources can best be shared.
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