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'AITA for not doing my “job” as SAHM if my husband won't give me access to our bank accounts?' UPDATED

'AITA for not doing my “job” as SAHM if my husband won't give me access to our bank accounts?' UPDATED

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"WIBTA for not doing my 'job' because my husband refuses to give me access to “his” paycheck and “our” savings account?"

I am and always have been a stay at home mom to our 4 kids. Married for 6 years to current husband. He works full time and makes a good salary so we are still comfortable. I have not worked as childcare where we are is so expensive it would cost more than I would make to send them to daycare.

So despite not receiving a paycheck I believe I provide necessary services for our family my husband would otherwise be paying even more for to someone else. I also cook, clean, and do everything in the house.

I have never had access to the checking account his salary is deposited in. I also do not have access to “the” savings although this situation made me very uncomfortable as an adult, I truly tried to trust him and honestly had never asked for this situation to change.

I found out he had used almost all of our savings on a lawsuit I was aware of but was not allowed input into. I asked him to stop using our family savings. He simply said he said no and because I had no access to the accounts there was literally nothing I could do to stop him. I felt incredibly betrayed and was very angry.

Later, he wanted to refi our family home because the rates were so good. I told him I did not feel comfortable with that because of the lack of financial equity and transparency. I asked for 2 things to change to feel more comfortable and then I would absolutely sign off in the refi. His paycheck needed to be deposited in our joint bank account and the savings needed to be in both our names.

I held firm to my conditions. He finally realized he needed me to continue and said he agreed to my terms. But yesterday I discovered he lied and never intended to comply with my requests. The money was “his” and I was not going to be allowed access to any of it. He had intentionally tricked me.

I again tried to be reasonable and showed him what he would have to pay for the services I provide for our family to show that I do indeed provide part of our income. He said no. He would give me what he felt I needed just as he had always done. I honestly do have ample money to buy necessities for the kids and rarely need or want anything bigger so it has never been an issue.

But it feels so demeaning to basically have to ask for access to “our” money if and when I need it. I have never had financial issues so he cannot distrust me. He refuses to do anything differently and told me the reason is that he probably intends to divorce me soon. I am beyond devastated.

I put myself in a financially vulnerable position for this family and he used me and will now discard me while he keeps his regular job and seniority that I gave up for the good of our family.

WIBTA if I told him if I am not getting paid then I am not doing my “job” and didn’t provide any childcare anymore? He is working from home and while hard to manage and juggle both, he could technically do what everyone else has been doing in lockdown without childcare. He says I am absolutely an asshole. I am so hurt by the inequity and the lies. So what should I do?

EDIT TO UPDATE: Thank you all so much for the time you took to reach out and share knowledge or ideas or just hugs. I cannot tell you what it has meant to me to hear my feelings about his behaviors being flat out wrong. I have been told so often about so many things that I am wrong and crazy or that I’m manipulating the facts or gaslighting him or being controlling of him.

And it is one of the worst feeling to “feel” like you understand right from wrong and then have to struggle to wrap your head around what you are being told but it doesn’t make sense. So I am happy in an odd way that so many people see my world the way I do. That is invaluable.

A lot lot has happened in 25 hours since my original post. I got up to find that my husband had left the house. He didn’t leave a note or even text. I texted to ask if he would be returning. He said no - that he was leaving and we could discuss the kid’s schedule. I said okay. Then I started packing. I texted him to say that I would be taking the kids for a vacation to my parent’s house - about a 15 hour drive away.

My grandparents are very sick - failing hearts - and I didn’t think I would get the chance to say goodbye with the virus but this was my chance. I made sure to spell out in writing that I was not abandoning the house or taking the children away and fleeing or something ( a big no no in court). I waited for a written confirmation that he was okay with it.

He just asked for when I would be leaving and returning. So off we went! And we’ve had a really relaxing day in the car - almost there!! I’m typing because my parents drive towards me to meet us and my dad is now driving my car :) But to quickly answer some frequent questions -

I have seen a lawyer and do know most of what I would be entitled to because of my previous marriage and divorce. I would get child support. I would get spousal support for a short period of time because it is considered a short term marriage. The lawyer I saw (by borrowing money from my parents for the consultation) was a partner at a prestigious firm.

She said if money wasn’t an issue we could do x, y and z. But honestly that would only encourage him to up the anti more. She said her experience with these types of people are to be tough but fair and just get away from them. But he will almost surely get 50% custody because that is where the court is leaning now. What seems fair is almost never what is legal in the end.

I will not be able to move away to where any family lives unless he agrees - which I’m he won’t. Well I can move anywhere I want but I can’t bring the kids with me. So this will be a real struggle to find affordable housing and a job but hopefully I can figure it out.

I started staying at home when my oldest was born to me and my ex husband. We both had sahm’s and it was what we both wanted. Then when we divorced I ran the numbers and it was cheaper for him to pay me full child support and spousal support which I could live on and the kids didn’t have to go through yet another change in their lives. Minimizing their pain was my number 1 priority.

We lived in a small townhouse on our own for 7ish years until new husband. I absolutely did not choose to be a stay at home mom because I didn’t want to work. I loved my old job. But I thought I was doing what was right for the kids and most financially responsible for my family. Anyway - I think maybe I’m feeling defensive but I wanted to illustrate I was not simply trying to avoid a job.

WIBTA if I told him if I am not getting paid then I am not doing my “job” and didn’t provide any childcare anymore? He is working from home and while hard to manage and juggle both, he could technically do what everyone else has been doing in lockdown without childcare. He says I am absolutely an asshole. I am so hurt by the inequity and the lies. So what should I do?

What do you think of this situation? WIBTA? What do you think she should do? This is what top commenters had to say:

said:

NTA. This is financial abuse. He is making sure you depend on him and that you can never leave. Going on a strike is a very mild reaction. You may want to ask yourself if you can live with someone who deliberately tricks you financially.

kupur said:

NTA. Honey, he is financially abusive. He:

  • refuses to give you access (or even let you look at) the family savings account

  • spent all of the family savings on a lawsuit without telling you

  • refuses to let you have a say in what the family savings account is used for

  • refused to stop using the family savings account (which makes it sound like he believes that family savings = HIS savings)

  • lied about letting you have access to the accounts so he could refinance the mortgage

  • makes you ask for money when you need it

Biggest flag of all: He's TOLD YOU, to your face, that he plans to DIVORCE YOU.

You need to get out of there, because it truly sounds like he is getting ready to leave you struggling. Honestly, I think he wanted to refinance the house into HIS name only (which means very little if both your names are on the deed, but who knows). He is making sure you receive exactly 0% of the household income, so that you're forced to rely on him for money and so you can't build up your own savings.

You are NOT the asshole for stopping childcare. Honestly -- do it. Do it right now. Do it and get a JOB and start saving up everything, because you need to have a safety net for when he pulls the rug out from under you. Make sure you have your own bank account he can't access.

Make sure you have a way to get to your family or friends if he decides to leave and not give you access to a car. Contact a divorce attorney -- but most won't work on contingency. In many places, you are entitled to 50% of the marital assets -- INCLUDING what's in his fricking bank account, as well as the car, and the courts will not be happy to hear that he has been withholding money from his partner.

cultqueennn said:

Nta. You are not his partner, you are his babysit/maid/doormat. He does not see you as an equal partner or respect your role as a mother. Please find some financial independence and get out.

[deleted] said:

Men like your husband set out to have three things. They are not looking for a wife, but a maid, a babysitter, and a sex-provider! You have a right to be upset. NTA.

Commenters agreed, NTA. And many urged her to get out of this relationship, given his "abusive" and controlling behavior.

OP later shared this update:

Thank you all so much for the time you took to reach out and share knowledge or ideas or just hugs. I cannot tell you what it has meant to me to hear my feelings about his behaviors being flat out wrong. I have been told so often about so many things that I am wrong and crazy or that I’m manipulating the facts or gaslighting him or being controlling of him.

And it is one of the worst feeling to “feel” like you understand right from wrong and then have to struggle to wrap your head around what you are being told but it doesn’t make sense. So I am happy in an odd way that so many people see my world the way I do. That is invaluable.

A lot lot has happened in 25 hours since my original post. I got up to find that my husband had left the house. He didn’t leave a note or even text. I texted to ask if he would be returning. He said no - that he was leaving and we could discuss the kid’s schedule. I said okay. Then I started packing. I texted him to say that I would be taking the kids for a vacation to my parent’s house - about a 15 hour drive away.

My grandparents are very sick - failing hearts - and I didn’t think I would get the chance to say goodbye with the virus but this was my chance. I made sure to spell out in writing that I was not abandoning the house or taking the children away and fleeing or something ( a big no no in court). I waited for a written confirmation that he was okay with it.

He just asked for when I would be leaving and returning. So off we went! And we’ve had a really relaxing day in the car - almost there!! I’m typing because my parents drive towards me to meet us and my dad is now driving my car :)

But to quickly answer some frequent questions -

I have seen a lawyer and do know most of what I would be entitled to because of my previous marriage and divorce. I would get child support. I would get spousal support for a short period of time because it is considered a short term marriage. The lawyer I saw (by borrowing money from my parents for the consultation) was a partner at a prestigious firm.

She said if money wasn’t an issue we could do x, y and z. But honestly that would only encourage him to up the anti more. She said her experience with these types of people are to be tough but fair and just get away from them. But he will almost surely get 50% custody because that is where the court is leaning now.

What seems fair is almost never what is legal in the end. I will not be able to move away to where any family lives unless he agrees - which I’m he won’t. Well I can move anywhere I want but I can’t bring the kids with me. So this will be a real struggle to find affordable housing and a job but hopefully I can figure it out.

I started staying at home when my oldest was born to me and my ex husband. We both had sahm’s and it was what we both wanted. Then when we divorced I ran the numbers and it was cheaper for him to pay me full child support and spousal support which I could live on and the kids didn’t have to go through yet another change in their lives. Minimizing their pain was my number 1 priority.

We lived in a small townhouse on our own for 7ish years until new husband. I absolutely did not choose to be a stay at home mom because I didn’t want to work. I loved my old job. But I thought I was doing what was right for the kids and most financially responsible for my family. Anyway - I think maybe I’m feeling defensive but I wanted to illustrate I was not simply trying to avoid a job.

Sources: Reddit
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