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'My wife paid off my mortgage then threw it in my face over a disagreement. What do I do?' UPDATED

'My wife paid off my mortgage then threw it in my face over a disagreement. What do I do?' UPDATED


We all say things we regret in the heat of the moment, it's just a matter of clarifying and moving past the moment.

In a popular post on the Relationship Advice subreddit, a man asked for advice after his wife threw the mortgage situation in his face. He wrote:

"My 36M wife 37F paid off my mortgage then threw it in my face over a disagreement. How should I handle this?"

I 36M have known my wife 37F half my life. We reconnected 10 years ago and started dating a little less than 7 years ago and have been married for 4 years. I bought our current house 10 years ago before we started dating and refinanced when rates where below 3%. We were together then and decided to just have me on the loan.

I'm a government employee making roughly 120k a year and she works in education making roughly 40k. Quick run down on our fiances. We joined our fiances when we got married. I have roughly 4k in credit card debt. She has around 10k in credit card and auto loan debt plus she brought 50K in student loans current sitting around 25k.

We came up with a budget and plan to tackle these debts while also investing in retirement plans from our jobs. A year ago her grandfather passed away and she received around 150k. She sat down and asked what we should do with the money. With our salary with can easily pay more than minimums on our debts plus set aside for retirement and vacation funds. I told her it was her money to use as she wanted.

She decided to pay off the mortgage that was in my name. She met with a tax specialist and figured out the numbers. Honestly this made me cry because it was genuinely one of kindest things anyone has ever done for me. Fast forward to last Friday. We both get home around the same time and start doing our normal routine after work. We chat about how work went and relax for a bit.

She cooked dinner and I cleaned up afterward. I Ioaded the dishwasher and sat down to play Final Fantasy VII remake. I'm not a huge gamer by any means. My wife heard me mention that I wanted that game and its sequel that just came out so she suprised me with them. I told her I'd be playing for roughly an hour which how long I usually play before my eyes hurt. She sat down and cracked open a book like usual.

It's something we do most days. Roughly an hour later she gets up and says its my turn to take out the trash. I replied "okay, give me five minutes because I'm fighting this boss."

"I paid off this f**king mortage and you can't get off your a#s to do this for me?"

I'm shocked at this point because she is never like this. We communicated early on in our relationship when she moved into our house that if she wanted me to do something to ask and I would do it. If I was already busy doing something I would give her an honest timeline on when I could do it. That if she needed it done immediately then to let me know and I would stop what I was doing and do it.

This has worked wonderfully until then. I pause the game take the trash outside and just try to get my anger under control. She has never yelled at me before but honestly it's the holding this over my head that hurts my heart. I didn't ask her to do it and our salary was more than enough to allow her to keep the money saved for herself.

Eventually I go back inside and told her I don't like her holding that over my head and that I never asked her to do that for me. She replied that I was ungrateful and gave me the silent treatment. The next morning she apologized to me in tears and said stress from work got to her.

I believe she is telling the truth because some of her students are in ab*sive homes and child services hasn't done anything to protect those kids. This whole issue is wildly out of character for her.

My question is how do I handle this? I'm not leaving her because this is the first and only time she has acted this way. She did say it though and it still hurts so how do I move on from this?

The internet had a lot to say in response.

devmcf wrote:

Certainly unfair for someone to hold something you didn’t ask for over your head. Maybe she’s stressed from work, but there’s probably another reason why she’s upset and bringing it up. You said the house is in your name? Do you think maybe she’s feeling uncertainty due to the fact that she has no entitlement to the house she just put 6 figures on?

Have you talked about adding her name to the ownership?

It seems like you see her paying your mortgage off as more of a gift than a contribution.

OP responded:

That might be it. We discussed adding her when I refinanced. Im more than willing to add her on and we tell her that when I sit down with her after dinner tonight. It would hurt to think she sees it as just a gift and not a contribution. She's my partner in life.

Witty-Stock-4913 wrote:

I think you need to add her to the title. She may be regretting it, because she technically has no ownership in it, and that would be the appropriate course of action since I'm guessing she has as much into the house by now as you do. Then you guys can discuss reallocating the funds that went toward the mortgage to other things.

But more fundamentally, I'd ask her if she does regret it and then offer to take a loan back out and reimburse her. Because she isn't allowed to hold this over your head, and if she thinks she might again, it's not worth it.

OP responded:

I'm all aboard adding her to the title. It's our home after all. Just never thought it to bring it up when we agreed to not add her to the loan when I refinanced.

Severe_Maintenance65 wrote:

Clearly, there are two things happening here. You'll need to find out what happened that day to cause her to act out in such a manner She likely had a seriously bad day and acted out of an excess of anger that could not be controlled at that moment. So she lost control of herself said something very hurtful.

Whether she realizes it or not, she clearly has resentment issues about paying off the mortgage. You said she wasn't on the original mortgage paperwork, which means she likely wasn't listed on the deed. I have to ask: Did you put her on the deed after she paid it off? Or is the house still in your name?

OP responded:

Still in my name and I'm gonna fix that and try and talk with her tonight after dinner. She is very remorseful for what she said and I wanna be there and help her figure out why she got so upset.

Mum_of_Rebels wrote:

I’d say there was talking of houses at work. And she mentioned this situation. And realized her name isn’t on the title.

OP responded:

That's very possible and I didn't re-adress adding to it when it got paid off. That's on me.

ellenripleyisanicon wrote:

Yes, it is. I'd even get this process started even before you speak to her, it will mean so much more and will be so validating for her.

"I've made an appointment with a lawyer to change this on Friday, I'm so sorry I didn't think of it immediately" is so much more meaningful and impactful than, "Shall I do it? Ok, I'll look into it asap."

jo1717a wrote:

Do you generally have issues with being proactive in this relationship? A couple of things that makes me believe that is the fact that she told you about taking the trash out (also the fact that you have this deal where you will do something if she asks. Typically this isn't ideal because she still has to hold the mental responsibilities of everything which can still be exhausting.

Proactively doing things so she doesn't even have to think about them is the best for everyone) and also the fact that you didn't make bother to put her name on the title of the home after she paid it off for you.

A few days later, OP shared an update.

This is going to be a fairly long update I imagine. TL:DR at the bottom.

I cooked dinner for my wife last night and after we had a very nice and heartfelt conversation. She started the conversation by asking me if something was wrong because I made her favorite dish.

She seemed nervous. I told her there was something wrong and it was that I fucked up big time when she paid the mortgage off. She started to interrupt and I asked her to let me finish because I wasn't mad at her. I told her I was going to add her to the deed and it should have happened as soon as she paid off our house.

She started crying telling me that I didn't have to do that and I told her that I wanted to and apologized for not doing so sooner. She tried making excuses for me as to why I didn't do so sooner. She mentioned something that I had actually forgot about.

Shortly before she paid the house off I had received a letter saying my FAA Class II medical certificate application had been denied for a medical issue and I needed to see some doctors before they could reissue my Class II. Honestly this wasn't a big deal and was something that had happened to me before and I thought that I reassured her enough that everything was going to be okay.

I said that I had forgot about that entire episode because it may have seemed like a big deal but it really wasn't. I reiterated that I f#$ked up big time and asked for her forgiveness which she gave me. I asked her if not being added to the deed had bothered her and she said it hurt her feelings and it hurt to hear that because that is the last thing I ever want to do to her.

I told her I would take Monday(today) off and if she could take a few hours off at the end of her day that we would add her to the deed. She said that she would do that but wanted to take the whole day and we could go in the morning and then spend the rest of the day together.

We kept talking and I brought up if things were more stressful at work then what she had let on and she said that one of her students showed up and her clothes were covered in cat piss(not the first or second time for this little girl). She was crying at this point and she curled up and laid her head on my lap. I tried my best to sooth her by playing with her hair and eventually she was able to start to relax.

She volunteered that the little girl and some of her other students had been on her mind when she snapped on me. I had an idea on where this was going to go. Backstory, my wife found out in her early 20s that she wouldn't be able to have children. I won't go into detail as to why. “Why is it fair that terrible people get to have children and I can't?”

I did my best to reassure her that I love her regardless and that maybe we could look into adoption like we discussed before we got married. My wife told me that when she reminded me it was my turn to take out the trash that she wanted to walk and talk with me. Context on our house.

We have a few acres of land and it's about a 5 minute walk to the pull trailer where we toss the garbage that I take every Saturday to the dump. She planned on asking me how I felt about fostering some of these kids. Despite my previous posts some of these kids do get removed but unfortunately some do end up going back most of the time. We have the extra rooms and I said that we could definitely do that.

We talked about ways to try and manage her stress better and she mentioned that when we go hiking it helps her clear her mind and relax so we agreed to do more hiking. I mentioned seeing a therapist as well and she was open to the idea so we will be looking into that for her.

I reassured her if she feels overwhelmed that we are in this together and she just smiled and said “I know!” In a Han Solo voice and we both just erupted in laughter. Eventually we circled back around to her inheritance and I asked her if she regretted using her inheritance to pay off our house and she said no. She thought about it and considered paying off other debts but wanted to do this for us.

She said the tax specialist advised her to pay off other debts first but she just wanted to know how doing this would affect our taxes. At the time student loan interest were frozen and our credit cards were transferred to 0% interest cards. She understood that paying them off first and using the rest on the mortgage was probably still the better move but she wanted the larger debt knocked out.

She asked how I felt about slowing down our retirement saving and investing and just steamrolling the rest of the debt. I can retire at 50 and have to retire at 56 and I've been preparing since I joined the air force and continued in my current position. In my TSP alone I'm closer to 2 million than one million.

We will be just fine in retirement but we both love to travel and I want to continue to see the world. We discussed this at length before I mentioned that instead of going to Australia for our 5th anniversary that we had enough saved for it that we could just pay off the debt right now and still have enough to go to France in particular Paris instead.

She smiled and asked me if I was sure because Australia is my number 1 bucket list destination. I told her she always wanted to spend Christmas in Paris so why not do it this year and pay off our debts. Australia can be our 10th anniversary trip. So our debt is completely paid off and going to Paris for Christmas. Let's just say that made her very very happy.

So we both used a sick day today and were able to meet with a real-estate attorney and tax specialist. Without getting into details there were a few potential drawbacks that were discussed with us but ultimately nothing too drastic. Overall it took around 3 hours and now my wife is officially on the deed. We are about to head out for a late lunch then curl up in bed and binge watch Chicago Fire.

TL:DR- We talked things over and we are going to be okay. Looking into therapy for her stress. We paid off our debt and she is now on the deed. Everything has been turned in for her to be on the deed. The wife and I consider it done and just waiting to get it "officially" official so if that bothers people then oh well.

The internet had a lot to say in response.

-Sharon-Stoned- wrote:

I wish the best for her students but I also feel that fostering your own students is a slippery slope with pretty tricky ethics.

OP responded:

I didn't want to get into alot of details in the post but she mentioned previous students. She knows its a slippery slope if we tried with current student. She's a 1st grade teacher so it would be 2nd/3rd grade students and not necessarily even ones she had but are in the district.

WildlyUninteresting wrote:

Sounds like you had the conversations that you needed.


OP responded:

Thank you.

Alibee64 wrote:

What a great update! And please look into fostering or adopting a child if that’s something you both want. You sound like a great couple with a lot to offer a child.

Severe_Maintenance65 wrote:

Dear OP,

Thank you for the happy news. I'm really glad you two were able to talk and sort stuff out. Do keep us up to date on your foster adventures! And, go be awesome!

cocoagiant wrote:

How the heck did you get a deed change in less than 2 days?

My parents have been trying to change their deed to align with their will and its taken several weeks.

briber67 wrote:

I think they submitted the paperwork for a change and are counting it in the finished column. They will be issued a new deed in a few weeks.

OP responded:

Yeah and for all intents and purposes she on the deed. Its a done deal. It wasn't a difficult process at all.

OP shared more financial information in another comment.

We make enough to save for retirement which we never stopped doing, pay debt and go on vacations. My personal networth is 2.7 million without our house included. We will be fine in retirement. I get 70% disability and my pension from my job will be around 70Kish based on projections. Now we can just simply keep investing for retirement and go on more trips.

CommissarCiaphisCain wrote:

So happy to read this update. Being debt-free is a great feeling. We sacrificed a lot to pay off our house and other loans. It took years but it was worth it. Interestingly, it also really changed how we look at and manage money. While we weren’t big spenders before, this exercise helped us understand where every single dollar goes, and we learned how to prioritize the important things.

It sounds like OP and his wife were able to smooth everything over like true adults.

Sources: Reddit
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