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Woman 40 weeks pregnant gets scolded by husband for spending $35. 'I'm not sure if this is financial abuse.' AITA? UPDATED

Woman 40 weeks pregnant gets scolded by husband for spending $35. 'I'm not sure if this is financial abuse.' AITA? UPDATED


When this woman is furious with her husband but can't tell if he's justified in his behavior, she asks the internet:

"I'm 40 Weeks Pregnant and was scolded by my husband for shopping. AITA?"

My spouse and I split the mortgage and put equal amounts into our down payment. He makes about $45,000 more than I do. We have a shared account for housing purchases but separate personal accounts. I was reluctant to merge our accounts because I feel he can be controlling and didn't want to have my purchases analyzed.

I buy the majority of the groceries since I drive around the city getting discounts. He also supports his Mom financially. I feel like I spend more money on groceries than he realizes but we've never nickel & dimed it. He's offered and I admit I've put it off.

Fast forward to me being 40 weeks pregnant on a medical leave about to have a significantly reduced income. I am also currently stretched financially since I have a condo that was up for sale. It's been free of tenants and I have been paying that mortgage.

Also, we received mostly EVERYTHING we could've ever wanted for our baby from my friend. I also paid for the car seat, change table and nursing chair. My job gifted us an enormous amount of diapers.

NOW: We wanted to put floating shelves in the nursery. I ask to use his credit card. Whilst buying the floating shelves, I used his credit card to buy a $35 laundry drying rack. This is where it all unravels.

I've expressed wanting a drying rack in the past (we use ski poles to hang items between doors. I climb a chair to balance these sticks. I am thinking of all the laundry I'll be doing with a baby and don't want to be climbing a chair to balance clothing on ski poles).

When I expressed wanting to buy one, he said he wants one he can attach to the wall. He's also expressed it not being a priority at this time since my income is reduced (He makes over 100K).

I had a feeling this purchase would be an issue so all the other errands I did that day I used my own credit card (i.e. filled gas in my car which we share; bought new batteries for our garage door opener ($15); made copies of our house keys since he asked me to ($15); small groceries ($30) since my Mom is staying with us and he gets cranky when "his" food is eaten).

I know I'm being incredibly verbose here but I feel like all these details matter since I truly run myself to my financial limit to avoid his wrath/lectures.

When I got home, he demanded I return it. I did return it but I told him he is controlling.

We were supposed to go on a date as a final evening before baby; he cancelled that and told me its the "last time he will be sponsoring my shopping habit". This comment pushed me over the edge. I am truly so frugal and spend all my own money.

He said I buy things for fun with his credit card. I think I've used his credit card a total of 5-10 times in our five year relationship and its been getting groceries for parties with HIS family. I've NEVER once used his credit card on anything personal.

32 hours later: he tells me he is buying his own car (to dissociate from needing anything from me, I imagine) and he will "never help me financially again and its up to me to figure out how I am going to finance my mat leave".

I understand he is stressed and I think his stress comes out in the form of control. He's also a 40 year old man and needs to learn to deal with stress like any other adult in society. I also feel his response was not so much about the $35 but that I bought something "we don't need" that was not preapproved.

This time, I refuse to apologize and made it very clear how upset I feel which leads to further escalation.

I'm pissed off because this is the kind of support I receive leading into labour. I'm also pissed off because I feel like there is an assumption by his family and friends that I live off his income since we have a beautiful home in a desirable neighbourhood and he has a significantly higher paying job than me.

I've never let on that this couldn't be further from the truth.

Before we give you OP's update, let's take a look at some of the top responses:

dazzlelove writes:

Abuse often escalated in pregnancy. You are now in his eyes financially and physically trapped, and he is escalating his control and financial abuse of you. This is not going to get better if you sell your condo as you will have nowhere to go to.

At the very least, you need to agree to him giving you a fixed amount of his income per month whilst on maternity leave. If he doesn’t agree to this, you need to leave. Otherwise you will build up increasing debt on your leave or be forced to go back to work too early. And he will likely force you to pay for daycare too.

sulham writes:

NTA and I’m gonna echo everything shared here: this man does not love you, he doesn’t want the baby, and you need to get away from him. I don’t care how stressed out he claims to be.

You’re not even under any financial duress as a couple and he’s acting like you bought a car behind his back. He’s acting like you cheated and paid for the date using his money.

This is all really really bad, and I cannot stress enough how important it is that you get completely away from him. It’s gonna get a lot worse and it won’t be better ever again. Say goodbye to the nice man you met and fell in love with, he probably was never real. You cannot depend on him. I’m sorry this is happening to you, best of luck.

throwaway23 writes:

You're being abused at the most vulnerable moment in your life. Does he think the cost of raising his child is free?? You should go back to your condo and file for a divorce.

He would be on the hook up pay child support and maybe alimony. It's not right you have to walk on eggshells in regards to spending whatever. Not like you came with a sephora bag full of makeup.

This is the path he led you down. Leave while you can before you have the baby so you will not need his support in any manner aside from financial since that's his biggest issue. He wants to be petty, game on. You hold all the cards my dear.

restless23 writes:

Sweetheart you're in an abusive relationship. He is financially and emotionally abusive. He owns the condo so you literally have no place else to go there. He's getting his own car good pack your stuff stuff for the baby and your mom and head for her house.

You said in previous post that you were in counseling and it was obvious he was only doing it to appease you. Why would you think anything's going to get any better now that you're having a child. He is going to continue to be like this and this is not the environment you want to raise a child in.

Please consider the your safety and the safety of the baby above everything else and get the hell out of there.

watercolors writes:

I was adamant upon marriage that finances are merged. There is no plan B. We either do this or get out now. Both paychecks, one account. Everything is split down the middle and everything we own has two names on it.

We have never argued over money, and no one has ever been broke. Decisions are joint, and splurges or sacrifices are evenly distributed. This is the way.

It is all my opinion based on my observations in life from witnessing the destruction of many relationships in the lives of the adults all around me. No one says you have to marry, but if you do (and I am for it for people), you should enter into it with the old fashioned belief that two become one.

The husband in this post grosses me out, and I worry for this relationship if he doesn’t have a massive epiphany and recognize what a selfish child he is. I hope things change for you OP.

fortu5 writes:

Wow. NTA. You purposely elected to have a child with this person? I'm just gobsmacked. Finances should have been clearly determined and defined BEFORE you decided to have a kid.

I'm sorry, but I have news for you. You are a single Mom. Although you should already have known this, by his behavior, he just confirmed what he is. Believe him.

In your shoes, I would stop hiding anything from anyone. Tell his your family, his family, and your friends EXACTLY what he said. Why?

Because you are going to need support, and if he isn't going to support you, others need to know that in advance and be ready to help. You should also tell them about your income disparity and lack of proportional contributions.

Tell them how you have been paying for everything. STOP doing anything for him at all. STOP paying for his groceries or cooking for him. Buy only what you specifically need, and tell him that this is one of the ways you are figuring out your maternity leave. Because, frankly, you're going to need all your energy taking care of a newborn.

Fate has provided you with a solution. Not selling your condo gives you a place to go. Get your Mom to help you set it up enough to move over there when baby is born. I wish you and the baby good luck. Unfortunately, I think you're going to need it.

kittykat! writes:

You knew from day one he was prone to financial abuse. You said you kept a side account for your own personal expenses because of this. Now you are experiencing it in the worst way. In no way should you have had to be the one to buy the baby’s furniture.

You definitely don’t need to be standing on a chair trying to rig a drying rack out of ski poles at full term. Or ever when he makes $100,000. You can afford a $35 drying rack.

Take your condo off the market. Move back there as soon as possible. Sue him for divorce and get everything you can. Half of the house, his private accounts, his retirement account, and as much child support as the courts will give you. Spousal support if that’s a thing in your state. Get it all since money is what he values so much.

festiff0 writes:

You are pregnant with his child. He makes more than you, and he is “not gonna financially support you any longer” (when did he? Really?) Whaf a pathetic excuse for a man.

Op. For a lot of this thread you repeatedly said “avoided his wrath” this isn’t a normal response. Buying thirty five bucks worth of a drying rack will not and should not instill fear on any adult woman of her partners “wrath” that alone is a sign for you to leave and never return.

All the ways you tried to “minimize” Whaf already was a very innocuous non issue tell me that man has been gaslighting you ALOT, you think you are in the wrong, you are overly justifying yourself for things you don’t even need to justify in the first place!!!!

Please please please contact your support network to get a way out. He has been emotionally abusing you and now is financially abusing you and I’m afraid it could escalate even more. It’s already beyond fd up. Stay safe op. Hope ot all works out.

shotgre writes:

I married this! Please follow the advice of most of these people. Leave while you can. He is NOT going to change. He will ALWAYS control you and your child. He will ALWAYS blame you for anything and everything.

He will ALWAYS separate you from your friends to keep you close. He will NEVER 'allow" you to do what you want to do. Please do not sell your condo. Rent it and keep the money is a separate account that he has no access to.

Talk to a lawyer (without him knowing) to prepare for child support and spouse support. While on maternity leave, just stick to your guns and make him pay for everything - you've got nothing coming in during this time so he has to cover it all. In the meantime prepare yourself. Good luck and keep us posted.

OP's first update:

Thank you to everyone for reading and responding. I actually wrote this post on my desktop a couple weeks ago but didn't get around to posting it until now because of fear? IDK.

I did have my baby and we are two weeks postpartum. Things have been tense and my spouse has been awful to my Mom who has been around helping me. Like truly awful to her. That's another issue.

I guess it's helped having a witness. I appreciate everyone's advice. Right now, I am focused on my baby and healing as I did have a very traumatic birth. I can tell I need to leave. The condo I have is several provinces away.

And it actually did sell...I don't have tenants in it so that it is vacant for the sellers. My spouse is head over heels for the baby. He has been treating me (and my Mom) awfully but is fully engaged with the baby.

As for those commenting on why on earth did I procreate with this human...good question. I have a lot of regret for letting myself go so far with him (i.e. moving across the country, buying a home).

I'll admit that the person I thought he was is not the person he is and I normalized WAYYY too much. I think I wanted this relationship to work but clearly at all costs. Maybe, it's a low self esteem thing.

The baby was not planned as I had been told in the past I had fertility issues so it was a surprise.

And now, OP's 2nd UPDATE:

Thank you, thank you, thankyou. Even writing this out was cathartic for me. I was not expecting such a reply. Reading your reactions helps me realize how toxic and dysfunctional things are.

Lots of you told me to move into my condo - it actually did sell so that's not a possibility but the profits from that will help me move on. Moreover, I did have my baby. That has been a gift. My Mom has been at our house helping me; though my partner has been a complete dick to her.

She is flabbergasted and feels like I need to GTFO and I have been making too many excuses for him as usual (i.e. "post partum anxiety; obsessive compulsive personality disorder, etc").

At the end of the day, I realize holding empathy for someone who doesn't mirror it back is really not healthy. I did have a conversation with him about our finances and told him what he is doing is financial abuse.

. He did end up buying drying racks that he installed in the wall. He did not apologize for all the drama but expressed wanting those all along and not the one I bought.

He also never did buy a car. He does bluff, sometimes; I did not follow up with the car since I did not want to revisit the drama in my post partum state.

Some of you suggested, I cut him off from baby right away. This I did not feel okay doing. So far, he has been a very doting Father; in fact, part of his behaviour towards my Mom is being very protective/territorial over our daughter. I can predict this will make separation difficult in the future.

I am in conversations with lawyers but also focusing on improving things between us: having a transparent mutual budget and him having to change his reactivity. I don't see myself waiting around for long; I suppose in my mind, I want to know that not only have I reach the end of my rope but I communicated the need for improvement.

To those of you that wrote me personal messages and were worried for my safety : thank you for concern and care. You make me feel so much less alone. Though, he can be a major asshole towards me, I have never felt physically threatened.

I can see that he commits financial and emotional abuse but I do feel physically safe in my current situation. I know this is not enough for any relationship. I am not trying to diminish other forms of abuse.

Moreover, this is not the model I want for my daughter. I know it needs to change and thank you internet for helping me.

What do YOU make of OP's story? Any advice for her?

Sources: Reddit
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