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Woman accused by husband of 'financial infidelity,' ''re COMPLETELY off base.' AITA? UPDATED 4X

Woman accused by husband of 'financial infidelity,' ''re COMPLETELY off base.' AITA? UPDATED 4X


When this woman's husband accuses her of financial infidelity, she asks the internet:

"AITAH? Husband accused me of "financial infidelity."

Husband (33M) and (33f) have been married for 10 years, together since college. Since starting out we have made financial security a priority and have been able to achieve that, albeit with some good luck along the way.

We both have good jobs (paying close to 200K each). Student loans were paid off within a few years (both went to state schools with some scholarships so didn't have a lot of debt to begin with), we live in a house I inherited from my grandmother (no mortgage), and don't have any credit card debt.

We max out our 401(k)s and currently have 18 months of expenses in our emergency fund and are still adding to it. Our cars are both paid off and should be good for another 5+ years and we don't have any credit card debt.

We manage our finances in a hybrid manner - joint accounts for bills and savings, and separate accounts for our "fun" money (we each get a pretty generous monthly allotment).

The fun money is strictly for our individual expenses (hobbies, clothes, outings with friends, etc.) and NOT for things like date nights, vacations, or larger joint purchases like household appliances and repairs which come out of our joint account.

We also agreed that if either of us gets any bonuses (or has any side hustle income) those will go into our individual fun money accounts, unless the funds are needed for a larger expense such as a major home repair.

In terms of the "fun" money, my husband is much more of a spender than I am due to expensive hobbies (in particular golf and collecting sports memorabilia, and he's also more into designer clothes), which is fine - it's his fun money!

On the other hand, my hobbies are a lot less expensive (running/working out, reading, baking). In general I'm more introverted and a great time for me is tea with a friend at one of our homes, with homemade pastries.

I have also been getting back into gaming lately after setting it aside for much of the past decade while building my career. After realizing I had more than enough in my fun money account, I decided to overhaul my gaming setup and got myself a new PC, desk and gaming chair (total cost of about $5,000).

However, upon hearing about the purchase, my husband is furious. He says he had no idea I had saved so much money and that I should have consulted him before spending $5K.

I asked what difference it made if it was my own accrued fun money and not our joint funds, and he insisted that my accumulating this amount, without telling him, was a form of financial infidelity.

He says he lost trust in me and doesn't know what else I might be hiding. He is demanding that I return the items I purchased and deposit most of the funds to our joint account.

He wants to make a new rule that fun money accounts can't accumulate more than $2K and that any excess goes back to the joint account (a rule that would obviously favor him as a person who spends most of his allotment each month instead of saving up for anything bigger).

I feel like I am being punished for being more of a day-to-day saver than spender. It wouldn't occur to me to demand to know how much my husband has in his fun money account or to try to micromanage what he spends it on.

And now, OP's update:

Here's the TL;DR: Husband and I (33M/33F) are fairly high income earners (about 200K/year each), own our home free and clear, no other debts of any kind.

we save close to half of our income and most finances are joint but we allocate $1500/month each (plus any extra income such as from bonuses or side hustles) for "fun money" (for hobbies, luxury goods, outings with our own friends that aren't together, etc.).

Husband tends to spend his fun money month to month due to his expensive hobbies (primarily golf) while I tend to save the majority of mine because my interests (such as running and baking) are less expensive.

I have been getting back into gaming lately, though, and having saved up more than enough of my fun money, I spent $5K on a new gaming rig and really nice desk and chair.

Husband blew a gasket and accused me of "financial infidelity" even though I was operating within what I thought were our agreed-upon rules by spending my own allocated fun money on hobby stuff.

Update 2:

My husband finally calmed down enough to have a conversation with me. As many others who provided comments suggested, it wasn't really about the money, but a window into larger issues in our relationship. Essentially, my husband has been feeling increasingly unhappy with me for a while, for the following reasons:

In general, he feels that he's a lot more committed to his career development than I am to mine. It's true that although we currently have about the same income, the ceiling for his field (finance) is a lot higher than the one for mine (tech/software dev). He's currently in an executive training program and I'm decidedly not.

He's feeling resentful that he he's having to work long hours in a high-pressure environment, while I get to work primarily at home doing something that is fun and fairly easy for me and I'm not stretching myself to do more.

He's concerned that over time these resentments are going to build, and that I'm not going to end up pulling my weight financially if he takes huge leaps in his career and I don't.

He remarked that, since getting back into gaming a few months ago, I have been putting a bit less effort into cooking (I do nearly all the cooking because I work at home and have an easier schedule).

It's true that I have been fixing simpler meals (things like grilled chicken salads, or chili with cornbread) instead of elaborate meals with fussier foods and several sides.

He has also noticed that I haven't been doing the elaborate table settings I used to (with flowers on the table, fancy placemats, etc.) - honestly I didn't realize he noticed or cared about this, but apparently he does. Acts of service are one of his main love languages so overall he's feeling a little neglected because of this.

He also feels I'm not putting enough effort into my appearance. Not in terms of weight/body (I'm a long-distance runner and slim) but in terms of things like clothes, hair, etc.

It's true that I've never paid much attention to these things - given that I work at home in tech the standard for appearances is extremely low and I far exceed that.

I tend to buy simple, practical clothes at places like Target and Walmart, don't wear much makeup and keep my hair in a simple ponytail. I do glam up a lot more for date nights and other dressy occasions, but most days he comes home from work to find me in a T-shirt and yoga pants with no makeup, and he wants me to make more of an effort.

The bottom line is that because of all these things, he's starting to notice other women. Says he hasn't cheated, he's just noticing other people because he's regularly disappointed in me.

In particular, given that he works in finance there are a good number of very career-oriented, Type-A women who manage to have fantastic bodies, be effortlessly polished and glam, and have more interesting hobbies.

He also says he feels horrible about all this because he knows I am a good person and that he's being judgmental - that it's not so much I've changed as that his own goals and expectations have changed in the past couple years.

The "financial infidelity" part came into it because he feels I'm not really investing in myself and our relationship - thus cheating on our future, in a sense.

He also says he loves me enough to be honest (I do believe he isn't trying to be hurtful, I really had to drag this all this out of him). That he doesn't want us to drift apart further, that he doesn't want to be angry and resentful, and he knows he is asking for a lot.

I know that many on this sub might say I should just tell him to take a hike and call my lawyer, but we've been married for 10 years, have invested a lot in the relationship, and I want to see if the marriage can be saved.

So, a couple things. First, we did make an appointment with a marriage counselor and start next week.

Also, I'm going to try to do at least some of the above. I'm not sure about making myself be more professionally ambitious when I'm already happy with my work-life balance and we're already financially very comfortable...

but I can at least try doing the other things (return to spending more time on cooking and decor, and fix myself up a bit when he's on his way home from work) now that I know they are important to him.

I also know that in the end, I may feel like I am just tiptoeing around and contorting myself to please him, but it won't cost me much (certainly much less than a divorce!) to try for a month or two and then see how we both feel. And I know I would always regret it if I didn't try.

So, maybe not the update that you were expecting or hoping for, but that's where things are. And if folks continue to be interested, I can update further once we have started marriage counseling and once I can feel out how the changes are going.

I need to call it a night but once again thank you to everyone for your responses. They were really eye-opening and helped me to see that I do deserve better than the way I am being treated, and that the expectations my husband is laying out for me are unfair and unrealistic...

especially as he isn't doing anything at all to make it easier for me to meet them or to show me he appreciates my efforts and everything I do bring to the table.

I am indeed conditioned to be very people-pleasing and that is impacting what I think is reasonable here. I have a lot to think about, such as - what do I *really* want here? What is going to make me happy, especially if I have to keep making myself smaller (metaphorically speaking) and contorting myself to please my husband?

Do I really want to be in a marriage under those conditions? I think I'm really selling myself short if I just agree to most of what he demands. Still going to go to the marriage counseling appointment but I think I will wait to make any other changes until we can at least get some professional input.

I want to show my husband that I am hearing him and taking his concerns and feelings seriously enough to at least *try* to make an effort in what he asked. If it doesn't work it doesn't and we can still separate a couple or few months down the road, but I would definitely regret not even trying."

More in depth of their relationship/what she does/what he feels (apparently): "To answer your questions, yes, we each currently make about $200K, so $400K between the two of us.

And yes, his concern is that he's going to get promoted to a much higher salary executive position (he's currently being mentored/trained for such a position, which will pay $500K+, and is due to be promoted in the next couple years if all goes well with the mentoring program) and I'll fall behind in earnings.

Granted, we don't need the money for anything as we don't have debt of any kind, don't have and aren't planning on having kids, and already have close to $1 million in retirement savings with 30+ years left to work.

But he's feeling like I'm going to be somehow riding his coattails? Taking advantage of him? Coasting while he just works harder and harder with longer and longer hours? All of the above I suppose.

In terms of meals, yes, I do all the prep, cooking, tablesetting, and cleanup. I do actually really enjoy it and part of it is self-care for me, not just taking care of him. After all, I get to eat the food too!

And as I work at home I usually make enough that I can have food for lunch the next day too. I know this doesn't seem fair and that others probably think he should contribute more - but it really doesn't bother me at all, as long as he does enjoy and appreciate it.

In terms of work, I'm usually done by 5-6 pm and these days he doesn't get home until about 9 pm.

So I wouldn't have to wear makeup and dressy clothes for work, I could just quickly change and fix my hair and makeup when he's on his way home. I don't think the clothes necessarily need to be designer...

I can buy blouses/skirts and dresses at Target just as well as t-shirts and yoga pants. Or shop thrift stores or department store sales.

I do agree that the women he is comparing me to probably don't wear fancy clothes and makeup at home! He's just seeing them in professional settings that require formal business dress. Anyway, I appreciate you saying I haven't done anything wrong here."

Update 4:

Hi I have an additional (and probably not very surprising) update to my saga. Husband told me he was actually upset that he feels I'm not professionally ambitious enough because I'm not on the "executive" track like he is, and that

(despite my working full-time) he wanted me to cook fancier meals, set the table in a more elegant way, and dress up more for dinner - yes, like a 1950s housewife)

So, the more I thought about it, the more his requests - demands, really - were sitting poorly with me. I decided to try a little experiment over the weekend to see what would happen if I tried to meet some of his demands.

NOT because I actually thought they were reasonable, but because I increasingly had the sense that the goalposts would just keep moving and that I was playing a losing game.

So, Saturday morning, I went to the salon for a glow-up (haircut, fresh highlights, mani/pedi) then went to the farmer's market to pick up fresh flowers for our table and assorted other gourmet ingredients.

Saturday is usually our date night out but I suggested we stay in so I could make us a special dinner, steakhouse style (lobster bisque, bread basket with several types of rolls/savory muffins made from scratch, crab-stuffed mushrooms, filet mignon, au gratin potatoes, white chocolate mousse topped with raspberries).

I wore a lavender (his favorite color on me) sheath dress and high heels and fully done hair and makeup. For all that I got a lukewarm "thanks, it was tasty" and a kiss on the cheek. Of course I did all the serving and cleanup.

Sunday we usually go out but he suggested I make us brunch at home. So I made French-press coffee, mimosas with fresh-squeezed orange juice, Belgian waffles with a bananas Foster topping, eggs scrambled with parmesan and fresh herbs from our garden, roasted fingerling potatoes, and maple-glazed bacon.

I wore a blue sleeveless sundress, wedge sandals, again did my hair and makeup. Again I got a "thanks, it's good" and no help with serving or cleanup.

Afterwards I asked if this is what he had in mind when he critiqued me before. He said that it was a start, but that I was "acting very entitled for wanting credit for basic adulting."

He then dropped a bomb that he was being so hard on me because he had realized lately I had a lot to make up for due to my being a "low-value woman." I asked what on earth he meant by that and he said it was because I wasn't a virgin when we met. WHAT?!?!

Keep in mind we started dating at 21, neither of us claimed to be virgins or stated that as an expectation. Except for very religious people (neither of us is) I don't think most 21-year-old college students are virgins.

I was upfront with him then that I'd had two previous partners, my high school boyfriend (we went our separate ways when we went to different colleges in different parts of the country) and another boyfriend I'd had my first year of college. And that's it, both committed relationships and nothing casual.

He then went on to say that because of my low value, I was going to need to be making it up to him for the rest of my life.

That I didn't deserve monogamy or equal treatment and that I was lucky that anyone at all wanted to marry me. And - that he's "connected" with someone from work so if I wanted to keep him I'd better step up.

I told him it didn't sound like there was anything to keep if he no longer loved me (or even liked or respected me). Told him to leave and he said he would gladly go to his girlfriend's place.

I know SO many people here insisted he was having an affair and I just didn't want to see it, that his "complaints" were really all part of a campaign to distance himself from me.

I feel SO foolish for just thinking he was going through a stressful time at work or that he genuinely wanted to work on our marriage.

Anyway I have taken the week off from work to get my head together. Have an appointment with a lawyer tomorrow.

Canceled the marriage counseling appointment but got a referral to an individual therapist who can do an intake session with me later in the week. He (and the girlfriend apparently) are coming this evening to get more of his clothes and things so I have to brace myself for that.

Also, please be assured I do NOT think I am low-value in any way. I let my husband make me think less of myself on some levels for a short time but now I truly see it was a "him" problem. Obviously we don't share the same goals and values and he has become someone I don't recognize.

I know the divorce won't be fun or easy, but I will be okay. Thank you all for helping me see that I was being played before I wasted too much more time in a marriage that was already over.

Sources: Reddit
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