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Woman suspects financial abuse when husband makes her 'contribute equally' while on maternity leave. AITA?

Woman suspects financial abuse when husband makes her 'contribute equally' while on maternity leave. AITA?


When this woman who is on unpaid maternity leave is shocked by her husband's request for "equal household contribution," she asks Reddit:

"Husband expects me to contribute equally while I’m on maternity leave. AITA?"

I’m in need of advice. Yes I’m using a throwaway account so no stalkers please and I’m going to be cross posting my post on other subs to make sure I get advice this time because I tried posting this once before and I got 0 responses and I need help and can’t wait for answers any longer.

I’ve recently been on unpaid MAT since Jan23, it ends in 2 more weeks. Yes my husband does help me with our baby, we take care of our baby equally.

I’m struggling a lot with several things and I feel like I have no help. I want to talk about how my baby won’t latch and I’m having trouble producing enough milk so my husband is upset that he has to pay for formula.

Some context if people are confused on my husband behavior. My husband has always been a 50/50 type of guy. I’m not use to dating guys like my husband and I thought it was different but in a good way when we first met.

He deems it to be fair. On our first date he asked to split evenually and we have always equally split mortgage/bills/dates because my husband sees me as an equal partner but I feel like he is taking it too far and it makes me distrust him with my life.

My husband’s income $80k and my income is $50k. He splits the mortgage with me and he pays the utilities and I pay our phone bill. We split dinner dates. My husband normally pays the groceries and we’re on my husband’s medical insurance.

We both have separate account. We don’t share a joint account for many reasons we just see so many horror stories of couples have shared finances and he wants to keep our finances separately which I don’t mind but now I am worried this is disadvantaging me.

I was venting to my friends and they think I’m stupid for agreeing with this with my husband because I make significantly less money than him so they don’t understand why I’m splitting with him and then they also just don’t believe in the 50/50 thing and I know that’s kind of controversial since it’s a gender thing, but I don’t really want to focus solely on that.

My husband told me I need to pull my weight because he’s paying for a lot more than I am to keep the household running. Is this financial abuse? I just had a baby. I was unable to go half on the mortgage last month and my husband let that slide but I need to pay it this month.

My MAT leave is unpaid like I said. I would have to pull from my personal savings. I only have $5,150 saved up and I would have to pull from my personal savings account to pay for half the mortgage and our phone bill. I just feel like he’s been completely unreasonable with me. AITA?

Let's see what readers thought. They had A LOT of advice for OP. Take a look!

threekidsnomoney writes:

It is disadvantaging. Yes this method may be your way of doing things, your relationship sounds more like business partnership than an actual partnership. You’ve made him sound like he’s got zero compassion/ empathy or care for you. Sounds like he cares more about his wallet than your well-being. Good luck.

notsorry2019 writes:

Your husband is a fool and you’ve been ignoring it because you love him, but apparently he doesn’t love you. Marriage is NOT a 50/50 split - THAT is a roommate situation.

You have given him a shared child; presumably he contributed DNA but your body did the growing, and you risked death to bring the baby into the world, and your maternity leave was all about physical recovery, emotional bonding (necessary for a child’s healthy development) and keeping your baby ALIVE.

Go look up adoption and surrogacy expenses to see how much “half” is for this priceless gift! Don’t even get me started on “half” the childcare costs. Now, look to the future - if your husband becomes injured, disabled or unemployed, is he going to be homeless in the future?

Roommates who can’t pay their bills get kicked out - spouses support each other and work together as a team to build a future for themselves and their children. It’s time to get to therapy, discuss why he’s acting like an adult who doesn’t know how to cherish a wife, and why you’ve been settling for it. Good luck!

awesomekids9 writes:

Yep you will pay 1/2 but he must -Pay child care costs (1/2 of your prior wage). Pay for your time to pick up anything you weren’t doing before- ex. More cleaning, errands etc. If you can get baby to latch (I couldn’t- no shame) milk producing fee. Find out what a surrogate would have charged - back charge him for that.

I am so angry that he is complaining about having to pay for formula yet you grew a human, felt that discomfort, pain etc for 9 months plus recovery, put your career on hold & are sleep deprived.

So now he can get up with baby every other night, change all night & weekend diapers, you get to sleep in 1 day every weekend. He can make dinner every other day & 1 breakie, 1 lunch on weekends.

If he wants to play the 50/50 lifestyle then play it my friend - right down to making 1/2 the bed lol. I get splitting costs but there is something called being selfish.

I’m having trouble producing enough milk so my husband is upset that he has to pay for formula

thelusanka writes:

Tell him that if he doesn't want to pay for formula, then he's perfectly free to breastfeed the baby himself.

Though quite frankly, you seem to have just replaced the "horror story" of joint finances for the horror story of "pay your own way".

I recommend you go back to work and focus on your career so you can earn more than your husband.

Change careers if you have to. If your husband complains that there are extra childcare costs associated with this, tell.him tough sh&t, this is the career path he forced you to Ho along when you realised you couldn't rely on him financially when you were taking a career hit to give birth and care for his baby.

Your baby will be better off spending more time in childcare than she will be with a mother whose constantly being g taken advantage of financially by her father.

And if he decides that you ensuring your financial independence is detrimental to the marriage, then you have your answer regarding how much he respects you. Don't stay with someone who doesn't respect you.

There is no love without respect, and all it will do is teach your sons to disrespect their wives and your daughters to marry people who disrespect them.

kindanewroundhere writes:

This is financial abuse. He is so very wrong and taking advantage of you financially. He is a husband and now a father. He now has additional financial responsibility for his family while you are on unpaid Mat leave.

You are not a housemate and he is not a landlord demanding payment. I can understand when dating splitting 50/50. But those lofty days of freedom are loooooong gone.

He pays for everything until you return to work when the spilt will be 40/60. Give him an invoice for surrogacy $90k, childbearing $20k, breastmilk $60/week, childcare and housekeeping $3500/week seeing the workload is heavy and the hours are ridiculous. He owes you a bit of $$$.

humanitygoboom writes:

He is wrong. You do need a joint account for joint expenses. Having separate finances is fine, but they should be equally distributed. As it is, he's hoarding most of your household income. Not all contributions to the operation of a household are monetary and budgets and income should reflect that.

My wife makes much less than me, has a more demanding job, and has more education. BUT, she works a mile from our son's school, has off for all of those random school holidays, gets an ok pension, and has job security in the event of an economic downturn.

We each direct deposit a few hundred dollars (equal) to our personal accounts and the rest goes to a joint account, which we use to pay bills, invest, pay off a joint credit card, travel, etc.

At the very least, you should be splitting by ratio of your incomes, but personally, I don't think that's completely fair either.

Looks like OP is NTA here. Are readers justitifed in their harsh judgements of her husband? What do YOU think OP should do here?

Sources: Reddit
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