An expectant young mother who took a pay cut in preparation to spend more time with her newborn found herself at odds with her husband.
The husband, who comes from an affluent family, now makes almost four times as much as his wife but vehemently refused to budge on paying more than his half of the rent to accommodate her.
While she still loves him, Redditor "whatdoesthismeantho" harbors resentment towards her husband because of their financial conflict.
The original poster (OP) asked if AITA (Am I the A**hole) for wanting her husband to pay more on his end for housing costs.
"Hi all. For reference, I am 29f and my husband is 30m. We've been together since I was 20, and got married when I was 26."
"When we moved in together when I was 25, we were splitting our rent evenly. I was making 65k and he was making 80k, and we live in a large US city. It didn't really make a huge difference in my budget vs his to split rent 50/50 for 2600 a month rent."
In anticipation of being a full-time mother, the OP took a job allowing her to work from home and thereby took a pay cut.
"However, things have changed. I got pregnant a few months after we got married (which we were so happy about and wanted). I didn't want to not work, but I wanted to be home with our baby, so I found a full time remote job in my field of work."
"The downside is I took a cut to my salary from 65k to 50k. We continued to split rent in our apartment."
"My husband, between being 26 and 30, has received a number of raises and has switched his job. He is now a senior business analyst, making roughly 195k a year."
"Since we were having a child, we were going to need a bigger apartment. We found a 3 bedroom for 4000k per month. He still wanted to split rent evenly, despite my protests, and despite me wanted to try to find a smaller apartment for less."
"In the end, I sort of let myself get walked over because he really is such a smooth talker and I do love him."
It was time for some math – the kind where things did not quite add up and created division.
"Anyway, flash forward 2.5 years, our rent has increased to 4400k. My take home pay monthly after taxes is roughly 3600k."
"I am paying 2.2k monthly in rent. I am also taking care of our baby and our home, doing chores, and cooking daily. My husband works from 8 - 6, but typically doesn't get home until 7."
"I am burnt out. I barely have enough money per month to do things I enjoy. I feel like I am financially struggling while my husband is living a life of luxury."
"Yes he does take me out on dates and on vacation, but he doesn't seem to understand that this is not enough for me."
"I spoke to him two days ago very seriously, and when I asked about trying to split rent based on our income and pay an equal percentage of our income so that it is more fair than fully equal. His reaction stunned me."
"He asked me why having 1.6k extra a month wasn't enough for me. I told him I'm not saving anything. He told me I should spend less on extracurricular activities - which makes me laugh because what extracurricular activities?"
"All I do is work, cook, clean, shop for the house and raise our child. I told him I am basically working two full time jobs at once and I need help."
"Then he asked me if I am suggesting he pay me for being a mother and that stunned me - I really had no response to that."
The husband accused the OP of being selfish, and she prepared to acquiesce.
But before giving in to him, her gut told her she was right. So, here we are in Redditland.
"Anyway, he told me that this is the lifestyle we agreed when we moved in together way back when. However, he doesn't seem to understand, or rather does not want to understand."
"Now he is mad with me because he thinks I am being selfish and has been acting cold to me these past few days. I am getting the itch to apologize and take it back like I always do, but I really feel I am right here."
"Am I the a**hole?"
Many of the comments on the thread indicated that the OP was being taken advantage of.
"NTA. Married people with children who keep separate bank accounts and argue about who pays for what are weird. You're not roommates." – Jason_Samu
Some suggested counseling to save the marriage or consider divorce.
"If you didn't work he'd give you a paltry 'allowance' and then micromanage how you spend it. Honestly, I'd drag him to counseling. This is THAT serious. He's not 100% invested in your marriage/family." – mutherofdoggos
"Yep, divorce should be on the table. He just thinks counseling and marriage are expensive; threaten his cheap a** with that wringer." – PabloPaniello
Redditor GTdspDude insinuated that the husband was being abusive.
"You could just stop paying you know. Like there's literally nothing he could do about it. If he tries to divorce you, you'd likely take him to the cleaners as far as child support and alimony goes."
"He's not going to let y'all get evicted, he'll pay it himself. All you have to do is stand up for yourself."
"Honestly this whole thing just seems abusive. I make 5x what my wife makes, we have no kids, and even then our finances are pooled. I can't imagine forcing her to pay half our mortgage and utilities."
Few saw their marriage as worth salvaging based on the husband's uncompromising attitude.
"Your marriage is broken. This isn't sustainable. It's like he has brainwashed you to just accept whatever he says. You clearly can't discuss anything and he never concedes his points. You know this won't work, right?" – drkrthnthspeedofliht
"This is not a partnership by any stretch of the imagination. Maybe you should tell him much child maintenance he would have to pay if you left him and that would probably make you better off, that might wake him up to what your saying." – restingbitchface99
"Sorry, he's not treating you like a cherished spouse, but more like live in nanny/servant. Servants get paid, though, so you're actually worse off.If he compromised by buying dinners and hiring a maid service (entirely affordable on his salary)"
"I bet you'd be feeling a lot less stressed, right? What would his reaction be if you suggested something like that? If the answer is "gaslighting and accusations that you're a lazy gold-digger" then [red flags]."
"So look into why he doesn't want the mother of his child to have an easy life. The main benefit to him of your lack of savings is that you can't leave him."
"Coupled with the gaslighting and the silent treatment because you asked for a more equitable arrangement... it makes me really worried you're dealing with emotional abuse."
"I know it's hard but save as much as possible because at some point, you might want to leave. You're not getting anything out of this marriage." – Ataratah
People shared their financial compensatory methods that worked for them.
"My Husband and I do this as well his, mine and our bank accounts.. we have a 70/30 split, because that is our income ratios."
"Joint bills (Mortgage, lights, car insurance etc.) are paid from the joint account, anything that is just me, is paid from mine same with him. It works out really well. I would certainly step in if he needed help." – ToesocksandFlipflops
"My wife and I keep separate bank accounts. We always have. I make more, 130k (+ bonus) compared to 41k."
"I pay for the house and all house bills. She pays for her phone, car, majority of the groceries. We do not co-sign for anything, and the only 'shared' bills we have is the insurance, she's only on the title of the house not the actual mortgage."
"She's not the greatest with money and has a lot of old debt, plus racked mine up once when we had a shared credit card."
"It works for us. Not everyone is weird for having separate accounts, some people just aren't good with money and shouldn't have access to large sums." – trevordbs
To be clear, the OP later mentioned that she does not have "bad spending habits."
"I worked my way out of my student loan debt in two years after graduating. I saved 60k by the time we got married, and I have that all in my retirement which I am thankful for because I can no longer contribute to it."
"This has NOTHING to do with how I spend. I am actually pretty frugal when it comes to shopping, especially since I prefer to keep things cheap for my budget."
Redittors continued to admonish the husband.
"The crux of the moral issue is not just that he thinks they shouldn't share resources as a married couple (already pretty f'ked up, given that this guy comes from generational wealth and I'm quite certain he doesn't work harder than OP, to say nothing of the fact that he doesn't give a flying f'k about her happiness!)"
"It's that he doesn't think his child is his responsibility.The premise of shared finances (and alimony, which OP should get a fat stack of) is that families agree on a division of labor within the household. Childcare is a massive share of that labor, and by refusing to share any of his extravagant wealth with the person doing it, he is abdicating his responsibility as a parent."
"If he had hired someone to do childcare, that person would be entitled to payment, but he's demanding OP subsist on income from an entirely separate job and take on the second one for nothing."
"Personally, I couldn't stay with a cruel, greedy piggy who had so little respect for me, the labor I performed raising our child, and, by extension, our child, and I really hope OP didn't sign a prenup with this creep." – eddy_fication
The OP unfortunately did the very thing some have feared pertaining her marriage.
"Yes I did sign a prenup that was overseen by his family attorney."
"My husband comes from extreme wealth and I was young and stupid and went with it. Head over heels like my mother always said I was."
Making things more complicated was her close relationship with her in-laws.
"It's very confusing because they are such incredibly generous people, and they are family. But they don't know about our financial situation because my husband and I believe that our marriage is private. And I would feel like I was betraying him by telling them."
But even her close bond with his parents was dubious.
"OP says the parents are generous and love her, but tbh I don't know how much that means. There's a Grand Canyon of difference between 'of course we'll treat our darling daughter-in-law' and acknowledging that your son is a financially abusive schmuck to the point that his spouse is legally entitled to her share of not just his current wealth, but the wealth he stands to inherit from them (assuming OP could get the prenup overturned on the basis that it was arranged entirely by his family attorney without her representation — the parents most likely had a hand in that)."
"It's hard to say how opening up to her currently-benevolent in-laws about the financial details of their marriage would go. I would hope they would want to see that their grandchild's mother is cared for, but if there's one thing rich people get off on, it's control." – eddy_fication
The warnings did not stop on the thread.
"OP, this is serious. His behavior is not ok. You ARE financially responsible. He is the problem here, not you."
"Honestly, in addition to marriage counseling, I'm tempted to recommend that you meet with an attorney to get your ducks in a row since there is a pre-nup. A husband is supposed to look out for your best interest."
"Your husband is only concerned with himself." – thereforthecomments
"He has completely manipulated the situation. He is essentially treating her as a live-in maid and nanny and brainwashed OP to think that SHE is being unreasonable."
"I say brainwashed because OP said she thinks she might apologize!!! For what exactly?!! I hope OP sees how horrible her husband is treating her by reading all these posts."
"If I made considerably more money than my husband( I do make more but not considerably) I would want to share that lifestyle with my husband not have the attitude 'well, it sucks to be you and maybe you should make more money' but then again, I love and respect my husband and value him as a very important part of my life."
"OP, you need to make some changes. I really feel for you. I started off angry at your situation but now I'm really just sad... NTA btw." – doglover11186
If he's serious about saving his marriage, hopefully the husband will agree to couples counseling and be open to compromise.