Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Managing Finances Like a Man

My husband doesn’t like dealing with money. For years, I’ve handled everything from paying the bills to making the decisions, and he just does whatever I tell him. This makes things really hard on me, but he says financial issues cause him stress. Do you have any suggestions?
Carol Lee
Dear Carol Lee,
The plain truth is you need your husband to step up and be a man. I’m sure he’s a nice guy, but it’s unfair for you alone to carry the weight of all financial and household decisions. It would be unfair, too, if he were the one carrying it all. This isn’t a gender issue.
Normally I enjoy reading Dave Ramsey’s columns.  Usually he is full of good sense and compassion.  In this case, this paragraph left me taken aback.  Wait a minute!  I manage all the money in my family – does that mean my husband isn’t a man?
Then I reread the first paragraph.  I see what the problem is.  She feels overwhelmed with doing all the finances herself.  I guess that’s the difference.  I have a system, and managing the finances is pretty easy for me.  I guess that comes with having a CPA.
But it did start me thinking – is this dynamic sustainable?  Just because I feel fine now about managing all the money doesn’t mean I’ll feel fine about it forever.  And what about my husband?  Is he going to resent me at some point?  I hope not.  In the time we’ve been together, he’s gotten better about telling me when something’s bothering him, which is handy since I can’t read his mind. 
I guess I’ll just chalk this up to one more way that my husband and I are not like any other couple we know.  And just trust that my husband will let me know if and when it becomes a problem.  That’s all you can do in marriage, right?

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