Sun | Jul 22, 2018

Dear Counsellor: My husband is mean

Published:Tuesday | April 26, 2016 | 12:00 AM

Q: My husband and I have been married for 12 years. We have one son. We both work hard. However, he has changed dramatically. He recently opened a bank account and put his father's name on it. Last year, he bought an apartment as an investment and he has put only his name and our son's on the title. Our son adores him and his father lavishes him with gadgets. He earns multiple times my salary and he is insisting that I pay part of the mortgage because he says I have 50 per cent interest in the house if we divorce. After I pay my portion of the mortgage I can barely buy gas for the car. I have to take lunch to work. He and his brother will go off for weekends and he spends on his brother and himself. However, of late he watches what I spend at the supermarket. He took me off the credit card with the large balance for no reason. When I married him he was not a mean person but spent lavishly on me. He claims that I do not appreciate him enough and that is why he has changed. I am not handling this change very well. I am wondering whether I should leave him and leave the child with him.

A: The major problem is that your husband has a mean side. He is not mean with money because he sends on his brother and himself and he is ensuring that his son is well taken care of. However, he is punishing you because he feels that you do not appreciate him enough. You need to ascertain how he would like you to show him appreciation. In addition, you need to determine whether you have changed in the way you express your love to him. It could be that he has a need for affirmation or he could be a selfish person who wants you to be eternally grateful because he s taking home the bacon. You need to have a candid discussion with him and ask for an explanation about the changes in the financial affairs and then tell him what you expect of him and what you are willing to do to save the marriage.

That he has brought up the subject of divorce in a subtle way is not a good sign. Money conflict is popular among married couples. Leaving the child is a big decision. You need to seek the help of a counselor to manage these issues.