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LOVE LETTERS

My husband tells me I need to budget better and not buy coffees. Meanwhile, he’s buying a fancy car and bike.

He makes more money than I do. After paying my share of the bills, it leaves me with less than $100 each month.

Love Letters

Q. I have been with my husband for more than 10 years now. From day one he has made it clear that his money is his, and mine is mine. We both work at a hospital. He makes four times as much as I do.

I have been struggling financially for the last several months. We bought a house and he wanted to get a roommate to help with the mortgage because I will be in school soon and will be unable to contribute. After paying my share of the other bills, it leaves me with less than $100 each month. I buy myself coffee or nail polish as my one treat a month. I buy groceries, cook, clean, do the shopping, etc. All with my money. He never pitches in. I have begged many times to just help me with groceries each month, but he tells me I have to ask for the money. He makes me feel bad about asking every time.

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He has told me I need to budget better and not buy coffees. Meanwhile, he is buying a fancy car and mountain bike. My credit card is also maxed out.

I have been borrowing a little money from my dad each month or doing Uber Eats here and there to stay afloat. Am I wrong to think that it’s bad that he is OK with his wife struggling? I feel like we are not married and like he [doesn’t have] my back at all.

– Struggling

A. You don’t want to spend a marriage feeling like a roommate. Also, if he doesn’t have your back now, what happens when you’re older? If one of you gets sick? Why be married at all?

Your husband might be shocked to learn that unless there’s a financial agreement in place, those unequal paychecks belong to both of you — and so does your debt. It depends on the situation, the state, etc., but marriage means you’re connected, even if he pretends you’re not.

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Ask your husband to go with you to a financial adviser to help you make a better budget. He might be thrilled to come along, especially if he believes this will be all about you learning how to save. What should happen at that meeting is that a professional will break down the reality of your expenses. The counselor will explain why you’re in debt, and whether your paycheck actually covers your financial obligations. The expert can also explain how other couples handle bills when one makes more than the other. Basically, you’ll get tips and a road map. Make sure you bring a list with every expense and debt, and questions about how to best work as a team.

Something tells me that kind of visit will be a wake-up call for your husband. If his attitude doesn’t change, you’ll know where he stands and that there is no happy future here. You are going to make more money over time, and you might not want to share it with him. Better to know now.

– Meredith

READERS RESPOND

Skip MG’s advice and go straight to divorce. You will be much, much happier in the long run. This sounds very much like the dynamic between my parents before they split back in the last gasp of the dinosaurs, the ’70s. My dad even had my mom on an “allowance” while she attended professional school. As she put it, “Over time he made my world smaller and smaller.” E_LOCKSMITH

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Buy the groceries for the household, and immediately upon your return to the house, hand him the receipt and ask the he give you half of the amount you paid. PMCD101

This is not about money, but money is exposing his nature. Move out via any means and get divorced. NANOSECO


Find the new season of the Love Letters podcast at loveletters.show. Meredith Goldstein wants your letters! Send your relationship quandaries and questions to loveletters@globe.com. Columns and responses are edited and reprinted from boston.com/loveletters.