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I have an critical & money obsessed husband

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Old 2nd February 2007, 4:08 AM   #1
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Unhappy I have an critical & money obsessed husband

Hi Everybody:

This has been bothering me for quite some time and I was wondering what all of you think about it.

I love my husband but he drives me crazy. The main problem I have with him is that he is overly critical. He constantly points out things that are 'wrong' (which means it's not done the way he'd do it). I don't like being criticized and I have told him this numerous times, but he says it's part of his personality and he can't control it. Whenever I buy anything, even if it's only a dollar, he'll tell me how 'stupid' I was for getting that and we have to go through this Q & A session where I have to explain exactly why made the purchase I did and why I bought that particular brand when I could have bought Brand X instead. This has been going on for about twelve years and I am SO sick of it I could die. I am 32 years old, yet I feel like 12 having to justify every purchase that I make. I actually had MORE freedom at 12 because I was given an allowance and my parents let me spend it however I liked. It makes me very depressed to think about it.

He also criticizes my parenting skills, saying my younger daughter doesn't have the right napping schedule and I'm not feeding them right. I'm a SAHM and my youngest daughter doesn't go to daycare. Why should I have to get her up at eight in the morning when neither she nor I want to do that? And I don't know why he cares. She sleeps through the night, so her not being tired at night is a non-issue. But he's constantly harping on me about this. Also, he convinced I'm not feeding my oldest daughter enough, but she's a very picky eater. I can't force her to eat if she doesn't want to eat. He also criticizes me because I give her 'whatever she wants' to eat. Well, she doesn't have a weight problem and is very physically active, and she takes a multivitamin everyday--if she wants something that is considered 'junk food' once in a while, I don't see what the problem is. It's not like I'm taking her to McDonalds' everday. Actually, we only go to McDonald's once a year at the most. Then my younger daughter had slipped off the growth chart from 150 percentile to only 95 percentile and my husband had a cow. I must have been starving her, of course. Our doctor recommended increasing her portions and adding extra fat to her diet and she's back at 150 percent again. So now that she's at her expected weight, my husband is now criticizing me for overfeeding her, telling me that I'm now giving her too much to eat. So, basically it's whatever I do, it doesn't matter, because it's going to be wrong.

He is also criticizes my spending habits. I don't consider myself a big shopper, but when I do buy things, I like good quality items. I don't automatically go for the cheapest thing. I spend maybe 300 dollars a month, most of it on either my kids or household items. I don't think this is a lot of money, but my husband thinks it's a fortune. Every month it's the same old thing--going over the credit bill item by item, questioning WHY I bought everything that I did. I told him I would cut down on the spending if he would stop the Q & A session every month. I only spent about 150 dollars this month, but still I got the standard "Why did you spend $40 at Sears and why did you need it" etc. To say I really hate when he does this would be an understatement. He knows I really can't stand when he does this, but he's compelled to do it because he's worried about "identity theft". My husband makes $65,000 a year, and all our college loans, car payments, etc. were paid off long ago. All we have is a $1,000 mortgage, utilities which come up to about $200 a month and have one credit card, which is always paid in full and on time. We have a perfect credit score. (I think it's 850.) We also have a huge amount of money saved for retirement (almost $100,000). I think we're very comfortable financially, but he thinks we're just one step away from homelessness. I'm getting so sick of the once a month guilt trip I could die. My parents needed food stamps and WIC when I was kid or they wouldn't have been able to buy groceries. My dad probably made $15,000 a year and he didn't worry as much about money as my husband does. My husband grew up in an upper middle class family in a huge house on 7 acres of land, so I'm not sure where this 'poverty' mentality comes from. His parents are thrifty but they aren't obsessed with money the way he is. They are just not into shopping at all, but when they want to buy something, they just go ahead and buy it without even looking at the price tag. I'm sick of considering myself 'poor' and I want to be able to enjoy having money once in a while, but I hate going shopping because I know he's going to harp on me about it. I almost prefer not having the money period, then having the money and not being able to spend it.

We also have problems in the bedroom. He satisfies me there overall, but he wants sex all the time, whereas once a week is more than enough for me. I also would like affection and cuddling but he has no interest in that at all, even if it would mean having sex more often. He also ignores me everyday. I try to talk to him, but I can't get more than an 'oh' and 'uh-huh' out of him and on those days I'm doing good. I'm not much of a talker, but I do appreciate being listened to when I do talk. He only pays attention to me when he wants sex, and what I mean by attention is looking at my boobs, then asking me to go into the bedroom with him. This is very hurtful and frustrating to me, because it never used to be this way, and it's getting worse every year. I tried to explain this to him, but he totally does not get it at all.

I don't want to divorce him, but I don't really see any other solution to these problems. I just want to be treated like an adult and not a piece of furniture or a sex toy. The only reason I'm staying with him right now is because of the children. I almost left him six years ago, but I had no access to my own money and he convinced me he would change, which he didn't. Sometimes I wish I did leave him then, even if it would have meant living in a homeless shelter for awhile. At least I'd be criticizism and nag-free right now.

I was wondering, should I leave him when the children get a little older? I am saving up money right now for exactly this purpose, but I'm still torn about it. I don't want to hurt him, even though he has no problem hurting me every single day. I also don't plan on cheating on him (though he told me once that if I wanted to cheat I could, just as long as I was still having sex with him but I could never in my wildest dreams even think of doing that) and I don't plan on getting married EVER again. I can't imagine loving anyone else but him.

Any advice you could give for me would be great.

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