Wedding Etiquette Forum

NWR- overreaction?

Hello everyone!  I'm mostly just read posts now and then and don't post much myself, but I do need some unbiased opinions on a situation with the DH.

First, background: We got married in August.  DH is currently trying to get into med school.  He recently got his rejection letter for attending in Fall of 2011, which really sucks but was a little expected, and is now enrolled full time in classes to boost his GPA to try for fall of 12. So, at this point I'm the only one working and supporting us. He works part time (very- like 1 to 2 shifts a month as an EMT, mostly for the experience).  Assuming/hoping he does get in for 2012, I'll be supporting us for the next 5 1/2 years.  I won't say we're struggling to make ends meet, we have some extra for fun stuff, but not a lot extra. I've had to make some sacrifices for DH to reach his goal and I'm very happy with our/my decisions, until something like this comes up!

Today DH called me to say his friend has an extra ticket to the Kentucky Derby in May and was wondering if I would be ok with him going. I said definitely not, because IMO he shouldn't be going on vacations (to places I really want to go) and spend my money while he's there, while I sit at home working.  I'm still kind of upset that he would be comfortable going given our circumstances right now.

Am I overreacting on this? He said he understands why I'm upset, and he isn't pushing it or anything like that. I guess I'm just curious what others thoughts are!  Thanks!

Re: NWR- overreaction?

  • I don't think you are over-reacting at all. I'd have the same kind of reaction. When my H was laid off (before we were married) and I was working 12-13 hour days while he sat at home I was ticked (and a bit jealous) just because I was the one providing and dealing with the neverending stress. I'm sure he was just being oblivious to the fact of how much is on your plate (my H is like this too) It seems I just need to explain to my H why I feel this way - somehow he just can't always understand on his own...
    But no, I think you are reacting perfectly normal - maybe you can explain to him your feelings (even tho he says he understands) just to be sure.

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  • is he not working by choice?  if its by choice, i agree with your position.  if its due to a layoff or something, then i dont think you should be holding him hostage with your paycheck.

    how much money are we talking about here?  gas and maybe one night in a hotel?
  • I can definitely see your point, and I have a feeling that I would react in a similar way if I were in that situation. In fact, there's a point coming down the road where I may end up supporting FI while he goes back to school, and he is kind of a spendthrift, so we will have a lot to talk about.

    But this might be a good time for the two of you to sit down and re-negotiate boundaries and money and such. You call it "your money", which is understandable, but part of getting married is thinking "ours" instead of "mine". Maybe you guys should talk about how much money he should be allowed to spend on things for himself, and stuff like that.

    Basically, it sounds like there is a lot of underlying resentment in this situation, and you might want to explore it before it snowballs.
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  • He's not working in order to focus on school.  So he's not sitting at home doing nothing, but I'm still providing all of our financial support.  More by choice, but not out of lazyness. We live in Kansas, so gas, a couple nights in the hotel, food, drinks, etc. 
  • While I do understand your point, if it were me I wouldn't say no right away.  I would sit down with H and see how much it would cost for him to go before making a decision.  Maybe he could save enough money from his EMT job to be able to go in the next 5 months?

    Also, it's not like he's sitting at home doing nothing,  He's in school, working hard towards a huge goal.  If the cost wasn't outrageous, I'd be inclined to let him go and have a break.  If he gets into med school, he probably won't be having many of those during the subsequent 4 + years.
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  • I definitely do think of it as our money, and I'm nervous about giving him an "allowance", it seems so parental.  So, I don't get upset if he gets drinks with a friend, or eats lunch out or something like that.  I dealt with some resentment when the situation first began and I've mostly come to terms with it, this just kinda threw in a wrench.

    I think its because its so much for him.  Most of my/our money goes to us. Our food, our bills, our trips, etc.  I don't mind that at all.

    But yes, more conversation about it can't hurt!  : )
  • I can definitely see the concern about me thinking its "my money."  My attitude on that tends to depend on the situation, especially when it comes to big things like trips.  He is definitely able to go out, go buy something, etc. from our joint account without me thinking twice about it, just the big stuff is hard for me, fairness wise, though I know that life isn't always fair! Darn!
  • well, he is working here and there, so is contributing to the household.

    but at the same time, i dont think folks should take trips or vacations if they cant afford it.  can you afford the gas and hotel for a weekend?  if so, i say "let" him go.  notice "let" is in italics...

  • Well, with the holiday, a trip we're taking in January and his tuition and whatnot, right now we can't afford it.  In May, I'm not sure.  I with we could revisit this then, unfortunately his friend needs to know soon...
  • Let me ask you a question.

    Let's say in the future you are unemployed how would you feel if your DH told you definitely not to a trip with some friends 6 months out?

    If you truly can't afford it or if he is a spender than that's one thing.

    But if he is generally not spending too much and is hard working (school is hard work) I think there is room for compromise.   Sit with him and see if he/you can find away for him to go.  Maybe he can pick up an extra shift or he can not go out as much, whatever.   But just to say NO without even trying is a little parental to me.






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  • shortee426shortee426 member
    Combo Breaker First Comment
    edited December 2010
    J and I are in a similar situation...he is in school full time and I am working.  He is trying to find something part-time, but his search is not going well.

    When he wants to buy something/go somewhere, we will sit down and look at the cost.  How much does it cost and when do we need to pay for it?  Do we have enough time to save for it?  Can we cut stuff out in order to save for it?  These are all questions that I direct toward him.  That way, he is playing a part in determining if it is financially feasible.  Often times when we both look at the costs together, he will decide on his own that it is not worth it.  Yes, there are times when he still wants to spend the money, to which I tell him he needs to figure out the money for it because my next paycheck is paying our bills. 
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  • It does seem parental- so many of the decisions we have to make concerning money are, no matter what the outcome is.  I definitely agree that school is hard work, I agree that it is.  I think I just need to feel appreciated for what I do for us.  I love him and want him to succeed, so I decided to get married knowing that I would be sacrificing a lot for him to reach his dream. He's a doctor, whereas in the end I'm just a doctor's wife.  Which has its perks, but its not a goal I really want to have.  He and I have had many conversations about this and on a daily basis I'm very happy with him, our life and our decisions.  Situations like this just kind of bring up some old feelings on the topic.

    either way, I will reconsider the "definitely not." You all had very good points.
  • I make a lot more than DH and probably always will. We both think of the combination of both of our incomes as "our" money, though I probably feel more strongly about that than he does. But I'd have a real problem if he wanted to take a vacation to someplace I wanted to go to too without me. I don't think it's unreasonable to say it's not right or fair or whatever word you want to use that he gets to go on this great trip while you don't.

    And I don't really think that has anything to do with who's making how much. Dh could make twice as much as me and I'd still be annoyed if wanted to go to, say a Caribbean island, without me when he knew that I wanted to go too. (We *do* sometimes take separate vacations, but only to places the other doesn't want to go to begin with.)
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_nwr-overreaction?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:8cd8406c-c361-45fa-8505-783fd3d40dd6Post:3047ef31-bba7-4f85-910d-065cf6300fd3">Re: NWR- overreaction?</a>:
    [QUOTE]For the record, I do not share LisaChris' approach!  : )
    Posted by AJG456[/QUOTE]

    And that's ok.  You asked for opinions, so I gave you mine.

    But I do wish you the best of luck, I am sure you and your DH will come to the best solution possible for the two of you.  Only you two can decide that.
  • Maybe I am being a bit of a softy here but I kind of feel like if you two can sit down and do the calculations and it seems doable, and if he is willing to do whatever it takes to hunker down and be super frugal up until then, then I say let your FI go. Pay it forward.  He will be eternally grateful and you can rest assured that one day your turn will come and I am sure he will be more than happy to oblige you.

    Prior to our engagement my FI went to the UK w/o me for his B-Day!  And I really didn't appreciate it.  But I had faith that everything would work itself out and one day he would appreciate me.  Sure enough he got over there and a situation arose where he came back forlorn and missing me.  I threw him a surprise b-day party to cheer him up since I wasn't going to gloat about what happened.  And he has thanked me again and again for being understanding and kind to him after all that.

    So, I say all that to say if it is at all affordable, be the bigger person and let him go.  The good things you put out will come back to you.
  • I would let him go if at all possible. this is a free ticket that is probably a once in a lifetime opportunity for him. Its not like they decided to go to vegas or something for a guys night out. Its a chance happening that would be a nice trip. I understand your reasoning but it is not fair to hold him hostage because he is the one in school right now. Be happy for him and hope that Karma returns the favor someday!
  • I also think you guys should work something out so that he could go.  He could definitely be working more.  When I was doing my undergrad, I took full time classes and worked 25 hr/week.  If he's just taking a couple extra classes to try and boost his GPA, then I don't see any reason why he couldn't work more than a couple days a month.  But maybe that's just me.  If anything, as PPs have suggested, he could at least take a couple extra shifts to cover the extra cost for the trip.  
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  • Oh dear.  As a wife of a medical resident I can tell you that this is how its going to be for a lot longer than the next 5 1/2 years.  Do you love him?  Do you want him to study and finish his dreams?  Do you?  Ok then suck it up.  Its not your money - its OUR money - because when he's done with his residency/fellowship (btw my husband is in his FOURTH year of residency - with FOUR more years of training) its going to be OUR money then.

    Its an investment in the future of your husband.  If you think it will make him happy and it can fit in your finances - you have to do it. 

    I am lucky enough to be able to support both of us while my H is in residency.  I do not plan on having to worry about money in four years.  Its a trade off.
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  • OP I know you said you can't get a ticket to the derby itself, but couldn't you just go on the trip with them?  You said you've wanted to go there anyways, so go with them and the day they go to the derby you could go do some sightseeing or walking around little shops.  I don't see how it would cost any more money in gas or hotels if you joined them, and then you wouldn't be as bitter about spending the money on a trip just for him.  That's what I would do in your situation.
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  • I lived in Louisville for several years, am from Kentucky, and have been to the Derby. 

    Is this a good seat?  Is having to pay for the ticket at all?  If it's a free ticket in a good seat, I'd probably try to swing it.  Those are hard to come by, and the only way it's worth it to go to the Derby.  If it's a bleacher seat or the infield, he should pass. 

    Gas is an obvious cost.  Hotels are pricey - if they're even available.  Parking is usually absurd and in somebody's yard.  Drinks are $8 and up.  Food's crazy expensive.  And you're squashed by WAY more people than belong in that amount of space. 

    But, in a really good seat (especially on the 2nd floor or above!) it's a once-in-a-lifetime experience unless you're on par with Michael Jordan.  Personally, I prefer going to the Oakes the day before - it's a lot of pagentry still for a lot less money. 

    As for whether you overreacted. . . In the context of the cash, I think yeah, kind of.  It's more reasonable to be upset with him potentially going somewhere you'd like to go with him, though.  Is there no chance you can tag along? 
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  • Two issues here:  you being jealous of his trip and the money thing.  As much as it sucks, if there is no way for you to get a ticket and go with him, you should probably just suck it up and get over the jealousy.  It's ok to feel disappointed, but not "letting" him go because you want to go is over the top.  This is not about who makes the money, so please don't try to play that card.

    Not having the trip fit into your (collective) budget is a real issue, if ithat really is the case.  I agree with you, and I don't think it is right for him to go on a trip alone and spend money that belongs to both of you.  Sit down and talk to him about it.  If he really wants to go, he has several months to save up the money in a way that makes you both ok with it.  He can cut back on his regular spending, such as dinners out with friends and drinks.  He can also get another part time job or pick up a few more shifts at his current job.  It shouldn't be a problem given the amount of time before the event. 

    My FSIL and her husband are in a similar situation.  She is working, and he is going to med school.  They set up a budget in which they each have the same amount of individual "fun money" to spend each month.  They can save it for larger future purchases, or they can spend it immediately.  If the way you both view the money that you are making (my money vs. our money) is becoming an issue, you might consider something like that.  Then you wouldn't have to worry about him spending too much of "your money," but you would be held to the same standards since it is really "our money."  Good luck!


  • I would be upset if my husband said to me "Hey, my friends and I want to take a trip and are planning to go to xxxx", xxxx being someplace that I want to go as well.  But that's not what's happening here.  He's being offered an opportunity - a free ticket, which by the sounds of it would be very expensive to purchase, to an event that you've both always wanted to go to.  If it's in the budget to swing the extra stuff that you'd have to pay for then personally my attitude would be that I would rather one of us get to have this once in a lifetime experience then neither of us. 

    I'm not sure I'm explaining it well, but basically if he intentionally planned something that I was not included in knowing that I wanted to go and that finances are tight I'd be pissed, but with an opportunity presenting itself out of the blue I'd be inclined to do what I could to make my husband happy.  Just like he would do for me if the situation were reversed.
  • Since he's working part time, what you should do is start a joint account that you'll use for all your joint expenses.  Let's say your joint expenses are $2000 a month average, you make $2500 a month, he makes $500 a month.  That means the joint expenses are 67% of your collective income in this analogy.  Take that percentage of each of your income and each of you contribute that much to the joint account ($1675 for you, $335 for him).  That way you'll both have money leftover for personal stuff, but you'll have more since you're earning more.  That way you also won't have to answer to each other about how you spend your own money.

    If he stops working or if his part time job isn't enough to cover his own necessary expenses (i.e. student loans), it's a different story.  Since he isn't working, does he do more than would normally be his share of housework?  If so, come up with a "salary" to give him.  Make it fair.  If he's not doing extra housework, you can lend him money.  The amount you lend him should be more than his monthly expenses, but not a lot more.  To be clear, he is going to pay you back once his finances are less restricted.
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