8 Things Hubby & I Have Fought About: Money, Intimacy, Careers, etc.

One thing Mr. FAF and I have been discussing lately is how we want to celebrate our 5th year anniversary, which is coming up in less than a month.

Our tradition over the past year has been going to a steak house that’s close to where we used to live.

However, as we moved to a different city, the restaurant is now more than an hour drive from our house.

But that’s not something that occupies my mind lately.

Hubby and I have been married for almost 5 years.

And during that time, there have been multiple occasions when I truly thought we just couldn’t make it.

Sometimes I felt like our marriage was continuously punctuated with fights that neither of us knew how to resolve.

However, ever since our big fight on the night of our 4th anniversary, I think our marriage has been quite mellow.

Of course, there are arguments here and there, but they weren’t serious enough for us to bring up the “D” word.

And I realized one thing: time will help us solve some of the biggest problems we have in our marriage.

RelatedMoney & The Self-imposed Resentment

Reminiscing

I read somewhere that a lot of marriages won’t last past the 5-year mark. And I understand why.

During those first five years, a couple needs to iron out disagreements and reconcile differences that arise when two independent individuals join a unity and build a family together.

As I reminisce about the multiple times we fought, I realized that there are certain topics we have argued about but have reached a compromise on.

Those compromises not only signal our willingness to meet on a common ground but also serve as milestones in our marriage.

And today, in celebrating our 5th year anniversary, I will list out those milestones so that one day we can look back and see how far we’ve gone in our marriage.

1. Finance

This is one of the biggest road blocs early on in our marriage. Both Mr. FAF and I are frugal. But I am more of a saver than he is.

When we first got married, we were two poor grad students, so I didn’t want to spend money on things I didn’t thing were necessary. However, our definitions of “necessary” were a bit different from each other.

After we got our marriage license, Mr. FAF wanted to spend about $300 on a dinner and invite his friends to celebrate our wedding with us.

With my monthly grocery bill hovering about $200, I thought it was a waste of money to spend so much money on ONE dinner with people I wasn’t even close with.

We already had a get-together with six of our close friends on the day of our ceremony.

I wanted us to stay under $100, but Mr. FAF thought it was not enough.

I refused to talk to Mr. FAF for more than a week and even thought about returning his engagement ring. In my mind, it was my way or the high way.

Later on, I think Mr. FAF must have said something to my sister, who then told my aunt. My aunt pretended to call me out of a sudden but instead asked about the incident.

She told me being frugal was good, but that I should loosen up to enjoy life a bit. I caved in and told Mr. FAF I was ok with the celebration. Mr. FAF also compromised by narrowing the list of invitees and decided on a potluck for less than $200.

There were other similar incidents later on. But I’ve learned to really loosen up and not be too obsessed about saving every little dime in my life.

Now whenever Mr. FAF makes a purchase I don’t think is necessary, I will just tell him it’s not necessary and let it slide if he insists on buying it, thinking that it’d cause more headache and tension in my life to argue with him.

Having a baby also helps since it helps me realize that I have more important things to worry about than arguing about a couple of dollars.

Sometimes when Mr. FAF asked me if he could buy something expensive and even if I say yes, he will decide not to buy it. It’s happened a couple of times for me to know that he himself has a sense of what not to buy.

Related: Interview With Mr. FAF – Husband Of A Personal Finance Blogger

2. Personal space

I used to be a jealous wife who would get worked up whenever hubby was on the phone or texting someone. I had to know if it was a male or a female, and if it was a female, who it was exactly.

Mr. FAF has a couple of female friends he talks to every once in a while. I used to be super jealous of them and would give Mr. FAF a hard time whenever he talked to them on the phone or in person.

One time we got into a huge fight because he was talking to my ex-roommate when visiting me.

As time went by, I became more secure about our relationship. Now I don’t really care who he talks to or has lunch with. If he cheats, he will cheat no matter how much I monitor him. I can at least give myself some peace by not obsessing over the females he talks to in his life.

I have never checked his phone, Facebook, or Twitter for private messages since I respect his privacy. I expect Mr. FAF not to check mine either although I have nothing to hide.

But as the story goes, I’ve caught him checking my Facebook and phone messages a couple of times and was not happy about it. Of course, I let him know that as well.

The lesson I’ve learned is that I should trust Mr. FAF unless there’s obvious evidence that suggests otherwise.

Getting jealous for frivolous reasons or prying into his personal space will just push us further away from each other and make cheating more likely to happen.

For my sanity and the health of our marriage, I have accepted the fact that Mr. FAF has his own circle of friends, and that he also needs his personal space.

RelatedWhen You Let Insecurity Dominate Your Life

3. Kids

Hubby and I have fought a lot about our kids. It ranges from how much time we spend taking care of them, teaching them, and playing with them to how many kids we should have.

Just this time last year, I thought Mr. FAF didn’t spend enough time with our son and just focused on himself, which of course caused major tension between us.

I made it known to Mr. FAF that I was not happy that he’d prefer being on the phone with his friend than teaching our son the alphabet. After some discussion, we agreed that Mr. FAF would not answer his phone after 9 PM and would spend more time with our son.

Before we had Baby F2, Mr. FAF kept saying he wanted to have 3 kids, which got on my nerves since he had no idea how much work it was for me to be pregnant and for us to raise a kid.

Two months after Baby F2 was born, he told me he’s done having kids since it’s too exhausting taking care of an infant and a toddler. We settled that fight once and for all.

Related: Boy Or Girl & How Many Kids We Should Have

4. Parents

Yes, we have argued about our parents. When my mother-in-law (MIL) was living with us, she and I ran into a lot of problems due to our differences. At times like that, Mr. FAF was forced to be the referee, which caused tension in our marriage.

I felt like I had to fight with another woman to raise my own son. And having the husband taking his mother’s side didn’t make the situation any better. My MIL was also upset when Mr. FAF agreed with me.

My MIL offered us a lot of help, but she was also the reason for many of our fights.

I don’t have any clear solutions for this. If I did, all MILs and their DILs would get along great already. The only thing I can think of is for us to have our own space so that no one will encroach on the others’ personal space and privacy.

RelatedHow Our Lives Have Changed After My Mother-in-law Left

5. Politics

This is something Mr. FAF and I don’t always see eye to eye about. Mr. FAF is a hardcore Trump supporter. While I agree with Republicans on some issues, I don’t support all of their policies.

Sometimes when I argue with Mr. FAF about the economy or recent political developments, I can’t help but think that we are so different from each other.

Moments like that make me want to keep a distance from him and not want to say or do anything romantic with him.

I understand we are not supposed to think alike on every issue, but sometimes I think that his logic is so flawed it makes me puzzled and even repulsed.

This kind of argument comes up every once in a while in our marriage. I just try to stay calm or change the subject instead of blowing up on him.

6. Careers

I want to support Mr. FAF’s career as much as I want him to support mine. However, if it involves us doing more long distance after 4 years of being away from each other and me raising our kids by myself and him being in a faraway city, then I do have a problem with that.

Mr. FAF used to want to move to California while I wanted to stay in DC at least for the next few years. This topic surprisingly caused the majority of our fights during the first 4 years of our marriage.

Eventually, we reached a compromise where Mr. FAF and I will live in DC for 1-2 more years before we move with him to wherever he wants to be.

RelatedTraveling With A Purpose – Our Plan To Move Out of Washington DC

7. Friends

Yes, we used to argue about friends. It’s mainly because Mr. FAF just wants to hang out with Chinese people, and I want to make friends with people from other ethnicities as well.

Sometimes I felt like Mr. FAF just wanted to stay in his own bubble and told me to get out there to get something that he needed instead.

For example, if he had a question about our neighbors or our community, he would ask me to post questions on the community Facebook group instead of doing so himself.

This type of behavior irked me big time since he refused to get out of his comfort zone and got angry at me for not helping him.

After multiple arguments, Mr. FAF agreed to be more active in talking to other people and not make me do things that he can do himself (aka putting himself out there).

RelatedThe Pros & Cons Of Our Intercultural Marriage

8. Intimacy

I debated whether to include this topic since my blog is for a general audience. However, since it has to do with marriage, it’d be remiss for me not to include it.

But I will not go into detail here because like I said, my blog is G-rated (sorry about the click bait).

Conclusion

Except for politics, we have been able to reach a compromise on the other issues in our marriage: finance, personal space, kids, parents, careers, and intimacy.

Some of you (i.e. Joe at Retireby40 and Tim at TubofCash) have told me that things will be tough for the first few years in a marriage since we are still trying to find a common ground and will get more mellow as time passes.

And I have found that to be true.

Mr. FAF and I haven’t had any huge fights since that argument on our 4th anniversary in November 2017 (knocking on wood).

I am sure we will run into new problems in our lives where we need to reconcile our differences. But I hope that we will learn from our past mistakes and not let any argument escalate into a situation where we just can’t see eye to eye with each other and have to find an exit from our marriage.

Only time will tell, but let’s hope for the best, especially in this holiday season! 🙂

Related:

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Hubby Decided To Travel Alone. And This Is What Happened.

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29 thoughts on “8 Things Hubby & I Have Fought About: Money, Intimacy, Careers, etc.”

  • Newcomer here (but I have been reading this blog since march), thanks for the honest post. I just finished reading “how i found freedom in an unfree world” and the book is spot on when it comes to handling jealousy. You wrote ” If he cheats, he will cheat no matter how much I monitor him. I can at least give myself some peace by not obsessing over the females he talks to in his life.” – and I totally agree! In addition to that, the book I just mentioned taught me that the more he is socializing with others, the more he’ll see that he gets much more from you. That’s because after so many years of being together, you share so much in common – a mutual understanding, mutual interests and mutual views. I highly recommend that book, cured my jealousy in an instant!

  • Your honesty is always refreshing! I am not married, but can definitely take some tips from this post. Happy five years to you and Mr FAF!

  • Sounds like you guys are learning to compromise which is what people keep telling me marriage is about! We haven’t had major fights yet about kids or money, but our biggest challenge has been learning to be patient with one another. Mainly me, I’m super impatient … and you just have to show someone so much grace when you live in tight quarters. Workin’ on it!

  • As a recent newlywed (2 years) myself, I can totally relate. I am definitely learning that marriage consists of compromising and forgiving. Pride and arrogance will not make in a marriage. It will cause the other party to hold onto resentment. And even if it does seem like you won the battle and they finally see things your way…it doesn’t always mean you won the war. Sometimes the other person is still holding onto it.

    • Nicely put! I totally agree that winning an argument is not always conducive to a healthy marriage. I finally realized that after almost 5 years of marriage!

  • Mr FAF is a trump supporter?? I had to go back and re-read that a few times. He supports the man who wants to ban students from China from coming to the U.S., makes hateful blanket statements about immigrants, and wants to completely close off the U.S. border to immigration? I am just totally baffled by this. I can’t even imagine the hoop-jumping, kanye level rationalization that is going on in his mind. You must have the patience of a saint.

    • Even i am quite baffled when immigrants support Trump. Do they think once they are in, they are insiders and those statements about immigrants are not applicable to them? Not trying to be mean, i am genuinely confused.

      • Nope quite the opposite. Mr. FAF understands that he can be kicked out of the US any time because of Trump, that Trump thinks he’s one of those Chinese spies in the US although he’s not, and that Trump hates China (his country). But Mr. FAF said he understands why Trump does all that: it’s for the interest of the Americans. He once told me a man has to protect his family, and that’s what Trump is doing.

        • Thank you for explaining. Although it still makes no sense to me. I mean understanding trump’s motives is one thing (not that i think trump gives two hoots about anyone except himself but that’s a different issue). But actively supporting him is another. I mean either mr.faf wants to support a man who wants to kick him out even though he (mr.faf) doesn’t want to be kicked out, which sounds a bit crazy, or he just thinks it won’t happen to him, which i think is what most immigrants who support Trump believe at a subconscious level. Politics is so divisive that sometimes i feel it is best to just leave it alone. I appreciate your honesty and wish you a happy fifth anniversary.

    • You read that right, JM. I knew Mr. FAF and I had different political views when we were dating. But our differences seem more pronounced now that Trump is in office. That’s why I said it’s something we’ve argued about a lot but haven’t reached a compromise yet 😉

      • Thanks for sharing Mr FAF’s perspective on this..I can see how he might rationalize that kind of thinking now. I highly encourage him to read a history on the democratic principles on which the United States was founded, and maybe it will help to open up his perspective. There are plenty of documentaries you could watch together as well.

        • He has done both and still keeps his view. That’s why I said I’ll just leave him alone instead of blowing up on him for my own sanity *sigh*. (Not every) Fun fact: There are couples who got divorced because of Trump/politics, so I just hope we won’t be among them one day.

  • I didn’t know Mr FAF was big on Trump. It must be very rare in tech! I don’t know anything about politics but I think at Hubby’s work they’re very very left leaning as with most tech hubs. The only loser is us…the ones in the middle ha!

    But what are you really planning because 5 is a pretty good milestone!

    • It is quite rare among the Chinese people (from China) in the US too. Sometimes I wonder if that’s one reason why he has no friends. Even I don’t want to talk to him sometimes >_< We might go to a steak house again. I think I will tell him not to talk about politics so that it won't ruin our anniversary @_@

  • Hardcore Trump supporter? I’m unsubscribing! Heh heh, just kidding. Politic is so polarizing these days. We went through some of these arguments too when we were younger. Our marriage is pretty easy now after 19 years.
    Congratulations on 5. That’s a great milestone. I hope you guys do something fun.
    Thanks for the mention!

    • I also want to unsubscribe from Mr. FAF because of his political views, but I can’t >_< I told him I love my kids, so I have to put up with their dad *sigh* I really hope that one day our marriage will be as easy as yours. In the meantime, we're working on it. I will wrote a post about our 5th year anniversary 😉

  • Wow, my wife and I have been married for 40 years and we’ve never really fought, never even thought about thinking about the idea of divorce. I would say the first five years we came closer to arguing than we do now but we still didn’t really have arguments. My parents were married for 63 years and I never saw them argue, one single time. I think every relationship is different and while fights are fine for some, not fighting works just as well for others. It is obvious you two have grown a lot and the future looks bright!

    • Oh wow it’s AMAZING that you and your wife can resolve everything so peacefully. I wish I could say the same about our marriage. I’ve heard people say they don’t argue with their spouse at all, and I always wonder how it’s possible. It’s great to know that it is indeed the case for many couples such as yourself 🙂

  • My wife and I just made our first year together and we’ve had similar disagreements. We both understand it takes time to iron out differences between each other and patience is precious.

    In the past 6 months, we’ve made real progress strengthening our relationship. I’m more certain now than ever I’ve found the right partner and am excited to see where things go. I know there will be fights along the way, but I just hope we agree to be patient and kind with our thoughts and feelings towards each other.

    Thanks for sharing.

  • Your honesty in this post is really refreshing! I am only 22 (not married) but have been dating my current boyfriend for the past 4 years and we have had similar issues as well, but have manage to work through it (eventually). A lot comes down to communication and just being honest and open with each other. It was harder for me since I am a reserved person, but when I started doing it, a lot of issues resolved. For example, instead of making excuses for why I didn’t want to go out to dinner on the weekend, I sat down with him one day and told him basically it wasn’t in my budget and that I want to spend time with him, but not that much money. We came to a compromise and we go out 1 a month now and the other weekend nights, we stay in and eat food at home instead.

  • As always, thank you for your raw honesty. It’s hard to open up to random people on the internet like you do. You have a lot of courage, which is greatly appreciated.

    I hope you and Mr. FAF have a happy 5th year anniversary. My wife and I just celebrated our 3rd. Just like Steveark, I’m happy to say that we haven’t had any major fights in our marriage. It’s been pretty blissful so far. However, we did have some disagreements and fights while we were dating. Most of our fights were similar to what you experience… jealousy, trust, insecurity, family expectations, etc. Luckily we don’t have any major differences in money or politics. We are both frugal and minimalist. She’s a bleeding heart liberal… while I’m more of a an open-minded, progressively-leaning, sometimes conservative moderate.

    We dated for about 9 years before getting married, so it was a long time to hash out our differences. By the time we got married, both of us were on the same page and our values and life goals were more aligned. In addition to all of that time living with each other, I think Catholic pre-martial counseling was helpful. My wife is Vietnamese and her family is Catholic so it was important for them that we got married in a Catholic church. I’m not Catholic, but I was more than happy to oblige. Anyway, I thought the pre-marital counseling that we did with the Catholic church was very effective in highlighting our similarities and differences, then setting expectations and helping us to communicating solutions so that major problems are less likely occur.

    P.S. I hope you’re enjoying your baby girl 🙂

    • Wow I didn’t know you and your wife dated for 9 years. It’s a pretty solid amount of time to get to know someone.

      I have a Vietnamese friend who’s also a Catholic. She and her husband went through counseling at church, and she said it helped a lot too. I think it’d have been great if Mr. FAF and I went to a marriage/counseling class or something like that. We wouldn’t have had to resolve everything by ourselves >_<

  • Thanks for sharing about the subjects Mr. FAF and you have conflicts about with all of us. You are always authentic and raw with what’s going on in your life and how you feel about it. I think us readers really appreciate that.
    Discussing politics especially nowadays is really a sensitive subject to discuss. I think the best thing you and Mr. FAF can do is respect each other’s stance on political issues.
    Hopefully you guys enjoy your 5 year wedding anniversary!!

    • Thank you for your kind comment as always, Kris! I’m trying to respect Mr. FAF’s political view so that we won’t argue with each other about politics all the time >_<

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