Do You Trust Your Spouse 100% With Money & Other Aspects In Life? I Don’t.

The title of this post might seem shocking to you.

But I just couldn’t find any more fitting title to summarize the main idea of this post.

And most importantly, the title truly reflects what I think about my husband: Mr. FAF.

You might be wondering how Mr. FAF would react if he saw this article.

But I don’t mind if he does. I’ve told him in person almost everything I will be writing below.

You might also be thinking that it’s not romantic to rat out your spouse in public.

But I prefer to be transparent.

What would my personal finance blog look like if I chose not to address the most pressing issues in my life?

After all, marriage is not always about romance, red wine, chocolate-covered strawberries, and roses.

The truth is that Mr. FAF and I argue, disagree, get angry, and sometimes don’t talk to each other for days.

Related: How To Deal With Spousal Envy

In writing this post, I hope to better understand the dynamic of our marriage to improve it.

More importantly, I want to let others know that if they are experiencing challenges in their marriage, they are not alone.

Over the past 4.5 years of marriage, I have realized one painful truth about our relationship: I don’t trust my husband 100% with money and many other aspects in life. And let me explain to you why.

What is trust?

When you trust someone, it means that you have confidence in them, according to Cambridge Dictionary. In other words, you have little doubt in their ability to achieve a certain outcome.

I trust Mr. FAF enough to sign a legal document with him that states that we will be legally bound to each other and will share all the financial profits, family responsibilities, and liabilities in our lives.

I have also trusted Mr. FAF enough to make him be the son-in-law of my parents, the father of my children, and potentially the grandfather of my grandchildren.

If I have so much trust with him, should I then not have any doubt in his ability to achieve something?

As a wife, I should believe in my husband and support him in every step of the way. I should let him make decisions, do things his own way, support his future plans, gladly accept any consequences/results of his action, and never question his intentions.

But that’s not the case.

I have doubts about Mr. FAF’s actions and plans in various shapes and forms. In many cases, such doubt has taken a toll on our marriage. In some cases, however, my doubt has helped Mr. FAF improve his life quality in ways he never expected.

Where I lack trust in Mr. FAF

1. Faithfulness

Love is like a beautiful rose with thorns. You just need to be careful to not get hurt.

Life is full of surprises, but I can say with confidence that I trust that Mr. FAF is a faithful man.

However, I didn’t come to this conclusion overnight.

Mr. FAF and I dated for only 3 months before getting engaged. We were engaged for another 2 months before getting married.

Mr. FAF revealed in my interview with him that he knew I was the one two months into the relationship.

I don’t remember when I realized that he was the one. I think I might have just gone with the flow.

We spent three out of those 5 months prior to our marriage apart. I moved to DC to start a new chapter of my life while Mr. FAF stayed in his city to finish his PhD program.

Related: How Frugality Brought Us Together As A Couple

Although we had been friends for a year before we started dating, I didn’t get to spend enough time with Mr. FAF to get to know him better. I coped with such incomplete information by filling all of the unknowns with suspicion.

Most of such suspicious was not well founded. For example, every year his program would have new graduate students. I was always curious about whether any of those female students were pretty or even single.

I would ask Mr. FAF for his opinions, and he would tell me the truth. His honesty sometimes landed him in trouble through no fault of his own  (i.e. admitting that some girl was pretty).

Mr. FAF, on the other hand, very rarely got jealous of other men. He was fine with me going out to lunch with or getting a frequent ride from a male friend.

After realizing what trusting husband Mr. FAF was, I adjusted my behavior and increased my trust in him to a point where I am totally fine with him going out to lunch with a female friend or colleague, something I strongly objected to before.

RelatedDid You Win The Husband Lottery?

2. Money

We used to fight about money although both of us are already very frugal.

This is one area where Mr. FAF and I used to fight the most about. Mr. FAF loves eating out with his friends.

He also makes many purchases that I think are not necessary.

When we were living apart, I would ask Mr. FAF about the major purchases on his credit card in a month.

I always reminded him to not spend too much money on unimportant things, but somehow that reminder didn’t always stick with him.

At one point, I just got so tired of tracking his expenses that I decided to not stress about money anymore.

I made a promise to myself not to get upset about what Mr. FAF buys.

If I don’t like it, I will try to explain to him in words in the most calm way possible. After all, Mr. FAF is very frugal and borderline cheap sometimes.

After a lot of persuasion, I finally got him on the same page about maxing our 401(k). We later realized that by doing so, each of us will have $1 million in 25 years. If I had trusted Mr. FAF’s decision, our retirement investment would look abysmal right now.

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

3. Hygiene standards

I want Mr. FAF to take a shower every day. And it’s still a challenge sometimes after 4.5 years of marriage.

Mr. FAF admitted that ever since we started dating, he has significantly improved his hygiene standards.

Mr. FAF used to live with three other guys in a 3-bedroom apartment (Mr. FAF lived in the living room).

I was in shock the first time I saw his place. Let’s say that his apartment needed lots of cleaning.

That time, I asked him to wash all of his bedding and pillow.

His shower frequency also went from once every two to three days to once every day.

When we lived in different cities, I would not trust that Mr. FAF kept up that shower schedule and got suspicious when I saw him wear the same T-shirt two days in a row.

I really don’t care how often my friends shower or change their clothes. But Mr. FAF and I are husband and wife, and we share a lot of things together, including the bed and the whole house. I want to make sure that his hygiene is up to par.

Mr. FAF’s hygiene surprisingly (or unsurprisingly) has become the topic of many of our arguments.

RelatedOur Biggest Fight & 4th Anniversary Celebration

4. Taking care of Baby FAF

I want Mr. FAF to spend more time with our son and take a more active role in caring for him. It could be taking our son for a walk on the weekends, changing his diaper without asking me for help, teaching him math, or playing fun games with him at home.

Mr. FAF has been trying to spend more time with our son, but I still don’t believe that it’s enough. And worse yet, I don’t feel comfortable leaving Baby FAF alone with Mr. FAF.

One time I got tired of doing housework every day and decided to go to a coffee shop on a Sunday. When I came back, Baby FAF came down with a cold and ended up getting an ear infection.

I am very patient when it comes to feeding our son. I can spend 1.5-2 hours spoon-feeding him to make sure he has enough food and will gain weight.

Mr. FAF, on the other hand, get frustrated when feeding our son since Baby FAF knows he can get away with anything and refuses to eat when I’m not around.

I don’t trust that Mr. FAF spends enough time with our son. But when he does, I still doubt if this care is good enough.

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

5. Housework

Traditionally, housework is the responsibility of the wife/woman in a family.

I take over most of the housework in our family. Below are what I do:

— Getting Baby FAF ready for daycare in the morning and picking him up after work in the afternoon

— Feeding our son and giving him a bath

— Cleaning the second floor and the bathrooms

— Doing and folding laundry

— Doing the dishes

— Helping my mother-in-law cook in the evenings and on the weekends

— Packing lunch for Mr. FAF and myself to take to work and Baby FAF to take to daycare

— Taking care of all the bills (i.e. mortgage, utilities, internet)

After writing about housework as a financial decision in a marriage, I got a lot of suggestions from you all to sit down and have a talk with Mr. FAF. I took your advice and asked Mr. FAF to take on more housework with me.

He agreed to do the dishes and the laundry on the weekends. However, deep down I still don’t feel good about it. I don’t know if Mr. FAF remembers to wash all the dirty dishes or if I will need to do a second round of washing.

When it comes to laundry, Mr. FAF doesn’t check for all the dirty towels or clothes that can be washed around the house.

I’m afraid that he will forget to wash my scarf or work vest, and that I will need to do another load of laundry, which will be a waste of both our time and money.

Mr. FAF has taken over the dish washing ever since I got pregnant. However, I still don’t trust him with our laundry.

Related: Housework – The Financial Decision In A Marriage

6. House maintenance

A home needs a lot of care to be beautiful.

Traditionally, housework is seen as the responsibility of the wife, and house maintenance the job of the husband.

In the FAF household, however, I have been the DYI handywoman with the help of YouTube.

In Mr. FAF’s defense, he has lived in a different city throughout most of our four-year marriage.

But even when he’s in DC, the situation doesn’t change much.

Whenever something breaks at our house, Mr. FAF’s immediate reaction is to call a handyman while mine is to look up a solution online. I have tried to fix many things around the house by myself and even showed Mr. FAF how to do it.

For example, the sink in our bathroom got clogged. Mr. FAF was about to go to Home Depot to buy a series of tools when I told him that I could just fix it with a chopstick (true story!). I ended up fixing the clogged sink without spending any money.

When Mr. FAF decided to take the matters in his own hand and wanted to replace all the outlets in our house, I was supportive of his decision. But deep down I was scared.

Mr. FAF has no experiencing fixing any electronics or electricity-related problems. While I understand that he needs to start somewhere, I don’t know if messing around with outlets is either a good idea or a safe way to save money. But I will take a step back and let Mr. FAF do his magic.

Related: How YouTube Saved Us 297.88 Last Year

Conclusion

Many of the topics mentioned above don’t seem to be a big deal in a marriage. After all, if we love someone so much, we won’t really care about their personal hygiene, right?

Well, not for me. Mr. FAF is the man of my dreams, but he needs to keep up his hygiene standards since I won’t take one shower every 3-4 days for an answer.

I wish I could say that I trust Mr. FAF 100% in every aspect of our life. But the fact is that I don’t. Not trusting someone can lead to doubt which can cause frustration and constant tension in a marriage.

I’m fully aware of that fact, and I’m learning to believe in Mr. FAF more while trying to show him my side of the argument. In a way, marriage has been a constant battle of compromises for us.

We win some, and we lose some. At the end of the day, if we can live with a decision we both agree on, then there’s still hope for a happy life ever after.

Related:

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23 thoughts on “Do You Trust Your Spouse 100% With Money & Other Aspects In Life? I Don’t.”

  • Wow, this is so spot on. Marriage is typically not all roses, and candy bars (if that’s even a thing). A lot of times, especially when people get married at a young age, you tend to figure out later as you continue to grow how different you really are.

    My wife is definitely the handy one in our family, but when it comes to money, she basically lets me lead all those decisions and isn’t all that interested. This definitely gets difficult from time to time, and makes it even that much harder for me to trust 100% when it comes to money.

    Very refreshing and REAL article. Cheers!

    • Thank you for the kind comment! 🙂

      Hubby and I used to fight about money and other things a lot (maybe our lack of money was one reason). But as time goes by, we’ve resolved one issue after another. I think it’s hard for two different people to live in harmony right after they get married. If we can communicate and work out the differences, things will def get better. ^^

  • Every marriage has its things no matter how wonderful they are. The key is the good outweighs the bad. I have to give you both credit, I’m not aware of many people that would air that laundry in public. I hope it does help to strengthen your marriage.

    • Thank you! Writing about our marriage helps me reflect on our relationship, lives, and personalities to see how we can improve. It’s like therapy for me.

      I’ve discovered a lot of things about Mr. FAF and myself that I wasn’t aware of just by writing blog posts about our marriage. I hope other people can relate and don’t feel like they’re alone in their marital challenges like I used to do. 🙂

  • I struggle with the same issues you mentioned in our own marriage. My husband doesn’t save money for the future. He likes to reward himself with his hard earned money. I feel like I have to be the one leading by example instead of just telling him what to do with the money he earns.

    We get home late from work most days and often my husband is so tired after dinner, he’ll just pass out in bed while watching something on his phone. That means no shower for the day. I complain to him all the time about this (since we share the same bed and I dont want the bed to stink) so he’s getting better.

    • I hear you, Thu. After 4.5 years of marriage, Mr. FAF still asks me questions like “Is it ok if I don’t take a shower today?” or “Do I need to take a shower today?” I’m like “Yeah it’s 80 degrees today. You need a shower.” Sometimes I just get annoyed and tell him to do whatever he wants. Geez. Showers aren’t that difficult. It takes him less than 3 minutes >_<

  • Good topic. I trust Mrs. RB40 100% now. We have very similar values and she is a very moral person. Time helps a lot too. I’m sure you guys will figure it out.
    He’s working with you on a lot of these things so that’s really good. His personal hygiene standard seems a bit below average. This can affect career as well so you can tell him this. One engineer at my old work was very smelly. I think someone finally clued him in and it was a lot more pleasant to work with the guy. He started showering before coming to work and life was better for every one. People will have a negative impression of you if they can smell you BO. People don’t want to work with you and you’ll probably get negative reviews. Good luck!

    • Aww that’s really sweet. I totally agree with you that time helps. We used to fight a lot about everything. And now everything is calmer since we’ve figured out how to deal with the challenges in our lives (but more to come for sure!).

      Mr. FAF is really proud of the fact that he doesn’t have any body odor even after 3-4 days of no shower (which is true. I’m kinda jealous of that.) But your story is spot on. I’ve met some people who have such strong body odor that it lingers 15 minutes after they leave a room. I’m just like “Hello, deodorant and shower, anyone?” It’s mentally and physically painful to have to endure such strong odor.

      I will tell Mr. FAF your story. I think it happens a lot of the workplace. Even Mr. FAF told me there’re people with really strong body odor in his office, and it’s off-putting to everyone who needs to work with them. >_<

  • I trust my husband at an accurate number of 99%. But that 1% does drive me a bit nuts sometimes, but I have faith in him for 99% of everything so technically that’s a A grade.

    Even if he does something without telling me, it’s for my own good. I notice he watches out for me just like I watch out for him. I think those little actions build up to big effects in trusts in our relationship.

    I think you sort of know when someone’s the one very quickly. If it took FAF 2 weeks then that’s sounds about right. I think it took me….2 hours to 2 weeks too!

    • Oh wow that was fast! You’re such a sweet wifey 😉 99% is indeed a lot of trust in someone. That’s how you know you want to live with them for the rest of your life. ^^

  • I imagine your husband , if pressed, could come up with a list of things about you in which he doesn’t have total confidence. It works both ways. My late husband would sometimes point out my flaws, but would go beserk if I hinted at any of his.

    • I totally agree. Great point, Carole! I know for a fact that he doesn’t trust me when it comes to driving and cooking. Also, he said I’m too stubborn and hot-tempered sometimes, two qualities he doesn’t really like in me. I’m working on all those things though hehe. 😀

  • All a man wants is to be told he is wonderful. Do that enough and all those problems will fade. He’ll be like puddy in your hands!

    • Great advice, doc! I just messaged Mr. FAF and said “Morning, handsome!” Let me how it turns out 😀

  • Thanks for your honesty! Money is probably the #1 area where I have the least trust and am still rebuilding from the past stuff we’ve gone through. But I have been impressed by the strides he’s made.

    Aside from that, I would say the other thing is a combo of cleanliness (his standards for a clean house are shocking, he’s a fantastic cook but terrible at cleaning up) and I suppose follow through (he’s more of a *starter* of projects than finisher, and if he gets a list of things to get done around the house it’ll be lucky if 1-2 get done!)

    • Progress and the willingness to change is key. I’m glad things are working out for you guys.

      I’m with you on cleanliness. One time Mr. FAF spent 10 minutes scrubbing something in the bathroom, which I really appreciated. Then I came in and saw that nothing had changed, but I didn’t say anything and just thanked him for his service @_@

  • It sounds like Mr. FAF is willing to compromise and work things out, so I’m sure things will get better.

    I am pretty confident that I can trust my wife 100% with everything. I really do feel like she has our best interest in mind with every decision that she makes. And if she doesn’t know something or doesn’t feel super confident in a subject, she will do extensive research and always use her best judgment. One of the reasons I married her is because I have complete trust in her. I trusted she would become wonderful wife and an amazing wife. Check and double check. 🙂

    I’m going to say something that might sound unsettling (and don’t think I am siding with Mr. FAF on this one), but people don’t necessarily have to shower every day. Excessive showering can lead to dehydration of the hair and skin. It can also wash away good bacteria on our skin that protects us from infection. Now… if Mr. FAF is stinky every day, then by all means he should shower for the betterment of his social and home life. But if he doesn’t stink, the he doesn’t necessarily have to take a shower every day. This might be TMI, but my wife and I shower every two to four days and I don’t think we stink. At least we still have friends 😉

    Quick resources about the potential harms of daily showering and why we don’t necessarily have to shower every day:
    https://www.lifehack.org/355349/science-suggests-you-should-abandon-the-habit-showering-every-day
    https://www.today.com/health/daily-shower-may-be-bad-your-skin-docs-suggest-soak-2D79325796

    • Oh wow I had no idea scientists did research on this topic. My skin does get dry after a shower, especially in the winter, so I think it’s true. But with the combo of greasy hair and body odor after a day, I could smell my own odor if I don’t shower every day. I know some people don’t sweat as much and they have really dry hair, so daily showers are not necessary. Maybe I’m being too hard on Mr. *sigh*

      • I actually came to say this, too. I shower every 2-3, and I don’t think I stink. And I CAN smell myself when I start to, which makes me think I regularly don’t. My hair is healthier since I moved to that schedule. I do use deodorant (natural) though.

        In the case of our kids, who have dermatitis, we we’re told no more than 2-3 times per week by the pediatrician to protect their skin, and only once a week for an infant unless she gets dirty.

  • I trust my husband 100% with money. When we started dating, I had him listen to the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace CD set. We would also listen to DR podcasts anytime we were in the car together. This set the foundation for how he thought about money from that day to present day.

    We have joint bank accounts and we are also joint on all credit cards with alerts set up whenever a purchase is made. He gets his monthly “waste” money in cash so I don’t worry about having to keep track of it in the budget and he doesn’t have to feel guilty for buying something frivolous.

    I trust my husband 100% with everything except for cleaning the house. Maybe my cleanliness standards are just too strict but I find if I don’t monitor him while he’s cleaning the bathroom, then it will get halfway cleaned. I usually don’t even ask him to clean anymore since I know I’ll have to go back over it anyways.

    • Yes! I’m with you on cleaning the house. Even if I train him, I feel like I’d have to do everything again to make it up to par. He sees a beautiful home, and I just see a mess staring at me. @_@

  • I so feel you on this. Particularly when it comes to our baby, I often feel like I’m the only one doing it right. I always want Mr. Steward to be doing more with them. And we also squabble over housework and the fact I do all of the money stuff.

    That said, the biggest thing I have learned with this is to err on the side of assuming I am somewhat wrong. After nearly four years with our oldest daughter, I have learned our parenting styles are different, not necessarily right and wrong. I still wish he spent more time with her, but I can’t simultaneously wish for that and undercut him by not liking how he spends it when he does. So I let the latter go in order to encourage the former. It has been a good choice, as it helped him to want to get more involved. Also, it helped me observe things I am not good at. Mr. Steward is more patient with her, for instance, and plays more to her emotional needs. Over time, it has become obvious some of the stuff I was stressing about was just not at all a big deal.

  • It sounds like you have your work cut out there, but as long as hes trying and can see you want the best for him and you. Sometimes you have to pick your battles. Im also encouraging hubby to max out his kiwisaver and get govt and employer contributions ..its crazy not to do it

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