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"Should I give up on my husband?" (Warren Buffett's late wife saw him as a challenge.)

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Reader says...

I simply LOVE your blog!

However, reading your blog makes me a bit regretful.

I got married a year ago to a very kind and loving man.

He is very obliging and we never had an argument, ever.

I decided he was the one after a short courtship.

He is not rich and doesn't make a lot of money at work but it doesn't bother me because I earn my keep.

I did not think that it could be a problem until a few months into the marriage.

He is very caring and sweet but he doesn't seem to know much of anything and doesn't seem interested in learning.

A big problem is his inability to understand basic money management.

I thought he understood budgeting but had trouble with impulse buying but by now I don't think he understands.

I feel bad for flaring up but he would literally spend the very last dollar of his salary by end of each month.

When I tried to show him how bad his financial situation was, he would hug me and said I was worrying too much.

I love him but I am also thinking of giving up.

AK says...

Welcome to my blog. :)

First, I must say that I mostly blog about personal finance matters.

I am definitely not an expert on relationship matters and I am definitely not an expert on marriage.

So, based on this, I know if I were in your shoes, instinctively, I would dump that guy like a sack of rocks.

Too heavy a burden to be carrying around for even a moment, I would not dream of dragging the sack around for life.


Who threw a shoe at me?

Who? Who?

Let me continue.

However, there is a Chinese saying:

"Love the house and love the crows on the roof."

It is about taking the good with the bad.

So, although, instinctively, I would dump that guy, rationally, I would urge you to consider the big picture.

If not being financially prudent is his only shortcoming, maybe, you shouldn't give up.

"Love the house and love the crows on the roof."

As long as the number of crows are not too many, it isn't too bad unless you care about appearances.

However, if the crows are so numerous that the roof might collapse under their weight, you should run for the hills.

I always tell people that investing in stocks is a little like getting married.

We could also say that getting married is a little like investing in stocks.

There is bound to be some rough patches.

For example, Warren Buffett's late wife, by his own admission, saw him as a challenge. ;)

I am just borrowing someone else's wisdom here.

I don't have any in this area.

Related post:
Scolded by wife!


DennisRoger said...

Marriage is a life-long commitment and it will be good not to decide now since it is just a few months into your marriage. It will be worthwhile to hang on since nothing will remain there forever! If it is only about money and nothing else, just remember money is not the route to everything. If you compare happiness to money, then it will be wise to select happiness unless you equate having money to happiness. I can't predict he will change over time but if time allows him to change, I guess so much the better. I wish you all the best!

MSAPersonalFinance said...


Love is always more precious that money cannot buy, especially when he treats you well.
If I were you, I won't give up on him but try to work things out.

For instance, you can ask him to give you a certain amount of money each month and you can manage this amount from there. It can be household expenditure fund, future children fund, emergency fund, etc.


disr said...

Based on this and the related post, seems like ladies are the more financially prudent ones these days.

laurence said...

First, I must say that I mostly blog about personal finance matters.
I am definitely not an expert on relationship matters and I am definitely not an expert on marriage.

AK is The Oracle of Everything.
Thus, is rightfully Consulted on Everything.

owq said...

I'm also not a relationship expert but I've heard that a man gets married expecting his woman not to change, while a woman gets married expecting her man to change. ;)

One of my ex is thrifty but knows nuts about how to preserve capital. I mean, she would leave her savings in the standard POSB savings account until my friends and I nudged her to use savings accounts with better rates. To me, it was ok for a girlfriend but definitely a dealbreaker for marriage.

Nick said...

I do empathize with where you are. But here’s an intense but unavoidable thing about marriage: Sometimes you have to grab the wheel and steer it away from the rocky cliff, for everyone’s sake.

People say marriage is all about communication and commitment, but 80 percent of the time, marriage is all about finding some pragmatic way to work around the flaws.

You need to speak up honestly. You need to be vulnerable and tell him you are stressed out over money. Because it’s not just his problem. It’s your problem, too.

Create a budget together. It’s not important how you do it or what method you use, but that you create the budget together. Both should provide input on the numbers and be part of the process. The budget isn’t going to be perfect the first time but it should get better as you do it more. Agree to hold each other accountable. Like everything else, it’s a journey.

All the best!

csky said...

How about create a common account and each of you contribute and equal amount to it each month? Equal amount so that it is fair when the money need to be used (you can have extra of your own account for your own extra money). Stipulate that the account is for kids, future investments, retirement or emergency etc.

And try to let go and let him spend the rest as he wish. Over time if pay increase, can also slowly increase the amount contributed to the common account. It takes time to change old habits. It is likely that over time, your financial prudence will rub off him in the years to come.

Marriage is never like a jigsaw puzzle where the pieces fit together perfectly. It's more that two jagged pieces of rocks constantly chipping off each other to make each other better. Good luck!

AK71 said...

Wong Yao Keng says...
I suggest you emphasize in your blog as a permanent post that you are single and not a marriage consultant πŸ˜„
No other hills to run to in SG other than Mt Faber and Bukit Timah Hill leh.

Kor Chin Wee says...
Ak is also a life coach πŸ™ŒπŸ»πŸ™ŒπŸ»πŸ™ŒπŸ»

Ah John says...
As he so loves her, an easy way, setup a regular money transfer from his bank account to another account that he agrees not to take out money or her bank account, regularly the day after his salary date. That will force him to save money. It’s the way that I am doing. Of coz, she still need to take care about the investment by herself and some major events, child, ...

Chia Bing Qiang says...
Money is just one of many aspects of life. There is no perfect person. Someone who is strong in managing his own finances might not love or care for you as much. Or, he might have other shortcomings that u can’t stand too.

AK71 said...

Dolce Goh says...
I have a friend who stood by her bf cum husband when he was penniless & jobless. As soon as he gets a stable high-paying job after that, he dumped her, blaming her for the breakdown of the marriage! My this poor friend has since become withdrawn & lost all hopes in human.

Yee Koh Lai says...
One of the important factors before considering marriage is one's finances and spending habits. If it doesn't match, you will need to iron out before marriage.

ζŽθ“η¨Ή says...
Oops ... sound like AK is seen to be money, marriage and family Guru πŸ˜›

pn said...

Have you watched the Suze Orman videos? She always says - "people first, then money, then things". There are many videos of couples (or family members) who call in with very different money problems. One party blaming her and vice-versa.

The gist of some of the videos I've watched have been - Suze nudges the passive participant in the family's money affairs to get involved by paying household bills (creating awareness of outflow of cash), ensuring that the couple have a regular interlock on what their common goals are and how to get there (open, honest communication), and others.

It used to be on CNBC - so you might be able to find some old videos on this. The Suze Orman show is no longer on CNBC.


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