As a woman struggling with bipolar, it can be very hard when I need something to control my spending. Sometimes, well okay, often, I feel I desperately need something when in fact I really don’t. It might be something as small as a new candle, or a new hairbrush, or something like shoes or jeans. I would go a little overboard on the kids’ clothes, always getting stuff on sale, or something that was cute that I liked. I always justified my spending, until we were always broke.
I stepped up and explained to my husband that I had no control over spending money, and I needed to move to an allowance system. We worked up a budget which consisted of the basics, food, gas, diapers, etc. I was very proud of myself for stepping up and telling him that I needed his help to gain a bit of self control. I was amazed at how much money we were saving a month after he took control of the bills and the money.
However, now I have to fight tooth and nail for anything other than our very basic needs. Something such as socks or underwear for the kids can screw up my budget, that’s how tightly I manage what I have. I haven’t been complaining because I do know it is best for my family to save money, but he started telling me no on other basic needs such as kids clothes, shoes, clothes for me, etc.
This gradually put me into a small depression. It was my fault that we were where we were financially and I wanted to make things better, so I made a drastic change. Things have been better, and my marriage got better because I quit spending all our money!
Well, I had a long talk with my husband on his “rights” to the extra money we are saving. I explained to him that just like the kids, I have needs as well. I began outlining the difference between needs and wants, and that it is his responsibility to make sure my needs are met as much as the kids. I will always buy what the kids need first and hope there is enough left over for us, but regardless, when there is enough left over, I want him to say okay, let’s get you taken care of.
He has agreed! We are going to sit down now and write out a list of what the two of us need, and what we want, and go from there. I am feeling optimistic now, he doesn’t feel as though I should have to be last all the time and he is ready to put me first.
I am excited and I am proud of my husband for finally listening to me. He bought me a dozen roses and my favorite wine, and told me he was very sorry. I guess he was able to see how neglected I felt, and how much I really hurt.
We communicated more openly, he was more willing to listen to me (and shut his big yap!) and I was heard. I was finally heard. I bought new shoes, and they are so cute!! I finally get to be first!
Photo by Flashy Soup Can, available under a Creative Commons attribution license.
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Mental Health Social (April 22, 2011)
Last reviewed: 22 Apr 2011