This is from Dave Ramsey’s radio show of Jan. 26, 2012 Dave is reading an email question on the air and then giving an answer.
“Dave, is it possible for me to succeed if my spouse is not willing to participate in our Total Money Makeover? The only debt we have together is our house. Teresa, I guess that depends on how you define succeed. See, my definition of success, when you’re married, is learning to work together, not trying to develop separate lives where you tolerate each others’ stupidity. That’s not marriage. That’s just two people hanging out together tolerating each others stupidity. A quality marriage requires give and take and the ability to work through things together, set goals together, communicate, sacrifice, to hit things the other one wants to do, lack of selfishness, all those kinds of things. That’s success. So if you pile up a big pile of money and you were completely debt free and in the process you ostracized yourself from your husband, I would not define that as success. So could you succeed at a Total Money Makeover? No. Because the definition of a Total Money Makeover is more than money. It’s the successful transformation of every element of your life, your relationships included. Even your spiritual walk. And so, that’s a Total Money Makeover. Now, can you have some success moving the debt around without your spouse helping? Yes. But I will tell you this. You will become more and more aggravated at them, and they will become more and more aggravated at you. The stuff I teach will actually drive a wedge in your marriage, if you don’t learn learn to do these things, you know, as two mature adults in concert. It’s very difficult. But it is more difficult to get divorced.”
I guess success is not possible with a passive aggressive husband.
Anything that I will want to do, he will not want to do, even if he says he does.
He will stand in the way of me reaching my goals, even if he says they are what he wants, too. For example, and I briefly mentioned this in a previous post, I had a huge project that I had planned and researched for months and I needed his help at one stage of the project. Well, he changed the plan, without researching, without talking with me about it. He sabotaged it. Now, no longer is it my project, it probably won’t even work right, should he ever complete it. It’s not mine anymore. He took it away from me and destroyed it. I feel crushed.
Financially, any time we get ahead, or any time I earn extra money for the family, he finds a way to spend it, without talking to me about it. That is why I have my own accounts now from working. But he still finds a way to demand that I pay for certain things. BTW, Dave Ramsey teaches that married couples should share all accounts, not have separate accounts. I just feel like I have to protect myself. And my daughters.
A passive aggressive person constantly changes the rules. This week he might agree to give me cash for groceries. Next week, he’ll tell me just to use the credit card. The week after, he’ll have a different credit card for me to use. Then, when the bill comes, according to him, I will have spent too much money. It never comes into the equation that he could possibly earn more money or that we could talk about priorities.
We’re pretty much mid-life now, and we have no retirement money to speak of. At this rate, we NEVER will, simply because it is not in the plans. At all. Ever. He doesn’t have disability insurance, even though he has a physical job, with a chance of injury. When I asked him about disability insurance, he said it was expensive and he just planned on not getting hurt. (Maybe there is a reason accidents are called accidents???) We only have catastrophic insurance. So, as we get older, unless we change insurance plans, we don’t have any insurance to cover routine office visits or medications. We are pretty healthy, but as a body ages, it wears out.
And if you’ve read my blog much, you know my house is falling apart. And there is no plan, no money for repairing it.
I have been wondering how successful I could be financially apart from my husband, you know, stay in the marriage, get a really good job and save money so I am not so concerned about my future financially. Well, as much as I could be, given that nothing is ever certain. And then I heard this on the radio from Dave Ramsey.
It was very discouraging to me. We’re just two people hanging out together, tolerating each others’ stupidity. Not a success. Not a marriage. But I already knew that.
link to Dave Ramsey