Craig makes a good income, and Lindsay always sticks to their budget—but Lindsay feels like Craig is always nervous about her spending, and it makes her nuts. She doesn’t see him as a control freak in any other area except this. He checks their bank account every day to see how much Lindsay has spent on clothes, gifts for the kids, new household decorations, or whatever. Recently, she totally lost it when she found him poking through her shopping bags. Now she’s wondering what she should do. Sneak the shopping bags in when he’s not looking? Get a job so she can spend her own money without pressure from him? She doesn’t want to argue anymore.
My guess is that Lindsay’s shopping bags are like lead weights to her husband—and with every shopping trip he feels more and more pressure to keep up with her spending habits. Is that a fair feeling? Maybe not. Is it likely? Very.Most counselors would probably tell Lindsay, and other wives (like you?) experiencing the same frustration, that better communication about financial expectations, budget and spending is needed—especially during higher-expense seasons like holidays or birthdays. And that’s valid advice. But before you can understand what to do next, it would be helpful for you to understand what might be underneath your husband’s spending sensitivity—because I don’t think it’s about control.
So if it’s not about control, what is it about?