Wednesday, November 7, 2007
FINANCIAL MEETING #5
What a nightmare! I really recognized why my husband and I haven't sat down and done our expenses together in the past.
Yesterday, my husband had a really rough day at work. His job is overly stressful due to a politically appointed boss (that changes with each election), who has no experience. Political appointees are oftentimes someone who has held fund raisers, or knows someone who knows someone, etc. They aren't required to have qualifications for the jobs they are appointed to, but instead are pretty much thrust into a position and they either take an active role or a passive role in their position.
Currently, his boss is taking not only an active roll, but an abusive roll. She's pretty well destroyed the department by abusing those who knew how to run the department until they couldn't tolerate it any longer. Many accepted much less paying positions just to get away.
Unfortunately, my husband has not been able to get out of the job, after 20 some years, and has reported some of her abuses to the human resource department in order to protect himself. Worse, by his reporting the problem it has created an even more hostile environment.
Anyway, having come home in that frame of mind, we had our scheduled financial meeting. Certainly, this was a mistake. It seemed as though all the abuses that were heaped on him that day were now being brought to the financial table.
While I have fear about money, my husband has hatred and rage about money. There is so much anger coming from him about money, that, in the past, I had chosen not to confide in him and had just taken over the bill paying. Bill paying was all that was happening in our household though. Nobody was paying attention to what was coming in, what was going out, what was being saved, or what was being spent.
I find it very difficult to be in the same room with him when this rage comes out. Its not rage at me, its rage towards money. Yet, I don't know how to stay present around it. (Actually, after re-reading this last statement, I shouldn't stay present around it! I need to set a boundary and walk out of the meeting if it gets that heated. That much anger, to me, belongs in a therapists office.)
When the subject of Christmas came up, and it only came up because it was on the agenda, my husband seemed to completely fall to pieces. He informed me that he felt like we were letting his daughter down financially, that he wanted to be able to give the kids whatever they wanted - like we have in the past, etc.
The dynamics of our relationship seems to be that when my husband gets weepy or (what I call) overly emotional/dramatic), I get angry. When I get weepy he gets weepier . . . . then I get angry. Its not a pretty picture.
Needless to say, this meeting resulted in a melt down by each of us. By the end of the meeting both of us had been crying, myself because I was so frustrated, my husband- for many reasons.
Later, when both my husband and I were calmed down and the financial meeting had ended, I asked him why he believed he had so much anger towards money. He indicated that money was used as a tool/weapon against him in his family and later in his relationships. I have never seen anyone have such a strong, hateful reaction towards money.
I on the other hand, have very few memories about money. Money wasn't really discussed in my family, it was a bit of a secret. I knew we didn't have any, we didn't have enough for our basic needs, but, we did have two large homes.
I'm not sure how we're going to go forward from here. I don't ever want to have to go through what I went through at last nights meeting. We did discuss the inappropriate way the meeting went, and, that neither of us should be coming to the tables loaded up with that much emotional baggage.
Additionally, I have had to be responsible for finances my entire adult life, my husband, on the other hand, has never had to be responsible. He has always had someone else take care of his finances. He is actually coming to the table with, by his own admission, very little financial experience, and making some fairly awful financial recommendations.
You know, if it had to sum this up right now, I'd have to say that my husband is a bit of a spoiled brat and he's having a loud, and obnoxious, childish temper tantrum, that, while he claims he'd like me to take him seriously, cannot be taken seriously.
Well, even though I didn't have anything nice to say, I feel better for having said it.