Ask Kari: I’m a stay-at-home mom — how can I convince my husband to stop fighting with me about money?

Dear Kari,

I am a stay at home mom of three. I stopped working when I became pregnant with my first child and ever since then my husband and I are constantly fighting about money. He questions every purchase that I make for even for the most basic things and demands to look at all my receipts. He tells me that since “he works and I stay home, it’s his money that I am spending and he gets to keep track of it”. I am beginning to resent him so much; we had an agreement when we first married that I would stay at home and raise our children. Please help me get through to him that I do work, I just don’t get a paycheck for it every week.
Dear Spent,
I think all mothers are working mothers, whether they are paid for their labor or not. It sounds like there is a power dynamic that is off in your household. I suggest you consider how your husband’s behavior makes you feel and share it with him in a calm manner. He owes you respect both as a wife and the mother of your children, which he is not showing to you when he uses hurtful words and demeans your role within your family. Couples are teams; sometimes one takes the lead more than the other and viceversa, but together they support and encourage each other along the way with the goal in view (in your case, raising a good family that is respectful and loving). If your conversation does not encourage him to change his behavior towards you and more strife occurs, I recommend that you follow up with a counselor for additional support.


As published in the May 2013 issue of Connections.


About Kari:

Kari O’Neill, MSW, LICSW, is a licensed independent clinical social worker and a resident of Issaquah Highlands.

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