Consulting with spouse….

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    Just looking for a bit of feedback. How much ‘consultation’ do other couples typically do?

    My hubby can be abroad & essentially out of contact for anything from 2 weeks to a month. All of a sudden, he wants me to do nothing wthout consulting with him (ie the whole time he’s away). I’m to sit on my hands rather than change a cushion or curtain or buy a cup. He’s like a mafia don: ‘It’s a matter of respect.’

    Up to now, if – for example – I came across a great deal on a tv & ours was about to die, & he was away, I’d buy it. If the fridge packed it in, I’d replace it. I’m the main earner & if I could pay it out of my bank account, I did. Now he wants me to wait & check if it is ok with him.

    I’m not talking moving house or changing the car, or big stuff.

    Last time he was away, I put up a doorbell (the plug in kind) & a bolt on the downstairs bathroom & a stick up mirror. I happened to be in Woodies with my dad & saw them & thought they’d be useful.

    We have a terraced house & park the car at the end of the garden. Another time he was away I put in a wooden pedestrian gate & a bit of a wooden fence to divide the car parking area from the garden, so the kids wouldn’t get squashed by the car. I happened to be talking to someone who was in-between jobs & could do it for a good deal.

    Am I supposed to lose all ability to think independently just coz I’m married? Is it par for the course that the slightest thing has to be discussed & analysed at length? With (very soon) 3 kids under four I don’t think I have the time to debate at length whether or not I need a new bin in the kitchen or to get the gas serviced…

    What do others do?


    I think you situation is different from most of us because your husband is away for weeks at the time.
    Maybe he doesn’t really want to advise you about buying a doorbell, but could it be a way to say that he misses a lot from the family life because he’s not there on a daily basis?
    With a baby on its way, that could increase his feeling about being left-out (even if he’s not).

    With my husband I consult him even to buy a mug, it’s only because I don’t have space for it and I would not allow myself to buy it, but if I ask, then I have the green light makes me happy, and still don’t buy it, because I have all the kitchen stuff and more.

    But I would change bin compagny…, and buy things for the kids, not the house (really no space), without telling him before, but we talk a lot and most things I do, I did mention it before (it could be months before), not to ask permission, just to let him know I want that or I’ll do that.
    And I’m not working, so he’s the one earning money, I’m the one spending the way I want (because we want the same things).
    For the holidays I’ll make the plan, because ifI don’t he’ll never think of it. I let him know, then we book what I picked.
    Often it’s only ryanair flights to visit family.

    So I do talk a lot (I’m a talker) but don’t have the feeling I ask permission, I ask his opinion not his approval. But as I said we share the same point of view.



    Maybe he is feeling a bit left out? As you said, he is away a lot so he may feel frustrated that he is missing out on decisions and things that happen while he is gone.

    Men can act out when they are feeling insecure. He is kind of throwing his weight around and saying he wants to make the decisions but it could be because he feels things at home are out of his control?

    perhaps try talking with him over a glass of wine when the kids are in bed (orange juice for you though!!) and hopefully he will share why he is saying this to you now.

    Hope you get sorted. Good luck.


    i just tell him what i want, he says no i harp on about it eventually he gives in 😆 😆

    …BUT most of the time he talks alot of sense into me of what we need and don’t need….

    major things we’d discuss, minor things i’d say i got this that or i’m getting this that and he’ll give his tuppence…i know when he’s telling me when to lay off or when we really don’t need things as he goes on about it….lol…but i have my own account that i would get things from, and the rest sure it follows after….

    it can be hard having to adhere to someone else’s do’s and don’ts…have a chat with him otherwise this will spiral…beleive me….and as others said, as he’s away perhaps he is feeling he needs to be a part of something, as you make the daily decisions perhasp he just wants in on somethings iykwim…(and you know what i bet if you asked him to hang something he’d take ages….i know that happens here but the consultation on buying the thing to be hung has to be run past him for approval….lol)

    Financial Companion

    Assuming it’s not just a case of closely watching the family finances in these trying times, and that you’re not prone to going into brown thomas and spending a few thousand on clothes, (and like you said, nothing major like changing the car or moving house!) then it would be reasonable to expect, with you being left to manage a household alone for periods, that you should have the freedom and trust to make what you described as small purchases or additions to the home. It’s an empowerment that’s crucial to a balanced relationship. Talking about how you feel sounds like a good idea, including picturing a role reversal, imagining if you were away for long periods and he got the chance to get the boiler serviced by a known plumber at half price, would he do it? I know many couples are setting newer rules about not spending without discussing it with each other but this is when finances have been severely hit and spending habits had to be updated.


    Ta all.

    No, Brown Thomas is safe from me! Harry Corry in a sale is me going absolutely wild! And the finances are ok. Not millionaires, but no major worries…. yet!

    Wasn’t sure was I out of step with how things are supposed to be done in a relationship. It is hard to know sometimes what the correct procedure is in a marriage. A manual would be useful!

    He was nearly 40 when we met, so we both had independent lives before we married & sometimes maybe we just both want that independence back.

    Maybe he is just feeling left out.

    It’s just because he is TOTALLY out of contact for up to two weeks at a go that I’m chomping at the bit. We need a cradle (toddler still in cot), there’s a sale in Smyths, baby due in three weeks, he’s due back in two – is it reasonable to buy before he gets back? Before this blew up, I’d just have thought it logical to buy it, now I’m not sure & don’t want a row. Can I paint the boys’ room now before the baby arrives? If I wait for him to get back, I’ll be doing it days before the baby arrives…

    I am a bit hurt that he doesn’t seem to think that I can be depended on to act in the best interests of the family – especially when a large chunk of the day-to-day work of running a family is left to me…

    He needs to work (psychologically) & I support him workwise, but I guess I’m a peeved at this particular bit of attitude, especially as I don’t think I’ve done anything to warrent it.

    He’s gone again for a fortnight (this all blew up in the car on the way to the airport, so there hasn’t been much chance to resolve it). It’s inevitable that I’ll do some bits & pieces – time is ticking! – but I’ll try & put off as much of the bigger stuff as I can until he gets home & we can have a decent talk.


    Personally, I do what i like, when I like and he does likewise. This is because we know each other well enough to know that neither of us is gonna buy a bmw or book a luxury 6 week cruise without the other knowing. All of which I know doesn’t help you at all but its just another perspective on how a marrage can work. If I had to/wanted to/needed to consult him over the purchase of a cup and saucer, our marriage wouldn’t work and I know he feels the same. we need our independence on many levels.

    And so to try and offer practical support (my NYR) – perhaps the issue is not the actual decison making/purchases but more one of communication (as am sure has benn said above, only skimmed thru previous reponses, sorry ladies)? Perhaps it’s the not knowing that he’s trying to take charge of, rather than what you do in terms of these decisons? You have to be practical, can’t be expected to do nothingh when he not ther, you have kids, a house and you own head to run in that time, you can’t be doing that effectively with u hands tied, that’s a ridiculous, quite frankly insulting and archaic outlook of a partner to have. As I’m sure he is actually none of these things (or u wouldn’t have wed him in 1st place), would bet that its about something else (prob the out of the loop thing ref to above in other posts) thats driving this unreasonableness and so thats what u have to get to the bottom of.

    u running out of time bumpwise by the sounds of things, so when he home and rested (day or so), insist, kindly but firmly, that u and he sit down together and work it out. If u can do it with kids out of the house, think this much preferable (could u get a relaive to take them for a specified time?)

    Best of luck


    Im a bit of a Cross between Hjs and Scole… Im the one who says "oh we should do this or that in the house or garden" I would have researched and found what i want before i tell him my plans, i think he knows this as most of the time he will say "im sure you have it ordered already" or something to that affect
    The only reason i tell him what im doing is that its his earnings im spending from our joint accounts, but do think i only tell him for that reason. Like hjs said im not buying a new car or anything.
    I do think your hubby is just being "A MAN!" (sorry guys) it cant be easy for him being out of contact or coming home and all these little changes made, maybe he had little ideas or plans in his head but never got around to doing it…. i will give you two examples of how my dh threw his rattler out of the pram recently 1) getting some work done in the house, its something i have wanted done for 9 years, asked dh many many times to look at this job, never done so got someone in to do it…. the DAY the job was done Dh told me "i could have done that" YEAH BUT YOU DIDNT IN 9 YEARS SO IT DONE NOW FECK OFF!!!!
    2) Told dh i wanted a new door, got quotes and found the man for the job, asked dh if he wanted anything he said "no, its your door leave it up to you to sort im too busy bla bla bla" The man was here on Friday and i was going over what i wanted…. out pops dh and changed what i wanted, i wasnt bother think the changes were better then what i was doing….. but what peee’d me off was that he couldnt sit down and work out what WE wanted instead of waiting till the 11 hour and 59 minute 😈 😈 😈 😈
    Think they are worse then kids sometimes…. humour him for a bit, i say his ego is dented and just feeling left out


    God men!!! A bit off topic but 2.5 years ago i fell in the shower when pregnant and i was huge so clatter the class door and broke the bottom hinge off the door…… dh knew this door was broken, i found a company who stocks this brand shower door but never got the new hinge, so we just used the other door.
    The other night ds2 ran straight into the door in temper and swoosh the broken hinge popped out and the so did the top one…. a 1/2 meter glass door went flying, i dove on ds2 and just used my body to protect him, all i could feel was a massive bang and breaking glass!!!
    Dh ran in and caught the door, which hadnt broken but the tooth brush glass and glass shelf over the sink…… low and behold dh went up today 2.5 yearslater and fixed the DOOR!!!!
    Why didnt he fix it 2 years ago? Sorry just cant get into how men think!!!!

    Financial Companion

    Jees Taylor….staging all of that just to get a new door?? 😆 😆

    Just kidding!! Glad nobody was hurt! I tend to be the opposite and if something like that needs to be done, get it out of the way, but with dw I don’t always get the chance as she loves (and is amazing at) diy. I put down a laminate floor in one of the bedrooms once (first time trying), she watched me do it, then the following week went to the supplier, got the packs of laminates, under felt and beading and did all of the other bedrooms! Mind you, she’s alse painted the inside of the house top to bottom, wired chandeliers, tiled the kitchen and utility room and assembled flatpack furniture for us and many neighbours as well!


    I do the odd bit like floors and painting etc… but not this, the glass door is sooo heavy, well its fixed after 2.5 years….. but we nearly had to be killed before he fixed it!!!

    Financial Companion

    Now for everything else that needs to be done, you can say "remember the shower door"!! 😉


    Now for everything else that needs to be done, you can say "remember the shower door"!! 😉

    I know 😆 😆 😆 You know the way us women think 😉 😆 😆 😆


    My DH is here most of the time, for a few weeks he had to stay away 5 nights at a time because of the snow really.

    Small stuff yeah I’d go ahead and get it sorted. But to be honest no I wouldn’t call in workmen to do any alterations or buy anything for the house over say €100 without saying it to him first.

    Its not because he’d expect me to clear everything with him but thats the type we are we talk about everything, we price everything over and over and sometimes I think we just over-analyse everything.

    But I did discover when he was away that as a long term way of working a household it just would’nt work. Yes you need to talk, but you need to be able to go about life also and sometimes that means taking the iniative and making the decision alone.

    There are very few places in the world where someone is completely uncontactable for weeks at a time. Tell him if he wants more input to sort something out a satallite phone or something because youcan’t hold off on everything esp. with 3 small kids for weeks or a month at a time.

    I do think the others are right and he’s feeling guilty because he’s missing out on a lot by being away. But he should be able to find a way to make contact every so often when he’s not in the country.


    Hmmm, men can be a bit strange. It sounds like you either changed something that really bugged him or the house is changing beyond recognition while he is away. If the changes relate to the new baby, perhaps he is feeling that he is having no invovlement and missing out.

    Perhaps he is worried about his job and does not want to worry you at the moment but is trying to cut back.

    Who knows, it could be anything – men are not renouned for their communication skills!!!

    Baby definately needs somewhere to sleep. So, you either move the toddler into a bed or organise something else. If you do not want to buy something before he returns, perhaps you could borrow a moses basket, to have in reserve, in case baby puts in an early appearance.

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