Stingy husband frustrates generous wife

Dear Annie: My husband and I are both in our late 60s. We’ve been married about six years and we both have very decent retirement funds, with him actually very financially secure with lots of money put back. We split the bills and groceries, including eating out about three times a month, and we take a small trip a few times each year.

Once a week, when I’m out running errands, I pick up a meal for my husband and me. He will sometimes ask what he owes me, but I tell him it’s OK, my treat.

It would be nice if he reciprocated or even offered to spring for the next time we eat out, but he rarely does. When we were dating, he didn’t seem so tight, but that certainly changed.

He won’t even replace things in the house that are worn out, broken and very unsightly. Even minor things! He has plenty of money and no debt. I just don’t get it and keep trying to nudge him, but he won’t do it. He had promised to sell the house and we would find a place together, but after marrying him, he then refused. I am embarrassed to even have anyone over because it looks so bad.

I love him very much and know he loves me, but I am very frustrated and feel so let down. I don’t want to give any ultimatums. Any advice for my situation? — Stingy Husband

Dear Stingy Husband: Sit down with your husband and express your feelings openly. Mention that you appreciate his financial savvy, but also explain that you are feeling undervalued. It’s important he knows that this isn’t just about the money but about shared responsibility and mutual generosity. Understanding might come from knowing why he changed his mind about the house; was it sentimental attachment, financial concerns or something else?

Also consider discussing bigger financial plans and everyday expenses. It might help to set some guidelines or even a small budget for household expenses and outings that you both agree on.

Dear Annie: I recently made a significant career switch at the age of 45, moving from a stable position in finance to a more creative role in graphic design, which has always been my passion. I’m excited about the change, but I am also struggling with some anxiety about competing with younger, more tech-savvy designers.

I’ve been staying late nearly every night to master the new tools and techniques, which is taking a toll on my personal life and overall well-being. Do you have any advice for navigating this new chapter in my life without burning out? — Midlife Career Changer

Dear Career Changer: Congratulations on making a bold move to follow your passion. Consider setting realistic learning goals rather than trying to master everything at once. Perhaps you can dedicate a specific time each week for skill development, allowing you to maintain a steady pace without overwhelming yourself. Online courses, workshops and tutorials can enhance your skills at a manageable pace. Remember, it won’t be this way forever; you’ll improve both your skills and your efficiency every day.

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“How Can I Forgive My Cheating Partner?” is out now! Annie Lane’s second anthology — featuring favorite columns on marriage, infidelity, communication and reconciliation — is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to dearannie@creators.com.


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