Advice Column: Response to Fair or Share

Dear Hailey,

I have been married to my husband for 15 years. I came into this marriage with pretty much nothing but love to offer. I have given and received plenty of that. My husband is very comfortable financially. I signed a pre-nuptial before we were married. After 15 years I am wondering if I am wrong for what I’m feeling.

My husband has three boys of his own and I have only one girl. His children never think to wish him Happy Birthday or Father’s Day for the most part. And when they do get gifts for him they are usually worth pretty much nothing. i.e. a picture of them. Even though they range in age from 30-42, none have children that they are responsible for. And the only reason they come around on Christmas is for their hearty Christmas check.

My daughter on the other hand buys for him for all three even though she is not financially blessed and has 3 children. It’s never anything lavish but it is a very nice gift nonetheless. But because I gave up my job once we were married (with my husband’s blessing!), I have no money of my own per say.

My husband is very giving when it comes to money and never tells me no that I cannot have something – BUT I never really ask. He is amazed how little I ask for but I came from no money and have always been frugal. I actually still go to garage sales and visit thrift shops for most of my clothes. But what is bothering me is that every Christmas his kids get their hefty checks for $1000-$1500 and I only write a check for mine for $150. I have never asked if I could write it for more but then he IS AWARE of what I write it for.

Am I wrong after 15 years to expect that my child get the same amount as his? Please let me know.

Fair or   Share



Dear Fair,

You simply need to approach this topic with your husband. I think you already know the answer to your question, and I agree, it’s not unreasonable to expect the same amount for your daughter. From what you have shared in your letter, I would be surprised if he said no to you increasing the amount of your daughter’s Christmas checks. And it sounds like you know he would be fine with it as well. He might have assumed that the amount you write to your daughter year after year was the amount you felt was appropriate and didn’t want to meddle. It’s a conversation that needs to happen, and I would expect it will go just fine.

It also sounds like you have some insecurities about asking for money from your husband. Know that money is a tense subject for almost everyone. You’re absolutely not alone there! There is nothing wrong with being frugal and thrifty (I’m sure your husband appreciates it as well), and frugality really is a lost art. However, even considering the pre-nup, (which as you know, doesn’t determine anything about your finances other than in the case of a divorce), you are a family unit. A blended family specifically, which is still a family unit just a little more complicated. Families share. Your husband loves you, and wants you to have what you need and want. From your letter is  is happy to support you, financially and otherwise.

Something else that stood out from your letter is what you wrote about his children. It’s definitely hard to feel that someone we care about is being taken advantage of. That is a whole other conversation if you want to approach it. Your husband is probably well aware that his kids come primarily for their check, but he’s likely happy to spoil them and have the chance to see them. However, it’s always better to bring your concerns out in the open if you feel strongly about it.

If you have concerns about finances, or other issues, talk to your husband. Open communication is key when it comes to marriage.15 years is a fantastic foundation (and an impressive accomplishment!), and I am confident that you can work this out and bring your concerns out in the open. I wish you luck with this!


Posted in Q&A

One thought on “Advice Column: Response to Fair or Share

  1. This as such a heart felt letter! Being A big fan of budgeting, I could really relate. This note also reminded me of the love languages test where “fair or share” most likely values budgeting and her husbands love language in that area may not rank that as high as she does.

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