Friday, February 02, 2007

Fear of the DH

So I have chatted on several knitting and crochet forums and one thing that puzzles me is fear of the DH, dear husband. Everyone is like, "I know I shouldn't buy more yarn, DH will be mad." I guess it's cuz I've never lived with a man, but this both confuses and scares me. Grown women, income-earning women even, afraid to buy yarn because of their husbands. I know there are fewer male knitters and crocheters, but the ones that do post, I can't recall ever reading one of them saying something like "my wife (or SO) will kill me if I buy more yarn". Where does this come from? Is the husband always the one that controls all the finances in the house? Or is it a "i'm in a partnership and i shouldn't spend so much money on things that are not for all of us" idea? And if it's that, then why not just say that? If they know money needs to go elsewhere, well then they know that's their responsibility that they must see to. But no, instead it's because they're afraid of their husbands. Is the husband responsible for making sure the wife does not ignore her other financial responsibilities? And if it's not financial, the alternatives seem scarier. Husband-enforced yarn diets? What?

Makes me wonder sometimes, do I even want to get married? I don't know. I'm sure it doesn't have to be that way, because between my mother and my stepfather, it's definitely my mother who controls the purse strings. She never seems afraid to buy something because her husband wouldn't approve (I wonder would he dare even try to tell her not to buy something?). She either buys what she wants or, if she doesn't buy it, it because she knows the money is needed elsewhere. Her motivation isn't fear of being disciplined by her husband.

I'm sure what I'm saying must rub some people the wrong way. I'm also sure I'll hear the "you don't understand because you're not married." Maybe that's true. But looking at it from the outside, I'm not sure it's something I want to get into.

10 comments:

Wanda said...

I don't think it's necessarily that the DH controls the finances, but more that there's guilt associated with a stashing habit. It's one thing to buy that new purse or clothes and even buy too much and feel bad about it, but when you knit, that stash is visible and you can't use it all at once. I'm not married, but live with my bf. Our finances are separate, but I do have some guilt when I come home with another bag of yarn and the space for stash is somewhat limited as it is. He doesn't ever tell me that I can't buy yarn. He's more boggled that I "need" so much, but he would never tell me that I can't buy it or have too much. I'm not much concerned about your views on marriage, b/c that your choice. I think that there isn't a true "fear" but more associated guilt with the stash purchases, but no fear. At least it's never been in my case and the friends that do knit that also purchase aren't afraid of their spouses' reaction or that the spouse controls the purse strings either. They buy what they want, but just b/c you can do what you want may not mean that you don't have some guilt about it. Even if I were single, I would feel guilt about did I need to have that extra yarn. How much did I just spend and why? Even though I loved the yarn that I bought.

Kris said...

I'm guilty of saying those words..."I can't go yarn shopping because of my DH". Truly it's because I make him to blame. I know I probably shouldn’t, but it’s easier to use him as my excuse to not buy or put him on the spot then to really put out there to the world that I have fiber-obsession. I’m the sole income in our marriage and he is a stay-at-home-dad...but he also has his own hobbies that aren’t cheep.

Please don’t let this issue of change your mind about marriage. It’s a give and take...I buy him some miniatures to paint then I go yarn shopping. What ever the case may be ...you’ll want someone to support your hobby.

somebunnysloveDOTcom said...

Actually my DH and I always put blame on each other when we are out with friends. So I guess we are both guilty.
=:8

whatzerkitty said...

Sorry, but I'm with you on this one. I could never see myself asking anyone for permission to buy something for myself, as I am a grown adult, who makes my own money. I still dont' understand the "DH will get mad at me" comments. DH will definitely get over it. Then again, I'm very happily single, and plan to stay that way.

AR said...

I think a lot of peole just say it. It's easier to just blame him, if you're feeling guilty, or whatever.

dickie said...

thanks for the ideas for the hat! i don't really know how to crochet... but, i think i'll try to learn.

i'm very much single so i can't say much about the DH deal. =)

Sandra said...

It's not all bad...

I think that sometimes my husband is an enabler. I would feel guilty spending $20 on one skein of sock yarn, but he knows I love to knit and he pushes me to buy it.

for other people, having/acquiring/knitting with yarn is an addiction. those people NEED to have someone to stop them from buying. It all depends on the person. (shrug)

but DH lets me buy almost whatever I want. I let him buy what he wants. if it's over $75ish I expect him to clear it with me, but so long as we can afford it, I usually let him have it.

I think that when you are married, your money isn't necessarily your own anymore. You have a responsibility to your household and your family (DH). If I had a budget set up and a set amount that I could spend, then I would spend it until it's gone and not care about what he thought =)
DH and I don't have a budget set up so I make sure that he doesn't have the money set aside for something he wants before i spend it all. It's give and take.

HI from KH! I'm cruising around some blogs today and couldn't resist commenting...

Deodand said...

Hi, I surfed over from Saunshine's site. I heartily agree with your post, however, you need not fear the DH if you have a frank discussion about finances before he becomes the DH. My husband and I have an agreement that neither of us can spend over $100 without the other's consent, and that consent is freely given by each to the other 99% of the time because we understand each other's hobbies. You are correct in saying that both parties have a responsibilty to maintain healthy finances, and part of that is being honest with each other about how much you spend.

Brown Berry said...

I'm married, and I have actually made that comment, but your post made me REALLY think about that, because I'm actually the breadwinner and he's the (most excellent) homemaker; so we're by no means traditional in our daily roles, yet I do still make the distinction that he would be the one upset over excessive yarn spending. Sounds to me like you're giving an opinion from your own current perspective (and the pattern you have seen in your family) and I respect that. Thanks for making me take a second to consider this though. My conclusion is that I really should say it like it is..."I can't buy any more [fiber-related goodies] because the money needs to go somewhere else. Just the facts...

Knitting Addict said...

Oh, is that some can of worms you ask to have opened there, Sweet Nikki! Most days, I will tell you yes, you do want to get married...but sometimes....

And in MY case, the reason the DH will kill if he sees any more yarn come in the house is because I have WAY too much already, but I still want more and don't stop if I can find a good deal. I don't know if that is the case with all of us, but that is the problem with MY DH -- and he's also the cheapest person I've ever met, even more so with himself than with me too!