How to handle an unsupportive husband

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  1. Desperately needing some advice from those of you who have husbands that don’t support your love of bags.
    I’ve had an interest in bags for as long as I can remember, but prior to meeting and marrying my husband, owning a luxury bag was not within my reach.
    In the seven years that we’ve been together, I’ve graduated from university and embarked on a professional career. (I was a mature-age student and am now six years into my career at the age of 36).
    My husband earns very good money in a professional field.
    Now that I’m in a position to be able to buy designer bags, I’d love more than anything to be able to slowly collect bags. Nothing outrageous - I’m not a Chanel or Hermes girl, (love the bags but personally can’t justify the cost). I’d be more interested in collecting Louis Vuitton canvas pieces, for example. And at a reasonable rate - say one new bag a year.
    It’s just hit me like a ton of bricks that my husband will never be okay with this. He is someone who has always been extremely careful with his money and on top of that he is not someone who is interested in collecting / consuming in general. So I can’t play the whole “you love your cars / sneakers / etc” card that many women are able to do. He grew up as only child of parents who migrated and had very little and worked extremely hard to buy a house and set themselves up. So it is ingrained in him to not waste money / collect unnecessary consumables.
    Over the last few years I have acquired a few contemporary bags and one premier. He was supportive of the one premier, but in his mind that’s that - I have a designer bag and there is simply no need for anymore.
    I recently bought an LV felicie and actually hid it for several weeks as I knew he’d be unhappy about it. Last night I plucked up the courage to tell him about it and he took it even more badly than I thought. We’re barely speaking today. He is incredibly upset that I feel the need to spend hundreds of dollars on material goods that to him are not needed at all.
    I was hoping to get a neverfull at the end of the year, and as mentioned earlier, dreamed of building a collection up slowly, and I realised last night that he will NEVER be okay with this, to the point that it will cause major problems in our marriage.
    I feel gutted. I look at other women I know whose husbands happily gift them bags for special occasions - that would be the ultimate, but I don’t even expect that. All I would want is for him to accept me wanting to buy myself bags with my own money. But I’ve realised that’s not even going to work.
    Any advice? Where do I even go from here??
  2. Do you have kids or elders to be responsible for? Is your husband upset because of the money you are suppose to spend on the family you spent on yourself or simply he is just upset you are becoming “materialistic” that you two started having a “spiritual gap”? I think if you have contributed a good reason amount of money into your little family for the better future and have some cash saved up to spend for something that make you happy, I think it’s totally fine, if your handbag obsession doesn’t cost any debts or pressures financially, he should at least not being the reason that make you upset or being the reason that make you give up on something that truly make you happy.
    llviolet, ShinyW, wisconsin and 2 others like this.
  3. I'm sorry you are having this problem.
    I don't have a specific advice to give but I can share my perspective and hope that it can help.
    I have a similar internal conflict: I love luxury brands but I hate feeling materialistic. And feel that I should use the money to help the less fortunate by giving to charities.
    I am the kind of a person who will pay for other people groceries or buy workers water and ice cream when they are working outside in the summer. But I still question myself when I buy luxury items.‎
    I don't get people who are well off and think that accumulating money in the bank is not being materialistic as well.‎
    The problem might be that your husband is too rigid and doesn't know how to compromise‎
    Part of growing up is to overcome our childhood insecurities and to keep evolving and improving ourselves.
    Iis your husband going to act this way everytime you disagree?‎
    We only live once, life is too short not to do or buy things that make you happy but at the same time it is only a bag, if it is going to put strain on your marriage it is not worth it.
  4. Oddly enough this isn't as uncommon a problem as you would think - one practical solution I have seen proposed is where a couple set up a joint budget. After accounting for all the "needs" and "expenses" and each person has 'discretionary spending' (similar to a personal allowance).

    They can spend that money on anything - clothing, coffee at work etc. The 'allowance' is designed to be a 'wants' not 'needs' category and you can save it up for bigger items or spend it in little bits. It's entirely an amount of money that you don't need to justify to each other.

    If you are part of a couple where one person is thrifty/frugal and the other is well 'different' setting out a budget like this can be great as it takes care of all of the bills (the frugal will love this as all the 'needs' are accounted and budgeted for), then the 'leftover' money can be split between 'savings', 'emergency funds' and 'personal allowances' (whatever categories you have as a couple/family). The amounts will of course depend on your joint financial situation but it's a great way to cover all the bases. It also gives everyone in the couple/family an opportunity to have input and feel like they are being heard (very important).

    My partner and I have a similar issue in that I have a love of designer things. He loves function over form so doesn't 'get it'.

    We have our compromise in that we have things budgeted (bills always come first as we're both frugal at heart), I 'save' my allowance (I don't buy coffee out, takeout etc) and I don't complain about all the computer parts he buys with his :biggrin: I also shop the re-seller market for loved pieces rather than new (result of physical distance from H boutiques, life & designs I like) & that can sometimes reduce cost....

    I hope I explained it properly!
    djfmn, ShinyW, whateve and 3 others like this.
  5. You’ve definitely explained it properly! :smile: It’s a great idea, but it’s so hard to explain - it’s not so much the money that’s the issue with my husband, it’s literally the act of acquiring possessions that aren’t needed.
    He’s such a minimalist, hates any sort of clutter, and doesn’t really spend discretionary money on anything, (well, aside from coffee!)
    I definitely think he’d look more favourably on preloved items, but his overall issue is going to be with the physical acquiring of the bags themselves, rather than budgeting etc.
    Honestly, at this point I’m thinking I’ll need to just stick to mini bags / SLGs to curb my bag cravings, and will literally need to hide them in my wardrobe and switch them once I’ve left the house. Does that sound absolutely insane?? I just can’t think of any other way around it.
  6. We have a two year old daughter, but we don’t have any debt and we have a lot of money saved in the bank. Plus I am now working again and earning my own money! So it’s definitely more of a ‘spiritual gap’ which is harder to compromise on, I think!!
    Kittey-Kat likes this.
  7. hahhah.....honestly, no..... says me who is currently trying to keep DH's eyes away from all the parcels arriving! I've been hiding my H boxes in my office/study (where DH doesn't really go).

    Sounds like there are two issues, or maybe more....
    1. The money - which isn't really the issue (or can be sorted with a budget)
    2. The acquisition of things - which can be further broken down into materialism vs clutter. And I make that distinction because they are different....

    I *hate* clutter. I was always super organised at work and still am (have I mentioned my spreadsheet of H scarves? :cool::cool:). The acquisition of things is entirely different. Things don't need to necessarily serve a purpose beyond being beautiful and providing us pleasure. DH doesn't understand why I buy (collect) H scarves - his quote the other night was along the lines that 'something costing $2 from spotlight would be just as good'. BUT after a number of years together we have learnt that we are just different in different ways - our core values are the same, and we want the same things out of life (which is why we are together). I'm just going to be doing that wearing an H scarf :biggrin:

    It's maybe time to have a blunt conversation with DH about life, who you are as a woman and that buying a 'little bit of luxury' is how we 'self care'. I honestly don't think there is nothing wrong with a professional woman paying her way through life (mortgage/rent, bills etc) and using the leftover funds to do whatever (insert your "vice" here; mine are rescue cats & H scarves :lol:).

    Sometimes, I also think that it's just a simple reality that some men don't understand that - my DH doesn't get it as his upbringing was quite different to mine... Your DH's views on life will definitely be influenced by his upbringing up the benefit of ageing is that we get to experience different aspects/views/experiences of life - help him to embrace those. With my DH, I was the first person to ever buy him something designer - he never thought he was worth it...
  8. #8 Apr 18, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2019
    First of all, please do not develop a pattern of hiding your purchases. This will only add to your guilt and take away the joy of owning them. Maybe if you explain to your husband that buying quality over quantity is minimalist in that you will have the one nice handbag a very long time as opposed to a much less expensive one and having it fall apart in a few months. If he is business-minded, he may also understand the cost per wear of a bag that will last you for years and not the cheaper ones that will not and, therefore, have to be replaced more frequently. My husband initially had "sticker shock"when I purchased my first Louis Vuitton many years ago, but he has since come around, lol.
    djfmn, llviolet, whateve and 12 others like this.
  9. This sentence stands out to me in your post. Do you have separate pots of "play money" for each one of you? Or is just all in the same pot and each spend on what they want?

    If you don't already. I suggest that you come up with a number for your "play money" and talk it out with your husband, and then pull that money into a saving account. It has to be a number that you are both comfortable about, and some what equal taken any earning discrepancies into consideration, and that you both get to keep/spend that, no questions ask.

    Once you have that agreement, start saving towards the bag that you want. When you buy it, you will feel great. You are going to be excited to share the news and waiting for it to arrive. Let your husband ask questions - if he sees that you've putting work towards it, he might still wince (mine does), and asking questions like "why do you need a bag this expensive" but there shouldn't be a sense of "will never be okay with it". Show him pictures, talk about how you researched everything from the size to the material to all the pros/cons that are mentioned on the internet. How you waited and now that it is happening, you can't wait to use it. If you are not excited about it and wanted to exchange it for something else, tell him too.

    May you get your dream bag and use it in good health. Good luck.
  10. This. If you hide things from your husband & then he finds out how do you think that will make him feel? How would you feel if he hid major purchases from you?

    Sit down like adults & have a calm rational discussion. Life is about compromises. Maybe he’ll agree to one every other year. Maybe if you explain how you feel calmly he will better understand. Explain your love of bags, how far back it goes, why you love what you do. Bring him to a store with you. Let him see what it is you love.

    My fiancé can’t understand spending a lot of $$ on handbags, but he doesn’t criticize it either. It’s my “play” money and though he doesn’t really “get” it he does get that bags are my thing. They make me happy. I use one literally every day. He’s learned to accept this is who I am. When I look all “put together” for the office he always compliments that look & my bag is part of it. He asks to examine any new anything I get from LV now. Last item was a bracelet - which he complimented but still shook his head at the imagined price. I don’t tell him prices. If he really wanted to find out he could. I think he’s happier not really knowing.

    I hope you’re able to discuss this openly with your husband & come to some sort of resolution. Keep us posted & good luck!
  11. This is too funny, LOL My husband also tells me to not tell him the price and enjoy! He knows that they are expensive, but he prefers not to hear it out loud, LOL.
  12. My standard answer to price inquiries has become “not that much” LOL!
    llviolet, whateve, Kittey-Kat and 3 others like this.
  13. As much as I love my handbags, I really would not divorce my husband over them. :biggrin: Part of the joy is when we go out and he says ' that looks great on you' I find it best not to discuss the price of my 'little indulgences' with him. Perhaps have a separate account just for clothes/bags which ban be replenished only after the major household things have been taken care off.
    Kittey-Kat and 2cello like this.
  14. Or 'rather a lot':biggrin:
    llviolet, Kittey-Kat and kbell like this.
  15. ;)How about the standard little white lie of "Oh this old thing? I've had it for years"!! :biggrin:
    MsHermesAU, llviolet, whateve and 2 others like this.
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