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Q: Dear Laurie:
I have been married for 1 1/2 years and I just can't get my husband to pay the bills. We have the money in the checkbook but he just keeps procrastinating and I can't get my hands on the checkbook. He has direct deposit for his paychecks so it all goes into the checkbook. I don't want to keep nagging on him but what else can I do?
A: Ahhh, a welcome reprieve from all the "He loves her, but she loves him and he loves somebody else you just can't win. Love stinks!" Onto finances.
You've been married 1.5 years--in that time could you ever get your husband to pay the bills? And while you were dating did he ever show an aptitude for checkbook balancing and other related tasks? My guess is "no". Did you think that by doing the marriage dance he would magically become financially able and procrastination-free?
Remember, No Name, part of the beauty of being a couple is that you have two different people bringing a variety of talents to the table. In this case, you "just can't get" your "husband to pay the bills..." So, pay the goddamn bills yourself and let him do what he's good at like mowing the lawn (to be sexist) or darning the socks (to not be sexist). So, do you get where I'm going with this? You can get a horse to do direct deposit but you can't make him drink--remember that.
The one thing that bothers me here is why can't you get your hands on the checkbook? Does it levitate and fly around the room? Does your husband hide it? Have you asked for it and he's said "no". If he has said "no", why? Sounds to me like there's a control issue going on here (you nag and he procrastinates to passive-aggressively say don't #$%@*'ing nag me and then you get frustrated and nag--lather, rinse, repeat.) If all was copacetic and everyone was secure in their respective selves I would think he could hand over bill paying to you with no problem. Since he can't, and is using it as a way to bug the SHIT out of you, the two of you need to dig deeper to find out what's really at stake here.
The short answer: Unfortunately, the little issues are never little--if it's not bill paying it's clothes on the floor or dishes left in the sink or, god forbid, the toothpaste cap thing. From small things big things do one day grow or however that saying goes. You two are fighting for "king of the hill" status when instead you should be shooting for the "couple of the plateau" award. Remember boys and girls: you can win the battle and end up losing the war. Let's rekindle Beatlemania, hold hands, and sing together: "All we need is love..."
Lovingly and logically yours, Laurie