What do you do when you love your husband, but he is .....?

I love my husband and all, but he is financially ruining us. Well, he has been ever since we met, but the love was overpowering and I stayed with him......Together we have 4 sons (younger 3 are his biologically) and he treats me well for the most part, tells me he loves me all the time, etc.

He smokes and is addicted to Pepsi and we are already broke as it is, but yet, he will not give them up. I know it could be worse...illegal drugs or alcohol, and that cigarettes are extremely addictive. If I tell him that we will have no money for the week for him to eat lunch out, he will run up to the store and stock up on Pepsi and Red Bull that's not even on sale when we're broke already! Something is wrong with this picture!

I am a stay at home Mom, so he is the breadwinner, and yes, he is entitled to spend his money on things, BUT, NOT when his family is suffering financially and his wife is suffering emotionally from all this! And my van is broken down, too! HELP! What do I do?


A few things I should add are that I don't spend money for myself...not even a haircut, and all my clothes are second-hand. I gave up everything for my kids, and he hasn't. I cannot go to work just so he can smoke and drink his pepsi (which he drinks a 12-pack per day). Then he has to spend money on Zantac because of the acid reflux the pepsi and cigs are causing. He'll never understand!

And I cannot simply go out and get a job, who's gonna pay for daycare and afterschool care? I'm not going to work when the entire paycheck would go for daycare! Doesn't make sense! The younger two are 18 month old twins that I cannot simply leave with my Mom who just had her 2nd knee replacement. It's not easy for everyone to work when the children are that young and you don't have family able to help!

Update 2:

Okay, I forgot to mention that he smokes outside and he knows that it repulses me and that he is going to make me a widow all alone because of it. I've told him that before. The kids and I even made him a book telling him how sad they would be when he dies of lung disease. Didn't do anything for him.

Also, my oldest son, who is almost 9, has a form of autism, so I am always taking him to special appts.....

Update 3:

OK, since the day I met him, he has been telling me that he is going to quit smoking. Perhaps I shouldn't have married him, you're right. However, asides all the problems I have mentioned on here, he is a very loving man. He tells me he loves me every time we end a phone conversation and he comes to say goodbye to me when he leaves for work every morning.

19 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Communications is one issue that needs to be addressed..

    If you have an income crisis, you need more income, sell some stuff, with 4 kids in the house, taking on a job may not be economically feasible unless it's daycare. It depends a bit on how old the kids are.

    You need to have a meeting. a real "come to jesus" moment.

    Inform your husband that you can no longer live with this and things need to change. You need to have a sense that what you do has value. And from a father of two, I can say your position in the family is very important.

    You and your husband are PARTNERS. You are not a slave. You are the manager of the home. sit him down on the couch after the kids are in bed, look him in the eyes, and say we need to have a budget meeting. As house manager and kid raiser extraordinaire you have some issues that need to be addressed. Don't go into the discussion with a him against you attitude, use words such as "US" and "WE" Not "YOU", "I", "ME"..

    Look for a Financial Peace University course being taught in your area.

    Search by Zip Code:


    a little red bull, pepsi and cigarettes should put your household finance in jeopardy. If it does, you truly have an income crisis.

    Sit down with him and do a budget. Spend every dime on paper before the check comes. Tell him what you need to feed, and cloth the kids. You are as important in the household as the house manager. You to need to recognize you have equal stakes in the finances of the house even without you bringing money into the house.

    You need to get serious about talking about it. My wife and I have a weekly meeting to discuss the budget.

    My wife and I use this form.


    Caffeine and nicotine are an expenditure you are focusing on, but likely there are other issues. You have no control that is the key issue.

    You need to set money aside in savings for emergencies and having transportation for a mother of 4 is an emergency.

    Please check out dave ramsey, total money makeover and financial peace.

    Money causes more divorces than anything. Getting your husband on the same page means communication about finances. See if Dave Ramsey is aired in your area on the radio, he broadcasts from 1-4 Central time, if not you can stream him on the internet.

    My wife and I have been working this program for a while and we have crossed the bridges many of which you mentioned. ignoring the communication issues do not make them go away. And Money was and remains an issue. But it is so much better that we are working together to solve the problems. Having money in the bank to keep murphy off our back and not on a credit card is an amazing feeling. I've had to put a couple of thousand in repairs to my old truck. it did not get put on a credit card.

  • 1 decade ago

    Well, to be honest - if you're so much in the hole that you cant afford pepsi and smokes - your financial issues are bigger than just that.

    The money you would save by him giving up, would probably still leave you broke - its not much of a security blanket. Maybe if it were just you two - but not for 6 people.

    Also, if you expect him to give up the two things he enjoys - what are YOU willing to give up?? He makes the money, supports all 6 of you - yet hes the one who still has to give things up to make the 5 of you comfy??

    All of you should be making sacrafices, one of which may be that you'll have to take on some part time work, atleast.

    The mans just asking for some pop and cigarettes - if you dont have the money for that - you're not bringing in enough income and he needs help with the money situation.

    If you're not willing to get a job, or you and the kids aren't willing to make sacraficies as well for the family - then you've got no right to ask your husband as the sole breadwinner - to give up what he works hard for.

    I suggest you ALL sit down as a family and discuss together what you ALL can do without for a while, until you save up some money. You can offer to get a part time job, or take some kids in - if your older kids eat at the cafeteria - start packing everyones lunches. IF they're old enough, they can start working too. Everyone needs to do their share ESPECIALLY if they're the ones who aren't working and bringing in the income.

  • True
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    So are you telling me that you guys are suffering so much financially that using $5 for a pack of Pepsi is too much? I almost thought you were joking.

    Look, I don't believe in the idea that SAHM shouldn't have a say in the finances just because they aren't working. HOWEVER, considering how hard I work and the amount of hours I put in at work I'll be damned if someone told me I couldn't have my cinammon dolce light in the morning. Having Pepsi isn't even an issue.

    If you are that concerned, then make up a budget and go over it with him. Make sure that he has money he can spend on whatever he wants and you the same but the majority for the household bills.

    If not you could introduce him to Ritz cola which is cheaper

  • 1 decade ago

    Pepsi isn't going to kill the guy. However spending $ on cigarettes? Well those are EXPENSIVE!! THe economy is so bad right now a lot of people are getting down to deciding between filling the oil barrel, put food on their tables, and whatnot.

    I'd tell him he has to give up the cigarettes but let the man have his pepsi. Maybe if you found a place you could get it "on sale" and convince him to go there instead?

    I guess you have to pick and choose your battles wisely....that's my best advice. Is pepsi worth it? Are cigarettes? Men don't understand financial burdens like women do. Namely because most women do the shopping, and that's what most are good at. Men aren't good at that sort of thing usually. Take it for what it is. Good luck.

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  • Paul M
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    I quote you "If I tell him that we will have no money for the week for him to eat lunch out"

    Whats the problem? there would be a problem if you'd said ""If I tell him that we will have no money for the week for him to eat lunch"

    Sounds like he is working and he has his crutches - and you have stayed with him all the time - you knew what he was like when you married him.

    Simple options to choose from or combine - get a job..... go down an old fashioned route and tell him how much money he should give you for housekeeping every week.....take his car when you need to go out (he'll soon fix the van)....

    Also, he's a man and he won't get ANY of your hints unless you sit down and tell him in black and white - we men do not get hints and the longer you go on about it the less we listen as you are nagging nagging nagging.

    It doesnt sound like your house is being repo'd or the kids are starving so you need to a) get some perspective and b) sit down with him and sort it out.

    PS Is he actually ADDICTED to pepsi or does he just drink a lot of it?

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    You can't make someone stop smoking. He has to want to quit. The Pepsi issue, let the man have his Pepsi at least it's not Beer. You just have to budget your money better. When the kids get bigger and you are where you can go back to school or work. Basically he is spending $50.00 a week on his habits. He is the one working let him have $50.00 a week. Save the rest and get your van worked on. Then you won't feel so trapped. You can buy Pepsi 2 liters at Dollar General stores for a $1.00.

  • 1 decade ago

    Two problems here. . . cigarette smoking and budgeting.

    The budgeting one is actually pretty easy. The two of you need to sit down and do the simple mathematics. You bring in $x from his job, and you spend $y on essentials (food, electric, housing, heat, etc). This leaves $z for nonessentials.

    Once you determine what $z is, you can come up with a system that fairly allocates this money. At worst, the two of you should agree to split this in half, and that is your spending money for things you consider non-essential. However, that means you have no money for emergenices, savings, other items you might want etc.

    Its best to figure out how much money you can reasonably afford to spend on non-essentials . . . maybe $20 a week,or whatever the two of you think is reasonable for both of you. He can chug $20 worth of Red Bull on Monday if that floats his boat, but then he's done for the rest of the week.

    Now, the cigarette smoking is also a health issue, especially with kids around. Not to mention that it is expensive.

  • 1 decade ago

    This too shall pass.

    Have a garage sale, sell some stuff on ebay. Pack his lunch for a while.

    Give him the power. Sit down with him and discuss the family plan. Ask him his ideas for making it through this time. Priorities. Do you agree on them? (food and rent and transportation come before smokes and pepsi)

    I know what you mean. You are barely making the bills and then just because there is a sale at Guess all of a sudden we have to go and spend $75 on sh*t we don't need. It all takes time to get through. The way I help my husband through it is I show him the bills as much as possible so he understands what is going on.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    "Okay, I forgot to mention that he smokes outside and he knows that it repulses me and that he is going to make me a widow all alone because of it"

    If you know he smoked, and you felt it was going to make you a widow, then why the hell did you marry the man? It makes no sense, why you knew all this, and felt that way, but yet, you still married the man. There has to be something you are not telling us. What is it? I would like to know before I add more comments.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Wow! You could be my youngest daughter. She's going through the same thing. Cigarettes are killing them. I'm talking about the cost. He spends $150 every month on them and they've been out of food too many times. I'm sorry I don't have an answer. I would love to find one though. Good luck to you.

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