Agony Aunt Annie gives some advice to a reader whose husband supports her – but is starting to complain about her lavish lifestyle…

Dear Annie

Please help me with some life advice. I’ve been married for twelve years and have two sons. The boys go to boarding school and only come home for holidays.

My husband is an executive in his company and earns a good enough salary for me to not ever need to work. We also have a live-in char who does the cooking as I hate to cook. I grew up with a cook and my mother was never expected to do domestic tasks, so I never learnt to do any of these.

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Things have been fine, but of late my husband has become so unreasonable

He is complaining that my credit card is too high and has now said that he is going to take it away if I don’t manage it better. We’ve been fighting about this all year and he said that he is going to follow through if things have not improved by the end of next month.

I don’t think he understands how hard it is for me

He expects me to be groomed and polished but then complains that I’m having my nails done too often. He always wants me to look good when attending work functions and dining out with new clients, which is often.

He also has no idea how much cosmetics or clothes costs these days. It is also not cheap to have decent lunches with girlfriends and I think that it is only decent to pick up the bill sometimes. I value being able to give to others.

The problem is that when he first began to complain, I didn’t take him seriously and I didn’t want to upset him more than he already was, and so I wasn’t completely honest about how much debt I was in.

He paid off what I told him I had exceeded, but I ‘underestimated’ the amount by R100 000. Now he wants to see my statements as he expects me to come out on the amount he pays in every month.

Please help me know how to deal with this so that he doesn’t freak out and cancel my card.
Thank you
Barbara

Dear Barbara

I hope that you did not chip a nail typing this letter, that is assuming that you typed it yourself.

It sucks to have first-world problems hey? It sounds like you are used to being served and have grown accustomed to a certain way of life.

Can I point out that “giving to others” is not conventionally thought of in terms of paying for lunch at the country club for your girlfriends who can afford to pay for themselves anyway.

Perhaps if you gave the car guard a take-away lunch on your way out, you could say that you like to give to others. Have you considered doing some charity work to occupy some of your time more productively?

I am wondering what you value in life and what positive contributions you are making to the world around you?

Looking pretty at events actually doesn’t contribute to making the world a prettier place. Your boys are at boarding school, you have a cook and cleaner and seem to occupy your time with shopping and lunches!

Perhaps it is time to look a little deeper than the designer label and consider the legacy that you would like to leave behind

I wonder if your husband would see things in a more favourable light if he didn’t feel like he was merely playing dress-up Barbie dolls with you?

Can you have an honest conversation with him about your debt and ask for his help? Perhaps him managing your cards for a time will be best for you to be able to make wiser decisions, that go a little deeper than matching shoes and handbags.

It is admirable to take pride in your appearance and to always make an effort to look your best. You sell yourself short though, when you stop at your botoxed complexion. Perhaps a life coach or therapist would be helpful for you to gain some perspective and deeper meaning to what you have to offer to those around you.

You can be so much more than the pretty package. Time to dig a little deeper.

You are beautiful!
Love and blessings
Annie