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Annoying Girl

I do this really stupid thing. I'll be talking to some man (invariably) about car repairs or new tires or replacing the carpets or, yesterday, a termite and pest control contract. And I'll have gotten all the information about what is involved and the warranties and guarantees and the price, and then the man (invariably) will ask me if I want to buy whatever it is, and I'll tell him I need to speak to my husband.

This is stupid, because my husband doesn't care, and because after 15 years together I've stopped trying to force him to care.

I manage the money around here. I run the house. I pay the bills, deal with the workmen, set up the college funds and the retirement accounts. I've negotiated five mortgages and I'd be shocked if Chris could tell you within $100 what we've paid a month for any of them. He frequently asks me what his salary is. I'm the money person around here. I'm the house-decision person and usually the car-decision person and the kid-decision person. Chris mows the lawn, but when the lawn mower broke, I was the one who got it fixed.

I don't quite know why I tell people I have to speak to my husband. I almost never actually need his input, since either whatever it isn't significant enough to warrant spousal negotiation or we've already discussed it and come to a general agreement. Sometimes it is to give me time to think about whatever it is. Sometimes I do want to at least advise Chris of a major expenditure before I make it. Sometimes I think I want to give the impression that I am not to be taken advantage of or there may be an angry husband coming along behind be to crack some heads. But sometimes, there's no good reason for it. Just habit, I suppose.

Do you hide behind your husband?

Comments (54)

I don't have a husband (or boyfriend for that matter) to "hide" behind. But I hide behind my dad and my brothers. I bought my house two years ago and have seriously replaced EVERY appliance (down to the furnace) since moving in. (They all starting crapping out). When companies would come out to quote me how much it would cost to replace things, I said what you do, "I have to talk it over with my dad." Now, in those situations, he was never there to hear the conversations, but I knew enough to get by. The only exception? When my well dried up and I needed it replaced. I cried for my dad and made him come out and deal with the guys. Because the quotes of $6,000 - $8,000 made me cry! :)

yup. do this all the time, for the same reasons.
and sometimes, he's surprised me by having a really strong opinion that I totally haven't anticipated!

I do the same thing, and after reading the Cactus-Fish blogs for a few years now, I would say my husband is even less likely to care about something than Chris. But it's not hiding behind, instead it's a way to enforce the fact that we are a team in this marriage...even though we each have defined roles most of the time.

It's also a little like asking for permission rather than forgiveness, because I'd hate to make a big decision without him on an issue that he has an opinion on, and then be apologizing later.

I do when I want to get out of something ;) or do not want to commit to something right away.

I do this too. But not because he cares. He manages the money and still tells me to do whatever. But sometimes I need time to think about it and instead of saying that, I hide because it seems like less of a waste of their time than saying "I want to sleep on it."

It's just because I'm so UNDECIDED because the husband has a "whatever you think is right." stance on pretty much everything :)

Totally. I do the exact same thing. Sometimes I'll throw my dad into the mix too...because I feel like he's a more intimidating character then my husband.

And my husband could honestly not tell you a thing about anything that goes on financially...I have a folder marked "IF ANYTHING HAPPENS TO ME" with instructions on life insurance, etc because honestly he probably doesn't even know we have life insurance, that we pay a mortgage and that Poland Spring is coming tomorrow to deliver the water.

I do the same thing, but I've found that my husband does it as well (well hiding behind the wife as he doesn't have a husband that I'm aware of).

I do it if I don't want whatever it is or to buy more time to think about it. Also, if I WANT to say no, but the salesboy or girl (salesmen and women don't get the same sympathy from me) is just SO cute and earnest that it's difficult for me to say no, so I say I need to talk to my husband, and then I can call them and tell them no and HE looks like the mean one. ;) My husband also generally doesn't care.

I totally hide behind my husband. And he hides behind me, too. That's the beauty of marriage: always an alibi.

Yes. I do it for the same reason you do. I may just want some time to think about it or don't want to say no right then and hurt the guy's feelings. It works so well I also use in stopping an annoying sales pitch. I don't really care if it puts me in some sort of light that I am beneath my husband and have to run it all by him, I know that is not true, its just a means to an end for me.

It's totally for the timing for me. I'm not a big fan of the hasty decision, so I make it sound like I'm going to check with him just so that I have time to think it over!

I'm also the handy one, the money handler, etc. I sometimes use the "ask my husband" excuse to get out of making decisions on the spot.

However, it still irritates me when people assume that my husband is the handy one. Like when the A/C guy came out on a repair visit and asked if my husband had cut the breaker on it when it stopped working. I'm not sure my husband even knows where the breaker box is.

I always hide behind Hubby. And yes, I do it all here too!

Oh yea! My hubby is just like Chris. I always consult him on everything, and he just looks at me like, And you're telling me this WHY??

Funny funny.

I think it is a handy stall technique giving me more time to think. I use it all the time and just like you my husband doesn't actually need to be consulted for the same reasons. I hate having to make spot decisions, and using him as an excuse seems easier than just saying "I need to think about it" for some reason. People tend to accept it so I guess that is why I do it.

Yes I do...and he doesn't yet exist to me. But whenever I need/want more time to make a decision or to give the impression that I am not a woman living alone, I mention "my husband".

We have a team approach. We talk about it ahead of time and then she makes the decision with confidence based off of that. But yes, if we've not discussed it, she will rarely make a household decision without me.

Like Tori, I usually do it as a stalling tactic to give myself more time to think. Also I hate to say no, if I don't like the estimate or whatever it is, I'll say that I appreciate their time and I'll talk to my husband and we'll make a decision.

But if I'm sure I want to do it, I'll just do it without him. Just last week I bought a dining room set without him seeing it or agreeing to the financing or anything. Granted, he knew I was doing it but I couldn't wait for his schedule to clear so I went by myself. I figured that this is one of those times when married women need to use their own credit to keep that in good shape just in case. And like you, he has no idea really what we can and can't afford, so there was no point.

Definitely a stall technique - but recently at the VW dealer the guy wanted me to buy new tires and I told him I needed to research and shop around before I make the decision - that got him off my back.

I have the same role as you with the finances in our household.

I do the same thing for primarily the same reasons, and I know my husband does it as well. I think it is just the nature of partnership.

Sometimes yes and sometimes no. I also run the household finances, and although Sweetie could really care less if I ever broke it out for him ever again (his response is usually, "Ok, you manage the bucks."), I often do break it all out for him and have discussions because I want him to be involved. So, sometimes I'm saying I have to talk to my husband first because it's easier than committing (or rejecting) on the spot, sometimes I actually DO want to regale Sweetie with the details before I make a decision.

I'm a very chatty person by nature (NO! I know!), so oftentimes I need to just discuss with Sweetie to come to my own conclusion.

It sounds like a good idea to me. If for no other reason than to have an extra moment to think.

I've done the same thing on many occasions.

Funny enough, just the other day I was somewhere and used my husband to get out of something. I was at a group function and they wanted me to join and pay $100 and instead of saying, "Um, definitely no." I said, "I can't spend $100 on anything without my husband's approval." And then they tried to coerce me into calling him and I basically had to tell them he would be irate if I did that. When I told Mike about what happened, he said, "Next time just say no instead of making your husband look abusive." But I am the same as you. I do all the money decisions. I pay the bills. I monitor the accounts. I could spend that much money and he wouldn't bat an eyelash, but I do lean on him when in certain situations.

My husband is the money person around our house; my husband keeps me updated, but I trust him, so I don't fret over it much. We have this arrangement not because he has to be the man with the money, but because he likes dealing with it and I don't. He is good at it (He has a finance degree, for goodness sakes), and I'm not. I was an English major. I'll go read and book and tell him about the symbolism, thanks.

All that said, I do the same thing when I am taking care of the house/car/etc. and I would even if I were the money person. I want to advise him before I spend a chunk of change, I want some time to think, and I don't want the car-repair dude to think he can take advantage of the little lady. It feels kind of lame, but then I get to walk away from the situation and not care what the guy thinks.

I totally use him as an excuse for more time to think or a reason to walk away. It's kind of a cop out, I guess, but I feel like it also makes me seem less vulnerable... or something. Chris sounds like he has the same attitude about family finances that my husband does- doesn't know, doesn't really want to know (except when it keeps him from splashing out on something HE wants!!).

I use the have to talk to my husband bit to avoid the high pressure sales people. Works really well with men, not so well with women. Or if I was just window shopping and not really interested in buying. Otherwise I do all the money stuff as well.

I do all the bill paying, doctor's appointment making, and leaky sink repair in our house. But I do occasionally tell anyone who's asking me to spend a lot of money that I need to discuss it with my husband first. Usually, however, that's my code for "no way on this green earth will I be spending eleventy-three jillion dollars on your super-mega gutter system, buddy. Don't call me, I'll call you." I'll choose which tree service to use, but I'll tell them I WON'T choose till I talk to him. I don't think of this as "hiding," though, but as partnership. (call me in denial if you wish) I don't trot him out as an excuse if the amount of money is (relatively) small or the product is not one I want, but only if it's an investment.

I play the same role at home. The only time I pull out the "talk to my husband" card is if I need more time to mull something over. It's a legitimate point nobody can fight me on, so if I'm no longer interested, I have an easy out.

I can tell you that after 26 years of marriage, we have decided that what the other person is for. They are the blamed half. No matter whose fault something is, the other gets blamed. It's part of the marriage vows; seriously, it's really in there somewhere!

I'm in the same boat. The bank wouldn't even know what hubs' real signature looks like. He has less than nothing to do with 99% of our household financial decisions. If I need some time to mull a decision over, compare bids, or if I just can't bear to say 'no' to a person's face then, yeah, I use him as my excuse. However, I get soooo pissed when a salesperson (or whatever) suggests that I talk it over with hubs or otherwise implies that he assumes my husband makes the decisions. Car dealers, even when they are women, are horrible about that.

I do for the reasons you listed. Most often I will say I have to think about it and then speak to my husband. My husband does the same thing.

Only when I want to annoy the sales person. I remember when I worked at a telemarketing company and when someone said that they needed to talk to their significant other, the sale was dead.

I do it as a stalling tactic only, and it always makes me feel dirty, like I'm some kind of pansy-ass girl who has to hide behind her husband. I hate it, and I sort of hate how it makes me feel -- like I'm subservient to him or something -- and yet I whip it out ALL THE TIME because it's too convenient not to.

I do it, in order to buy time and to establish that I'm part of a decision making team but also because Mike is the one who really handles the finances in our family. He's the one who has a background of making good, sound financial decisions (he got through college with no debt as opposed to me with thousands and thousands of dollars of student debt). Also, I've discovered the boy has strong opinions about EVERYTHING, from minor to major, and as such it is a policy to never make a decision that affects us both without consulting the other.

Yep, I do it too. Even though I manage all of our money and he doesn't have a clue about any of it, I do it as a stalling tactic. As some of the previous posters said, it buys me time - particularly if I am on the fence.

I have hid behind my husband, just for an excuse that I needed to think something over and didn't want whoever it was to bug me about it.

You betcha. Me too!

I totally do that and I'm not ashamed. Like you, it's never because I actually need his input. It's usually just because I need more time to think or because I just want them to go away. I think I've even used the husband line on Jehovah's Witnesses. (Not that there's anything wrong with them. It's just not for me.) Surprisingly, it's extremely effective, every time.

The husband and I both do it, usually when we want to stall on making a decision about something. But he's this soft-spoken polite British guy, and he loves that I'm the loud rude American, so if there is ever a situation that calls for haggling, we are the perfect good cop/bad cop team.

I like this strategy...I think I'm going to start asking my Imaginary Husband about all sorts of things ;)

We both do it. Although, I am the money person around here also. I totally hate it because I am terrible with money, but, my husband is worse. I hate being in charge of the money it stresses me out.

All. The. Time.

Heck NO! There's nothing to hide behind. I mean, he's there physically, but mentally he's on the car planet 24/7.

He thinks he controls it all. I give him little projects that I know he can handle. My kid tells me I'm the boss.

She's right.

My husband has no idea how much money he makes or what our household budget is either. I do this when confronted with a salesman who simply won't take NO for an answer.

I apparently live in 1956 and he handles everything. I handle everything that breaths and needs to be fed. children. dog. but i'm still the boss, he cant make a decision to save his life.

my daughter and her husband have the same relationship and it so works!!

Like another reader said, I do this only to reinforce that we are a team. That and, well, I don't manage the finances in our house.

But, this one particular time, a pest management salesman came to the door trying to hawk some special treatment for bugs, etc., outside the home. This was something my husband and I had actually contemplated before the unsolicited salesman's arrival. So, I listened to what he had to say and asked him if there was a number at which he/they could be reached because "I have to talk it over with my husband." This guy had the audacity to say, "Come on - I'm sure you don't ask him every time you go buy a pair of shoes."

What??? The misogyny was dripping off of him. I said, "Thank you - we're no longer interested," handed him his flyer and shut the door. Pig.

I always hide behind my husband when it comes to car repairs even though we've already discussed what we are willing to spend/fix and I'm the only one dealing with the car. I just can't shake the feeling that the mechanic is trying to scam me because I'm a female. I figure if throw in the possibility of an angry husbband, they won't try to scam me.

Yes, I do too. Our agreement when we got married was that we would confer with each other every time either of us needed/wanted to spend $100.00 or more.

We tossed this agreement maybe five years ago. Don't have the time to discuss every $100.00 purchase now.

Hubby handles the budget, paying the bills, etc., but I'm involved.

I find it amusing that Chris doesn't know what he makes.

I'm in the same boat as you - I manage the finances and make the bill payments, etc, but I still say "I need to talk that over with my wife" before committing. For me, it's all about delaying to give me time to think about it. Maybe you'll feel better if you change the word "ask" to "talk to" when you respond to people this way?

Nope, he hides behind me. Like you, I run the money, the house, and such. He doesn't want to have anything to do with it, and has no problem when I tell him what we can and can't do with our money. His finances are in a mess, student loans and back taxes and such, and I am in the midst of helping him clean them, and get back on track.

When I say something like "I need to talk to my husband" it either means I am not interested and trying to get away, or I am trying to be considerate and not make every decision without him. Or for him.

I don't so much yet, but our finances are still separate so I only ask him if the decision will directly affect him or I want his advice. Once we're married, I will be consulting him about all of the things you mentioned--I respect his opinion and it's just courtesy.

I do it too, but i really mean it. i like to discuss all purchases with him and am not the decision maker. My husband does it too, but instead of saying "let me discuss with my wife", he uses "let me discuss with my family". since me and our almost 3 year old are the only ones in the family, we all know he means me...but whats up with not admitting he wants to discuss with his wife??

Ok here comes an excellent (if I may say so myself) piece of advice for when your kids are older. This same tactic works very well with teenagers! My 13 year old son will ask if he can do something, I'll say no, then he argues with me for half an hour about why not. So I learned instead of saying no, I now say "Dad says no". And since dad is usually gone, there is no arguing!

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