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Impoverished Wife

CD Knowles 9 months ago

Dear Knowles,

I am a married woman with three young children, all under the age of five. My husband runs  a car rental agency and does ok with money. Before I married Tim, I was the office manager of a building supply company, and looking back on it I was a happy person then. After we married I got pregnant almost right away and Tim insisted that I stop working. I was fine with that in the beginning, but then it began to irk me that I didn’t have my own money. If I needed toiletries, a new lipstick, a pair of shoes, even a haircut, Tim would interrogate me like I’d done something wrong. He’d check the household credit card like a hawk and query every single item. Out with friends, he’d play the good guy treating everyone to beers, but with me he’s the stingiest person I’ve ever known. He’s never physically hurt me, but I feel as if his penny pinching attitude toward me is a form of abuse. His cheapness has grown worse with the birth of each child. I can’t leave him — where would I go and with what money? But I don’t see how I can stay with him either, not unless he changes his ways. Deep down I love him, or at least I think I do (he can be really sweet sometimes) but that doesn’t help when he gets mean about money. What should I do, Mr. Knowles?

Could you please advise me?

Impoverished Wife



Dear Impoverished Wife,

My best advice is to talk to close friends and also to your parents, assuming you can confide in them. Your guy needs an attitude adjustment — and quickly. That may have to come through an intervention on the part of friends and family. Living as you are currently, with three young kids and a controlling husband is not tenable, so prepare for changes. You may be personally strapped for money but that doesn’t mean you can’t find a counselor or some wise person who can help you get started on the road to either a better relationship with your husband, or a more independent lifestyle. Al-Anon is always good since it deals with relationships (and it’s free). Whatever you do, mark my words: the abusive behavior on the part of your husband will not go away as long as he keeps an ongoing list of your wrongs and a tight grip on the purse strings. I encourage you to act.


CD Knowles




Dear Secret Father,

If it were me, I’d leave the kid alone. Why stir up a lot of trouble? Maybe get a dog instead. The kid’s mom obviously didn’t want you around and, as you said, he’s already got a father bringing him up. What’s the point of stirring up trouble. That’s my two cents worth,

– Josh B, Denver


Dear Secret Father,

The only reason to contact the boy is to give him your medical history. Otherwise I think you’re being selfish trying to insert yourself in his life. My advice is stay clear.

– Amanda C, Plattsburgh, NY


Dear Secret Father,

By all means you should go ahead and set up a meeting with your son. The problem is how to organize that without involving his parents. I assume you have his address and know enough about him for the visit to make sense? I’d be curious to know how this turns out. Best of luck,

– Carol D, Brattleboro, VT


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Disclaimer: CD Knowles is not a doctor or psychotherapist. Any opinions expressed on Knowles Knows are just that — opinions.