Money Problems In A Reverse Marraige. Do I Have Ground To Stand On Or Should I Back Down?

My wife and I have been in a “reverse marriage” since I lost my job in 2010. As a result, I take care of everything house related and she takes care of everything money related. Well, at least that’s the proposed job descriptions….
In the last 6 months I’ve went to the store with the credit card that my wife has said to put ALL the grocery shopping on and it has been maxed out 3 times only allowing partial payment at checkout… No biggy. It happens. At least I didn’t get entirely declined and then get terrified that if I put money on the debit card that it wasn’t there because all 3 times it was only around $40 I had to debit…. On the 3rd time, I offered to take over the financials since she can never get around to doing them and she said “No, you would suck at it and I want to be the one who controls the money” so I just submissively said “okay” since she was raised with the notion that the person who controls the money is the person who controls the family, so I just brushed it off and said “whatever”… Well today it happened again and it was a totally different beast.
Today, I went to the grocery store, buying the NECESSITIES. Liquid egg whites, frozen veggies (we live in Michigan so fresh season is over), dairy substitutes (I have a casein allergy), fruit (the only thing I trust in the produce section), hand soap, new toothbrushes (past the 3 months right now), and healthy cereal for the kids (and I even grabbed it on sale). It came to $110 and my credit card rejected any of it…
Not only did I have to leave empty handed (after 2 hours of shopping) and feel extremely embarrassed, humbled, and powerless, but when I messaged my wife telling her I was furious she offered NO apology for my embarrassment, anxiety, powerlessness, or wasted time. I told her to let me take over financials and she said a firm “NO!”. I told her to either forfeit her control freak position or to apologize and show some sympathy for my embarrassment. She did neither. Instead she said “It’s YOUR credit card. Why don’t YOU look it up before you go shopping!” Mind you, I’m buying groceries and nothing else not to mention I am not the only one eating it….
So I told her that either (a) she surrenders her position as the financial controller or (b) she apologizes and promises it will never happen again; she said she will do neither and that I need to stop acting like a baby. I told her that if she doesn’t choose one of the two options I was going to make her suffer somehow (like starve her since I’m the cook) because that’s not fair.
What’s your take on the situation? Should I b|tch her out for having no remorse and not taking responsibility for her mistake? Should I change all the passwords and take over financials by force? Should I get over my feelings of humility, embarrassment, powerlessness, and anxiety by just letting her “get off easy” and just starve her since I couldn’t buy groceries? Or do you have some 4th option that I can’t see?
Talking to her about ANY problems is like talking to a child about who hit who first. She would rather blame ME for HER mistake than come to a solution like planning a day of the week/month to go over the bills. I tried talking to her this morning about our ADHD son’s behavior in school (he hates going) and she told me more or less “Not my problem, I’m the one working”. So if she is going to wash her hands of things that involve the home and not take any responsibility, but at the same time not be responsible for the money things either, wtf is she responsible for then? Is ALL failures in this family going to fall on my shoulders then?
P.S. — I’ve sensed my wife is a narcissist years ago but she refuses to go to therapy and she sees everyone around her as being “too sensitive” instead of her being too insensitive. In her world, everyone and everything else is the problem, and there is no convincing her otherwise… But yet, I married her after only a few years of dating and we really didn’t know much about each other before we did… What is the expression? Fools rush in? But I do love her when we are being goofy 30 year old geeks; but money and kids don’t allow for much of that…

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3 Responses to “Money Problems In A Reverse Marraige. Do I Have Ground To Stand On Or Should I Back Down?”

  1. Pearl says:

    I’m just fascinated by the idea that it took you 2 hours to do the grocery shopping.

  2. John says:

    Can you provide more details? (such as what grocery store you went to, the brands of cereal you bought).
    There is not enough information here to form an opinion.

  3. Patrick says:

    Just skip the grocery shopping one week and when she asks what happened, tell her there is no money on the card. Then send HER to the store instead. Refuse to go until the situation is solved, and dump it all on her to figure out.

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