Warning: this post has a lot of bad marriage juju in it. I’m an emotional wreck right now.
The fact that this is all happening now, a couple of days after my anniversary, is both awful and frankly, unsurprising.
I’ll start at the beginning. In the beginning, Hubs and I began dating. We had been friends for 7 years prior to dating, so things moved pretty fast. Hubs had been successful in his career and had a large sum of money saved with which he had been looking to buy a house (this was prior to us dating). A couple of months into dating, we knew things were serious, and he invited me in on the house hunting process. This process was exciting for me, as I had never imagined being able to buy a home–I had been living on my own renting for almost 8 years. About eight months into dating, and after we had gotten engaged, we found the house of our dreams. The. Perfect. House.
It wasn’t until around that time that I realized something was amiss. Hubs had all of his paperwork in order to buy the house–all of his bank info, credit checks, loan approval, etc, but nothing had been asked of me. I certainly didn’t have as much money as Hubs, but my credit score is near perfect. I have had a stable job for almost 10 years. I have no debt. I had some savings I could have plunked down. Not much, but enough to feel like I could contribute. I didn’t speak up then, and I should have. Instead, we made an offer on the house (and by “we” I mean Hubs), it was accepted, and a couple of days before “we” were due to go in and sign the paperwork, I spoke to Hubs about coming with him to sign for “our” house. He told me that he wanted to sign for it on his own.
To say that this cut me like a knife would be an understatement. It was more like a knife cut, gut punch, and bitch slap all at once. I asked him why he didn’t want me to sign for the house with him when we were engaged and planning our wedding together. He told me that he wanted to be able to “feel like this was his contribution to our marriage.” I told him that moving into a house that I helped pick out, that was going to be the house that we raised our children in, without my name being on the deed with him felt wrong. It didn’t feel like a partnership to me, it felt like I was a squatter in my own home. There was an ugly argument about how I was “really” doing this for the money–so I’d be protected in the event of a divorce. He told me he wasn’t asking for a prenup and that I should be grateful that he was able to buy this place for us. While it did bother me that without my name on the house building equity with him, it could effect me down the line (be it divorce, death, etc.) this was certainly not my primary concern. In fact, the fact that he was refusing to put my name alongside with him on the house and have me, his future wife, sign the paperwork with him, became more of a concerning issue than having a piece of property to haggle over in the event of a divorce. I frankly was doing just fine financially on my own. This house and/or half of his bank account was not entering my mind. The fight was awful. There was no way to resolve it, and he wouldn’t budge. I loved him, and didn’t want to end our relationship over this, so he went ahead and bought the house on his own. He told me “don’t worry”–that he would look into adding me on to the deed “after the wedding”.
We moved into this house, got married, and I tried hard to forget about what had happened. All of my friends were congratulating me, asking me “how does it feel to be a home owner?” I had to smile and pretend I was, and that I had a warm, inclusive husband who wanted me to own this home with him. I felt like such a fake. That feeling has never gone away. Early on in our days at the house, I called the DWP to straighten out an issue with a bill, and they told me that I couldn’t authorize a change because I wasn’t “the home owner”. I also couldn’t deal with installing our alarm system in the house because “I wasn’t the home owner”. Our mortgage bills started coming addressed to only Hubs. A few weeks after we were married, he proudly showed me another mortgage bill and said, “Look, we’ve already paid down $5,000 against our loan.” The remark was like a slap in the face. It wasn’t my loan. It wasn’t my bill. It wasn’t my house. I brought up adding me on to the house again, and rather than agree and look into it, he told me (once again) that the only reason I’d want my name to be added to our house was because I was after the money, or wanting to ensure I got the house in the event of a divorce. I tried explaining to him that in no way was I ever planning on us getting a divorce. I was simply looking for that symbolic gesture: Putting my name on the house alongside his. Fully including me in the home that I helped choose. That I am helping to pay for. Again, he refused to look into it. I tried, again, to bury the feelings of hurt.
Cut to: a few days ago. With the new loan rates being lower than ever, we decided we’d try to refinance. Only thing is–surprise!– I’m not on our current loan. Other thing is: I’m the only one employed right now, so us getting approval for another loan is heavily dependent on, you guessed it, me. Hubs was eagerly investigating how to get the paperwork together so we could start the process of getting me on the loan. Funny how quickly he’s able to get his shit together on that one, yet finding a few legal documents on Legal Zoom to add me to the deed of the house is some sort of monumental task. At one point, after discussing how I could be added to the loan, he told me, “And don’t worry–I’ll look into getting you on the deed, too.” Well, at dinner last night, at a restaurant, I might add, the conversation of our refinancing came up, and me getting my credit approved for it. I was fine with looking into that, and also mentioned, “We should also look at how to get me on the deed.” To which, as I anticipated, the conversation took an ugly turn. He told me, “Forget about it. We won’t refinance, then.” He then proceeded to tell me that he will never put me on the deed to our house, simply because all I do is ask him about it (which, for the record, is a total of three times in our entire relationship). He started ranting about how I am always trying to control things, and control him, and how much satisfaction it gives him that this is the one thing I can’t control. He told me that this will be a “good lesson” for our relationship to see how we can come through this without him giving in to my “demands”. I began crying in the restaurant, trying to eat my dinner, and also realizing that this home–our home– will never truly feel like my home. He has taken that away from me.
He keeps repeating, “We’re married. Of course this is your home. We own it together.” No, we don’t. The fact that he refuses to put my name on the deed has been the single biggest problem in our marriage. He doesn’t understand that the undercurrent of anger he feels from me sometimes stems from this issue. He doesn’t understand that this is a source of horrible stress for me.
I keep thinking about the fact that I have gone 8 or 9 months without ovulating, and I can’t help but think that this is my body’s way of telling me that something is deeply amiss. Here I am, popping pills that will force me to ovulate and potentially conceive with a man who doesn’t want to put my name on the deed to our house to “teach me a lesson about my controlling ways.” I am giving him my body for bearing children, and giving my fucking perfect credit score and a stable job that I hate so we can get another loan. He says the one way I don’t “give” is in loving him, regardless of whose name is on paperwork. It’s hard to feel loving to someone who is telling you that he doesn’t care about having the future mother of his children on the paperwork to our house.
We’re supposed to go to Catalina tomorrow for our anniversary, and I simply can’t see that happening now. The last thing I want to do is be romantic with him.
I am an absolute wreck right now…I’m sorry if this all sounds convoluted and strange. I just don’t know what to do about anything anymore. If I sound like an awful person for wanting my name on a deed, please reserve judgement…I’m in a really dark, fragile place right now.