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I married a filipina from Mindanao (I'm 36 and she's going to be 25) and we've been married for almost 15 months now and back in December, we finally got our own apartment. For Christmas, I bought my wife a really nice 17" HP Blu-Ray laptop because I wanted our first Christmas together in our new place to be memorable. My wife didn't end up getting me anything at all, but I did notice she sent her mom over $200. Then she says she is going to make it up to me for my Birthday which was January 14th and sadly, nothing happened and again, I came across something that she sent her mom another $100. She tells me her mom puts guilt trips on her and I really am starting to despise her mother for that. I tell her, I'd rather know about it than find out your sending it behind my back, don't sneak it, but anyway, she still does it. Anytime I try to explain it, she says, 'I worked for it and I should be able to do what I want with my money. But mind you, if I want to buy a 12 pack of beer for the weekend, she says we don't have the money to be doing that, we have alot of bills to pay.

It just really hurts that she doesn't care about my feelings and having not gotten me anything for Christmas or my birthday. I don't even care if she said she's going to take me out to eat but yeah, it's nothing. If you were me, would her NEVER wanting to spend her money on you, but always has plenty to send to her mom? Do you blame me for beginning to despise her mother? Another thing that bugs me is that she uses her credit card to send her mom money, but she acts like it's cause of me she's almost got it maxed out and if I don't give her money, she throws a huge fit that I'm not helping her pay off her credit card. Bottom line, I DO NOT like sneaking around and how she says, its her money, she is the one who worked for it, so she should be able to spend it the way she wants. I really don't know what to say to get my POV understood. As I said, if I try to talk to her and tell her I don't like how she's doing it and would prefer her tell me if she's going to do it, it becomes I am trying to control her...

I'm so confused.... Should I continue letting her treat me like this?

What would you do?

Edited by marriedanconfused

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Her mother might incorrectly assume that you, as an American, are super rich and that she can get some money without it hurting your finances. Your wife might have the same assumption if she expects you to help pay her credit card while spending her own money as she pleases.

I have a spreadsheet with everything we spend (all the bills, clothing, activities, even snacks go in it) so we can both see exactly what we spent and where we might need to cut back to keep a good budget. It might seem invasive, especially if there are disagreements about how to spend money, but marriages should be open and honest, not secretive. At the end of the month, you can compare the beer money to the mother money.

Not giving gifts might be a cultural difference or how she grew up? For the next big event, you could try being explicit a week or two before about your expectations. I did this for Valentine's day. I said "I got you a small gift, and you should probably get me something too, or you'll feel bad on V-day." If she is just selfish or uncaring, this won't work and I don't have any advice for that case.


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What I would do is what you should have done when the relationship turned serious. Sit down with her and have a long talk about finances and helping family members so that you're both on the same page. It's a whole lot easier to set the rules before the game starts though ;)

My wife and I have never had a money or family support issue, so it's worked well for me.

As for the gifts my wife and I aren't big on giving each other gifts. Both of us would prefer a card telling the other how important and appreciated they are. Good gifts come from the heart not the wallet .. at least imo

Edited by Murphy'sBoy

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Your tale is fairly common for USC's who marry Filipinos. The reality is that you marry the entire family and far too often they see it as a gravy train.

It's time for a marital sitdown to set the financial ground rules for your family (the 2 of you plus and children in the household). If it's her money, and her credit card, then she shouldn't need you to bail her out on the CC. It sounds like she saw it as free money and spent it. Now the bills are due and she wants you to bail her out. Might be one of those tough love lessons.


Your tale is fairly common for USC's who marry Filipinos. The reality is that you marry the entire family and far too often they see it as a gravy train.

It's time for a marital sitdown to set the financial ground rules for your family (the 2 of you plus and children in the household). If it's her money, and her credit card, then she shouldn't need you to bail her out on the CC. It sounds like she saw it as free money and spent it. Now the bills are due and she wants you to bail her out. Might be one of those tough love lessons.


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Do not let the her take care of the finance. Take back the checkbook.

If she has you or her Credit Card almost maxed out then it just proves she can't handle money.

I wonder why if you are age 36 and both are working, why do you even have a money issue, A few hundred dollars here and there should not be an issue.

Her sneaking behind your back and sending money would be a big issue with me.

I have seen woman put guys in debt many time for various reason, After talking to her and if she keeps going behind your back I would probably end up divorcing and finding someone who was honest

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Do not let the her take care of the finance. Take back the checkbook.

If she has you or her Credit Card almost maxed out then it just proves she can't handle money.

I wonder why if you are age 36 and both are working, why do you even have a money issue, A few hundred dollars here and there should not be an issue.

Her sneaking behind your back and sending money would be a big issue with me.

I have seen woman put guys in debt many time for various reason, After talking to her and if she keeps going behind your back I would probably end up divorcing and finding someone who was honest

a year after she got here, my company laid alot of ppl off, me included... I was without a job for about 6 months and am now just starting to catch myself up. She got a job shortly after getting her work authorization card. From the time I was unemployed, my family has been helping us get by and now I owe them alot. My wife did bring up that I' mgiving my parents money, so no reason we can't give her parents money too, but I tried telling her that we are giving my parents money to pay them back. Her parents didn't help us while I was without a job. We have to get on our feet and get stuff paid off then I agree to send money to her mom, but yeah, always reverts to 'I worked for it so I should get to spend it on what I want.' But I'm not suppose to spend my money the way I want it or she throws a fit. What do you think about resenting or despising her mom for allowing my wife to send the money? She does know I was without work and we hardly have money for ourselves. As soon as my wife started working, she said her mom almost immediately started asking for money to be sent. Personally I think it's rude and really don't have any interest in RUSHING back over to see them again after all this drama. Do you blame me or am I wrong?

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I do not blame you at all. I have been married to two pinays and thank god no money was requested, but my first wife had uncle who was bad about bugging us for money.

You know the saying you married the family, but I don't play that game. I bet you her mother is giving her pressure for money, You know all the reasons, Need money for bills, money for medicine, money for school, etc, etc, etc, the list can go on forever. It seems like if you start giving money, then you kinda create a parasite and they start to depend on it.

You need to get your girl under control first, And personally if your girl is working and can send some money home I really don't think it that big of deal, The issue I have is her not telling you.

Again I would take back the checkbook, Most girls from Philippines are used to getting an allowance and have never managed money before.

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People from certain countries believe Westerners are rich, and feel family should share their wealth. It's usually cultural where parent/elders believe children should pay/become their retirement fund. From my own experience, the Philippines is not the only country that have families that feel this way. I experienced it first hand when I went to visit my home country of birth, and had cousins lie to me to extract money. My parents won't talk to families oversea if they talk about money, especially since they are retired. To be honest, it's one of the reasons why I never wanted to date/marry a woman from my culture or similar.

OP I don't know if you ever talked to your wife beforehand about this, but if you prolonged the talk your resentment will continue and it will ruin your marriage (I'm not putting all the blame on your OP). My wife and I both agree that our immediately family is our #1 priority, and we only send a Christmas package one a year. If you have children, money issue can get more complicated.

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Just reading the Pinay culture I know its sort of expected

from the child to send back & support parents sometimes

even extended families...its the culture....did you get to know

the person & the family expectations? I agree with you that the

sneaking around & sending money is no good for a relationship

but dude don't nit-pick , nag, or show resentment to her mother

she will hide more from you.

Money matters are the leading cost of divorce, she is going to

send home money now that she has it, so sit down talk it over,

and agree no more secrets and settle an amount she will send

monthly, how much she should save in case her parents have

an emergency, do this as in a partnership & not like U R in control.

Teach her your culture we give gifts, not to receive one back but

to say I feel you, I cherish U, even if its a card, selfish ways will lead

to a break-up, but be the bigger person & try not to resent her family

& her behavior,

Edited by Jawaree

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Here is an old thread

http://www.visajourney.com/forums/topic/232940-financial-support-to-my-wifes-family-in-the-philippines/

You should be able get some ideas from reading it and decide what is the next move.

Edited by Merrytooth

Done with K1, AOS and ROC

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Important that these things are discussed and decided on before marriage, its even advisable if two people are from the same culture.

Sounds like you need to take a harder line with her financially, it must be frustrating that she's sending money to her mother but telling you not to spend money on yourself or treating you. As others have said you both need to sit down together and have a long hard chat about finances, the longer you prolong it the harder it will get.


My blog about my visa journey and adjusting to my new life in the US http://albiontoamerica.wordpress.com/

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Split all the expenses equal and if she has anything left after that it's really her business what she does what it. Not getting you anything for Christmas and birthday is really bad though, one more time and I would file for divorce....

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At the very minimum you should cut up your credit cards and make sure your wife doesn't have access to them in the future. Paying 20 percent compounded interest on a long term debt is one of the worst financial decisions one could make.

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