Sunday, 12 April 2009


Mairimashita - not quite sure how to translate this properly. I'm out! You've caught me! ?? You've Got me! ??

That was what he said after our 'conversation' this evening :p

I had been festering all night and all day. Not enough for it to show I don't think, although at one point I did take Marina and go for a drive so I could have a wee cry in frustration - basically because my overactive imagination had been giving me all sorts of scenarios for the extra bank accounts and their balances. A serious gambling problem, a bit on the side rah rah. For that reason I thought I had to have the talk today or I would fester and fester until the bunster burst out at 32 weeks instead of 40. My overactive imagination again!

So, I had thought I would wait until the kids were in bed so we could sit down and talk like adults. I thought that would be the best time for me to stay calm. I rang my brother this morning to get a male perspective - what should I 'not' say for things to get out of hand. His advice was to concentrate on the money side and the fact that there was a debt and it needed to be paid off and then made sure that it didn't happen again - as opposed to concentrating on the more female emotional 'I trusted you' bit.

At seven o'clock hub said he was going to put Shou to bed and probably stay that way himself. Shite!! There goes my after the kids are in bed plan, so I pulled out the two receipts and put them on the bench and said that before he went could he just explain these to me. I told him straight off that I found him in his car so that he couldn't start things off by accusing me of being untrusting by snooping round his car. This is how things followed...

Me: could you explain these two receipts I found in your car bin yesterday.
Hub: What are these?
Me: two receipts darling, for two bank accounts I don't know anything about.
Hub: hmmm
Me: That's a total of almost XXXXXX. How long have you had the accounts and how exactly were you thinking we could pay them back?
Hub: (looking very sheepish) I've had them for over ten years.
Me: Really and truly you've had them for that long?
Hub: yes
Me: How were you thinking of paying them back?
Hub: I'll pay them back. They're interest free anyway.
Me: That's beside the point. It's still XXXXXX yen that we have to find out of our daily living. The daily living for the soon to be five of us. I would like to think that Shou, Marina, the bunster and I are more important that raking up debt.
Hub: Of course you are.
Me: How much is in the ten year diamond and big family holiday account? (big family holiday as in big holiday not big family. NOT getting any bigger than what will be come June!)
Hub: Nearly XXXXXX yen (about 4/5 of his debt)
Me: Can you take almost all that out and pay off this here account and put the rest on this one. Close this here account. Can you do it tomorrow?
Hub: Not sure.
Me: Can you do it this week and bring home the account closure thingy?
Hub: What a waste of the diamond account.
Me: I don't care about the diamond (lying through teeth here for sake of family) and the holiday. I won't be able to sleep at night until I know these debts are cleared.
Hub: You sure?
Me: Yes, do it. And bring me home the cash card so I can ceremoniously cut it up.
Hub: Sigh - mairimashita ne. I'm really sorry.
Me: We'll use your summer bonus to pay the rest off.
Hub: What about the bunster's birth fees?
Me: We are raiding Shou's account remember? We just won't be able to replenish it for a while.
Hub: Sigh - mairimashita ne. I'm really sorry.
Me: so am I but I'm glad it's going to get sorted. Do you swear on your mother's premature grave that you haven't been using it for pachinko. (didn't actually say like that)
Hub: Absolutely haven't been. Promise.
Me: OK, have to take your word on that.
Hub: Can't believe you found receipts in my car and tapped them back together.
Me: I know, am going to be on next season of CSI
Hub: haha, kansha suru wa (Literally - I admire you).

So, there was a bit of other stuff in between but basically the conversation was extremely calm - what with the kids being in the room watching a smurfs dvd and all. He appeared to be genuinely apologetic and 'caught out' so I think the best thing I can do now is give him the benefit of the doubt for the 'how long he has had the accounts' and 'what he used them for'. There is no way I can check this out anyway so no point festering more over it.

I also told him that I realised that he wanted more money - and not just the lunch money and occasional coffee money. I know it has been a tight leash and that, as my brother confirmed, you can't keep a man boxed in, pushed into the corner, on such a tight leash or they will just lash out in another way. My brother said that if I took away all his financial freedom than we would be having a similar conversation about a different problem a year down the track. I had all afternoon to think about this so gave hub an olive branch - so to speak. He had to completely close down one of the accounts. The other he could keep open and we would work out a suitable amount of cash that would be deposited from his pay into this account every month - as pocket money in addition to lunch money and the likes that he would get from me from housekeeping. This has been agreed upon and we will make ends meet somehow.

When I was talking to my brother he was saying how I had to remember the cultural differences. I do agree on this. I think there are a much larger proportion of husbands who have 'secret' accounts, the reason being that it is standard practice to hand over their pay to their wives to be divided as necessary - and then asking for money from the wives when they needed it. In New Zealand most couples would have a joint account and a separate account each.

I am not saying this in defense of hub. He realises his wrong doing and I think is suitably apologetic. He is also somewhat amazed that we were able to have the conversation without a fight - or rather without me going off the handle. He was even more surprised when he found out I had discovered his hidden bank in the sunviser in his car and had decided to 'watch' it for a while before bringing it up.

So, for the moment, we have sorted out a solution to the problem. I hope I aren't reading this in five years thinking you stupid woman, you should have seen the clues when they were staring you in the face. But, while I'm not blinded by love anymore there is still definitely enough there for us to get over this. Before taking Shou to bed he sat there with Shou sitting in his lap, stroking his hair and giving him a fiercely big hub - I think knowing that he had gotten away very lightly from something that could have been made into a lot more of a major argument.

So that's where we are at tonight. Hopefully hub is in bed now counting his lucky stars that he is in a nice warm bed and not thrown out to the inoshishi of the night. (wild pigs)

I hope I can be adult enough now to not bring this up at every turn. It has been discussed, and it has been sorted, and I have made the decision to believe him on what he has said - but that may be for lack of technological equipment and knowledge that would let me hack into bank mainframes like Chloe off twenty four.

Thank you for the advice. It gave me a lot of food for thought over the day and definitely helped in achieving a peaceful outcome that can be resolved.


PS - FTR he said he used the money for normal stuff - coffees, beer here and there, being able to pay his way on drinking nights out (when he had been telling me the social fund was paying) etc. He said was embarrassing to always only have ten or twenty dollars in his wallet. Understandable. He's a forty two year old man - he needs to be seen to have a bit more control. Beat beat of tummy. I guess I never really worry because I always have the cash cards to both mine and his pay account. Hub, on the other hand, would be put in a bit of an embarassing position if someone asked him to get something and they would pay him back!! Sorry mate, but my wife only gives me enough for a rice ball and can of coffee....


Jo Tomooka said...

I'm glad you managed to have the conversation and that it all turned out for the best. I also think you have made a good decision about giving him some extra freedom with the monthly money - if the situation was reversed and I was bringing in the majority of the money, but being given only a tiny bit in return I think I would probably be searching for some other ways to "make" some money too! I hope the calm household stays that way for a long time to come. Congratulations on dealing with it so well.

Sara said...

I am also relieved to hear about the outcome of the situation - you sound like you handled it completely adult-like and came to a conclusion that will solve the current issues at hand.

Sounds like your brother gave you some very decent advice... sometimes it can be so hard to deal with men since, well we arent.

Really hope this is the last of these issues for you and that you can just take it easy for a bit and pour your energies into happy things like cheese and getting ready for the bunsters impending arrival.

anchan said...

Phew! You're a bigger woman than me, you handled it waaay better than I would have - kudos to you! Now go and ask him for an ankle rub.

Midori said...

Sounds like you managed to have the conversation that needed to be had in an adult and sensible way. Very impressed as it is probably more than I could have managed. I used to hate having to control all the money in Japan but like you say, it would be really hard to be the one who never has any money in their wallet. My bro`s wife controls the finances (in Oz) like a J-housewife does and I know it has caused them alot of problems. My ex used to "charge" me for looking after Joey while I taught one evening a week, I used to find the mentality repulsive as I don`t think a father hanging out with his son counts as babysitting but looking at it, it was just his way to trying to have a bit of extra cash every month. At least you know he isn`t wasting the money on pachinko as that would be too much to bear. Here`s to a peaceful week for you guys! xx

medea said...

I can't believe you are 32 weeks already!
I guess there are benefits to having a husband who isn't smart enough to open up a bank account. When I go for my trip to Canada I have to leave cash in an envelope for each week because he can't figure out cash cards and PIN numbers.
Did you know you can apply for the birth bonus in advance so it is paid directly to your hospital/midwife? That way you aren't out of pocket. Not that Shou would notice either way. ;)

illahee said...

sounds like you had a stressful weekend! *hugs* but it also sounds like you worked it out calmly. i'm impressed! hope you got lots of ankle rubs!!

Anonymous said...

Well done for how you handled this. It's really good that you were able to see things from his point of view. Hopefully he appreciates the fact that you didn't hit the roof like many woman would have. Katie M

Lulu said...

You handled it well- much better than I would of probably!!!

Well done and I am glad to hear it was nothing too bad!

ローラ said...

Wow! I'm glad it came out well for you, discussion-wise. He didn't blow up and act defensive or anything. He does sound genuinely sheepish about getting found out! Aww. :)

I would be so baffled about how to approach Takeshi if he was doing something like that, and I found out!

Nooh said...

GW, coming out of lurkdom to say "good on ya"! You handled this so well. I know what you mean about active imaginations! I have one of those too! Hats off to you, girl, for staying cool. Just a shame about the diamond fund!
In our house, we have 3 o-saifu, so to speak. One common one, and our own personal ones. I still havent decided which way is best (3 or 1), as I sometimes get nasty little surprises in the form of unpaid bills of the Mr's that I have to bail him out of every now and again. Once I stood my ground and wouldn't pay his mobile bill, and his phone got cut off. But in retrospect, I think I was more put out than he was cos I couldnt get in contact with him when he was out and about. Men and money, huh!! It doesnt help when there is a former family involved either. It could have been debt carried over, as I know my Mr. has one and pays child support on top of that...