When you grow up under certain economic conditions, it can be hard to adjust your mindset, even when circumstances change. Someone posting under the name u/sweetpinklily on Reddit in r/relationships is struggling with this. But it’s not them, it’s their wife. They write that their wife grew up poor, with a single father. As an example, they write that she usually ate “pickle and mayo sandwiches for dinner,” and that “even going to McDonald’s was a luxury for her.”
She’s always had “cheap habits,” but in recent years they’ve escalated to a wild degree:
When I say cheap, I’m not talking about frugal things such as making cleaning products of turning off the shower while you wash your hair/body. That’s nothing compared to my wife’s habits. I’ll give you a few examples.
The water is pretty much on lockdown in the house. Instead of using tap water to wash the dishes or brush our teeth, she gets water from the nearby park. She brings a large jug, fills it up, and then bring a week’s worth back home. And you can bet that we don’t have a washing machine or dryer.
Going out with friends to cafes and restaurants is embarrassing. If we go to a coffee shop, she’ll bring her own pack of instant coffee, order hot water, and make her own coffee. As for dining out with friends, she’ll eat before hand and just order a water.
The OP says that their wife never tries to impose these habits on them, but seems unwilling to change.
They’d like to travel and are sure the wife with nix that idea. And they’re financially comfortable. The wife is even a lawyer! But they can’t do things together anymore:
In a way, we’re both fairly financially independent. We have separate bank accounts. We do our own thing on the weekend. She doesn’t care if I go out to a fancy restaurant with friends. It’s just the fact that we can’t enjoy those things together that bothers me.
The original post has since been deleted, but it was capture on Twitter by @redditships. Many people said that the frugal wife needs to talk to a professional because this is clearly a compulsion:
And whatever the original comments were, they must have been similar, because the OP eventually posted an update:
Thank you so much for the helpful advice. This is clearly a much deeper problem than stinginess. I’m going to talk to her about seeing a therapist.
Good. Everyone deserves the tools to enjoy life, and we should get the help we need when the barrier is coming from within.