If you cheerfully buy boots for € 250 and your husband is a knucklehead who saves stamps, you know one thing for sure: that will lead to a fight.
Nadine (29), hairdresser, lives with Jens (30), municipal official. They have two daughters aged 7 and 5.
“My boyfriend and I have separate accounts on purpose, but still get into fights about money. Because I work part time, I only pay half of our mortgage from my salary. I can spend the rest of my wages, about six hundred euros, as I see fit, and I happily do so. Jens thinks I’m stupid with money and vents that all the time.
He thinks I’m spoiled and complains that I make princesses out of our daughters. He thinks it’s nonsense that I order something online for the girls every week. They have more clothes than many adult women, he shouts. That’s right, together they can fill a nice walk-in closet. When the child support is paid, I go wild on my favorite children’s clothing sites. Jens does not understand that I buy boots for myself for € 250 without feeling guilty. I have to live more frugally, he thinks. Save for later.
“He thinks I’m spoiled and complains that I make princesses out of our daughters”
I like to look neat. Every three weeks I get a manicure and pedicure and buy liniments and perfumes. From Jens it can be a little less, but then I object that he does have a woman who looks nice. Or I buy a spicy lingerie set, he is always happy with that expense.
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I’m not used to anything else from home. My mother goes to the hairdresser every week and only buys from the Bijenkorf. My parents eat out three times a week and do their shopping at a good butcher and greengrocer.
I don’t have to, but I eat what I feel like and not what happens to be on offer. Jens doesn’t understand that. He gets furious when I blow half the household budget on French cheeses, chocolate and wine in one fell swoop. That’s why Jens does the shopping. He sifts through brochures for special offers and loves the 35% stickers from Albert Heijn.
“I’m alive now, I want to look good now and preferably in expensive boots. Then just once in the red”
Jens’ criticism goes in one ear and out the other. I live now, I want to look nice now and preferably in expensive boots. Then turn red once. Later I’ll be old, tired and wrinkled and I’m sure I don’t care if my pajamas match my slippers.”
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