I know that everyone has different expectations for how to split expenses, but this problem is so frustrating that I just had to come here and ask.
Some quick background info: American guy + Taiwanese girl. We each make roughly the same amount of money a month. When we were dating, she would share the expenses on large bills like a vacation and once in awhile treat me to something, but 90% of the time it was me who paid. I’m not a stingy guy so I didn’t bring up the issue until a few months into it when I felt increasingly uncomfortable about the situation. She flat out responded that it was the guy’s duty to always pay and she was infuriated that I would even bring up such a topic. That was a huge red flag for me so I ended the relationship, but one thing lead to another and we seriously had to consider tying the knot. I told her that we both need to contribute to the family so she could either choose to be a full-time mom and have me pay for everything or she can keep her job but split the expenses with me. She agreed and chose to keep her job. And so we went through with it.
Fast forward just a few months later and we reach another impasse. My interpretation of “splitting the expenses” was that we would split the family expenses 50/50 or 60/40 or whatever, or that we would say one person covers all the rent while the other covers all the food, utilities, etc. She felt offended that I had these expectations of her because her interpretation of splitting the expenses meant I would pay for everything by default and she would help me out when she felt like it. For example, I routinely pay for all our meals and occasionally she’ll say, “Hey baby, this one’s on me.” Now again, I’m not a stingy man, so I can fly with a freeballing style like this. The only problem is that just like when we were dating, this freeballing style results in me paying for about 90% of the expenses, which I feel is too imbalanced. But whenever I bring it up, she’ll say that I’m being petty and stingy.
I’ve had a decent amount of experience with girls both in and outside of Taiwan and not once have I come across an issue as extreme as this one. I’m not someone who breaks out a calculator to split things exactly down the middle. In fact, I don’t even mind paying more as long as the girl doesn’t take it for granted and makes an effort to contribute. But a 90/10 split is just too imbalanced for me. And to make it worse, it’s not like she saves her money into a mutual family fund or something. Instead she takes the money she saves from only contributing 10% and buys extravagances for herself. So basically my money is ours but her money is hers.
So things get heated and she tells me I’m a bitch of a man because I don’t think it’s my responsibility to completely support the family; I fire back that she’s a useless wife because she contributes very little and keeps everything for herself. I tell her that marriage is an equal partnership and both people need to do their best to contribute; she tells me that a man should want to take care of the people he loves and not rely on hie wife to get by. She also insists that even if one day she makes more than me or has more free time than me, she would still never contribute more than what I can because women need to be taken care of and not the other way around. I feel that it’s extremely selfish to purposely hold back when your husband is already running at 100% just because you insist on never doing more than what he’s able to. There’s some fine details here and there but this is the gist of it.
Anyways, I’m just wondering what everyone else here thinks. Is there something I’m missing or being selfish about? I’m open to new perspectives in an effort to make things work. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks in advance!