Journal Relationships

I Ask My Husband’s Permission

I Ask My Husband's Permission
Written by Ashli Brehm

I went shopping yesterday. Not like mom shopping. Not like I need something for this certain event and I need to wear it tonight and it could be a burlap sack as long as it’s nothing in my closet and costs under $29. That’s usually how I shop. Post kids.

Because time. And money. And children who run around in the hanging clothes. And not having an entourage like Kimye. And not having four nannies. Or one. Those things seem to contribute to my lack of anything that resembles actual clothes one might wear to anything that doesn’t include an exercise machine. 

And mostly, I’m good with that. Because my life as a mom is pretty active. I do like to exercise. And expandable pants are like fancy pajamas. 

But I asked the hubs last week, “Do you think I could go shopping? For my one-year-I’m-not-getting-a-mammogram-and-noone-is-telling-me-I-don’t-have-cancer-versary?”

And he obliged.


I. Ask. My. Husband. Permission. Permission for girls’ nights. Permission for investing in the blog. Permission for spending money. 

Gasp… again.

Because I know some people are going to be gasping at that. Some women are going to say I’m killing feminism. Some women might think I’m from 1954. 

But here’s the thing. I do not make an income. I make peanuts blogging. I’m going to make a little speaking. But on the financial front, I don’t exactly water the money tree. 

Sure, I stay home. Which many will point out, should earn a paycheck. But should-paychecks only count in Monopoly. So, money, I have not.

Yes. The money we have in our bank account is collectively ours. He just makes it. 

Cringe. It makes me cringe a little when I say it. 

I was once an independent gal. I was never going to get married. I never really wanted children. And now, I stay home. I don’t bring in a paycheck. And I ask my husband for money. 

Because here’s the thing… he asks me, too. We ask about purchases. We have open discussions about whether or not something is even doable or pull-offable. These are discussions we have so that we don’t find ourselves in debt up to our eyeballs. So, in that respect, it’s more discussion than permission. But it sounds like permission, right?

We used to “do” Dave Ramsey like it was our job. And it worked. I had cash each month for MY clothes, MY entertainment, even a separate envelope for Sephora. But then… new house… cancer. And we have less monthly or quarterly meetings than we should. We stopped using outright cash for things after we got out of debt because of the benefits of credit card reward points and discounts given at Target. So I know less about our finances now than I did for awhile. But I know enough to know that if it’s a trip to the grocery store or a pair of shoes, the groceries have to be our priority {unless the shoes are edible}. 

So, this weekend, when I wanted to go shopping… like real shopping… like buy a go-to pair of jeans and other “staples,” I asked him. And then, as I shopped and looked at price tags, I felt guilty. I mean… a premium pair of jeans could also be an activity for one of the boys. An urgent care appointment for a potential broken bone. A family night out. A few tanks of gas. A gift for my hubs.

That’s the hard part, for me, of spending money as a parent. Even more so because its a paycheck I don’t bring home. I feel like me using money is taking away from something for our family. And only buying my things. But also. I sometimes like things. Even though they shouldn’t matter. But a girl still sometimes wants.

And there are times that the Mr will say, “nope.” or “not a good time.” And I respect that. I’m not asking about $14,000 diamonds {but if you are, good for you, I say.} or new cars. I’m asking about a $50 pair of shoes or something for the house. But it’s a mutual respect and understanding between the two of us that because we should be on a budget given our financial position, we are. So we discuss. He asks. And I ask. About money and calendar items and how we’re raising our kids. It’s all an ongoing discussion. That we’re having together. 

So, maybe I’m from 1950… a stay at home mama who asks for permission. Maybe that makes you want to scratch your eyeballs or burn your bras {which would be fine with me, I don’t wear them anyway}. Or maybe you, too, ask away. Either way, I bought the jeans. And the shirts. And the staples. Because, of course, I asked first. And he said yes.

About the author

Ashli Brehm

Ashli Brehm = Thirtysomething. Nebraska gal. Life blogger. Husker fan. Creative writer. Phi Mu sister. Breast cancer survivor. Boymom. Premie carrier. Happy wife. Gilmore Girls fanatic. Amos Lee listener. Coffee & La Croix drinker. Sarcasm user. Jesus follower. Slipper wearer. Funlover. Candle smeller. Yoga doer. Pinterest failer. Anne Lamott reader. Tribe member. Goodness believer. Life enthusiast.

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  • Ashli, I ask as well… same reason as you. I understand and I won’t burn my bra… I need mine 😉 great piece thanks for sharing. <3 N.

  • I don’t think it’s so much asking permission, but just communicating. It’s what keeps a marriage strong. And no, it’s not killing feminism – it’s bringing respect back to marriage. 🙂

  • I agree with Kathy. I have, for several years, communicated with my husband on purchases and nights out because he manages our finances. We truly work together that way. I think that level of communication is key in a marriage. And it is respectful — that’s okay, too. Good stuff.

  • on the rare occassion i buy clothes for myself it is on a whim because I found something that fit me for $2 on the clearance rack, so I don’t ask. We do have ongoing discussions about a lot of things, but we also have ‘departments’ and each of us is ultimately the decision maker in that area.

  • I absolutely can’t wrap my brain around the Woman’s comprehension of not earning a paycheck??? If her husband had to pay for daycare, help around the house ? etc. he wouldn’t be earning an entire paycheck. I think this woman is on a fantasy land life experience. Definitely can’t relate.

  • Love this! Thanks for making it super real. It’s amazing how respecting a man has become demonized. Good for you!