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Husband Takes Pact to Split House Expenses to Extremes

DEAR ABBY: I have been married for seven years and have two young boys. My husband, "Cliff," and I earn approximately the same amount and contribute equally to our household expenses.

It bothers me that if we're on a family excursion, and he's driving my minivan and we get low on gas, he will fill the tank up only halfway. Additionally, when we met my friend recently for a birthday celebration, when we were leaving the parking garage, Cliff demanded my credit card to pay for the parking. (The fee was $13.)

Unlike his past girlfriends, I have never used his credit cards to buy fancy clothes at expensive boutiques. I pay for house renovations that I feel are important -- porch repair, wallpaper, bedroom furniture for our children, recessed lighting, etc. out of my own pocket.

For our upcoming anniversary, when I asked Cliff where we would be going so I could plan accordingly, he asked me why I wasn't taking him out to celebrate our anniversary. What do you make of all of this? Frankly, it saddens me. -- MONEY'S THE ISSUE IN VIRGINIA

DEAR ISSUE: You are short-changing yourself. If you and your husband agreed to split expenses equally, you should not be paying out-of-pocket for repairs and decoration. That your husband is so determined not to be taken advantage of financially that he would fill the gas tank only halfway saddens me, too.

However, on the subject of anniversaries, he does have a valid point, so why not alternate anniversaries with him? One year he'll do the planning and take you out to celebrate, and the next year you'll do it for him.

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