Commingled Finances Causing Marital Problems
Should the wife be worried?
After a late-in-life marriage, a wife has discovered that after they commingled finances, her husband began overspending – and now he is secretive about his expenses. See what Amy Dickinson advises.
My husband and I got married later in life (when I was 49, he was 44). This is his second marriage.
We have struggled a bit with finances because I came into the marriage with much more, financially, so after a few years we decided to open a joint account.
I was excited to begin this commingling because it would establish more of a team approach to our future goals.
Well, after three months I am realizing that he’s spent well over what he has contributed (contributing $8,000, but spent $14,000) and this is now creating more challenges.
He is refusing to tell me what he spent this money on and is making me feel irrational that I am concerned about this.
The purpose originally was to help me with bigger bills that pop up because I pay all the major bills (house, taxes, insurance, cars) and he only pays health insurance (which I am grateful for).
This was the first three months of experiencing commingling finances and now he’s saying he refuses to come off of the account. He is threatening that my scrutiny marks the demise of our relationship.
I’m worried because I know that finances can often create the biggest issues in relationships, so I’m hoping for some guidance.
I’m not sure what to do at this point. Do you have any suggestions?
– Wondering Wife
You don’t seem quite as alarmed as I believe you should be.
Racking up these huge bills, refusing to tell you where the money has gone, gaslighting you when you express concern, and refusing to come off of this joint account are major red flags.
It is time for you to contact your bank (to figure out where this money is going) and a lawyer, to explore your spousal rights and responsibilities.
You are most likely responsible for debts accrued on a joint account. I hope you’ll act quickly.
In the tradition of the great personal advice columnists, Chicago Tribune’s Amy Dickinson is a plainspoken straight shooter who relates to readers of all ages. She answers personal questions by addressing issues from both her head and her heart – ranging from commingled finances to dark family secrets and DNA surprises. A solid reporter, Dickinson researches her topics to provide readers with informed opinions and answers. You can email Amy Dickinson at firstname.lastname@example.org or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068.
©2023 by Amy Dickinson