SINGAPORE: A 32-year-old man recently took to social media to share that , although they have been married for more than a year, he still does not want to give his wife “access to all financial statements in his name” as he’s not comfortable.
He shared that when his wife started asking for access to all his accounts, including his checking savings and investments, he was initially offended and thought that she was perhaps distrusting of him.
But in retrospect, he realized that it could have been his wife’s attempt to gain a better understanding of their financial situation, so he offered to give her printouts of all his accounts and to open a joint account with her.
“I offered to give her printouts of all my accounts and to open a joint account with her (something she’d requested in the past but I had offered minor resistance to as I didn’t understand why we needed it) where I would place 80% of my paycheck to be used jointly for spending/saving. She didn’t go for this and said it wasn’t the type of trust/openness she was looking for,” he wrote.
He said that his wife instead wanted to be able to see “his money whenever she pleased and that he could do the same to her accounts.”
“I advised that I wasn’t super comfortable with that and felt that it wasn’t as equitable as she was presenting it,” he said.
Moreover, the man shared that he was the “primary earner” for their household and that he paid 80% of the bills and contributed about 95% to their combined savings. He also provides his wife with financial support.
“She tells me how much she needs, and I send it directly to her account.”
He added that although he was aware that marriages are a “joint effort,” he thought his offer of compromise was adequate and that it was reasonable for him to maintain a modicum of privacy and financial independence.
“I have no access to her accounts/savings and have never requested them. We have spent the the entire length of our relationship with separate accounts despite having lived together for two years already.”
He has thus denied her request and says that because of this, his wife has been claiming that it is “financial abuse” and that he “doesn’t trust her.”
Netizens: ‘Neither of you are wrong.’
In the comments section below, several netizens stated that neither he nor his wife were at fault and that they just saw things differently when it came to their finances.
“You’re not on the same page as a couple. She wants joint finances, you want separate. Neither of you are wrong, just different. And this is a potentially unresolvable difference. Get couple’s counseling, but be prepared for divorce,” one user said.
While another user shared his own story, writing, “My wife and I have separate accounts. That works for us. Her money is her money and mine is mine. We have our responsibilities to our bills, we handle that, and the rest is ours to do with as we see fit. The difference between OP and our situation is the trust part.
One user also commented that this depended on their circumstances.
“IMO it depends 100% on circumstance. If she is trustworthy and is financially literate then she should have access to everything as she might see positive opportunities in areas where you might not.
If she is not financially literate and blows money then she should not have access to everything. I do think she should be able to view the financial situation as a whole though at any given time even if it’s on a view only basis.”
Is it acceptable to keep your spouse in the dark about your finances?
While keeping separate bank accounts, even if the two of you have already tied the knot, is perfectly normal and even healthy these days, keeping your other half in the dark about your finances is a whole other story.
Every couple is different, but regardless of the path you choose—creating a joint bank account or not—you should always be on the same page.
“Being transparent and open about your finances and how you manage money as a couple does not necessarily mean full disclosure,” Lauren Anastasio, a certified financial planner at SoFi said.
However, if you do decide to keep some of your own money on hand, the first thing to ask yourself is, “Why?” If you have good and honest intentions or concerns, experts recommend sharing them with your spouse. Who knows? They may feel sympathetic towards you and be supportive of your decision to keep a little privacy after all.
Just be sure your partner knows where you are coming from. If you don’t, they might think you are withholding money from them because of an addiction, affair, or other bad behavior. Or, your partner might also feel that there’s a lack of trust in your relationship.
Don’t be afraid, just communicate with your partner.