Anyone else ever have this problem?


I’m starting to think I might be the only one in the world that has this problem. A little background, my wife is an Arabic Christian, she and her family immigrated to the US from Palestein about 10 years ago. Now, pretty much from the day I met her I knew things were going to be traditional, and when I ask to marry me that we’d have a very traditional marriage. That’s not really an issue. However, she has this thing where she thinks she has to ask my permission to take money for anything. I mean the other day I was insanely happy when I was looking at the bank statement and saw she charged herself some lunch at Burger King without asking permission. We’ve talked about it, and she usually agrees to stop doing it but then something will happen and she says she’s not sure if it falls into the amount of money we should talk about before spending. I guess it just bothers me like I’m some kind of jerk who would actually demand his wife get permission before going to the supermarket.
Anyone ever have a problem with this, or should I guess give up and let it go?


Bless you, my brother. Most men would love to have this problem. I know my husband would.:smiley:


Many marriages have money problems.

Does she have her own bank account? Why not set one up for her and transfer each month what she will need to run the household, or whatever expenses she regularly incurs, plus a little bit extra for “mad money”. Anything in the account she can spend as she wants; after that, she needs to discuss it.


Placidia’s idea is perfect. It may be a cultural thing. I’m not familiar with the inner family workings of Arabic families, though I have lived around them. But in charity, you need to teach your wife how to handle a checking and charge account if they are things she is unfamiliar with. What if something happened to you. I would set up her household account and transfer a very generous amount into it that is her discretionary money. In addition, handing her cash just for her may be a way to deal with this. That way she doesn’t have to grovel and beg. I know in some cultures even if the wife works, she has to turn over her whole salary to her husband and then he gives her money back. Or not.

And look how generous you get to be! :thumbsup:


Religion, Money, Sex.

The 3 root causes of grief in a marriage.

I’ll agree with previous posts… From day one we’ve had a “Mine”, “Yours”, and “Our” account (s). The lions-share goes to “Ours” and handles all family expenses and savings. A small amount is siphoned off each payday from our respective incomes and deposited into our own accounts.

The simple thing of having your “own” money to blow on something without recourse is great relief of stress. She wants shoes, she can buy them… I want something for the car, I buy it.

In the end it all comes out in the wash. Every year you file taxes, and the numbers don’t lie. If the “fun-money” gets out of line you’ll be back to the primary 3 argument causers.


My wife will ask permission just as I ask permission from her. Part of it is budgeting, but for the most part is respect. We now share everything as one. We do not have to ask one another, but it’s good for us to let each other know what’s going on. I don’t see it as a problem, instead, I am honored that my wife thinks enough of me to ask if she can spend some of what we share together instead of going out and blowing it on everything and I find out when the bill comes. It helps us not only plan things together, but communicate as well.


When I was in the military I heard many guys complain both ways on this topic. Some would hate it when dw would ask for $5 for something personal like going to lunch or make-up, etc. On the other hand, we had guys whose wives didn’t understand the whole bank account thing and literally thought you weren’t out of money until you were out of checks. Most problems of course came from the latter group. My ex hated that I would shop for kids and him but never spend a dime on myself. It came up when we separated for a brief time. I had no clue that he felt this way and would have thought he would be happy I wasn’t squandering all the money. It was kind of a different situation in my case though… I was the only one working. I was paying for my ex to go to college. After he made that known, I did try to spend more on myself but it was hard, I was used to taking care of everyone else before myself. It was actually difficult to spend on myself!!! Be patient…



In my family my father was in charge of the money and my mother assumed that my father would notice when we needed money for the household and then give some to my mother (my mother was also working but it all went to a joint account)

In anycase, my mother tried very hard to get food and clothes for all of us on the very little she had and she never complained. The thing was that my father just didn’t notice that we were all running around with holes in our clothes and that we were short on food. Mum assumed we didn’t have much money, whilst dad had loads stashed away in his bank account. Oh my goodness she was furious when she found out 20 or so years later!

I think you should just give her money every week, enough for the running of the household + something nice for herself. Insist that she treats herself to something once a week. Then she will probably be a happy wife :slight_smile:


She’s on all of our accounts. I guess I could see if money were tight the need for it, but really with just the interest payments on my trust we could live comfortably. We also don’t have many bills, the house we live in was a wedding gift from my mother. So really just her car payment, ulitilies, property taxes, and food. She knows where all the money is and where it goes, now when I try to explain my investment philosophy her eyes glaze over but I tend to doubt she’s not the only one that finds the wild world of diversified portfiolos lacking. I guess I’m probably just going to have to let it go and hopefully it’ll just be a phase.


I’ve tried, hard. For example she has her own card to our AmEx account, no spending limit. Sent her out with my cousin, who is a shop-o-holic if there ever was one, thinking if anyone could pry lose the inner mall rat. She did buy some stuff, it just happened to be all for me. My mom grew up fairly poor herself, so she’s able to relate and has helped a lot with that problem. She some how managed to get her to buy a new wardrobe. Though she still absolutely positively hates to throw anything away. Even the 5 for $20 t-shirts I wear under my hockey stuff end up being made into rags and their end of the life span. I personally don’t buy myself anything unless I get something for her as well, but outside of that she’d probably never ever buy anything for herself. For example a few weeks ago we were down at Tiffany’s in Bellevue Square picking up a copy of the invoice for our wedding set for the insurance company. I told her to pick something she wanted, she does like jewelry only if left up to her she’d probably get costume jewelry. I actually had to talk her into buying these lovely pair of earings. I think I may be the only man alive who has ever had to talk his wife into buying something at Tiffany’s. The story of my mom taking her out shopping in Seattle a few days before the wedding is one that will be humorously retold for years to come. Let’s just say first time at a Louis Vuitton and she had never seen a $3,000 hand bag before.

So it’s really not an access problem, she has the debt/atm cards and checks to both our checking accounts, access to our savings, an AmEx card with no spending limit, and a Chevron card.


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