Openness to information between spouses


#1

This is a spinoff of another thread, so to avoid hijacking that thread, I started this one.

I just want to add, that my wife and I did have this talk and she has no problem with me looking at her email nor do I have a problem with her looking at mine. It is actually pretty common for her to ask me to check her email and see if there is anything interesting in it. As far as I know, there are no secrets between us and everything is open.

All of our friends know that if you tell one of us, whether in person or other media, the other will also know. When people tell me not to tell other people things, my first response is that I agree to that, but my wife and I are one and we don’t keep things from each other. We really try to take the idea on “one flesh” to heart.

Reading from the other thread, I realized, that we might be in the minority so I wanted to discuss it.


#2

DH knows my passwords, and I know his.

No, we don’t have secrets.

Although, DH has no interest in finances in the household and if I were to kick the bucket he wouldn’t be able to find anything-- but not because I’ve hidden it. :slight_smile:


#3

We do, too. Everyone knows I tell my DH everything, and they don’t care, because he’s such a quiet guy. We share everything. I still think it’s weird when someone I know says they have separate bank accounts, and they have no idea how much money their spouse has. :whacky: I’m thinking, “Well, since I don’t work for pay, mine would either be empty or I’d get an ‘allowance’?” I know some people are happy with this sort of arrangement, but it’s so strange to me. :slight_smile:

“If it’s mine, it’s ours. If it’s yours, it’s ours.”


#4

Your hubby and mine must be related. :stuck_out_tongue:


#5

We’ve been together nearly 19 years…

Since 99% of all spousal arguments involve either:
Money
Sex
Religion

The major stuff (house, cars, boat, properties, insurance) is all held jointly, with right of survivorship, and beneficiaries named in the event of either/both of us cacking… but

We each have separate “personal” emails (password unknown)
We each have separate personal checking accounts (no cross-access, or any idea of the contents)
We each have our own credit cards, in our names.
We each have/had our own personal “investments” prior to marriage, and these are still private… beneficiaries undisclosed.

If either was to ask we’d disclose information, but keeping this stuff “private” gives each of us a bit of personal freedom. Regardless of what we do, the IRS knows what’s happening very April!

Getting married doesn’t mean you give up your individuality. It means you decide to share your life with someone. (Having your own “money” also makes the errant “gift” much more appreciated… the other knows it was bought by you, not just siphoned off the family funds.)

If you can institute something as simple as having your own money to “blow” that avoids the “I can’t believe you spent (insert $$$ here) on that” argument… do it. You spent “your” money, not the family’s.

Haven’t found answers to the sex or religion problems…:wink:


#6

Do you think this would work if only one spouse earns money? I’m curious how a stay-at-home parent could have their own money to spend without either earning it themselves or being given an “allowance” by the breadwinner. Whatcha think, Jay? :smiley:


#7

In the families I know that have SAHM’s, the Mom is the one (usually) handling the finances - she’s got the time, or has this task built into her weekly routine.

An “allowance” would work. Nearly everyone has “Direct Deposit” available for wages/salary. It’s easy to set up an agreed upon amount of $$$ each payday to be transferred to her account. With electronic banking/auto transfer, this money would just “zap” into her account with no intervention.

If she chooses to spend it, invest it, or save it, or just flat “blow” it, it’s her choice! It’s just a little freedom of indulgence that prevents strife.

Again, the IRS (and you) will be held accountable every year. It’s up to the Husband & Wife to fight that battle :smiley: each year.


#8

Through out most of my 17 year marriage, my ex and I had each other’s email passwords. He would frequently call me to check his email for him when he was on the road. He had mine too. Towards the end, when I was starting to open up to others about the problems in my marriage, finally admitting that my ex was an alcoholic and abusive, I did set up a private email account.

If I ever get married again, I think I would only marry someone that I felt like I wouldn’t need to read their private mail, and who didn’t think it was their right to read mine. I think even married people have a right to privacy. I don’t need to know about every conversation they have, and they don’t need to know about every conversation I have. I do think that there is a difference between secrecy and privacy. I think that privacy is an indication of respect, and secrecy is an indication of disrespect.

I think I would want my husband to be able to have friendships where they can respect something told to them in confidence without feeling like they have to report back to me, and vice-versa. I think that I would trust them to know the difference between that and something that they should reveal to me. What’s more, if they did reveal a confidence to me, I would definitely keep it, no matter how difficult.

Although, I will say that I would want a husband that I could trust enough to be able to give the password to my email, but still know that he would not go in and read my private correspondence. Is it too much to want the best of both worlds?


#9

I think even married people have a right to privacy. I don’t need to know about every conversation they have, and they don’t need to know about every conversation I have. I do think that there is a difference between secrecy and privacy. I think that privacy is an indication of respect, and secrecy is an indication of disrespect.

Perfect explanation! :thumbsup:

There IS a difference between secrecy and privacy.


#10

Very open. The marriage vows say the two now become one and their really is no “yours” or “mine” now it becomes “ours” with love and openness as the gift to the bonds of marriage - and it is a blessed bond.

We have joint everything. Credit cards, checking accounts, savings accounts, etc. One email account we both use. It’s a commitment to the level of trust for each other and the recognition that we are a couple, husband and wife. We didn’t give up our own privacy - we embraced the new team spirit and its quite liberating actually.

Disagree with Jay2 on some of the issues. The reason most couples have those maritial issues noted is because of the perception of “mine” and “yours”. In a marriage those terms really don’t exist unless you are talking about clothes. Separate investment accounts with unknown beneficiaries designated? I just can’t imagine that being a commitment to the union.


#11

My husband and I tell each other everything. I can’t and don’t want to keep a secret from him and vice versa. I truly do feel like we are one. From the time our courtship became serious, we shared all our thoughts and beliefs with each other. Like 1ke, I take care of the finances, though. It became much easier once we combined our accounts. (We’ll be married four years this August!!! :extrahappy: ) He was doing the finances when we first got married, and after a year, he asked me to take over since he wasn’t very good at keeping a register. We know each other’s passwords and I’ll ask him to check my emails once and while. We do give each other privacy and alone time, too, and he won’t peruse my journals. He knows that when we get into an argument, I write out all my frustrations in there, but he also knows that I will tell him what I wrote. I just need the time to write my feelings and calm down.


#12

Quote:
Although, I will say that I would want a husband that I could trust enough to be able to give the password to my email, but still know that he would not go in and read my private correspondence. Is it too much to want the best of both worlds?

Good, Dulcissima! You’re learning boundaries! Which is hard to have after an abusive relationship.

I was one of those who shared everything. Not having my own income, it was no problem. We all shared, right?

Eventually, he became very secretive. And he set up his own accounts and siphoned off money. And since I was a SAHM I didn’t have any to siphon off. Then he left and cut me off the joint credit cards. (I had my own credit before marriage, and he insisted that the two were one and we should both be on accounts jointly or why be married. So I gave up my credit and he put me on his cards.)

I now have my own credit again and it’s very good. I will never surrender it again. And I would never advise a daughter to give up her own accounts.

A yours/mine/ours situation is healthier in my opinion, because it means a wife won’t become a financial victim of a cheating/abusive spouse. Sad to say, my personal experience has totally ruined all my dreamy ethereal illusions about mutual trust.

I believe if there is a need for secrecy there is already a problem. Privacy is another thing. But a spouse with nothing to hide would offer information.


#13

We have joint everything. Credit cards, checking accounts, savings accounts, etc. One email account we both use. It’s a commitment to the level of trust for each other and the recognition that we are a couple, husband and wife. We didn’t give up our own privacy - we embraced the new team spirit and its quite liberating actually.

That’s great, and it works for you…

My wife & I were both fiercely independent personalities when we met. Both of us had fought hard battles for independence (be it personal or financial). But both of us had a hole to fill… a companion and family. We each filled this need in eachother, but realized that our own independence was still a need. Hence our compromise.

It all comes out in the wash at the end of the year (except for the “beneficiary unknowns”). I really don’t care about that. Neither does she. These were our personal dalliances before we met. If they succeed or fail it’s our business.

Just a few years ago my wife sold off a bunch of stagnant stock shares - used the money for our vacation expenses. We could have easily drawn these funds from joint, but “They’re not doing anything, haven’t done anything… lets go somewhere!”. It’ll be our luck that they were like a little company called “MicroSoft”… back in 1982 :eek:


#14

He knows all my passwords and I know all his not because we feel like we have to tell each other but because we are both lazy and use the same 2 for everything :slight_smile: I have permissions and access personally to stuff he doesn’t on other forums. He respect my privacy to not view them.

We have joint checking accounts and talk about all money stuffs. We do have “blow” budget for each of us. I don’t like the term allowance in marriage it is condescending and implies all sorts of other issues. I’m think separate checking accounts is a bad idea. My favorite financial guys says, “The preacher said I pronounce you man and wife, not a joint venture!”


#15

I’m in agreement with the yours mine and ours idea.

My boyfriend and I have had long discussions regarding finances after seeing friends make some really horrible decisions.

We agreed that when we got married, we would have a joint checking account into which 2/3s of each of our checks would go into.

The other third is for us to do whatever with. I don’t want him screaming at me about another pair of shoes, and I don’t want to storm off in a huff when he comes home with some random electronics that I can’t figure out how to use.

We won’t look at each others mail,…well… like right now cable, electric and gas are in my name. I wouldn’t care if he opened those. We’re both using the service, so he could check it. But I would be VERY upset if he opened a letter or a credit card bill that was solely mine on purpose.

Email, is private just like mail. There are things that I would certainly not feel comfortable sharing with him. 90 percent of my personal emails is stuff from my girls, and he would be bored to death by most of the stuff, but, some stuff is confidential, not to mention I’m a social worker and bound by HIPPA so my email is strictly off limits. He’s in the defense industry, and although classified documents are not allowed on email, there is some stuff that is semi sensitive and I can’t see that either. The rest of his emails are about hockey which flat out puts me to sleep.

I trust him, but I don’t need to read over his shoulder and vice versa. Same with money.


#16

I think this thread would be very good for engaged couples or newlyweds to read. Because of all the different ideas, engaged couples should definately discuss this sort of thing before marriage.

Everybody should do what is comfortable with their marriage as long as both spouses agree. While I don’t agree with the way other people arrange their separate finances, I can see how that could work if both spouses are putting the marriage before their personal wants.

I have been impressed with all of the responses because people have been very civil in their discussions.


#17

In my opinion when you’re married there has to be complete openness. When you start having a “private” life that your spouse isn’t part of you’re already beginning to fracture the marriage. Having individual credit cards and separate banking accounts become the basis for distrust and become a temptation. Without the means to hide an affair fewer people would have them. The two either become one flesh or they don’t, there are no exceptions for what compartments of yourself that you’re willing share and which ones you want to keep for yourself.


#18

Having individual credit cards and separate banking accounts become the basis for distrust and become a temptation.

Only when you cannot trust the other party in the 1st place. They are opened after the problem has started.

I am an individual. My wife is an individual. We are two people that choose to share life together.

Marriage bonded us Spiritually, not in earthly physical terms.

Our “earthly” individual possessions maintain our independence. This resides under our obligation as mother & father, and these assets are succumb to need as the family requires.

It just kills me that nobody here will trust their own spouse with having money that isn’t allocated/dictated!


#19

We have combined everything, yes, but that doesn’t mean that DH and I don’t spontaneously buy things without “asking” each other. :smiley: We know how much “fun money” we have, and just communicate later (“Hey, Honey, I bought some new soft-shoes for the baby today, roughly $25”). Sometimes, it’s beforehand like, “How much extra do we have this month? I was thinking of going shopping for jeans.” I don’t know, it just works for us, I guess. I certainly don’t feel deprived of power or trust or anything by not having my own accounts. Whatever you’re comfortable with, I guess.


#20

It is not a matter of trust, we don’t see or feel the need to have separate accounts and I trust my spouse to make purchases out of our joint account.

I can say the same thing about having separate accounts. They don’t trust their own spouse not with their money so they have to have separate accounts. I don’t think that is the case, but it is easy to make that generalization.

There are two very basic, but very different mindsets, both are valid and both can have issues. The joint accounts works for us, and the separate accounts work for you.


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