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Should there be boundaries in marriages?

 
 
Reply Mon 13 Sep, 2021 06:09 am
I was listening to a podcast this weekend and this topic came up: boundaries in marriages. The hosts seemed to be at odds on the subject based on a letter or DM that was sent in. This couple has been together some 20+ years. When they met they both had their own bank accounts but when they got married they kept their own accounts but set up a joint account for bills and household things. Several weeks ago the guy told his wife that he was running a little low on funds in his personal account and he only had so much left. Since then it was like the wife has been watching everything he was spending. Granted, he wasn't going out and buying power tools or anything like that. He may have just bought some things to finish off dinner one night or something like that. He was apparently out one Fri night running an errand on they way home he called him to ask where he was. He said he was on his way home. She said she had something to ask but it could wait till he walked in the house. The minute the guy walked into the house she hit him up with this. She said that several days ago he mentioned that he was low on funds but he still managed to be able to go buy things and run around. He told her that he was low on funds but he had ear marked the money in his account. He set aside some for gas, some for groceries, etc. What he was left with was the reason he said he was running low on funds. The wife wasn't believing what he was saying and feels that he is hiding money from her. They got into an argument and he made the statement, "get out of my pockets!" He said that he doesn't silently watch his wife to see what she's spending. If she goes and gets her hair done or nails done then that is coming out of her money and not the joint account. The husband said that he hasn't asked her for one dime to pay for anything he's bought so why does it matter to her what he has in his personal account?

The female host of the podcast sided with the wife to say that she needs to know what he's spending his money on and if he says he's running low on funds but can still buy things then he must be hiding something. The male host sided with the guy and said that if they've never co-mingled their funds, as long as their bills are getting paid, then who cares? One caller stated that the wife doesn't respect boundaries. Simply because they are married doesn't mean she has to have access or know everything the husband does or what he spends his personal money on. It's not like he said he was broke and the wife floated him some money but then he comes home with a new motorcycle or anything. They had a major argument over this and haven't spoken to each other since. Should there be boundaries even in marriages and does the wife not respect them?
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Type: Question • Score: 4 • Views: 255 • Replies: 10
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neptuneblue
 
  2  
Reply Mon 13 Sep, 2021 06:37 am
@StarbucksFreak,
Yes, there are boundaries even in marriage.

But be careful about assigning blame to either side though. The husband was truthful when he said he was low on funds. And the wife was truthful when she said she's concerned that he's not acting like it.

With a long term marriage, habits are learned. He didn't seem to be financially struggling all this time so why now? I think that's a legit question and should be answered accordingly.

However, blowing this out of proportion and yelling and not speaking to each other leads me to think there's more turmoil going on in their marriage than just this.
StarbucksFreak
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Sep, 2021 07:51 am
@neptuneblue,
No, I'm not assigning blame on either of them. My question was a simple one. Are there boundaries in a marriage that neither of them should cross. He was truthful when he said he was low on funds simply because he had set aside a certain amount for gas to make it through till pay day and he set aside a certain amount for groceries and things like that. Obviously the guy wasn't going out and buying steak or lobster but the wife feels that since he was still doing little things then he obviously had more money than he was leading on.

Do you not think the wife was pushing a little too hard on this? She obviously had her own account and money and if he started watching everything just to throw it up in has face this would have been a totally different situation. It doesn't appear that they pool all the monies together into one account so why is she so concerned with what he does with his money? Again, he didn't say he was low on funds then came home with a new $200 power tool, or her decided to put new rims on his car. And it doesn't look like he even asked her for anything to tide him over.

I'm not married so I don't know the rules there but even when I'm dating someone there are still boundaries. No, you're not going to look through my phone. No, you're not going to get my social media passwords or anything else like that. I'm not pointing blame but I think she may have crossed a line here.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Sep, 2021 10:40 am
@StarbucksFreak,
Quote:
The male host sided with the guy and said that if they've never co-mingled their funds, as long as their bills are getting paid, then who cares?


Agreed 100%. And that is coming from someone who is married and we have a joint bank account and no separate account with her husband.

Every marriage and couple works differently. This couple has been doing this since they were married over 20 years and it has worked. You can't change the rules suddenly like that - they agreed to it before and it seems they have been perfectly happy with the arrangement. It is a bit unfair to expect her husband to suddenly change direction. Yeah there are boundaries -- you are a couple but you are also each an individual and you should respect each other.

The only part I can see on her side - is if he was asking for some huge amount of money from her...if it was like $50 or something then who cares? It doesn't really say the amount so if he came to her and asked her for $5k yeah then I could see her being concerned what the h*ll he is spending his money on.

In general it seems the wife is changing the rules suddenly but it is tough to say with the info we are given....if he has never asked for some money from her then yeah it could be a red flag --- maybe wife is thinking he has some young hottie that he is giving expensive gifts to? If all of a sudden it appears his behavior is changing a bit --- maybe elsewhere -- and this asking for more money is the straw that broke the camel's back? Or simply if it is a change in behavior with his money -- he always had plenty and suddenly it seems he is low on cash? Could he have a gambling problem? Or something else? He sees her behavior changing by her reaction but maybe she changed because of this money behavior?

But yeah there should be boundaries - but also respect for each other which would include the wife voicing her concerns without it being a fight and him not snapping at her because she is concerned.
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Sep, 2021 10:50 am
@Linkat,
The OP said: " The husband said that he hasn't asked her for one dime to pay for anything he's bought so why does it matter to her what he has in his personal account?"

I agree, it's none of her business. It's his personal, private bank account. He'll know not to tell her that again!
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Sep, 2021 11:07 am
@Mame,
Ah - I was misinterpreting this I took it to mean he asked her for some money until his next pay check. It may have been he was just saying that as part of normal every day conversation.

If we had a split account like that - I might have answered well what the heck are you spending your money on to run low as in 20 years you never have run low.

But basically that is just part of a conversation not necessarily checking every thing he is doing or spending on going forward.
StarbucksFreak
 
  0  
Reply Mon 13 Sep, 2021 11:57 am
@Linkat,
No, the husband never asked her for anything, not even $5. He just told her he was running low on funds. I took that to mean that he looked at what he had and, as the DM stated, he ear marked what he had to use.

Ex. Say he started out with $150 till payday.

Of the $150 he set aside 60 for gas in his car. That leaves him with $90.

Of that $90 he sets aside $50 for groceries or small things that may come up.

That leaves him with $40 now. Of the $150 he has in the bank only $40 is what he hasn't designated for anything so he only has $40. He tells the wife that he only has $40 left. But now when he goes to the store to buy some groceries, he's pulling that from the $50 he had set aside. The wife sees groceries coming in and assumes he's got more money than he told her so in her mind he's lying.

The real question is, does the wife have much of a say so on his funds given that what he's spending is not coming out of the household joint account?
0 Replies
 
StarbucksFreak
 
  0  
Reply Mon 13 Sep, 2021 11:59 am
@Mame,
And that's the thing, if he goes to the store to get some coffee or comes back with a McDonald's combo then she's making a mental note. "I thought you said you didn't have any money?"
0 Replies
 
StarbucksFreak
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Sep, 2021 12:04 pm
@Linkat,
You could even look at it as he has a set amount in his joint account that he doesn't want to go lower than and he was coming close to that point. I wouldn't say he was counting change or anything but if this has been their agreement all these years where she kept her account and he kept his then she now has no right to question him on what's in his, unless she's going to be willing to share what's in hers . . . . . and, what she spends her money on.
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Sep, 2021 01:22 pm
@StarbucksFreak,
I think we've done this to death, don't you?
0 Replies
 
manpreetrockerji
 
  -2  
Reply Sat 18 Sep, 2021 02:38 am
@StarbucksFreak,
When you establish your boundaries, and are respectful of your partner's boundaries, you can both feel safe and secure and will more likely experience love toward each other. Marriage and family boundaries are as guidelines that define how you'd like to be treated by others.
0 Replies
 
 

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