Money can be a difficult subject, and in romantic relationships it can definitely be a huge buzzkill...
Bringing up financial struggles, debt, or addressing the elephant in the room that one person in a couple makes significantly more money than the other one can be awkward. However, it's incredibly important to be on the same page when it comes to saving, spending, or splitting household bills and other shared expenses in a marriage. Lending people money can be a risk if you expect to get the money back, but it can also be a great way to help someone through a hard time. While it's not the most fun part of being in love, being transparent about finances is often critical to a healthy relationship, and it's better to be honest up front before you're surprised down the road.
So, when a recent Reddit user decided to consult the internet's moral compass (Reddit's Am I the As*hole?) about a money-related argument she got into with her husband, people were ready to offer advice.
AITA For being mad at my husband who was going to give away $10,000 to his sister without even asking me about it?
On Saturday morning, I noticed my husband was sending a lot of text messages back and forth. He is usually not much of a texter. He left the phone next to me to charge while he as in the other room. The phone kept lighting up with text messages when I decided to open it up to see what the big discussion was about.
I know some couples view it as big breach of trust to read through a significant other's phone, but my husband and I do it regularly so this was not a huge invasion of privacy on my end. We both have nothing to hide and it has never been an issue before.
Anyway, of course I saw something on the phone that I shouldn't have that got me upset. For background, my husband is 34, I am 32, and his sister is 31 (she's in this story). Husband and I have been together for 10 years, married for the last four years. We are all college educated with jobs now. My husband and I each make good salaries around $150k each. We own our house. I still have about $60,000 in student loans I am working to pay off (luckily low interest rates so I just pay the minimum). We have about $40k liquid in savings. So we are doing good financially but still need to build up more savings as we will probably try to start a family in the next 1-2 years and want to be prepared for an emergency and have a rainy day fund. Anyway, my husbands sister is trying to buy a 1 bedroom apartment in NYC. I saw in the text messages that my husband offered to give her $10,000 for her down payment. The money in our savings is OUR money. Our bank accounts are 100% combined. My husband manages 99% of the finances because I prefer not to deal with it. However, it is understood we consult each other regularly on major purchases.
He did not ask me if I was OK with him giving this money to his sister. She didn't ask, he offered. I immediately confronted him (calmly) and was like, "Hey - Did you tell your sister you would give her $10,000?" He said yes. I asked him when he was going to tell me. He said, he probably wasn't. He figured I wouldn't notice and said he didn't think I would care about "the details". I said, "Um, do you think $10,000 is a detail?" He said, "No, that is lot of money. I should have told you about it. Are you OK with it?" I said, "No, I don't think I am."
Anyway we decided in that moment not to give the money. He said he would tell his sister and she would understand. He wanted the issue to go away after that.
But I am still mad. I said this was a big breach of trust. I let him control all finances because I trust him to never, ever take advantage of my ignorance. Shouldn't you be able to trust your husband? So now, I don't have that full amount of trust I had before and I want to open my own bank account (which frankly, I should have anyway). But AITA (Am I the As*hole) for being totally upset and feeling betrayed about this? I grew up poor and $10,000 is a ton of money to me (I mean, to most people right?!). I am horrified he would consider gifting it away and not even telling me.
Here's what the jury of internet strangers had to say:
When you have joint savings it's not a single person's to do what they want with it. My wife and I have our individual savings and a joint which is accumulating for our future home. He's the as*hole for making a decision about the money without you. - cheffyjayp
Makes you wonder what else he has bought without you knowing. He's too comfortable giving away 10k.. thats a huge amount. - yana010
Watch your account balances. He may still give her the money. Good luck. - Snoo-91342
This was intentional, a lie by omission. Kind of makes you wonder what else he hasn't told you. Perhaps therapy might help? - CincoDeMayonnaise55
That’s verging on financial infidelity. He was completely out of line and being deceitful - Britishcrosswordlady
Unless you’re super wealthy, $10k is not insignificant, and he absolutely should have talked with you about it. I would feel completely betrayed.
My husband and I have mostly separate finances, and I manage most of the bills and savings. I wouldn’t dream of moving that much money around without talking about it. I paid off my mom’s credit card once (5k) with money from my own savings, and we still talked about it first bc it affects our emergency/liquid funds.
I wouldn’t blame you if you opened separate accounts after this. - catastrophized
So, there you have it!
Everyone agreed that she is not in the wrong at all for being upset with her husband for not telling her his plans to loan his sister money, and most people advised her to set up a separate account as soon as possible as he may be hiding other secrets.
Later, she edited the post:
When I got home from work I sat down with the husband over dinner. Told him we needed to talk through this and make sure we on the same page. We agreed he was a moron and made new rules for why this can never happen again. Agreed we will discuss any purchase over $500. No exceptions. He listened and apologized and explained his side of the story. Maybe I’m an idiot but it does add up. I don’t think he is a nefarious liar. He has a big heart and wanted to help his sister. He was still wrong. He still fucked up. But I can forgive this. Basically, yes it was a red flag, I’ll learn from this, but I don’t think I need to hop off a sinking ship into a lifeboat just yet.