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Asked by Last Updated:

Am I doing something wrong? Am I controlling?

My wife and I have been married 8 years and are both trustworthy and responsible in how we spend from our middle income finances.
I've been self employed for 30 years and pay all the household bills including utilities, insurances for both us (autos, health, long term care, WHOLE LIFE, homeowners), etc.
I also pay credit card balances IN FULL for monthly expenses including food, gas, clothing, entertainment, etc So I provide my wife with all the aforementioned and an unlimited credit card and a debit card for cash withdrawals.
Yet my wife is telling me that I am controlling if I don't fulfill her wishes: She is asking me to "pay her as my wife" a monthly amount of money for her to save separately herself for something in the future.
But when I ask her, "What would you like to get or save for?", she has no answer for me, or she says "I don't know right now.
I enjoy saving".
Is it proper for my wife to be asking me of this? Am I controlling?

2 Answers

Alice Answered:

For the first two years of my marriage, I worked part-time but didn't make nearly enough as my husband did. I insisted on paying half of our bills and buying all the groceries, which left me with basically no spending money.
I remember thinking, even though I greatly appreciated how much he took care of our finances, that it made me jealous that he could buy whatever he wanted but I couldn't.
It wasn't his fault, of course. I needed to get a better job. But all the same, it made me feel left out and I remember longing to have my own savings so I could surprise him with a trip or go shopping for clothes.
It's shallow, sure, but I see where your wife is coming from.
That being said, I don't think you're being controlling in the slightest.
Your wife is a grown woman and should not be afforded an "allowance" just for being your wife, especially if you are giving her unlimited access to your finances.
I would sit down and talk with her. Ask her why she's feeling the way she is.
If she's really feeling left out, as I had been early in my marriage, why not suggest that she find a part-time job that would give her access to her own finances?
If there is something in particular that she wants to save for (a trip, a new purse, etc.) why not ask her about it and slowly help her achieve the goal?
There's a useful article about financial communication that you and your wife may find helpful to go over together. You can find it here: https://www.marriage.com/advice/finance/how-to-overcome-financial-conflict/
Good luck!

Kforrester Answered:

No, I don't think you are controlling at all. I do find it odd that she would ask you for a monthly allowance when you provide her with everything already. Is she not working?

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