Is it normal for your spouse to want to keep earnings a secret?

kdeleasaApril 22, 2002

I recently remarried 1 1/2 years ago. I wish now that I would have insisted on better communication before hand. I recently closed my retail store and am working from home. (This was my decision, but I also felt pressured, by my husband who thought it was a waste of time.) I am having a hard time making enough money to pay my bills and keep up with what I need for myself and my two kids. I don't expect my husband to support them, but I do feel that it would be nice if we had a joint checking account at the very least.

He does not seem to want me to know how much he makes or see his pay stubs. (They stay in his brief case.)

I signed our tax forms, but he just thrust them at me with a pen and asked me to sign, so he could mail them off, and -they were gone. He keeps the copies also.

D travels alot, and I worry that if something ever happened to him, I wouldn't be able to pay all of our bills, since I have no access to any money that he has in his account.

I really feel this is not much of a "joint" marriage, and I'm having a hard time reconciling myself to it.

Am I being unfair, demanding or nosey? When discussing this he told me he didn't realize he had to discuss his personal affairs with me. I have asked him how much he makes and I am not going to do it again, because it seems to make him uncomfortable. I tried to point out though that it would be nice to at least know where we stand financially.

How do others handle this? I just don't feel that this is a normal relationship.


Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

No, that's not normal. Depending on the state you live in, the money he makes might even legally be considered half yours. Most married couples are open about the money they earn and spend, and most make decisions about money together. Many couples combine their finances entirely - although when they have separate children or previous debts, that can complicate it and some people will keep separate accounts to deal with those kind of expenses. But honesty and openness are still essential.

Who owns your home and cars? Who pays the bills for things you share, like garbage collection and electricity?

This is a bad situation. I would be worried if I were you. Who knows what he is doing with his money. I would go see a counselor to try to figure out a way to work through this with your husband.

One way to bring it up might be to discuss making a large purchase together, like a home if you don't have one, or a vacation home or a boat or a remodel. Maybe he would feel less attacked if he thought there was a more convenient reason for you to discuss income and credit.

Good luck and bless you.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2002 at 7:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

No, it is not normal. DH and I have seperate accounts but we know exactly what each other makes. We make joint decisions on all big ticket items and financial planning types of items.

How can you plan for your future if you don't know what your base is? Also, remember that by signing a tax return that you didn't review, you still are responsible for any errors or other problems. I am responsible for doing the taxes in our house but I force DH to sit down and go through them with me as a double check.

IMHO this actually sounds more like a symptom to a bigger problem. You might want to look at your whole relationship and see if there is a theme that his actions are supporting.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2002 at 7:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Possibly in time you will be able to discuss this together, seems to me he feels threatened if he discloses his earnings, maybe a past relationship makes him do that.... it's never too late to improve communication and move forward, don't give up. Someone said above you might own half his money but you are also responsible for half his debts, so a clarification would be in order and both would be happy and comfortable....once things are in the open, you will feel better, it has to be a win win situation.....

    Bookmark   April 22, 2002 at 11:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I appreciate your comments. I really need to make a point about my husband in his defense and not sound like I am maligning him. He IS a truly wonderful man! We moved into a beautiful new triple wide 2800 sq. ft. home in November. (I owned the property and a mobile home free and clear which we sold and replaced with the new one.) He has been very good about paying our bills and keeping things current. He isn't stingy or cheap, just very closed mouth when it comes to money. This makes me feel guilty in a way, and thinking maybe it isn't my business to know more about our money situation. I have a general idea of what he makes per year, but he has recieved several raises, the amounts of which he doesn't like to divulge. After my first marriage and my ex husbands irresponsibility with money, I am NOT going to argue or let money be an issue this time around. I just feel it is important to share some of these things together, and feel like we're a team working toward a common goal. I do know that I am not wasteful or reckless with money. In fact I'm quite a bit more thrifty than he is.
I am at a loss as to how to talk to him about this, because he really shies away from this conversation when it comes up, so I have pretty much given it up altogether.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2002 at 11:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

See though, while you own that property free and clear, if he has problems with his finances and someone comes to collect, they could take your property, because when you are married, it becomes both of your property. I am not saying that he necessarily is in debt. It is just that the choices that either of you make affect each other. So you need to know what the choices that he is making are.

Maybe he feels like he doesn't make enough, and he is embarrassed. Maybe he has old debts that he is trying to pay off, and he is embarassed about those. Maybe he is helping to support someone and thinks you would object, like children from a former marriage or his parents or siblings. Or maybe he just doesn't realize that most couples share their finances.

Could you explain to him that you don't care how much he makes, but you need to know about any debts he might have, because they are your debts too, or that you want to start retirement planning and you want to work on it together? Maybe if you brought it up in a minor way, he would agree to go to a marriage counselor and work out a plan for sharing your finances that you would both be comfortable with.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2002 at 12:39AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

He makes good money, I know it is around $50,000.+ per year or more. He has no other children. I don't know what he pays on credit card bills, and I think he only has one loan that he is paying on. He doesn't have car payments since he drives a company car and all insurance, up keep and all is paid for through the company. I have lived so long on very little, having been self employed in a retail store, that the amount of money he makes is of little importance to me.
All those things aside, I am not sure why this is such a hard thing for him, or why he feels it is something that is not my business to know. I don't ask him for money or anything. I just watch what I spend and only get the things I really need for the kids and myself. Again though, it would be nice to have a household account that I could go to for some of the things that come up, while he is working away from home, which is at least 2 weeks or more out of every month.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2002 at 1:01AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

sounds strange, i would have thought you two would have discussed fianances b-4 marriage, as who pays what, how things are handled etc. but what do i know my wife handles all the money,bills,checking and banking accnts. but she does inform me of whats going on, so i have some idea where our money is. maybe he was burned in a previous relationship.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2002 at 4:04AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Your situation doesn't sound normal. When people try to hide things it always makes me suspicious. He's your husband, why is he hiding things from you? I don't see the need for secrecy. I would ask him straight out why he feels the need to hide things from his wife? And yes, in response to his sarcastic remark about sharing his personal affairs with you...YES he does have to. You are his wife! My husband and I have joint accounts, we talk openly and freely about all aspects of money. We don't hide our money discussions from our children also. They are in on talks about large purchases,vacations, when we have to tighten our belts,etc. I would not have closed down my business just because my husband thought it "was a waste of time". If you enjoy what you were doing then reopen your business. This is just not a normal situation. NancyLouise

    Bookmark   April 23, 2002 at 6:40AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Financial disagreements like this can harm a marriage. You need to find a non-confrontational way to just talk it out so you get to air your feelings, and hopefully he will understand.

Some people advocate 100% of moneys to be joint. For sheer reasons of differing balancing habits, DH and I maintain separate accounts, and we are each assigned a set of bills to take care of.

We feel that either one of us could be laid off (we are in IT), or I may want to stay home and be a mom. So I pay all bills that will disappear if I'm not working (i.e. housecleaning, daycare, etc). He pays the rest. This kind of gets us used to living on one income.

Note: Although our accounts are separate, we each have the pins, etc to each other's accounts. Not that we are nosey, more like we are simply open and trusting.

I am his second wife, and I think it gives him a sense of security by having complete openness and no secrets.

You are married, so household finances are his business. I understand that the children are not biologically his, but he married a MOM! So I think taking good care of the stepchildren, financially and emotionally, is a given.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2002 at 7:19AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I too, think this is a symptom of a bigger problem. Although there is more than one way to combine finances, both parties should be aware of what comes in, what goes out and how much extra there ise. Both parties should be aware of the assets and liabilities of each other.

IMO, your husband married you knowing there were children in the picture. When you marry someone you marry thier entire past and if that includes children then providing basic necessities for the kids should be considered a normal household expense. I can understand if he doesn't want to provide certain things, but basic necessities for the kids should be considered no different from basic necessities for you and for him.

We pool all our money, but I can see why that wouldn't work for some people. For your marriage to succeed you need to know all about his finances and he needs to know all about yours. If you do not get this settled your marriage will fail.


    Bookmark   April 23, 2002 at 8:37AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My husband used to be very embarassed about credit card bills, and wouldn't share them. He also balked at the idea of a joint account for years. I always thought it was a bit of a control thing, and something he needed to feel comfortable in his skin.

However, even in the midst of that, I -always- knew how much he made, what sort of debts he had (just not exact amounts) and the tax returns were absolutely NOT a secret.

Also, he's very smart about financial responsibilities, I wasn't worried about him letting the credit cards slip, it was more a "personal space" thing. (FYI, he's relaxed a great deal over the years, I pay all the bills out of a joint account now.)

Not seeing your own tax returns though, whoah. I'm sorry but that's messed up. We all have our secrets and some of us need them more than others, but that could potentially land you in serious trouble.

And, yes, I second what others have said by asking, what's up with this not supporting the kids? I realize that blended family situations are difficult, but anyone working with the assumption of, "I married so-and-so but not so-and-so's kids" has some blinders on.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2002 at 10:12AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I would be concerned because your husband's tight-lipped approach to money would indicate to me that he has the tendency to be secretive about other things. He does not have the right to shove a tax form in front of you and expect you to sign it without knowing what's on it. If he lied on his taxes (of course he probably didn't -- but "if") then you would be a party to it. If I were you I would have refused to sign it until you looked it over.

To me, this approach to money in a relationship is not at all healthy. It tends to place money at a higher level of importance than the other person.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2002 at 12:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You have a legal liability here as well.

Do you know that if he does something illegal on your tax return, YOU are legally liable, and can be jailed or have your future wages seizes to pay any penalties, etc.?

Your signature there is legally binding.

" he didn't realize he had to discuss his personal affairs with me." but he can SLEEP with you? You can let him enter your body, but he needn't discuss his PERSONAL affairs w/ you? Sex is about as personal as it gets, and I'd be mighty p.o.'d that he had this attitude.

Also, you're married. He doesn't have any personal affairs anymore. The TWO of you have personal affairs.

I'd also be a little worried about the control issues--pressuring you to close your retail store, for example. "This makes me feel guilty in a way, and thinking maybe it isn't my business to know more about our money situation." Is HE making you feel guilty about this? That's a control issue, abuser sort of thing to do.

It's one thing for him to have a reluctance to go into these details, esp. if he was never married before, and it's normal for him to forget to keep you fully informed. But if when you ask, he makes it sound like it's YOUR fault, and there's something wrong w/ you, he's got serious control issues. As in, he wants to control you.

"After my first marriage and my ex husbands irresponsibility with money, I am NOT going to argue or let money be an issue this time around." I'd think this would make you want money to be a VERY open topic this time around!

I think you need some serious time spent talking about these issues w/ a "coach"--a marriage counselor.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   April 23, 2002 at 1:08PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Do you socialize with any of his co-workers or their spouses?

I have known a few people on commission and one person who was an independent contractor who kept the amount of their incomes sheltered because if word got out to co-workers they would go to bosses and raise a fuss. (In these cases the employer urged all employees not to share the amount of their contracts and commissions.)

    Bookmark   April 23, 2002 at 1:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have a friend who was in a similar situation to yours for an 11 year marriage. Her husband handled all finances, taxes, etc. "they" - meaning he - owned and ran 3 businesses, and she was a stay at home mom. Last year, she decided to leave him. It all came out in the divorce that he had cheated on their taxes, kept double books for the businesses, drained their money, and they had no savings.
He also had a "girlfriend" on the side whom he was supporting. She was evicted from their house when it was forclosed by the mortgage company. All she got out of the divorce was the kids and $30,000. The 3 businesses grossed over $1M a year, he had just mismanaged them and run them into the ground.

I'm not saying your husband is the same, but if he's being so secretive, he might have something to hide.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2002 at 1:50PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hmmm, has he been married before? It may be that he was in a prior relationship where he felt like he was taken advantage of because of money, or something. Either way, this is not normal. If he dies, though, everything of his will be yours -- assets and debts (since he has no kids, though there could be some things like social security that a prior wife could be entitled to). This is something every married couple should talk about. Tell him you'd like to set up life insurance policies for BOTH of you, to make sure the other person can pay off the debt, pay for the funeral, etc. And, um, "personal affairs" SHOULD be shared in a marriage. That doesn't mean you have to pool your money and share everything -- lots of people have separate finances. But you do have a right to know. You should never sign a tax form without knowing what's on it!

    Bookmark   April 23, 2002 at 3:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

There should be no secrets or mine and yours when it comes to money and you are married. I am a stay at home mother. I am responsible for all finances in our home though my husband makes the money. We discuss major descisions as a couple, and don't ask one another for permission to make reasonable purchases. Our money is just as together as we are. If my man ever tried to hide anything from me he would have a problem on his hands. Secrecy has no place in a marriage and if it does, someone is hiding something. I wouldn't put up with it.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2002 at 3:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Is his family the same way? He may have grown up and been taught that this is the way family finances should be.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2002 at 4:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

When DH & I were first married we kept separate checking accounts. Both of us knew what the other made though. Since I do the banking & bill paying the separate accounts got to be a hassle, so we opened a joint one. If your husband pays some bills & you others, you may want separate accounts. Neither income should be secret. It does seem from your husband's actions that he either has an emotional problem or something to hide. Maybe something or someone in his past caused him not to trust anyone else with financial issues. Counseling may help in that case.

Some people are very private about their finances, as I am. But I'm private about it with other people, NOT my husband. As for an employer urging you to not share your salary, I understand that - with other employees. But certainly not with a spouse! A marriage is a partnership & both partners should be aware of what's going on. You're married & it's not "mine" or "yours", it's "ours". Talley Sue made a good point about the legal liability. There is an "innocent spouse rule" but I'm not sure how one would go about proving to the IRS that they knew nothing if there was a problem.

Tell DH that he needs to deal with this & definitely don't sign another tax return until you look at it. If he won't let you see it, refuse to sign.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2002 at 5:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have to agree with the other posters. Your situation is NOT normal.

My husband and I allow each other only 1 secret: when we buy presents for the other.

Can you search the home while he's at work? Maybe you could find where he stores his financial papers?

I suggest you confront him somehow. You need to know what financial situation your're in. You need to be able to plan for the future. Do you have a retirement plan? Does he? Are you the beneficiary for his IRAs, 401ks, etc?

If you don't want to confront him yourself openly, perhaps you could do it in a round-about way. My financial advisor keeps reminding us that he works on comission, and he needs more clients to keep his income coming in. Can you get you hubby to see a FA together? This way you have an outsider helping you to plan for your retirement. Of course, if he doesn't let his own wife see his papers, a FA might not work....

    Bookmark   April 23, 2002 at 9:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi kdeleasa,

You've certainly got an earful (eyeful?) of feedback here...

If you're sincerely concerned (and I believe you have not only every RIGHT to be, but quite frankly I agree with Talley-Sue that you're in a legal pickle if you are NOT concerned...) then here's a solution for you;

Get an IRS 4506 information request form. It's available online at the IRS website or at your local library. Simply fill in your information, request the last 3 year's tax information be sent to you, sign it and send it off. IF YOU don't get the mail at home, have the return address sent to a friend's house.

The IRS will send you the last 3 years' of income tax returns as-filed. You should be able to find out at least SOMETHING about what you've been committing your signatures to.

As for the relationship, I think both of you are in sincere trouble. Ignoring money is no way to live your life... definitely get your knowledge and act together right away!

Dave Donhoff
National Money Guy

    Bookmark   April 23, 2002 at 9:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Speaking as a man, I would not keep my salary secret from my wife, unless she just didn't want to know. And as for his comment about his "personal affairs" not being your business, the other posters are right. Isn't that the DEFINITION of MARRIAGE? If his personal affairs are not your business, then why even get married? The only reason to get married is to share "personal affairs".

While I think it's OK to have certain secrets, money and bills (that you are both responsible for, by the way, regardless of whose name their in) should NOT be secret.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2002 at 1:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Let me tell you a story... I was also like you. My husband (now ex)was a stock broker/financial planner. I was a stay-at-home mom and worked part-time. He was a little secretive about the finances, but I had spending money of my own, and I figured he was a professional, so I was lazy and stupid and didn't pay attention. He paid the bills, did the taxes, (I signed them much like you did)and occasioanlly re-financed the morgage (said we were getting a better rate, please sign here.) We had other problems, and we divorced. Hey, guess what -- there was nothing left! The house was morgaged to the hilt, we were in complete and total debt, and I left the marriage with nothing, no job, no retirement account, no property. Six years later, I have a good job (lots of hard work), and a very small retirement account that I hope will grow quickly. I also own my own house, and am able to send my son to college in the fall. My ex-husband has continued his lifestyle and is now declaring bankrupsky. My advice -- get a clue!

    Bookmark   April 24, 2002 at 1:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You absolutely must know about his finances, there is nothing personal about it.

Do you each have a will? Who gets what? What about life insurance? Retirement? How are you supposed to feel financially at ease and plan for the future (and the future of your kids) when you're missing 1/2 the information? Its not fun to think about, but if he dies first, you don't want any surprises. If he doesn't understand this, then I suggest you take care of your finances on your own (life insurance, wills, college fund for the kids, etc.) and to hell with contributing to his financial needs. Next time he asks for money for a large purchase, say "sorry, I paid a hefty sum into an education fund for my kids this month, I'm tapped out." Get back into your business (how dare he tell you its a waste of time!), earn your own money, invest it on your own, and tell him you will be doing your own taxes next year.

This is not the way to live a married life and love your husband, but if he won't show you his, don't show him yours. Its not personal, its wise financial planning.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2002 at 10:10AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

"Is it normal...." I can answer that with one word "NO!". Think about it, you are struggling to make ends meet for yourself and two kids, have no idea what your husband makes, AND he's away from home at least half of the month on business.

Where are his family and friends? Does he have an ex-spouse? All of these could give you clues as to why he is this way. Have you considered that he might be living a double life with relationships going on elsewhere?

Sorry, but I would INSIST that he share his financial matters with you immediately. He is taking advantage of the fact that you are fearful about conflict over money and knows that he can get away with keeping you in the dark. Another idea would be to insist that you go for some counseling together. If he refuses to go, I would say that you are own your own in this relationship.

Think about it this way, what are each of you gaining from this relationship? He apparently has a bed-partner, full-time homemaker, and someone who does not question his actions. You have a half-time compainion but must still pay the bills for you and your children, and have more questions than answers about your spouse.

I'm sorry to be blunt, but I really think that this sounds abusive in a controlling sort of way. I would think that if you could run your own business you are smart enough to be a marriage PARTNER and you deserve better!

Good luck and God bless.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2002 at 5:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

bizzybee has the key... Your husband is a dumbkopf. No reason on earth that he should keep his finances a big dark secret unless he's leading a double life. HAHA

The briefcase is the ticket... Why do you think he keeps his pay stubs in there??? You could go round to the local pub and give somebody $20 to steal if from him, without hurting him, of course.

OK, MeloDramatica over now... You're in deep kimshee... your prior "free and clear land and mobile" has now become a 'gift of marriage' once you fooled with it within the timeframe of the marriage. He owns half at least.

Your retail biz that you gave up is not a factor. You gave it up, he *could* use that as an argument about how you decided to be dependent on him and his income (don't laugh.. frigging Judge gave me, the wife, the worst settlement in history!) I sold my house after we got married (at his urging)... that then became a 'gift' to him within the marriage!... Hmmmm... somehow, that "gifted land and house" didn't appreciate at the same rate as the 'land' I bought in my own name, but allowed the biz to be erected on.

???Did he 'order' you to give up the retail biz so that you might not hear so much gossip from the townspeople?


    Bookmark   April 27, 2002 at 2:40AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Agree with everyone else...get your business up and running again PRONTO! How dare he say how you use your time when he is only in your life at best HALF of it! Look out for your own bills if you must, bank the rest...even though you consider yourself to be married, you are on your own financially and need to make sure that you and your kids will be okay whatever comes your way.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2002 at 2:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Would love to hear an update kdeleasa.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2002 at 4:23PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

YOu know, now that you folks have started talking about leading a double life, this sounds very much like those stories you hear about a guy that has two wives that don't know about each other. Just thinking out loud.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2002 at 1:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My sister was in a marriage just like this. She didn't even know where the insurance papers were in case something happened. He would just say "well, it's in the files". What files? Not at home. Maybe at his office. They ended up divorcing. She hired a good lawyer and got a decent settlement. (it could have been more)

I honestly don't understand. He KNEW you had children when you married. Did he not want to help you raise them? If he is so paranoid about personal affairs, why did he get married? I hope you will think about what everyone has said and consult an attorney. You need to be protected. You could be liable for his credit card debts, personal loans, etc. if he has you on them (even without your knowledge). You were certainly generous in "donating" your home and property to the marriage.

Be smart. If push comes to shove, honey, he is not the last man on the earth who would love you...

    Bookmark   May 1, 2002 at 11:55AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think in the time I have spent on the forum, this is the first time I have seen all the posters in 100% agreement. kind of scary!

But seriously, best of luck to you and let us know if you make any headway into taking joint ownership of financial affairs in the household!

    Bookmark   May 1, 2002 at 11:57AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I am a former probation officer with specialized training in domestic violence. Let me tell you, my red flags are going up ALL OVER the place!!
Trust me, it sounds like he is setting you up. Often a batterer will isolate the victim from money and family and friends. He has stopped you from working outside the home. He has made you feel responsible for the care of your children and the household (I agree with everyone, he knew what he was getting into when he married a woman with kids) so therefore the money you do make is tied up. He is keeping monetary issues private from you and telling you it is personal. Again, he is making it impossible for you to be able to financially leave him.
Next, you feel the need to defend him. You say he treats you well and you just moved into this lovely home. Well, there are some very wealthy women out there who get beat up an awful lot and don't leave because 1) no financial independence, 2) ashamed to be putting up with this and 3) (and most important) these guys are charmers and manipulators like you would not believe. They hit a woman and have her believing she "deserved" it, and 4) they think no one would believe them because of how nice this guy is to everyone else or his position in the community.
Please keep a few things in mind (here comes today's lesson in DV): The DV cycle is like a tornado (in more ways than one). The abuse may begin small, maybe a push, or just the threat of violence. He may even destroy something of yours-it still gets the point across. Then once he's crossed that barrier, and gotten away with it, the violence escalates. Anyway, there's an incidence of violent behavior. The batterer is immediately contrite and the "honeymoon" phase begins. Maybe you'll get flowers or some other type of gift. He's so very sorry, it'll never happen again, etc. Then the tension begins to build again. The victim learns to know this and will do anything and everything to prevent it. But, it happens, WHAM! another episode of violent behavior. Then the "honeymoon" again. The period between phases will get smaller and smaller. Oh, during the tension period, the batterer will start the "training"-the victim is willing to keep the peace, remember, so the batterer can get her (or in some cases, him) to agree to things that will "make things better" Thus, the isolation, etc.
Now, keep in mind, some batterers or abusers (including emotional abusers) can merely use their charm and ability to manipulate to get their victims to give up things on their own. Like your business. What does it matter if it was a waste of your time? Apparently you were making more money than you were before. Also, the "guilt" you feel for even questioning him. I'm sorry, but it sounds so classic. It really does come across as a textbook example of domestic violence.
If you don't want to leave this guy, please, for your sake and the sake of your children, make sure you have some money squirreled away and somewhere you can go to-just in case things do get dicey.
Also, can I point out that you must not be comfortable with the situation, or you wouldn't have posted your question-go with your instincts. Things are not normal and, in my opinion, are a little on the scary side.
Good luck and God bless you and your kids.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2002 at 3:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

And if you're a little put off by the fact that we're all talking "violence" and "abuse" and he's never hit you, remember that really the issue is not violence but CONTROL! Even in the worst of situations, CONTROL is the point. Violence is only the tool to achieve it and to escalate it.

He has effectively created a situation in which he controls the finances. Even if he NEVER hits you, he is trying to control you.

You need to regain that control.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2002 at 3:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

This is not normal. Every time that my husband even gets a raise he lets me know. We have separate checking and savings accounts and a joint checking and savings. This works extremely well for us. At the same time, we support each others financial situations regardless. This may not work for everyone, but is an excellent choice for us. Nita

    Bookmark   May 13, 2002 at 11:17AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Jeeez...I agree with Carolinachick...I will be getting married in the next year. My b/f knew I made good money and alot more than him..(he is my step brothers best friend..thats how he found out)..I told me on the second date that he really liked me but, was concerned by the fact that he doesnt make alot of money...All I need is a great man...not like the ones who carolinachick was like to hit, other was lazy, other controlling..(these were WONDERFUL MEN in other areas)..The controlling was a step by step thing starting very simialr to what carolinachick said. Its starts out very sutle and very little things. NOw back to me and current. He knows exactly how much money I make, what I owe on the house that we will share, what needs to be fixed here, what my debt is..I also know his... I have a full time job during the day. At night I do two different types of in home parties. On the way home I call him and usually very excited tell him how much I made...Now...when I was growing up and being forced by nagging to get back to mom used to tell NOT rely on a man to support you..Mom knew this because she was married when she was 17..(a virgin I might add) She was trapped for many many years because of the same THINGS that carolina chick said. Now, I have told many men along the way my moms saying and most of the reactions are..jeeezz THAT IS NOT VERY NICE!!! JEEZZ WHAT DOES SHE HATE MEN?? My response is change it from my mom saying it to you telling that to YOUR DAUGHTER!! Instantly, they would say thats right or something along that line. Would you tell your daughter it is ok if this was her??? IT IS NOT NORMAL...Control has alot of mental abuse last guy (a firefighter) had a way of making feel I was not worthy of him!! The day I dumped his ass and realized he was a control freak and liar my ego soared threw the roof...Control comes in alot of ways...he didnt control my money but, he controled the way I felt.. When and I say when becaues this kind of crap will ruin for being live have no privacey!! You see each other naked, you sometimes have gas ect ect ect....a how much do you make is a very simple question..if he will not tell you..pack your bags sister...not just tell you show you. Another thing....I know of a very very very weathly couple that the husband just had her sign the tax return..These people had homes, their own airplanes, jewels..they were mega know what happened to her??? she send out a this is the hardest letter I will have to write... My husband is going to prison for tax ivasion and I am going to be going to because I JUST SIGNED THE FORM..I need help getting money to get an attorney because I have no money to get one... Please please help me from going to jail.....I hope this post wakes you up and maybe saves your life... Good Luck...use those gut insticts...

    Bookmark   December 8, 2002 at 6:52PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

This is not normal. My wife and I have been married 7 1/2 years, and, while she has her own bank account for her earnings, so she can buy things with 'her' money for me, we have a joint account for my pay and for paying all common expenses. We hide nothing from each other. We both believe that a successful marriage relies on Love, Trust, Communication, and Openness about emotions and finances. Most failed marriages seem to fall down on one or more of these points. Although you say he's a wonderful man, I have to wonder why he's being so secretive of money, and why you had to give up your 'waste of time' business. You are an equal partner in every respect in a marriage, and deserve to be in his confidence and vice versa.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2002 at 10:29AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I am in 100% agreement with every one who has posted. THIS IS NOT NORMAL. When you marry, you should know everything there is to know about your future finances, etc. etc. I would have not been comfortable marrying him unless I knew about all the financial affairs. I would have needed to know his income, spending and saving habits, credit habits, bills and property ownerships, etc. etc. I think this information is IMPORTANT for a HEALTHY union. Once you are married, you become responsible for all financial matters. I once clipped a column from Ann Landers. I wish I still had it, but it was about a woman that married and later divorced a man. She knew nothing about his finances, before and during the union. AFTER they divorced, the IRS went after HER for HIS previous expenses. (He had been lying and cheating the IRS for years, before and during the union.) She was shocked to discover this, and then devastated when she realized she had a legal responsibility as well, even though he owned the business long before they were together and they were divorced. It wiped her out completely, and I have never forgotten Ann's advice. It is to late for you to learn everything about him prior to marriage, but you had better start, NOW! You have two children to care for (not his, I take it.) It was your property, and was your trailer home until you got a new one. You had the business...seems like he knew all about YOUR assets....but he doesn't wish to discuss his? TOUGH!
Better to find out NOW, then five years from now. Good luck. (PS: A good private eye will help you to get any information he may be unwilling to share.) Protecting yourself and your children is of prime importance. I agree with the person who mentioned the red flags!! Check into now, before it gets any worse (because it won't get better on it's own.)

    Bookmark   December 9, 2002 at 7:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Original poster, where are you? Has anything changed since April? Let us know if your OK.

I would just like to add my $0.02 on this topic.

1. I've been watching a lot of Dr. Phil lately, and he says, "People who have nothing to hide, hide nothing." So ask yourself, what is he trying to hide.

2. When I read the first post, I immediately thought: double life. I was surprpised that it took so long for someone to bring it up. I would like to relay this true story as an example. A close relative of mine has been married for nearly 20 years. They had a very close relationship that everyone envied. He took very good care of her emotionally, and she still acknowledeges that they had a great marriage with no problems until the announcement. They were best friends in every way. This was a marriage that many, many people envied. Her spouse had been a former bookeeper, so he handled all the family finances. Last year he announced that he had found someone else. Devastating for my relative, but fine, the seperation began. In the following months she discovered that a home that should have had over $100,000 in equity was mortgaged to the max. The credit card bills were piling up (over $40,000.) He claimed that they were in debt because he had used all the money that their retail store generated to pay business expenses. The only problem is that many business expenses were not paid. Then he claims that the business did not generate enough money. (Funny thing about that is that as soon as he left the picture, my relative was able to get the business in order (plenty of cash flow, no problem.)) He had done so many balance transfers and shuffles that the money trail was impossible to follow. Legal bills for the divorce are piling up, and now he wants to declare bankruptcy. If he does, she will be forced to declare as well, because all creditors will go after her when they can't get to him. Her credit will be destroyed! Now here's the kicker. Shortly after his announcement, his new partner purchased a house with a sizeable down payment (we know because the mortgage is public record.) Many of us believe that the down payment came from the equity in my relative's house, but there is no way to prove it. We believe this because we can't figure out where else he could have spent the money, since he didn't pay any bills. Remember, this was a marriage where he wasn't "hiding" anything (my relative just wasn't paying attention.)

And now you say that your spouse is gone 50% of the time and he refuses to share financial information with the woman that he sleeps with and calls his life partner? How much would it cost to have a PI follow him while he's on a business trip. I would do it, if for no other reason than to prove to myself that there was nothing going on. Remember, people who have nothing to hide, hide nothing.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2002 at 12:34AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Windchime...GREAT GREAT POST....Never thought of the double life thing...I have a question about your story. Since you thought the money came from their house to out down on the business partners..just was the business partner female? Is that the other person? Good luck to the female in your story...Sometimes I complain and that I hate having to write out all of this and take care of all of this...Looks like there is a plus to it..

    Bookmark   December 15, 2002 at 8:39AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I was never able to hide finances and earnings from my wife. My employer always sends my wife earning statements and there would be no way I could keep that from her, even If I could get into the mailbox before her. My employer puts all earnings on line at a web site.
My wife has noty worked in eight years so it is easy to know how much she has earned ... no sectrets in my house what is hers is mine... what is mine is hers.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2002 at 2:36PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Or what my wife says to me all the time "what's your's is mine and what's mine is mine".

Actually I make all the money, she does all the bookkeeping, so if anyone in our marriage has the opportunity to be leading a double life, it's her. Sure, taking care of a 5 year old and a 2 year old, she has so much free time to fool around on me.

Too bad the original poster never gave a follow-up, I'd be really interested to find out how this turned out. Not too good I would expect.

Mike K

    Bookmark   December 19, 2002 at 3:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I've been married for nearly 11 yrs. now. I have complete confidence in my spouse. We have wills, powers of attorney, and money decisions are made mutally. There is power and confidence in knowing how much you have, and making decisions that will affect you both, MUTUALLY. Either one of us could assume the reins with complete confidence if either of us died tomorrow. Marriage is a partnership, at least for us.

We have "house" money; a checking account, a savings account, and a money market for "big" bills. We each have "our" money, although both names are on the accounts. "Our" money is just that, it's our very own, personal "stash". If we want to buy something for ourselves that's what we use. We don't feel an obligation to declare/explain the money spent.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2002 at 11:46AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Sorry, let me clarify: when I said his "new partner," I meant "life partner"/lover/companion/etc... He never had a business partner (other than his wife.) He walked away from that business anyway, even though there were no cash flow problems once he stopped stealing.

Mike, I like what you said, "what's yours is mine and what's mine is mine." But you could say the same thing back to her, and you'd both be right. DH and I are in the same situation as you and your wife. DH asks me every so often, "how much money do we have?" And I proceed to spell out our net worth, where all our assets are, etc. His eyes glaze over and I get the feeling he's thinking, "thank god I don't have to worry about this." Nor does he have to worry about the laundry, or a whole host of other chores. But if he's interested, I'm more than willing to tell him where we keep the detergent, after all...I have nothing to hide. ;)

    Bookmark   December 23, 2002 at 12:13AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I would say that no, this isn't a normal thing, that he may be living a double life was the first thing that popped into my head as I read the original post, and I immediately became very scared/worried for her.

The fact that she hasn't posted since April scares me for her sake even more.

My husband and I have joint savings and checking accounts, we both know each others salaries, heck, he knows how much money I have in my wallet right now, and I know how much he has in his! Money is not something we keep secret from each other. As a matter of fact, we don't have secrets from each other! Ok, unless he's planning a surprise party for me or I'm going to surprise him with a present or something, that's allowed :) We are each others best friends, we talk openly and honestly about everything, we have nothing at all to hide from each other. That's what's normal for a good marraige, I think.


    Bookmark   January 8, 2003 at 12:13AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Sorry, I don't have time to read all the replies, but want to post anyway.

Don't sign any tax forms that you can't look at or you may end up so deeply in debt to the IRS you can never get out from under it. Or you can go to jail. I know someone who went through this. After a divorce she found out her ex was cheating on the taxes, he can't pay, she has to. This was a few years back, don't know if the law has changed. If I were you I would consult a tax attorney.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2003 at 10:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hello kdeleasa,

Where are you?

We haven't heard for almost a year.

We've been wondering how things are working for you.

Our thoughts have been with you.

A few prayers, as well?

joyful guy/Ed

    Bookmark   March 22, 2003 at 1:44AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Any updates?

    Bookmark   May 17, 2003 at 9:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Can we get Mr. Spike involved so he can maybe do some checking on kdleasa? might make national headlines. At very least, he can tell us what city she is in and we can check out stuff. Just a thought. Many care about her.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2003 at 1:29AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We are all wondering what happened to kdleasa!! Could it be we have all been taken in by her post?? I've looked at her "page" for a email address.. none there.. blank.. what gives?

    Bookmark   July 3, 2003 at 4:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Maybe it's a hoax, but maybe we'll all have our 15 minutes of fame when her story turns up on "Unsolved Mysteries".

    Bookmark   July 4, 2003 at 3:26AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Have e-mailed Mr. Spike requesting any info he may have. He must hold all our info in secret, but maybe he will be able to give info to appropriate people.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2003 at 3:42AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Don't forget she might have changed jobs or has no more access to the internet or a computer.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2003 at 8:25PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Sad, isn't it?

...NOT that someone can post, asking for advice and help, and everyone gets so involved with a stranger's life, and we get emotionally attached... but that NOW we are left worrying?

Ah, the electronic marvel of the internet!

I read all of the previous posts, and became enthralled with worry, concern, and emotion for this person I didn't know from Adam.

Now, with no reply from her in so long, I am worrying for her well-being.

I'll retain my bankroll of my 2 cents on what I think was originally going on. BUT ... I have to admit, that there is a very strong possibility, that kdeleasa agreed with some posters and took more action in her marriage.

But alas, it seems if things had worked out or taken a turn for the better, she would have posted back by now.

Hopefully we can all learn from this and remember to follow-up!

I know these are only posts of typed words, but these simple words have a way of reaching inward on those who read them and touch heart strings.

I hope she eventually posts back........ I, for one, could use some form of closure on this story.

"my 2 cents anyway"


    Bookmark   July 21, 2003 at 10:42AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We sit and we type,

And we stare at our screens,

We all have to wonder,

What this possibly means.

With our mouse's we roam,

Through the rooms in a maze,

Looking for something or someone,

As we sit in a daze.

We chat with each other,

We type all our woes,

Small groups we do form,

And gang up on our foes.

We wait for somebody,

To type out our name,

We want recognition,

But it's always the same.

We give kisses and hugs,

And sometimes flirt,

In MIRC we chat deeply,

And reveal why we hurt.

We do form friendships

But why we don't know,

But some of these friendships,

Will flourish and grow.

Why it is on screen,

We can be so bold,

Telling our secrets,

That have never been told.

Why is it we share,

The thoughts in our mind,

With those we can't see,

As though we were blind.

The answer is simple,

It's as clear as a bell.

We all have our problems,

And need someone to tell.

We can't tell "real" people,

But tell someone we must,

So we turn on the computer,

And to those we can trust.

Even though it is crazy,

The truth still remains,

They are Friends Without Faces,

And odd little names.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2003 at 2:37AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thank you, Gina.

I am thankful that I live in a country, as do many of us, where there is a substantial measure of freedom, democracy, and prosperity.

I never realized how thankful I should be for those blessings - till I spent several years in a country where they were very scarce.

Valuing my freedom, I should also value freedom for each of you in equal measure.

kdeleasa has exercised her freedom to withhold further connection - which is her right. We trust that it is a voluntary choice on her part.

While we regret that she has not reported how things are going, we have offered ideas which we hope that she has found helpful, including several suggestions that she recapture a greater assurance of her self-worth.

I note that she chose to have every message forwarded to her, so she probably has seen them all, even though she may not have returned here.

We have offered advice and, we hope, some insight and inspiration. And several suggestions that she look at her situation from a different light.

It is her choice what she does now.

We hope and pray that she is all right.

And that she will choose to return to let us know how she and her family is. In her own good time.

Good wishes to you all.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   July 26, 2003 at 12:58AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

thanks, JG, but the poem was in response to brainhiccups post on why we get so involved.

Ran into a dead end on my investigating name. Will leave it at that


    Bookmark   July 29, 2003 at 2:55AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I am somewhat perplexed.

This has become a very old thread - inactive for very nearly four years (people here are far less talkative than over on the KT, as old threads drop over the edge of the abyss there after 67 pages or so, in under three months).

As noted above, one of the posters sent a message to Spike, asking that this poster be followed up on, as nothing had been heard from her in over a year, and it was almost the unanimous opinion of the posters that they were somewhat worried about the poster's situation.

Someone said that there was no opportunity at her profile to send a message to her.

It appears, however, that all of the messages were sent to her ... if she still had access to the computer that she used to send the original message.

I was checking over some ancient posts tonight, and wondered what results there may have been.

When I clicked on the original poster's profile, the reply that I received was, "Sorry, but the person that you are seeking doesn't exist".

Did she exist, and did someone (probably the late and frequently lamented Spike) post it after having done some checking?

Or it could be that this is someone's method (at iVillage?) of dealing with the prolonged inactivity on the part of a former member. As a matter of routine file-clean-up?

An intriguing result, it seems.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   July 22, 2007 at 8:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana

I heard/read somewhere here (at GW) that after a member has been inactive for so long (not sure how long, or how many years), that the member's name is deleted.

A good thing I guess, as GW then knows how many active members there are...for the advertisers and the revenue it generates.

This post sure was an interesting saga. Thanks for reviving it OJ.

Sue...thinking out loud here

    Bookmark   July 24, 2007 at 4:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


with him being such a control freak...

and with all those responses copied directly to her (at the house?) saying as much...

my bet is he quickly got that internet access severed.

I do wonder how it turned out for her and her kids. Not well I fear.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2007 at 9:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The messages would have come to her email storage, that needs a password to access, so it might be he didn't get to see them.

And, if he knew of her password to some of her operation on the internet, I hope that she had some other email addresses going that he didn't know anything about. With some stuff like she spoke of here being among the things that she included there.

I hope that she isn't a thorough-going doormat!

ole joyful

    Bookmark   July 26, 2007 at 6:22AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I don't know if somebody has suggested this, but you can get a copy of your tax forms from the IRS.

And, no , it's not normal.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2007 at 11:42AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Wow, this is old! I hope the everything turned out okay for the OP.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2007 at 11:57AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

So does anyone know the average cost of hiring a private I? Just curious. I saw the question about but never saw an answer.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2007 at 1:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I just caught Dave's great suggestion about requesting the tax information. That could be useful to many of us.


    Bookmark   January 19, 2008 at 3:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I hear that sometimes "private I"s, or "private eye"s, or whoever ...

... sometimes get aN EYEFULL!

ole joyful

P.S. Darn! That arthritic finger that hits the "Shift" along with the "a" has been at it, again!

o j

    Bookmark   January 20, 2008 at 4:23AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Looks like caps lock to me, Ed... :-)

Doesn't help that these darned keyboards keep getting smaller!

    Bookmark   January 20, 2008 at 9:18AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I agree this is a red flag. I'm recently divorced and my exH was abusive & controlling when it came to money (among other things). It was a slow progression, so by the time it got bad and I had to ask friends & family about marital money & what other couples did, I was already being taken advantage of. It had gone far enough that our money dysfunction seemed "normal" to me, and getting back on-track was not possible.

If you would go seek advice from an attorney (in my state-IL), 50% of his marital money is yours, and vice versa. At minimum, you should have knowledge of it. Best-case scenario, you should have access to it.

I'm of the opinion that if he says it's not your business...he is hiding something from you. To what level of terror or embarrassment???...who knows...and that's relative to each person. What I'm ashamed of may not be a big deal to the next person.

You need to see the taxes. You need to see the bank accounts & statements. In a marriage, his windfalls and losses are yours too. Don't turn a blind eye in HOPES it's all okay. Verify for yourself it's okay.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2008 at 4:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

i guess it is safe to assume OP won't be reading this-- but just in case someone else who needs to see it is reading this post:

please be careful about how you approach someone who is controlling. this could be a trigger point for him. do the research on your own, because you can't/shouldn't trust what he says at this point anyway. get that form from the IRS, hire a PI, and meanwhile, find out what is owed on the trailer, the cars, the credit cards. run a credit report for yourself. you need to have facts so that you can protect yourself and your children.

be safe about it, don't confront him unless you are in public and won't be alone with him later.

sorry to be so scary, but my alarm bells are going crazy after reading your post. take care and get support/help.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2008 at 9:13PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Do I need to give a 1099-misc to the lady who cleans for me?
For the first time ever, I began having a lady clean...
Private College Savings - How much is enough?
We have approximately $62,000 saved in a 529 plan for...
Home Loan advise? Remodel and Addition
I am looking into a renovation/remodel of my current...
help!!! advice needed asap for 2nd mortgage
I need to take out $30,000 in equity for desperately...
Buying a new house financial questions?
This seems silly, but I don't have anyone else to talk...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™