With marriage comes the assumption that a couple will pool together their financial resources. New partners open joint checking and savings accounts and then their assets become common property.
New partners want to do this because they’re in love and because they’ve decided to build a life together. This is why divorce is so complicated. A once happily bonded couple now has to divide their blended assets. Worse, they have to do this when they've fallen out of love.
They might even hate each other by that point. This is why people get prenups to safeguard what’s theirs before they tie the knot, just in case it doesn’t work out and they split on bad terms.
But what about those folks who want to safeguard their assets while they're married? One woman took to Reddit to explain how her husband asked her to loan him money, and she demanded he sign a contract so she could be assured he'd pay her back.
Think that sounds crazy? Her husband wanted to borrow $14,000 from her. She had $20,000 in her bank account. He had nothing.
She said his bank account is "always almost empty." No wonder she didn’t want to lend money to her husband, even though they’re married. At least not until he signed a contract, promising he was good for it.
But would such a contact stand up in court?
Reddit user EmeraldBlueZen commented: “Whether he signs a contract or not, there is no way she's getting the money back.”
They’re probably right. I should know a thing about being married to a man who had very different spending practices than I did–whom I ultimately didn’t trust not to waste my money.
My story of being married to a financially irresponsible man.
My now EX-husband was also terrible with money. If there was cash in our joint bank account, he’d find a way to spend it. A new deposit would never last longer than a couple of days. Then we’d be “living on fumes” again, as my then-husband liked to describe it.
He never saved a penny for a rainy day. He didn't have to. His parents are rich. Any time he needed money, he asked them to cut him a check.
But sometimes it took a couple of days for the check to cash. As soon as it did, my then-husband would rejoice.
"We're flush," he'd say and immediately buy a bunch of stuff, sending our balance back down to zero.
It's one reason I divorced him. His parents were threatening to cut him off and I knew he'd come for my money next. I had my own bank account where I kept what I earned from my job.
I didn’t earn much and I felt like I worked too hard for my income to be wasted by someone who didn’t understand the value of money. Yes, even though this person was my husband.
Divorce seems imminent.
I think it’s safe to say that this wife on Reddit seems to have some serious trust issues with her husband. They seem to be financially incompatible. Unfortunately, this might lead to their divorce. This is especially true if, even with this contract, this woman’s husband doesn’t pay her back.
SunTrust Bank issued a survey that found that 35% of respondents blamed finances for the stress they experience in their relationships.
A 2022 report by National Debt Relief found that 54% of respondents said that "having a partner who is in debt is a major reason to consider divorce."
TD Ameritrade found that 41% of divorced Gen-Xers and 29% of Boomers ended their marriage due to disagreements about money.
I get it. No one wants to stay with someone who spends every penny they earn. No one wants to be treated like a human ATM by their spouse.
And if you don’t trust your spouse enough to pay you back without a signed contract, then why even bother staying married?
What do you think? Do you think this couple’s marriage is going to weather this stress? Should this wife just divorce her husband? Or do you think there’s a chance he’ll pay her back? Let me know in the comments.
And if you want to read about how my husband bankrupted me, you can read the story here: My Husband Bankrupted Me.