Secret money

As I was catching up on this weekends worth of missed Dear Ema’s one caught my eye:

Dear Ema: My husband, “Elmo,” hid money from me for more than a year. When we did our taxes this year, $11,000 of what he earned was unaccounted for. He said he kept it for his “security,” and he doesn’t think he did anything wrong or that he lied or deceived me. He said the money was his to do with as he wished, without my knowledge or consent.

What would you do if you found out your husband/wife was hiding money from you? Turns out this couple ended up seperating after eight years of marriage over this issue, and Ema agrees that the husband was deceptive.

I read several news articles a while ago about Japanese wives who keep stashes of money secret from their husband. The average was $34,000!

I also read in a Time Magazine article about a study done with women aged 26 to 83 and some of them had up to $200,000 that their husbands didn’t know about. The reasons? “Divorce, unemployment or a sudden shortfall in the family budget.”

Seriously? I mean, unemployment and family budget issues are very important reasons to save money, but not secretly. If you’re hiding money from your husband, especially out of fear of divorce, I think you need some marriage counseling. If I found that Matt had been hiding money from me, and especially if he admitted it was for his own security if we ever split, concern of divorce would quickly become a reality.

Shouldn’t you trust your spouse? Unfortunately there is always a chance you may divorce in the future, but you never plan for it! That’s just so screwed up. I may be young and we all know I’m not married, but I just don’t think you should go into a relationship planning for it to fail.

The parents of one of my best friends in elementary school actually divorced over this same thing. The husband was a dentist who owned his own practice and was the cheapest man I had ever met. It was well known that not only was her father stingy but that they didn’t have a lot of extra money because of the kids, dental practice expenses, and they also helped his mom out financially.

Towards the end of the Gulf War he was called up by the Army Reserves and sent over to Germany to do dental work for the military. While he was gone his wife started taking care of all the bills and some how discovered that he had been secretly hiding millions of dollars!

Their daughter and I were in sixth grade and her brother was a freshman in high school. One day they came home from school and their mom was gone. She found out about the money, called the lawyers for a divorce, and moved to Oklahoma all while the kids were in school. He ended up getting excused from his Reserve duties to come home and take care of his abandoned ren. They ended up divorcing, she married her cousin, and the kids were never the same again.

Good to be home