Inherited cash hidden from spouse

Published 2:18 pm Monday, September 12, 2022

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Dear Aunty Pam,


I recently learned that my husband inherited a few thousand dollars from a relative and am distraught that he neither told me about this nor deposited it in our joint account. He evidently has a separate bank account I never knew about.

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I only learned about this inheritance from another relative who spilled the beans and assumed I knew. When I confronted my husband about the inheritance, he got defensive and said it was his and none of my business. Now I feel like I can’t trust him and who knows how many other secrets he has? I’m really considering separation from him at this point.


He says I’m being completely unreasonable. What do you think?





Dear BW,


Of course you’re being completely unreasonable. And greedy. You’re ready to ditch your marriage because your husband received a gift—that’s what an inheritance IS, and didn’t share it with you? Why should you be entitled to use any of the money that he was given by someone you’re to whom you’re not related, or may not even know? If he chooses to share with you, that’s one thing, just as it would be if you chose to share an inheritance with him. But the fact that he chose to sit on it is very much his right.


Here’s an eye-opener for you: When I had my radio show for years, one of the topics we covered was “secret bank accounts.” We asked listeners to call in to tell us whether or not they kept secret stashes of cash from their spouses. Well, the phones blew up— you can’t believe how many people had secret accounts or hiding places for money that they hadn’t shared with their spouse. And most of those callers were women! They did it for various reasons: from being able to buy something without having to explain it to their husbands, to wanting to save for a child’s college fund because they didn’t think their husband was saving enough, to simply having a feeling of independence. It’s evidently quite common.


Don’t make a big deal about this. It’s a real shame that this one act should make you suddenly believe that your husband is living a secret, devious life full of all kinds of negative things just because he’s keeping a gift that belongs to him. Grow up, Buttercup.


Cheers, dear!

Aunty Pam