“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

#1 Jul 22, 2014
DEAR READERS: On April 11, I printed a letter from "Wondering in Washington," a man asking why young men in general today have the attitude that "any money I earn is mine" in a marriage or live-in situation. He said when he married, he and his wife considered what they earned to be "theirs" -- not his or hers. When I asked my "younger readers" to chime in, I was inundated. Some excerpts:

DEAR ABBY: My husband was 26 and I was 24 when we got married. To me, how young couples handle money says a lot about their attitude toward marriage.

My mother always said, "If you can't trust a man with your money, why would you trust him with your heart?" I kept that in mind when I was dating, so when my boyfriend and I married, we didn't have serious underlying issues like addiction, compulsive spending, etc.-- MOM OF 2 IN SEATTLE

DEAR ABBY: My first husband controlled all the money, my pay and his. He bought what he wanted, but didn't always pay the mortgage or utilities.

In my second marriage, my money is my money and his money is his. If I earn 60 percent of the income, I pay 60 percent of the shared bills. Whatever is left is up to my own discretion to spend, and the same goes for his paycheck.-- LEARNED MY LESSON IN FLORIDA

DEAR ABBY: I'm a man in my mid-30s; my wife is in her mid-20s. Many of our friends keep their finances separate, and the reason usually involves hearing their parents argue over money. What I find interesting is that the wife usually came up with the idea.

I believe the separation of incomes starts with young women embracing messages of empowerment they heard growing up and applying them not only to the workplace, but home, as well -- plus a healthy dose of entitlement that seems common to their generation.-- JUST SAYING, IN WISCONSIN

DEAR ABBY: Male reader here. Gone are the days of the stay-at-home wife who takes care of the house and raises the children. I'm as guilty of those preconceptions as anyone. I thought marriage meant being totally devoted to your spouse and you discussed everything.

I now believe both parties in a relationship have financial responsibilities to the other. In my first marriage, the majority of financial responsibilities fell on me. The financial obligations in my second marriage are different. We have a separate maintenance agreement. I pay only part of our living expenses. I can spend whatever I want, when I want, on whatever I want. This has prevented many disagreements.

I think the way to handle finances in a relationship is a rock-solid legal agreement and a lot of premarital counseling. Then there are no surprises.-- J.G. IN TEXAS

DEAR ABBY: I'm 32, recently married. I earn more than my husband, and I'm better at managing money.

We plan to set up a joint account for household expenses, joint vacations, etc., and maintain individual accounts for whatever money is left. That way, we have a certain amount of independence and freedom.

We don't consider our relationship to be disposable. But when you grow up like we did and don't marry until your 30s, you live a considerable amount of your life independently. We are happy with this arrangement.-- MODERN MARRIAGE IN MICHIGAN

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#2 Jul 22, 2014
Answer 3. Empowerment equates to entitlement? Here mister, take a look in the (historical) mirror.

Hancock, NY

#3 Jul 22, 2014
My mom used to handle all the money although both the savings and checking accounts were jointly held by her and my dad. It was simply that she was good with budgeting and my dad wasn't interested. They both worked and all the income was needed to make ends meet. Any major purchase was decided upon jointly. Mom certainly never bought herself anything outrageous and her clothes showed it.

My uncle and aunt had 9 kids. He worked and she was a stay at home mom. He said she earned half of every dollar he made.

My husband has been the chief money maker in the family. I am the one who handles the finances. He used to say that he had to slide the paycheck under the door before I'd let him in on paydays. Not true but it made a good joke.

Nowadays, a woman is just as likely to bring home a paycheck as a man and I find that I like the idea of each paying expenses according to the percentage of total income they each earn. I think they should also contribute toward a joint savings account for household repairs and emergencies that would be considered joint responsibilities. The amounts or percentages would change according to any changes in income. And of course they should have separate savings accounts for their own use. I think this method would help decrease the one of the reasons married people fight.

The letter from the guy in Texas (#4?) that mentions a separate maintenance agreement is interesting. I have no idea about such things and wonder whether they protect a person from responsibilities for a spouse's financial problems. I didn't think that was possible and is an interesting idea. Does anyone know anything about this?

Hancock, NY

#4 Jul 22, 2014
Regarding separate maintenance agreements, I always thought and from what I've just read upon googling the topic, they seem to have more to do with separation and divorce than marriage. But perhaps this kind of thing can be set up prior to or during marriage. I'd think of it more as a prenupt or postnuptual agreement. Maybe they're intertwined.

Rancho Cucamonga, CA

#5 Jul 22, 2014
In loving, respectful, and cooperative marriages, either system works because the spouses...gasp!...love, respect, and cooperate with each other. In marriages where one spouse considers the other a freeloader, neither system will work because the love, respect, and cooperation are lacking.

Marina, CA

#6 Jul 22, 2014
Cass wrote:
In loving, respectful, and cooperative marriages, either system works because the spouses...gasp!...love, respect, and cooperate with each other. In marriages where one spouse considers the other a freeloader, neither system will work because the love, respect, and cooperation are lacking.

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