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Money management is source of our problems

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Money advice I have been married to my wife for 30 years. At times the relationship can be volatile but most of the time it's great. We have 3 great kids and beautiful home. We work in fields we both enjoy. The one thing that we tend to argue about most is money. My wife has always uses it emotionally as opposed to practically. Three times we have had to top up our mortgage to pay off credit card debt on bills she has accumulated. If she is feeling down she heads to the shopping mall or buys alcohol. If she is having a hard time at work she'll head to the shopping mall or buy alcohol. Usually both. She always says she works hard and brings in a wage so she can spend what she wants. That's fine if the money is there but she has no idea how to budget. In short, she is not good with money.

We recently came into some money from the sale of my deceased parents home. I put the money in an account which is not linked to a ATM card. My wife complained that I was controlling our money. Well, yes I was because I didn't want to see the money dwindle away on nothing. My parents would have wanted us to use the money wisely and spend it on improving the home, travel, memorable things. We have an overseas holiday booked and house renovations happening. We always discuss what we are going to do with this money and we framed a list. My wife has been down this week due to work issues. Today she admitted taking out money from my parents estate account.

The thing is she didn't discuss this prior as we do for everything else. She had no plans for the money other than to have fun and we still had money left in our normal account which she could use to have fun. She has a short fuse and when I said she shouldn't have used the account she went ballistic as she can, losing control and swearing when our youngest son could hear. She will be like this all night and I fear going near her because she could blow up again in front of our son. This is an ongoing problem. If i give her free reign of the money she will blow it. If I don't she will abuse me. I don't know what to do anymore.

Money management is source of our problems

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Define 'volatile' and 'at times'? And then define 'great'.

When money is the No. 1 cause of marital tiffs, why would you find that untoward or expect you and your wife to be somehow immune?

Listen, I'm being deliberately dumb...because you need to tell it like it *is* and cease sitting on this standard, rotten feature AND YOU KNOW IT ('don't know what to do' my bottom). You do *not* argue about money, you argue about the fact that your wife uses spending/shopping, i.e. WASTES precious funds, as a panacea for whatever woes/issues, stresses or missing sense of power. And to a serious degree by the sounds. And, I may be wrong here, but I would have thought that faced with her spending it either on 'things' or alcohol, you must surely be in some way find yourself communicating a preference? It would be logical to prefer the former, surely, as a lesser of those two evils? Well, how convenient for her, is what I'd say to that Hobson's Choice she's created, especially as she's obviously over-exaggerating her fiscal contribution to begin with.

Your wife is complaining that you're controlling the money...whereby she, Mrs Spendthrift, can't flush that down the pan as well? Pff. Tough tittie, luv, is what I'd say to that - like it or lump it! I mean, what a cheek! Anyway, they're your parents. YES, as marital partners you're co-owners of everything, jointly. But NOT if one of you has a Black & White record that equates to her failing to make that grade. That money is now all you have left of your mum and dad, in a way. So tell her, equally, wives aren't supposed to knowingly fritter marital resources *or* constantly emotionally manipulate their spouses, so - touche!

Hang on, though (just got to the end sentance there) - HOW did she access those funds?

Well, anyway, your wife sounds like a complete child. And an over-entitled one at that. Taking the funds out of that account rather than the normal account was hugely passive-aggressively defiant, and deliberately so! I suggest you withdraw a matching amount from your joint account p.d.q. and just cease taking any notice of her griping in response. Remember, people treat you only as badly as you LET THEM. She can't shout at you if you walk away to another room, saying, 'I am willing to have a conversation but not to have my ears bent back, thank-you. Let me know when you're prepared to talk calmly and civilly and then we'll try again...or until you do'.

ACTUALLY, accordingly, what I suggest is, you ceasing to take it and roll over whenever you're being emotionally coerced and blackmailed via the things you hold dear (because they are dear - to everyone with any decency). No doubt she started off quite moderate and slow at one point, yes? But, via your failure to tackle properly, then took that as a Green light to carry on and crank it up. It's called Enabling.

Trust me, that emotional strong-arm-ing is a far worse example for your son to repeatedly have to witness than any fairly isolated episode of yelling and cussing on her part. (Plus, only if you show you're concerned or upset about it will he 'monkey-do' likewise in his head.) But if you standing your ground this time doesn't eventually work to make her re-think her attitude(s) then I'd have thought it were time to discuss a separation with a view to either fixing or parting. Because your wife clearly has significant emotional problems that are affecting yours and your son's *and her own* quality and stability of life, present and future. Or at the very least, open a new personal account into which your salary is paid before you *then* xfer the money needed for regular bills and housekeeping into the joint one. Or better yet, refuse to continue on that shared account basis any more (100% justified).

Again, though, how did she gain access if the account wasn't ATM withdraw-able?

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