Financial separation? - Talk About Marriage
Financial Problems in Marriage When financial times are tough, it adds to the stress we deal with on a daily basis. This section is for talking about how financial problems affect our relationships and ways to cope.

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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-25-2016, 02:42 AM Thread Starter
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Financial separation?

I do feel sorry for my poor wife and her growing anxiety about money. I want to be able to show her my support. I don't want to pour hundreds more hours into attempting to create some sort of plan, because it's not worked. And I want to protect assets from risk. I think I can do both if I figure out a way to separate our finances, but I'm not sure if that can be done without a D.

Is there a legal document that can be executed that says, for instance?

Mr. Dog has exclusive authority to make investment decisions in the following accounts:

401k from employer #1
401k from employer #2
401k from employer #3
IRA at X investment company
IRA at Y investment company

Mrs. Dog has authority, which she may choose to share or not, to make investment decisions in the following accounts:
Joint IRA #1
Joint IRA #2
Joint Checking
Joint Savings
Her IRA #1
Her IRA #2
Her personal money market account.


Yeah, it might move us closer to D, but our counselor has advised both of us that if Mrs. Dog doesn't gain some control over her irrational fears, D is inevitable.


There are three kinds of business. Your business, my business and God's business. Whose business are you in? -Byron Katie
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-25-2016, 10:44 PM
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Re: Financial separation?

Are you just thinking outloud or do you want answers?

Couples who cannot agree on spending are much better off with separate finances and it doesn't have to be as complicated as you put it there.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-26-2016, 06:17 AM
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Re: Financial separation?

@DustyDog, do you both have accounts at the same banking/investing institutions?
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-26-2016, 11:59 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Financial separation?

It's not about spending decisions. She has extreme fears and anxiety about many things, but money seems to top the list. We have plenty of money, we're one foot into retirement and all the advisors say we're fine. But she can't believe it, she never imagined not working until FRA (67 for us, approx), this can't be right...

What I"m trying to do is detach myself from her anxieties. Right now, we have joint checking/savings...the accounts from which spending is done. Every week, she'll come to me, announce she is anxious (counselor's recommendation) and that "we are spending too much". Always when she's in a rush to get to work. Any attmepts to bring it up later result in her changing the subject to some other anxiety.

We've been working for 2-3 years on a financial plan for retirement...fundamentally, fear brings her to a halt. So, I think we make progress, then she comes up with 8-10 objections to the plan, usually "how can we trust a company we didn't even know about last year?" or something like that.

I want to move forward with the investment plan...she can't budget. If we separate our investment accounts, then I can move forward, and I would feel perfectly privileged to not engage with her about this aspect of money again. "Darling, I feel sorry for you that your anxiety is so high about money. I wish you great luck in dealing with it." As things are, she pretty much expects me to "do something" about her anxiety - which of course, I can't - you can't change someone else's emotions.

So, split the accounts, perhaps would give her a more concrete reference that I have nothing to do with how she feels about money?

As for spending...I've got a biz account, we have a joint account for all else. When I look at spending, 90% of it is her anyway, simply because she opted to be the one paying the household bills.

What I"m looking for:
- observations from those who've BTDT, whether splitting these accounts will signal to her that a bigger split (D) may be coming
- Alternatives that may achieve my objective (reduce her attempts to drag me into her emotional turmoil). As I see it, if I give in, then I'm enabling her to believe that these fears and anxieties are OK to have and not deal with. As things are, they have grown because she believes the fear has kept her safe all these years.

There are three kinds of business. Your business, my business and God's business. Whose business are you in? -Byron Katie
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-26-2016, 12:09 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Financial separation?

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Originally Posted by brooklynAnn View Post
@DustyDog, do you both have accounts at the same banking/investing institutions?
401ks, by nature, are at whatever institution the employer chose to be the custodians of their 401k plans. Semi-amusingly, my last two employers went through division spin-offs and/or being acquired, and I ended up with SIX 401k plans out of two employers - but all held at an institution that I'll call Alpha Investments, just for this thread.

I have a regular and a Roth IRA, both held at "Beta" Investments. These contain a mix of rollover and direct contributions over the years.

She has reg & Roth IRA at the same Beta Investments as I do.

IRA = Individual Retirement Account, focus on Individual. Only one person can have investment decision power on an IRA...except that we share everything, including email passwords, our list of web properties we're members of, etc, and have an agreement that we won't change the other's accounts - but we like to check balances.

Our accounts at Beta have but one username and password, so we can both see them.

Regular banking: Local credit union for checking, savings, and "long term savings", an account with higher interest and min. balance.

Business banking: since my biz is still small, I'm using personal accounts, but at a different smaller local bank than our household stuff. She shows no interest in having any access to the biz accounts.

Would you propose to have it different?

There are three kinds of business. Your business, my business and God's business. Whose business are you in? -Byron Katie
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-26-2016, 01:10 PM
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Re: Financial separation?

Thanks for the reply @DustyDog. The reason I was asking is because I wanted to know easily assessable the information is available to both of you. And you have answered that.

It seems to me that your wife is expecting you to fix her anxiety. Something we all know you cant do. However, maybe if you kept her out of your decision making and make all the decision then she wouldn't have food to feed her anxiety.

She is worried about money but would not sit down to talk about it, is saying to me that something else is going on. Have you ever seen her credit report?

Does she have kids that she needs to provide for incase of?
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-26-2016, 01:30 PM
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Re: Financial separation?

I wish there was a way to completely separate my wife's finances from mine without divorce but there isn't, at least if there is a way to do that I don't know what it is.

The only way I've been able to at least keep the most of the damage to a minimum is to have separate checking accounts and bank accounts. This way she doesn't contribute a damned thing to family finances but she wouldn't be willing to do that anyway. This way I can see plainly that there's no way I'd ever be able to live off of only 30% of what I make which is all that I would have if I had to divorce her.

I don't see why you aren't more scared about this than your wife is since she would probably have more than you if you ever got divorced.

"I've paid double for every transgression I've ever made and that motel and that boat are little to ask for"
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