Ask Amy: My wife wants financial independence or a divorce

dear Amy: My wife and I are both retired. We have been together for 32 years in total. All of our retirement income goes into a shared bank account.

About six months ago, out of the blue, my wife told me she wanted a divorce. She explained that for reasons related to money, she felt she had lost her autonomy. It seems she wants to have her own bank account and withdraw $400 a month to go into her personal slush fund and do whatever she wants with it.

We discussed it for months without a solution. I said that since the money comes out of our retirement funds, it makes no sense for her to have her own personal account.

Am I wrong for feeling abandoned that she stays with me for $400 a month? Is love worth $400 a month, or is there a deeper issue here? I’m curious to know what you think about it.

Disappointed: It’s not about the cost – or value – of “love”.

You don’t provide any details regarding your finances, although your wording suggests that all of your joint income (presumably from retirement income and Social Security) goes into a shared account, which you appear to control.

And if you have the final say and control access to those funds, then yes – that would be the very definition of “loss of autonomy”.

Why do I think you control these funds? Because your wife has gone to the doormat trying to get money that only she should use as she wishes.

It’s not at all clear if you two can afford to give each of you money to spend as you wish. But if you can afford it, then yes, you should each have your own funds which you can choose to save or spend.

And if you can’t afford to each receive $400 per month, then you should negotiate a smaller amount than you can afford.

Money is important. And choices about money are often placeholders for other issues in the relationship. So yes, I suspect there is a deeper issue here.

If your wife chooses to leave the marriage and file for divorce, she would likely receive about half of your joint assets.

You two could work it out with the valuable help of a mediator. Mediators frequently work with relationship counselors to help couples deal with vital issues affecting their future, including the choice to separate, if at all.

dear Amy: With the holidays approaching, I need your advice.

I have been with my wife for 22 years. We have two wonderful children together. I love her family, however, I dread spending time with her.

On the one hand, I am completely bored at his mother’s house. I work hard and rarely take vacations. Second, my nieces and nephews that I watched grow up mostly became insufferable bores. I dread their presence. Finally, my brother-in-law turns every conversation into a conversation about money.

My family doesn’t live nearby and we rarely get together. This year, I want to be alone, go alone and play golf.

How can I offer this to my wife without hurting her?

Bored: Can I clarify that the most “bored” people can sometimes also be boring people?

That said, if you don’t want to spend this vacation with your in-laws (who you say you “love” but don’t seem to like), you should talk about it without presenting it as a criticism of your wife’s family. .

Just tell your wife that you’d like to do something different this year, that you desperately need to regroup for a while, and share your plan with her. She might be very happy to commune with her family without you sighing.

The holiday break during the pandemic has caused many people to rethink how they want to spend their time.

dear Amy: Regarding the question of “Anonymousabout boastful grandparents who claim their grandkids are geniuses… why not talk about their character content?

Start bragging about how caring they are to others. How they help their neighbors. How kind and considerate they are. In other words, if you want to brag, brag about things that really matter.

©2022 by Amy Dickinson. Distributed by content agency Tribune.

About Gene Schafer

Check Also

Turbulent Hawaii vacation rental news as Vacasa plummets

First of all, if you don’t know the Vacasa name in terms of Hawaii vacation …