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In-laws crossing the line?


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OK, I think I have an issue in my marriage. I have been married for 1.5 years now and the wife and I are filing taxes jointly this year. In doing so, I stumbled upon an account that is her mother's, yet has my wife as the primary. Now this is not my wife's account, yet has her name on it and now we are paying the taxes on it. When I asked her about it, was as if I had just opened the gates of hell and stepped right in. I was told it was none of my business and that I didn't need to know anything about it. I stated my case by feeling a little betrayed by not knowing anything about it and felt that I had a right to know since we were claiming this on our taxes. It's her mom's rainy day money and her dad is not to know about it. I asked that she reconsider her (which now means our) involvement in this. Am I justified in feeling a good bit uncomfortable with this entire situation?

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I personally think that you are justified in wanting to know about the account that you are jointy paying taxes on. Is there any way you could possibly compromise on the whole thing? Perhaps you agreeing to her/your involvement with the account IF she agrees to be open and honest about it? There may be good reason for her being the primary, so asking her to drop the whole thing might be pushing it a little too far...But I definitely think that if your finances are now intertwined, you have the right to know how your money is being managed. And frankly, I think that if she is adamant about being involved with the account, she should be able to justify her involvement -- but like I said, you might have to give up on knowing the reason in exchange for knowing the financial details of the account.

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I think this is just a small part of a larger issue. I don't think this is so much about the money more so than it is about the influence that her mother has. I mean, what kind of example does this set when your mother asks you to help hide money. I know that for a fact my wife gets a decent chunk of money as a Christmas gift from her mother every year, and her father knows nothing of it. This is a secret gift that I'm not supposed to know anything about. The only way I found out about it is when her sister and her husband asked what my wife and I were going to do with the Christmas money. I was shocked to find out how much she is given and they were just as shocked that I didn't know. Now, I know this is her money and all, but why does she feel the need to keep this from me. So, I asked her this year how much money did she get and she said just a couple hundred dollars. So she is telling me a lie because her mother asked her not to tell me how much she is given. Once again I know this because of the discussion I had with her sister, which is when I found out that the mother is telling her daughters to keep the money to themselves and not let the husbands know. Don't get me wrong here, I'm not saying I want access to this money, I only want my wife to be honest with me.

 

I'm getting more and more frustrated with the situation and can't really talk about it with my wife because she immediately gets on the defensive whenever anything is spoken about her family. To make matters even more complicated, I work for the in-laws. So that adds a very touchy dynamic to the whole thing.

 

An example of her being, what I consider overprotective of her family, happened just this morning. I'm taking a friend to the hospital for some surgery this week and won't know what time he will be going in until the evening before. My wife tells me, in a very stern tone, that I need to find out quickly in order to let her mom and dad know. Now I'm in my mid 30's and know exactly what I'm supposed to do in regards to informing my employer if I'm going to be a little late to work. Maybe it just caught me wrong, but I did inform her that I can handle it and would not leave her parents in a lurch. She's known me long enough to know that I wouldn't do that. Dang, it's just frustrating.

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That sounds deeply frustrating cocomo. Her mother obviously has a real fear of being left alone to fend for herself, and it's something she's trained her daughters (at least, your wife) to believe also. It shouldn't be some big secret between you, I do not agree that she gets to score heaps of money and keep it separate from you - are you paying a mortgage? Would that money be better off used or invested by you both as a couple?

 

Would you tall to her about this? I would normally suggest that, but I also recognise you work for her family, so if there was any trouble between you guys about them it would probably have some other impact on you.

 

Do you trust her otherwise with them?

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Well, I'm not married but I am on an account of my mothers as well. This is my Mother's just in case money (Just in case my Dad steps out). Chances are your wife's name is on it because she is the only one your Mother-In-Law trusts.

 

I have a brother and a sister, but Mom and I are closer, so it's me on the account. She knows I will keep my mouth shut and would not betray her by letting my Dad know. She has her reasons and I know, understand and respect them.

 

It was in my name when I was married and quite honestly if my Ex freaked out over it, I probably would have acted the same way your wife did. Feeling if I didn't stand up for Mom, I was somehow betraying her.

 

NOT THAT I AM JUSTIFYING IT, I am just saying your throwing a fit might have flipped her switch and she felt she had to defend her Mom.

 

Maybe Mom could reimburse you?

 

Chances are though, If you bring my last question up to your wife, you won't get a very good response and if you tell her to take her name off the account, then she can't help Mom out anymore so to speak and I really don't think I would travel down that road.

 

Jeez, I'm sorry, I can understand both sides here, but honestly I'm in your wife's shoes myself, I would let it go!

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How about this scenario...

 

Let's say you get back $2000 for a refund. Well normally since you work and she works you would decide to split it 50/50. But because of the fact that she wants to keep her name on Mom's account, her share gets cut by 20%, so now it's 70/30?

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