Should you reveal all your income to your spouse?

So, this morning, I got asked:

As a rule, the right thing to do in marriage is full disclosure. Your spouse should know exactly how much you earn, and you should know how much your partner earns too. If there are no issues, why would anyone want to keep that information from their spouse?

But note the clause, if there are no issues. In reality, there are sometimes situations that require exceptions to the rule. Under certain circumstances, there are issues that make it necessary to be discrete about your income. In such cases, it just might be wise to hold back certain information.

For example, should a husband be that person who collects his salary and spends it on booze and returns home again and again to demand money from his wife, it is time for her to have a think about it. Because of his irresponsibility, she is probably already carrying the financial burden of the home: rent, school fees, feeding, and other things. Despite all of that, she will need to save for the future and take care of herself as well. She must learn to say “No” to his demands for money.

Also, in the above scenario, should she experience an increase in income or some money comes in from an investment she made or something of the sort, it is my opinion that she would be acting foolishly disclosing this to him. She needs to protect herself and the children by keeping information of her extra income from him (we are assuming here that he already knows what she used to earn).

There are other scenarios, and this applies both ways. Should a wife too be constituting herself a nuisance or acting irresponsibly financially, I would recommend that it is time for the man to consider withholding information, especially if she would use that information selfishly or to hurt him or the family.

By all means, the standard approach is to withhold nothing and be transparent. However, where experience with a spouse indicates that full transparency is not expedient, then by all means be wise and withhold information. Not everyone handles truth, honesty and openness responsibly. Sadly.

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