Ask Amy: She Helped Him Get Through His Illness, But Now His Wife Is Hiding Her Finances From Him

Dear Amy: I met my wife online just before having a serious accident, followed by cancer in 2013. She stayed with me during my treatment and recovery, but it was not “cookies and cream ”during this period. We fought a lot. She left a few times, but always came back.

I was grateful to her for her financial and emotional support for a little over a year, and ended up marrying her when I finished my treatments.

She works in a public school and has a low salary.

Since returning to work, I have financially supported our household (95 percent, she pays for her own gas) and have used my accident payout to pay for our daily expenses.

Two years ago her father passed away and she received an important inheritance, as well as her house.

Since then, she has hidden her finances from me. She filed taxes separately, without telling me. She spent extravagantly on herself.

She made no effort to help us with our daily finances.

She won’t let us move into her father’s house because her 30-year-old “deadbeat” son lives there alone, having dropped out of college to become a player. Until then, I still pay $ 3,300 a month in rent.

I gave her power of attorney in the event of incapacity and made her my beneficiary, as she had requested several years ago. Now I find out she never did that back!

She hid all of her inherited property in a living trust. In the meantime, I cannot save enough for our retirement and I am constantly worried about our finances. I wake up at least once a week in the middle of the night with financial worries.

I don’t know how long I will be able to continue like this! What can I do?

– Tired and taxed

Dear Tired, Given the lack of financial confidence between the two of you, it would be a good idea to immediately remove your wife from your power of attorney.

You should then be honest with her that you can no longer pay the rent of $ 3,300, so she will have to pay half of the rental expenses and share the other household expenses.

The money and property she inherited from her father belong to her by right. It could deliberately keep these assets separate in order to avoid them being considered “property of the community”.

But just like you put your Accident Benefit into living expenses, she should now dip into her kitty to help support the household.

I guess she will refuse.

His refusal to contribute to his own housing and living expenses, to follow through on verbal agreements, or to share financial information with you are real red flags. Staying married to her could potentially sink you.

You should look for cheaper rental accommodation to move into when your lease ends. Unfortunately, this downsizing could include its downfall.

Dear Amy: My sister and I are planning a surprise dinner for my 70th birthday at a nice restaurant for my parents.

It will mainly be family and a couple of friends.

We decided to pay the entire bill before sending out the invitations.

A few family members asked if they could contribute money to the bill, and we don’t know how to respond!

My sister and I have been discussing this and we feel quite weird to take anything from anyone.

What should we do?

– Uncertain

Dear Unsure: A few family members politely asked in advance if they could help with the bill. It is a thoughtful and generous response to your invitation.

All you have to do is acknowledge their attention when you decline.

You reply, “It’s so kind of you to propose, but we have that, and it will be a pleasure to welcome you on this special evening.” Hope to see you!”

Dear Amy: I am a college teacher.

My students and I would like to thank you for devoting your advice column entirely to the stories of Vietnam veterans on the last Veterans Day.

It can be difficult to describe this time to very young people whose parents don’t even remember Vietnam.

The words of these veterans and their loved ones really helped put this conflict – and our country’s response to those who served – into context.

– Teacher

Dear teacher, I am very happy that my columns are so often used as teaching aids in classrooms. In this case, we all owe a debt to the Veterans who provided their own testimonies.

You can email Amy Dickinson at [email protected] or send a letter to Ask Amy, PO Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068.

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