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Financial dishonesty: Why couples should have joint bank accounts

By Angela Kintu | Monday, May 15th 2017 at 07:59

A good marriage is based primarily on being honest with one another. It is, however, difficult to be married in a society where the overriding message is that honesty does not pay.

I have over the years discarded a lot of the advice I have received about marriage. Just like child rearing, you soon discover that every child is different and you have to tailor your treatment and reaction to their needs. Not every baby will have colic, need prickly heat powder or keep drastic night hours.

Similarly, no two couples are alike – not even twins who marry twins – so giving out blanket advice can be tricky and misleading. For example, women are always telling me how I should have an income on the side – one that Hubby does not know about – so that I have a fallback position/plan when he eventually cheats on me.

Well, for me that kind of strategy defeats the purpose of getting married in the first place. I had plenty of time as a singleton to do my own thing, make my own plans and spend my own money, and by the time I got married I was ready to do the joint thing all the way.

However, many of my peers react as though I am naive and setting myself up for a fall. Even one of my banks is being idiotic about it. They offer a facility for a joint account, but it seems they were not actually expecting any married couples to take it up. So now every time my husband and I have business there, we get asked inane questions and treated like a ticking time bomb.

When I was pregnant and not very mobile, Hubby did all the banking. Bank officials began to imply that perhaps he was doing things behind my back. And that maybe I was an oppressed housewife. When I finally turned up they seemed surprised.

Most recently, the bank manager (a woman, no less) actually had the nerve to tell me things would be easier if I had my own account, just in case the marriage went south.

I asked her if she was intending to seduce my husband and thereby precipitate the end. She had no answer. I know of one radical woman who has built a residential house on the side and uses a friend to pretend to be the landlord in order to rent it out. After that she successfully got her husband to rent the house for their own family!

So her husband is paying rent for the house they live in into an account that belongs to her! I wonder what will happen when he eventually finds out – and I bet he will. These things are like a pregnancy; they never stay hidden for long! The same people who swear by financial dishonesty wouldn’t dare treat their business partners with the same level of disrespect.

However, we’re supposed to always have an exit plan when it comes to our life partners. I suppose they imagine that business and pleasure should not be mixed.

But also that saying is ridiculous because business and pleasure will always mix. If a business is not pleasurable, why engage in it at all? I enjoy writing and get paid for it. Mix. You may have a way with numbers and get paid for it. More mix.

If you are not going to trust someone, then why go through all the trouble of calling hundreds of witnesses together and swearing in front of them and God that everything you both have belongs to the other?

Here’s some unsolicited advice: If complete financial accountability and honesty to another human being frightens you, don’t bother getting married.

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