in Family, Rant

Here is a parable/story from 2005 about a friend and how money spending can turn into a contest between he and his spouse. I don’t agree with this (and there is a part II to the story as well), but read on and see if you hear anything you and your spouse may have said to each other in the past (about spending).

He has lunch out, so I can….

It’s always fun to go out and talk with friends about life and things, but it seems more and more I am intrigued by the “financial fisticuffs” that goes on in some relationships (most relationships actually, but I digress).

I was talking to a friend, and he had mentioned to me that his wife was out-of-town with the kids and that because of that he was taking advantage and going out for lunch during the week. Now on the surface, that doesn’t sound too bad (these folks are doing well financially, so he is not creating any kind of hardship doing this, and it is not like he was saying, “I am dropping by the strip club every night”) but after I had a chance to think about it I had time to think that this kind of behavior is still perilous in a relationship (any kind, marriage, business, whatever).

This kind of secrecy is a slippery slope to take, especially with money (but in general as well). If you do something, which you know might upset your spouse or partner, so you don’t tell them about it while in many occasions is prudent, nobody likes to “argy bargy” about things, it may be a symptom of a larger problem.

Money is one of those things that can destroy all parts of any relationship. Normal rational humans can become completely unglued and do the strangest out of character things, all in the name of money, keeping it, or spending it (or worse still in reaction to what someone else is doing with money).

If you feel you have to hide how you are spending your money from your partner, you really must ask yourself “Why am I doing this?”. Maybe you need to talk to your partner frankly about this behavior, because you might be surprised to find out what your partner thinks.

We leave this posting for now, but I will continue it in a day or so with the next step in this kind of “monetary trickery”, and more to the story I am telling.


  • April 24, 2013, 4:05 PM

    This doesn’t actually happen in my relationship ‘anymore’. It used to, as I imagine it does with most couples but we started using YNAB ( and we give every dollar a job – love the concept and so far, things are going well. *crosses fingers* *knocks on wood* *throws salt over shoulder…*

  • Denis April 21, 2013, 1:42 AM

    He might be the 2nd or 3rd worst cook in the country with the ability to burn the house down while boiling water. Or he might eve have permission to enjoy some non-home cooked meals out while she is gone. That is something I don’t know.

    If it is the financial urinating contest things WILL get ugly fast! In some ways being single can be good but many days I feel the bad of being single outweighs the good. Divorced people might argue about that but that is not the point I am trying to make. I don’t get into that contest with myself often. The next time that happens will be when I soon go buy my first new suit in 30 years. And that is where Me and I are gonna have that argument!!!
    Me… “That is too expensive!!!”
    I…”Bugger off! I need it for my interviews and that wedding in June!”
    Me… “What about our emergency fund? We also need to get some work done on the car!”
    Me… “I can take the bus!!!”
    Well, that convo can go on all day just like married folks! (grin) Still don’t know who will win though…

    What should I spend on a 3 piece suit anyway?? Been out of the suit market for over 30 years and haven’t a clue!

  • Bet Crooks April 20, 2013, 4:24 PM

    The next step is the old “she bought a pair of shoes, so I’m getting an iPhone5.” If the going-out-to-lunch is forbidden because of the fat/calories/salt, I guess sneaking the chance for a day or two is ok. But if it’s about the money, it’s going to get ugly fast.

    • bigcajunman April 20, 2013, 6:50 PM

      Precisely, if it becomes a “pee pee” contest it is going to get much worse quickly…


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