Jealousy Between New Spouse And Kids?
Is It Wrong To Go Behind New Spouse’s Back?
Q: I am remarried and have a daughter from my first marriage who is just out of college and struggling to pay back college loans and get on her feet financially. I would like to occasionally help my daughter out by giving her some money, but my current wife disapproves of my giving money to my daughter. I have gone behind my wife’s back a couple of times, giving money to my daughter without telling my wife about this. Is this wrong?
A: If the money you give your daughter is your money that you have earned, and not your wife’s money, you have the right to spend it on your daughter if you so choose. The question is, do you assert your right to your wife and endure her disapproval, or do you keep your monetary gifts to your daughter a secret? Have you considered your wife’s point of view in terms of why she disapproves?
It may not hurt to sit down with your wife and ask her to voice the reasons for her concerns. And when she does open up, a little understanding can go a long way. Are you and your wife short on funds and she feels that you cannot afford to spend money on your daughter? Does she feel that your daughter is not responsible with money and is taking advantage of you? Is she feeling left out or does she resent your relationship with your daughter?
As a general rule, it is best to be open with one’s spouse about money issues. Although your wife disapproves of your giving money to your daughter, she may be even more upset at your deception.
One way to handle this issue is for you and your wife to agree that for large expenditures (you both need to agree on what “large” means) you will consult with each other or at least inform one another, but for expenditures under a certain agreed amount, you do not need to consult or inform each other about how you spend money. Then, if you keep your monetary gifts to your daughter under that amount, you don’t need to tell your wife, but you are also not being deceptive.