Users on Mumsnet have been encouraging a woman to leave her partner after she revealed she is worried to tell him that she is about to inherit a large amount of money, due to his irresponsible financial behaviour.
“A relative of mine died recently and it turns out she was worth quite a lot of money,” the user, PhrynrFisher wrote in the post. “My aunt is the executor of the will and has told me that she left me some money. They are trying to work out the details but it’s a decent amount (in the sort of £50k bracket). I personally have never had this much money in my life and am unlikely to again so I want to make sure it’s not wasted. I’m on a relatively low income.”
“However there are things like a hole in my roof and a cracked window from where it slammed shut in a storm that I haven’t been able to get replaced/repaired because I couldn’t afford it, that sort of thing,” the woman’s post continued. “Nothing flash, but things that could make my life a bit better.”
She then goes on to say her concerns lie in the fact that her significant other, “spends money like water.” She describes how he is from a much more affluent background than herself, and how ten years ago, blew through £125,000 [approximately $150,000] inheritance in six months, “On a new car, holidays, gadgets, tickets,” she wrote. “We made a few joint decisions and did some home improvements but most of it went on stuff he decided we needed, but didn’t. He didn’t save one penny of it.”
“This money has been left specifically to me and is going into my bank account that he can’t access (because that way I can control the spending from it). But if I get the work done he will know I have some and he will constantly come up with things we ‘need’ or show me the latest version of something we already have that doesn’t need replacing,” the user wrote. “So, am I wrong to lie about the amount, tell him it’s £10,000 [approximately $12,000] and enough to get the roof fixed? I will get the roof fixed anyway, I’m not asking his permission. Either way he won’t have access to it but if he doesn’t know how much I actually have, he can’t make it into an issue.”
“Before anyone points out the obvious, no, it’s not the most stable relationship on the planet, and we are working on that, but the chances of us going the distance are 50/50 at best. So there’s also the element of if we did. split up, and I hadn’t told him the true amount he would probably be entitled to half anyway, which isn’t ideal.
A Sociological Review study of marriage, finances and inequality found that, “The study indicates a complex pattern of relationships between household income level, household allocative system and gender.
“Female control of finances, though it was associated with greater decision-making power for women, did not protect them against financial deprivation; however, male control of finances, especially when it took the form of the housekeeping allowance, did serve to protect the financial interests of men in comparison with women,” the study said. “Gender inequality was least in households with joint control of pooled money and greatest either in low-income households or in higher-income households with male control of finances.”
Another study by the University of Southern Mississippi found that out of 415 participants only 27 percent admitted to keeping financial secrets from their partner. When questioned more deeply, however, and asked questions regarding financial unfaithfulness, more than half of the participants confessed to fibbing.
Some Mumsnet users suggested the original poster leave her partner over his attitude towards money.
One user wrote, “I wouldn’t tell him, but I also wouldn’t stay with him. £50k [approximately $60,000] will get you a deposit sorted on a place of your own sure?”
“I’d not tell him at all,” another Mumsnet user commented. “Say your aunt inherited and has lent you the roof money. If you must say anything. Frankly I’d dump him and move on. Life with a squandering spender is a miserable existence”, while user VladmirsPoutine suggested she, “… downplay it to the point he thinks you inherited around maybe £3/4k ish or whatever it takes to sort the roof – as you don’t want him to be suspicious. momentum to get rid of him.”
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