She Says: I Don’t Think We Have to Share All of Our Financial Assets
I don’t see the harm in keeping some accounts separate.
He says: Now that we’re married, we should own everything together
We are united in all aspects of our lives, and that should include finances.
With modern couples, both are used to earning and managing their own money, so it’s not surprising that many couples choose to continue that arrangement after they marry. But just because it’s common doesn’t mean it’s good. First, let’s make an important distinction.
The problem isn’t with the separate “little” ownerships, such as each spouse owning their own clothes, personal gifts, memorabilia. The problem is when they keep separate ownership of the “big” things such as earnings, savings, investments, real estate. When a married couple keeps ownership of those things separate, it signifies and reinforces a fundamental division at the heart of their union.
Here’s an example. It would express and build a married couple’s unity for them to talk about “my” vs. “your” shared responsibilities in caring for “our” home. But it would express and reinforce the exact opposite, a separateness, if one spouse were to talk (or even to think) about this as “my house,” as in, “not your house” too, simply because that spouse happened to own it before the other moved in.
Getting married is about much more than “mine” and “yours.” It’s about two people becoming one by forming a total, lifelong, unbreakable, exclusive and sacred union.
At your wedding, you each vowed to completely “give” and to completely “take,” for better and for worse, the entirety of the completely mixed bags that each of you are. Each of your bags contained all your assets, all your debts, all your good financial habits and all your poor ones, and when you got married you combined everything in those two bags into one bag.
For sure, co-mingling finances can be nerve-wracking, especially when a good money manager marries a not-so-great money manager, or a saver marries a spender. But to succeed in marriage you have to be “all in all the time.” Moreover, God has your back. And so, if you each pour yourselves fully and without any reservations – including financial ones – into your marriage, God will pour into your union an even greater abundance of happiness.
Steve and Bridget Patton hold master’s degrees in theology and counseling and serve as family life ministers in the Diocese of Sacramento.