Is it unacceptable to not discuss your finances with your partner unless you two are engaged or married?
An internet user asked, “Am I a jerk for ‘hiding’ my savings from my fiancé?”. We want to hear your thoughts!
The Original Poster (OP) recently got engaged to his fiancé after two years of dating and told her they should probably start looking at houses. She told him that they didn’t have the money for a deposit on a mortgage, but OP personally had a lot of money in savings.
“It’s a little bit more than $160,000.”, says OP.
OP’s Girlfriend’s Reaction
OP’s girlfriend was initially just shocked because it is a lot of money for a 24-year-old to have saved (OP has been extremely lucky in life). After a couple of days, she began to be annoyed at OP.
She felt like OP was hiding this from her.
What Did OP Tell Her In His Defense?
OP told her that he didn’t hide it from her, he was just raised to not talk about personal finances with anyone other than someone you’re married to. He figured being engaged is close enough that he’s now happy to talk about it.
He Mentioned He Helped Him Before
He also said that he had actually used these savings to help her before (OP has paid her rent a few times when she couldn’t and paid a couple of thousand dollars for her dog to get surgery).
“She was still quite angry and has been giving me the silent treatment for the past day.”, says OP.
What Does Everyone Else Think?
OP’s parents don’t see the problem. His fiancé’s parents understand his perspective but think he should have told her when they moved in together last year. None of their friends know because OP doesn’t feel comfortable talking about it with them.
The Tension Right Now
OP has already asked her if they can talk about it when she’s ready and she just said she’d let him know when she is.
“I don’t think this is a relationship-ending thing, but I know she probably wants me to admit I was wrong. I don’t think I’ve done anything wrong. So I’m asking you guys more out of curiosity for what others think.”, says OP.
Her Reaction Feels A Little Too Much
“Not the jerk. You aren’t married yet, so your money is your business. It would be understandable to have a discussion about both of your financial situations by this point in your relationship, but she didn’t raise this topic either.
Her reaction feels a little too much, as if she would have wanted you to give her financial support or something if she had known you had so much. This is definitely a red flag.
I recommend that you don’t buy a house together until married and that the two of you both contribute to the down payment and mortgage payments.
You Waited Until The Right Time
“Not the jerk. I think at the point of getting engaged and thinking about your future with her, that would be the time to share financial information. I’m confused as to why she thinks it was her business before this.
I’m not trying to be a weirdo, but I’d like to ask her why she wanted to know sooner. What might it have changed for her?”
This Should Have Come Up Earlier
“You’re the soft jerk. You’ve already lived together for a while, and that is really when finances should start being discussed.
Even if a large savings account is positive I’d feel like I was lied to by omission and that my partner couldn’t trust me.
She’s not entitled to your savings but I really feel like this should have come up in earlier discussions.”
You Did Nothing Wrong
“Firstly, silent treatment should be a deal breaker. Secondly, you did nothing wrong.
It seems she’s upset because if she’d known she would have taken (more) advantage of your wealth.”
Your Money Is Your Business Alone
“Your finances are your business alone. Once engaged, financial conversations need to happen as you hash out how you want to handle money together.
It’s your money, not hers. She should be impressed, not upset, unless it changes her expectations of what you can afford FOR HER. That could be a problem going forward. If your ring isn’t as expensive as she now wants it to be, she’s mad you aren’t buying her expensive things and vacations, you need to have conversations about finances quickly.
Finances are a huge source of arguments between couples. Hash this out sooner than later. If it’s not going to work out, figure it out before you get married.”
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