I read the letter to your column from the wife whose husband refused to hand over her $1,200 stimulus check. If he is the only one who’s working and has to pay ALL the bills in the house, why should he give her half of the stimulus money? He’s the one who needs help — not her!
I can’t believe the sick selfishness of you people where men are concerned.
I’m in the same situation. Of course, I’m a generous man. She’ll get a couple of hundred bucks to go shopping — and that’s it. As I pay 100% of everything in the household, I will never give my wife $1,200 to blow her stimulus check in the store, while I’m struggling to make ends meet.
Why am I wrong to keep most of the money?
Sick & Tired
Dear Sick & Tired,
Because it doesn’t have your name on it, even if it’s deposited into a joint bank account. Because it’s a tax credit based on your 2020 tax returns. Because if you file a joint tax return, the $2,400 check should be split. Because if your wife files her own $1,200 tax return, it belongs to her.
Because controlling how much money you give to your wife from her stimulus infantilizes her. Because she’s not a child, she’s an adult and your wife. Because you vowed to love and honor each other. Because dishing out a few hundred dollars from her check is demeaning and patronizing.
Because your decision to withhold her stimulus check says more about you than it does about her. Because maintaining such control over the purse strings can’t make either of you happy. Because sitting down together and coming up with a family budget might lead to a healthier and happier life.
Because it’s always better to treat others as you would like to be treated. Because if it’s hysterical it’s historical. Because a marriage should be a partnership of equals, not an opportunity to live out some childhood grievances by controlling others. Because this is an opportunity to look at yourself.
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Because love is not a four-letter word — love is an action. Because love is not transactional. Because you don’t show your wife respect by making these decisions for her. Because many women choose to be homemakers and raise children, and put family before career, and it’s a full-time job.
Because we should always endeavor to imagine ourselves at 80 or 90 or beyond, and think, ‘What would have been the most honorable thing to do?’ and do that. Because it’s never too late to use a public-health emergency to reevaluate our relationship with the world, ourselves and each other.
Because whether you like it or not she has made sacrifices too. Because your wife, like everyone else, probably has her struggles too. Because her struggles may also be related to choices she made, including her choice to marry you over, say, the other guy who would have worshipped her.
Because she may wonder, in the quiet of night, what happened to the man she married. Because you may wonder what happened to the woman you married. Because it’s mature to take 50/50 responsibility for your life, your relationship, and your finances, even if there’s one earner.
Because we often believe this, that or the other is somebody’s else’s fault. Because we are all responsible for our own choices, including you. Because what would your life be like without your wife? Because this need to keep it likely has nothing to do with her, and everything to do with you.
Because this is an opportunity for you both to learn about give and take, and work together as a team rather than as two people living under the same roof. Because she won’t forget how it feels to have her check withheld. Because, even if it goes against your instincts, it’s the honorable thing to do.
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