Post # 1
hi ladies, long time reader first time writer here. Hope to get some perspective from uninvolved people on a situation I am dealing with.
I am in a marriage with a guy who’s financial situation is very different from mine. To avoid gender stereotyping I will not say which one of us is which, but here’s the deal. One of us came into the marriage with significant amount of pre-existing wealth (we are talking between 2 and 10m) and the other one came in with little savings and lingering student debt (5 years out of grad school). The rich spouse doesn’t work and probably will not work again. They feel that jobs they could get are not worth their time, and jobs that they want they can’t get. They receive sporadic investment income on their capital. The poor spouse works and makes stable low to mid six figures. The poor’s spouse’s income is therefore the couple’s main source of cash for everydays’s expenses and bills. They live in a very expensive metro area and all of that income goes to rent, bills, student loans, insurance premiums and occasional vacations. Nothing super fancy. The rich spouse contributes when the poor’s spouses income fails to cover monthly bills, but outside of that the rich sopouse’s money are in separate accounts. They are also protected by an ironclad prenup. The poor spouse gets nothing no matter how long they stay married.
Now the resentmet over this situation is reaching its boiling point. The poor spouse feels that they are being used as a cash cow. Their natural inclination is to save to have money in the bank they can fall back on if need be, which are not the other spouses money (which are completely separate). To that end, the poor spouse wants to move to a cheaper apartment and cut back on wasteful spending (ie $4 lattes). Alternatively, the poor spouse is ok with the other contributing equal amount each month (not just ad hoc sums when needed) and saving the balance to the couple’s joint savings account. The rich spouse adamantly refuses to cut back on lifestyle. They feel the lifestyle they have is bare minimum of what’s acceptable. Further, the rich spouse doesn’t feel they need to save because they (the rich spouse) have enough money in the bank for emergencies, and the poor spouse should just trust them that that money will be made available to them if needed. And, in fact the rich spouse has used their savings in the past to bail out the poor one ($40k magnitude), so they are offended by the lacks of trust. So the rich spouse feels that they should just spend all their income and enjoy life. And when the poor spouse gets a raise they can buy a house using rich person’s money for down payment and Poor’s person raise for monthly payments. (a house could be bought now but under current poor’s person income the couple can’t afford a house big enough that the rich spouse has in mind).
questio. Is this: which one if them is being a douchebag and can they avoid the divorce?
Post # 2
I cannot believe the rich spouse is expecting the working spouse to pony up most of the finances for their shared life.
Someone is a douche.
Post # 3
Wait wait wait. Am I understanding this? In the event of divorce the poor spouse gets nothing no matter how long they stay married because the rich spouse makes them spend all the poor spouse’s money and has a prenup to protect his/her own money? And poor spouse has no savings bc the rich spouse is spending it all? So if they divorced the rich spouse would have every penny of their millions in tact without working because all living expenses were paid for by the hardworking poor spouse and the poor spouse would be a pauper?
Lololol I’d love to see the rich spouse try to argue the “ironclad” prenup should be enforced.
Post # 4
You kind of lost me at “The poor spouse works and makes stable low to mid six figures.”
Post # 5
I have trouble believing that the rich spouse actually has all this money if he/she is just hoarding it rather than putting it towards something useful or important.
Post # 6
firstname.lastname@example.org: Rich spouse is being a douchebag/cunt.
Marriage is a partnership, and that’s not what I’m seeing here. If there’s a portfolio worth 2mil+, that’s well invested, rich spouse could easily pull out 3K each month to contribute towards joint expenses, and the capital shouldn’t even go down, based on my limited knowledge of this kind of thing.
Also, with the iron clad prenup, until there’s a house involved, poor spouse seems totally fucked in the event of divorce, which is extremely unfair.
The couple should go to counseling together and the poor spouse should go to an independent financial advisor then go with rich spouse to theirs.
I don’t believe a rich spouse should totally bail out a poor spouse, but this isn’t cool either. There needs to be a balance, and both spouses need to make fair and responsible financial decisions.
Post # 7
I would feel pretty used if I was the poor spouse. I would be miserable deep down. That’s not fair.
It wouldn’t be a big deal if the prenup wasn’t there And if money was shared.
Some people in their marriages can manage keeping money 100% separate, others combine their money 100%. Both can work for different couples. This situation sucks because rich spouse is ‘sharing’ poor spouses money but is keeping their money all for themSelf.
To me, this situation would almost be ok if the wife were the rich spouse and was staying home taking care of the house and family, but then the prenup still gets in the way of making that semi-okay.
I would be furious as a wife if my husband had a ton of money, stayed home all dayand made me work all day, not letting us use his money.
Post # 8
LoL sadly on both coasts six figures doesn’t buy much. But yes, the poor spouse is not really poor, just relative to the other spouse.
Post # 9
email@example.com: I’m sorry, I had to lol a little bit at this. But it suuuuure sounds like rich spouse is totally being a douchebag and controlling poor spouse via the purse strings. I think if I was poor spouse, I would definitely not contribute all of my money to necessities unless rich spouse was willing to contribute the same.
Post # 10
Dizbee: thats pretty much it. Since the wealth was pre-marital and working spouse pays for expenses, not only the prenup would be enforcable, but the rich spouse would sue for alimony (and possibly get it).
I am curious if there’s a proper way of handling such situations. Surely rich/not so rich people get married all the time, how does it get handled? In retrospect, it was a huge mistake to not discuss these issues before the wedding with a counselor and a financial planner. But hey, we thought what could possibly go wrong when we have all this money and income? Very misguided.
Post # 11
This is so radically different from my reality as well as my idea of marriage.
Post # 12
If rich spouse has such high standards and expectation, rich spouse need to pony up more cash. Poor spouse is totally getting f**ed spending all his/her money and having none of their “own” savings in case the shit hits the fan.
Post # 13
firstname.lastname@example.org: Did poor spouse get their own lawyer for the drafting and signing of the prenup? That’s the only kind that’s enforceable in my state. Prenups are supposed to protect both parties, and this one sounds horribly one sided.
Post # 14
Rich spouse is not contributing to daily living expenses or shared savings therefore makes his/her money work for him/herself only and not the marriage. Ergo, douchebag.
Post # 15
Well, my mother always said things should be split down the middle no matter what. Thats fair. If one is ‘rich’ and one is ‘poor’ all the bills should be shared equal. And the ‘rich’ spose should understand that the ‘poor’ spose needs a savings especially since they get nothing according to this prenup. The poor spose is getting screwed.