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Guy Called Out For Advising Friend To Open Her Own Bank Account Against ‘Possessive’ Husband’s Wishes

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Money and finances are frequent sources of conflict in relationships and marriages. But one man on Reddit noticed this issue becoming downright dramatic between a couple he is friends with.

After he saw the husband becoming increasingly possessive over the wife’s earned money, he advised her to get her own bank account–and that sparked all kinds of drama.

He wasn’t sure if he’d overstepped, so he went to the AITA (Am I The A**hole) subReddit for perspective.

The Original Poster, who goes by the username gaslitah on the site, asked:

“AITA: Advised female friend to open own bank account because husband became possessive with the joint account money when she started making good money”

He explained:

“I (42m[ale]) advised my friend (29f[emale]) to open her own bank account because her husband (39m) was becoming very possessive over money in the joint account when she started making a good wage.”

“When they were first married she was a nanny with out much of an income. They agreed to have a joint account and split the bills. They used the shared account for expenses, his child support, everything.”

“She was able to use the joint account for going out and general expenses. She never spent much and respected that she didn’t make as much. Also it was and still is rare for her to go out without her husband.”

“Over the years she got a well paid job earning close to his income, equal or more.”

“She deposited her paychecks into the joint account and for a while there were no issues. She continued her frugal habits despite making and contributing similar money.”

“They continued going out together like they always had perhaps splurging a little more.”

“All the while he began buying a lot of new things for himself. Shoes, computers, and more. She spent a little bit to update her wardrobe because she had a new job and needed more professional clothing.”

“He became displeased with the additional amount they were spending and took away her card in order to control expenses.”

“He eventually returned it to her but complained whenever she used it.”

“This pattern continued for a year or two with him spending money on nice things and getting mad at her for using the card, even when she used it when they were out together and it could have been either of them.”

“When I came to understand the situation I advised her to open her own account and direct deposit into it. I continued to give this advice and to offer help to make that happen for months if not years.”

“Finally she did open her own account and changed direct deposit into it. I was so excited and proud of her for taking control of her finances.”

“Her husband was pissed. He threw away the debit card when it arrived in the mail and claimed he thought it was junk mail.”

“I told him he was being unreasonable because she deserved to have control of her money. He called me a lot of names including an a**hole.”

“He also called her a lot of names including and a**hole.”

“To be clear she is my friend and he is also although it’s strained. I have all along told him that it seemed (was) unfair.”

People on Reddit were then asked to judge who was in the wrong in this situation based on the following categories:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
  • NAH – No A**holes Here

As you might guess, most people were firmly on OP’s side and thought his friend’s husband’s behavior was a huge red flag–or maybe even a sign of abuse.

“NTA. He is financially abusive. Have her read some books or material about this. It could open her eyes.” –Coco_Dirichlet

“I’d also recommend she gets a fingerprint phone and a mobile banking app in case he takes her card again. It could take months or even years to help her realise she’s being abused, she needs freedom in the meantime.” –DazzlingAssistant342

“NTA. He threw away a debit card that wasn’t canceled. Any random off of the street could call the number, create a pin, and your friend’s money would be long gone.”

“Your friend needs to take a hard look at her marriage and really think about whether it’s worth saving.”

“Her husband was fine with her making and taking pennies, but now that she’s his equal and wants to be independent of that, she’s the bad guy??? Be there for your friend, she’s going to need you.” –MarigoldCat

“This is exactly what I think this is. Keeping being an excellent friend OP and look for other forms of abuse (including unexplained bruises). It may start as just financial abuse and get much worse. Watch closely. Never stop being her advocate.” –littleistgoldfish

“NTA, maybe start working on convincing her to leave him because he’s being abusive and if left unchecked will only get worse.” –Detached09

“NTA. It is financial abuse and powerplay and more women should be aware of it being unreasonable, unkind and destructive.” –Jocelyn-1973

“NTA. ‘took away her card in order to control expenses.’ Nope. Nope nope nope. This is a very, very big red flag for future abuse. And clearly over the line right now.”

“She is an adult, and he is trying to exert control over her, completely disregarding her agency. Simply ask her this: why is he allowed to deside what counts as reasonable or not?”

“Doesn‘t matter how much money she makes, or he spends. This is financial abuse. Plain and simple.” –theoneclyon

“I was reading the beggining, and I was like ‘okay, they now have more money on their account, this guy feels like he can spend some more on himself, his bill share has been higher for some years, so it shouldn’t be that big of a deal’, and then read the line you pointed out…”

“From that point forward it gets worse and worse. OP your friend is being abused and she should seek help. NTA” –Adies_

“NTA”

“As everyone else has said, being possessive over the bank account is financial abuse.”

“Making her put her whole wage in a joint account means he has 100% control over her. She has no chance to make any savings that are purely her own, and he can cut her off from all her money any time he wishes. That’s a major red flag of an abusive person.”

“Info: How long have this couple been together?”

“There is a 10 year age gap, and if they have been together a long time, it’s another red flag of an abusive personality.”

“Manipulative and controlling individuals go after young people – usually with not much dating experience – as they are naive to the subtle signs of abusive manipulation used to lock them into marriage.”

“(People of a similar age are much wiser to the signs as they have more dating experience)”

“Please continue to advocate for your friend…” –curious_seahorse1

“NTA… what he is doing is being financially abusive. The advice you were giving her is smart and she needs to stand up for herself.”

“They clearly need counseling and let her know she can ALWAYS count on your support. But also be careful he sounds like the type who might start isolating her from friends/ family/ job and get physically abusive ( obviously this is worst case not a therapist.)”

“I’d recommend marriage counseling to aid their clear communication problems.” –Dragons_2706

“OP, He’ll especially try to isolate her from you, as you are actively encouraging and enabling her to take precautionary measures to frustrate his methods of abuse. Please stick by your friend and refused to be shoved aside.” –yellowdragonteacup

“NTA, you’re trying to help someone who is being bullied by their lover when they put their own money into an account to use.”

“He doesn’t have the right to take her card away when HER money is in there, and opening her own account was the best idea. The fact he is acting like that screams control issues and she should be wary.” –CharismaPoison

“This. She should report that card lost or stolen if she hasn’t already and have her bank hold the card there for her if she has the option (if they don’t do the card then and there like mine does).”

“They should be able to do that. Same with any checks, and don’t store the extras at home. Trusted family or friend instead.”

“My sister’s ex-husband did this to her and wouldn’t let her have any access whatsoever to the accounts, though she was making the money. Emotional abuse as well, possible physical abuse, as well as cheating on her.”

“Three guesses why she divorced him and the first two don’t count. The first thing she did was take half the money in the account and went to a different bank to open an account.”

“I told her to clean it out-he was a trust fund baby (that has blown through the money in it for drugs by now. Thank God she got out when she did.)” –WaterBaby8182

Hopefully OP’s friends can work out their money issues.

Written by John Sundholm

John Sundholm is a writer, content producer and performer originally from Michigan. His writing has also appeared on YourTango, Delish and Medium, and he has produced content for NBC, The New York Times and The CW, among others. When not working, he can be found tripping over his own feet on a hiking trail while singing Madonna songs to ward off lurking bears.