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Redditor Sparks Drama With Wife After Refusing To Think Of Work Bonus As ‘Family Money’

Woman holding money
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Redditor Chemical_Party_9901 recently got a bonus at work and now the question becomes, what happens with that money?

The Original Poster (OP) recently got into it with their wife because she wants the bonus money to be family money, but they want the bonus money to be personal money.

This argument drove the OP to subReddit “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA).

They asked:

“AITA for feeling my work bonus should be my money and not family money?”

They went on to explain:

“Hey, I got into a little argument with my wife regarding my work bonus. This is my first job in my field after school.”

“We recently had a performance review and I got a raise and bonus. My wife feels like my bonus should be considered family money.”

“My wife does not get monetary bonuses at her job, she works on an hourly rate. I also earn more and pay a higher percentage of our household expenses.”

“We got into it because I wanted to keep my bonus and use it on myself. My wife feels like we should use it for the family or save it.”

“I tried to explain that I do feel I should be free to use my work bonus as I wish. She is calling me selfish and claims I do not understand what marriage means.”

“I see no issue with a bonus being used solely by the person who earned it. I told her if she got a bonus I would not question what she did with it.”

“She then replied if I got one I would use it for us as a family.”

“Am I the a**hole and in the wrong here? If I am considered to be, I will apologize to her tonight.”

“We are both 26, no kids.”

Redditors weighed in by declaring:

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

Redditors decided:

“What is possibly the logic behind sharing your salary (which you earned with support of your wife) with your family and not your bonus (which you earned with support of your wife) ?”

“Explain this hypocrisy to me please”

“YTA” – No_Mongoose54786799

Getting a bonus does not mean you’re special.

“A few years from now, when you’ve been through several years of evaluations and bonuses, you’re going to look back on this and feel foolish for thinking your bonus was incredibly special.”

“Bonuses are part of your company’s compensation scheme. A bonus was always going to be part of your compensation.”

“They decreased everyone’s salary a bit to create the bonus pool. Whether it’s salary or bonus, it’s still income.”

“Receiving a bonus does not mean you’re special. It just means you met specific criteria.”

“So stop with the ‘I’m so special I got a bonus’ crap, and share your income as agreed. Celebrate meeting your work criteria like a normal person, by going out for dinner.”

“YTA” – Literally_Taken

“Sorry dude, unless your bonus was under 200$, YTA. If you are married any financial decisions should be made jointly unless it is a small amount.”

“My husband and I (30 years married) selected 200$ when we married. We now have a net worth in the millions and still use the $200 rule.”

“We kind of joke about it, but we still do it. We are a TEAM. My first husband who passed away young and i did the same thing. In both instances both partners worked.”

“In the first marriage he earned far more in my second marriage I earned about 25% more. That wasn’t the issue,ever. It is the teamwork aspect.”

“When I married my dad told me ‘when you get an award at work buy yourself something to recall the achievement’ he didn’t say spend it all.”

“I still have some jewelry I bought many years ago to commemorate an award. But I didn’t spend the entire award and always discussed it with my spouse. YTA.” – Reddit

“YTA. You have an agreement on how you share the finances, and you’re trying to bullsh*t your way out of it.”

“Also, it’s hilarious that you try and pull the ‘she can keep her bonuses, so it’s fair’ card when you know that she doesn’t get any bonuses.”

“Bonus is salary, and your distinction is nonsense.” – Basic-Regret-6263

“‘She is calling me selfish and claims I do not understand what marriage means.’”

“She’s right. Marriage is supposed to be a partnership; you both should be working together for the good of both of you, for the good of the team.”

“You’re looking out for yourself only, and that’s why YTA.” – PingPongProfessor

“YTA. The bonus is part of your compensation. If you want to use it for something to reward your hard work, I suggest having that idea ready for your wife.”

“But to blanket a policy of bonuses for the person who earned it, that’s weird.”

“Can’t wait for the wife to win the lottery and let you know her $1B is hers and not yours.” – Familiar_Practice906

“With every rebuttal, OP digs his heels in further to defend his single-minded behavior. He has no idea what true partnership means, and acts as if it’s his wife’s privilege to be married to him.”

“I hope you grow up, and your wife escapes soon. Sadly, YTA.” – HWDRedd

“YTA, you should spend it how you want but the fact that you DON’T want to spend it on your family, at least part of it, should make you pause and think.”

“Your wife surely got the message of your priorities and how much (or little) you value the family.” – Cool_Department_1027

“I am forever baffled at married people who have a ‘you sink, I float,’ mentality.”

“Your wife has a different pay structure than you that doesn’t include bonuses ever, so she should just be perpetually on a budget while you get discretionary fun money?”

“My husband used to be in sales and would get bonuses, commissions, and spiffs that made his income vary wildly from month to month.”

“I am a nurse with a very steady paycheck and great job security. There were times he earned way more than me, but also periods of minimal take home and unemployment.”

“I cannot imagine how resentful we both would be if he had spent those commissions only on himself and I had refused to float him during unemployment.”

“We all sink or float together; that’s the point of marriage! YTA” – ferngully1114

“Bonuses are considered employment income and are therefore as much marital funds as is the rest of your salary. As is your raise.”

“Having help at home helps you perform at work, as much as both of your incomes help you at home.”

“Soft YTA here, because I think you are just wrong, not really an a**hole.”

“FYI: lottery win = family asset. Inheritance = personal asset. Look at the laws where you are.” – candycoatedcoward

The OP went on to post an update:

“Update: it has been a lovely ride. You guys can relax. We came up with a solution when I spoke with her on the bus ride home.”

“She convinced me to use the bonus as a down payment instead of saving for it outright. So yes, I am getting my car.”

“I did show her the thread, and she laughed her a** off and said we should keep it going to see how it plays out. It was fun we had a blast reading the comments.”

“We did have a bet going, not the outcome we wanted. Sticking strong with NTA. Verdict accepted. My wife was in the YTA camp. She probably won, but as they say, a win by proxy I will take it.”

“On a more serious side, thank you for explaining how bonuses work. I will be talking to payroll to see what is the nature of my bonus and if they are considered on a yearly basis…”

“…and I will also look into the benefits of filing jointly.”

“My wife did way many of you need love cause she was surprised to see all the rage and divorce comments.”

“As she put it marriage must be weak if something like this is divorce-worthy to many of you.”

“My wife did have one question, why were people giving her the benefit of the doubt when they were told she would use her bonus for our family….”

“…yet when I mentioned I would let her keep her bonus if she got one I was told that is bullsh*t, and it is easy to say since I know it would not happen.”

“I agree that part also confused me. I just told her it was a more reasonable view that someone would do something nice.”

“That said, we are both done, she told me not to bother with the update because no one would believe me anyway, but doing so for the handful of people that were being helpful.”

“I missed many comments, and I appreciate what was said and know it is not an advice sub but I will take it to heart and look into it.”

“Have fun and happy Halloween.”

“One last edit since people keep asking via, the raise was $8250 and came with a matching bonus.”

Everyone’s financial agreements in their marriage differ.

Written by B. Miller

B. is a creative multihyphenate who enjoys the power and versatility of the written word. She enjoys hiking, great food and drinks, traveling, and vulnerable conversation. Raised below the Mason Dixon, thriving above it. (she/her)