My wife and I have been married 4 years (United States). We had a baby 6 months ago and 8 months ago my wife quit working, it started to be to much on her physically and now we both like that our child is not in daycare, which means someone has to be home, this ended up being my wife as she worked part time and my income far exceeded what she earned.
Originally we had our own bank accounts, she still maintains her own checking account and is now on as a registered user at my credit union on my accounts (checking, savings, special purpose and daughters account). A couple years ago we went to my credit union and got her a debit card to use against my checking account as she felt that if something happened to me she would not have any money. Many years ago, probably 7 or 8 we decided that since I am more disciplined with money that I would be responsible for making sure all of our bills were paid, both personal and joint (credit cards we had before each other, mortgage etc)
Since my wife is no longer employed (albeit working pretty hard, babies are demanding little bosses) she has obviously no personal income. This is the point in which we differ in our though process, she feels that money earned from employment is hers or mine, where my thought process is, we are married, and all accounts except her checking are joint, there is no yours and mine, there is only ours.
Since she does have a debit card linked to what is now and has been for awhile now, our checking account, my philosophy is, if you need something just swipe the card, that is after all why she wanted it, to be able to access money in what was previously my checking account before she became an authorized user on my accounts (which at the institution is equal to joint). After about two months my wife started to tell me that she wanted a weekly allowance so she can make her own purchases without me seeing what they are as I don't need to.
My wife also states that she feels guilty swiping the debit card and that she feels like she needs to get my permission before using it, she only needs to "ask my permission" (which isn't really asking my permission, it's informing your partner of what you intend to do with a larger amount of money which is a reasonable thing to do in my opinion) if the purchase is large, which I always do as well. I choose to do that for purchases of $20 or more, it just keeps her informed of where the money went, other then that, use it for what you need it for, gas, groceries, misc crap at 7-11.
Today she forgot her PIN, and this brought up the conversation again of her having her own money. She wants an allowance, so for either me to write her a check every week that she can go deposit in her own bank account (which I am not on) or for me to give her cash. My reply was in my view of the logical sort, "if you need to get something, then swipe the card, that's why you have it."
This, as it did in our previous discussion on this matter, make her mad. She stated that "You should not need to see every transaction that I make" so again my response which was taken not so well was "what do you mean I don't need to see every transaction, what are you trying to hide, you have the debit card to use, that's why we got it for you, so use it and if you have to have cash for some transaction, go to the ATM and get it" I personally do not take an allowance, I don't understand the point, if I need something I get it or ask my wife while she is out and about to get it for me.
My response was like that because it has happened to me on multiple occasions where a family member has just used my credit card to get what they want without my knowledge or even just coming to me and asking, which I count as theft. I have also had to close and open checking accounts on at least three (3) different occasions due to someone gaining access to my account, so I am always suspicious and always check my bank account, sometimes multiple times a day.
How can I approach this to discuss with her so that we can both get our feelings across and understand each other's side? To me it feels like I just have to give her whatever allowance she wants, which leaves me feeling resentful, which I can't stand for obvious reasons. I know I am failing to understand her point of view as I think she is also failing to see mine. As I said, there is, in my opinion, no your money or my money, there is one income in our family unit and it is our income.
I am by no means trying to "control her", she can do whatever she wants, she is a human being. As I said in the above, as far as I am concerned we don't have "our own money", we have a joint account where all the bills get paid from, she used to get the groceries on her own from her checking account when she was working, but now she is working at home, meaning taking care of our child.