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Man asks if he's wrong for refusing to increase unemployed wife's 'pocket money.'

Man asks if he's wrong for refusing to increase unemployed wife's 'pocket money.'


Dividing up household chores and finances can be a daunting and awkward task for young couples, especially when there are vastly different work schedules and childcare responsibilities...

If you can lock down a system that seems to work for everyone, why rock the boat? So, when a conflicted husband and medical resident decided to consult the moral compass of the internet otherwise known as Reddit's 'Am I the As*hole' about his law school student wife's financial situation, people were quick to help deem a verdict.

AITA (Am I the As*hole) for not giving my wife who doesn't work more pocket money?

I (M27) can't help but feel like an as*hole about the situation and my wife (F23) has been calling me an a*shole the whole week. Meanwhile our close family are taking my side and friends are split. I for one don't see what I can do. For context, we live in Europe.

The issue is the following: My in-laws halved the amount of money they give my wife each month and she wants me to make up the difference out of pocket. For it to make sense I have to explain our finances.

I am a medical resident, my pay is sh*t frankly. But it doesn't matter, because I have real estate properties and make a decent amount of passive income from rent.

My wife does not work, because she is still in law school and her time is full between that and taking care of our son (2y).

So here is the situation. 20% of my income goes straight into our savings, this I will not budge on come hell or high water. About 40-60% goes into household expenses, this includes the nanny/housekeeper, food, gas, electricity, and my wife's school expenses.

The percentage varies each month ofc course but lately due to the war all these expenses have risen, so it's always on the higher side. The rest of the money is split between my wife and I but not evenly and here is why:

Before we even got married my wife had an agreement with her parents: As long as she stayed in law school and kept her grades high she would receive minimum wage from them so that she didn't have to work and could focus on school.

When we got married I promised to give her half of what her parents gave her each month. This way our monthly pocket change would be roughly the same.

This agreement has worked for the past 4 years. Unfortunately this midterms her grades dropped. They're not terrible mind you but her parents have high standards so until she can get her grades back up in February they said they'd half her monthly pay. I kept the amount I give her the same. Essentially she receives minimum wage now.

My wife has asked me to increase how much I give her to make up the difference. I refused, and I still refuse. My income didn't magically increase in a month.

I pointed out that she had an agreement with her parents and me. That her decrease in her money is a result of her actions. I upheld my side of the bargain.

I told her she will just have to deal with a little less personal money for a couple of months until she can get her grades back up (I'm 100% certain she can do this).

She maintained this isn't fair and that as her husband I should take care of her. She said I could just lower how much I keep to myself or raise the rent since I already rent under the market price.

I told her I am not raising rent and leaving people homeless in these uncertain times, and that if I give her more from my own side i'd almost have nothing left for myself each month.

I really wish I could give her more, I do, but I can't magically make more money, and I think I deserve a little for myself as well. IMO her receiving minimum wage without working is enough. So AITA?

Yes, being a student and a parent is a juggling act but this couple has a housekeeper AND a nanny?

What exactly does she need to be spending all this extra money on when her life seems to be mostly taken care of at this point? Expecting an adult to follow a rewards system based on grades that motivates most third graders seems patronizing, but replacing her parents' support with money from her husband isn't the answer.

Of course, the jury of internet strangers was eager to weigh in on this financial debate. Here's what people had to say...

Vivid-Rent7730 said:

NTA (Not the As*hole). I felt bad until I read nanny and your wife’s school expenses. Frankly she’s an adult and she’s lucky her parents and you are giving her anything. There are people out there studying, looking after children and still have to work. What does your wife need the money for if you’re paying for everything else?

But_why_tho456 said:

I felt bad for the wife's full plate until you said nanny????

Misha2468 said:

When I read the title, I was going to say YTA (You're the As*hole), until I read the whole post. You are definitely NTA (Not the As*hole). Your wife- not only is a spoiled and entitled, she is the AH.

She has a nanny, she has parents who pay her to go to school, she has support from you and that is still not enough? NOPE! Your wife needs to get over herself.

It sounds like she never wanted for having less pocket money for a little while means what?? Getting her nails done less frequently? One less visit or the spa? She sounds positively spoiled. Do NOT change anything. You are saving for your future, your children, your retirement, etc. If she doesn’t like it, tell her to pound sand.

AlphaKennyWhere said:

NTA. Tell her to get a job or fire the nanny so she can clean the house and THEN maybe argue for an allowance.

Status-Pattern7539 said:

NTA (Not the As*hole). Well tell her you can’t make more money so that if she wants more she can fire the nanny and take over looking after the child for the extra dosh. Sounds like she just wants to be “kept.'

So you are expected to have less “fun” money so that she can have more. Despite the fact you cover all expenses plus a nanny…nope. She’s living the high life and you’re the ATM.

AwkwardBugger said:

NTA I’m sorry, she had minimum wage worth of money for casual spending? Even half of that is a lot. You pay all the living expenses and she wants you to keep less money for yourself so she can continue to spend an entire salary. She sounds spoiled and entitled af.

So, there you have it!

Everyone agreed unanimously here that this man isn't wrong to refuse to give his wife extra money, but perhaps they need to have a deep conversation about how their finances and division of labor. Good luck, everyone!

Sources: Reddit
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