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'AITA for not wanting my wife to tell her family about our financial situation?'

'AITA for not wanting my wife to tell her family about our financial situation?'


Nothing will hijack the direction of a dinner conversation more than news of an inheritance.

In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a man asked if he was wrong for not wanting his wife to tell her family about their financial situation. He wrote:

"AITA for not wanting my wife to tell her family about our financial situation?"

I recently found out I will be inheriting some properties and a significant amount of money. I told my wife but made it clear that this is only between us and she’s not to tell anyone, especially her big mouth sister. I don’t want anyone to know about the inheritance, invest almost all of the money, hire a property management company, and intend to keep our current lifestyle.

Last night at dinner with her parents and siblings, her father congratulated me on my impending windfall and my brother-in-law pulled me aside to ask about the houses I’ll be receiving. He and his wife (my wife’s big mouth sister) have been saving for a house but haven’t saved enough yet and their credit scores are low. I was very angry with my wife the entire night but I kept it in check.

On the drive home, I yelled at her. I admit it wasn’t my finest hour but she did the exact thing I told her not to do. She argued that my secrecy demand was not right and that she had the right and duty to tell her family about our financial situation because it is also her financial situation.

We argued for hours so when I finally had enough, I told her she can’t be trusted to keep our secrets and that I’m not telling her anything else about the inheritance from this minute on. I said that in the heat of the moment but the more I think about it, the more it makes sense. She tells her sister everything and whatever her sister knows, everyone knows.

I don’t want the entire city to know what’s going on with our bank account. We’re due to meet our attorney and later a financial advisor next week but I think I’ll change that appointment to just me. Just to be clear, she’s free to discuss anything with her family. I’ve only had two topics she’s not allowed to talk about, my health and our finances.

The internet had a lot of thoughts.

teresajs wrote:

NTA. If you're in the US, an inheritance that is kept entirely in your name only is your sole property, not marital assets. I highly recommend that you consult a good attorney (probably a Divorce Attorney) to determine how best to ensure that these assets remain solely yours.

You could then use income from the inheritance assets to improve/benefit yours and your wife's lives without allowing her or her family to have any rights to your inheritance. (BTW, this is the same advice I would give my own spouse. Inheritance is a sole asset, not a marital one, but needs to be kept separate from all marital assets!)

Natural_Garbage7674 wrote:

NTA. What happened the first time they saw you? They, specifically your BIL, immediately starts dumping his financial woes on you. Even if he didn't flat out ask you, he was asking you to give him money/property. You are never going to hear the end of this. Your SIL and her husband, if they don't get what they want, are going to tell everyone about how cruel you are.

How you personally are responsible for all their financial woes since you have the ability to solve them. Talk to your financial adviser about a proxy/trust to own/manage the money/properties. Maybe something that neither of you can access the funds on without permission from the other.

Because if your wife doesn't think it's "fair" to not tell her family her finances, it's a really short hop to her not thinking it's "fair" that they not get hand outs.

Beck2010 wrote:

Make sure you deposit the inheritance funds in a separate account; don’t commingle with joint accounts. Similarly, keep the inherited properties in your name alone. This way, your wife doesn’t have legal access to the funds and the properties and can’t dole it out to her siblings. NTA. But seriously. You asked one very simple thing and she completely disregarded your request.

Lil_Chonk_3689 wrote:

NTA. You set a clear, reasonable boundary for the sake of your family's financial future. Her decision to tell people has potentially put that at risk. At the very least, it's going to put a strain on your relationship with her family since it seems like they're already gearing up to ask for handouts.

I don't think divorce is necessary, but I would set boundaries with her family now. Offer nothing. Lock every penny away where it can't be easily touched. Give yourself valid excuses as to why they can't have anything. "Sorry, the properties are occupied. Property managers handle all tenancy changes. I get penalized for pulling money from those accounts."

Immediate_Finger_889 wrote:

NTA. this is not your collective financial situation. This is yours. Inheritance does not belong to a spouse. And now her sister and husband are circling like vultures already. No disrespect, but she shouldn’t be involved going forward.

Keep the inheritance completely separate. Manage it how you see fit. Don’t let her touch it. It’s not hers and she can’t be trusted now. Whatever you invest in the marriage is part of the marriage but she has no entitlement to this.

OP is NTA, he predicted his SIL and BIL's behavior, which is why he wanted this all to be a secret in the first place.

Sources: Reddit
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