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Couple Had an Unusual Financial Agreement for Years, But a Sharp Decline in His Annual Gift Suddenly Changed Everything.

The Original Poster (OP) faces an unexpected challenge in a household where financial traditions run deep. While he celebrates a career-high with a generous bonus, his wife’s annual Christmas gift sharply declines. Amidst their contrasting fortunes, she proposes changing their long-standing agreement, leading to heightened tensions and a looming decision.

Dual Earnings, Distinct Paths

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OP and his wife have a distinctive arrangement. He works full-time while she dedicates herself to their two young children. Financial gifts from her parents and his Christmas bonus have historically been kept separate.

A Generous Tradition

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Every Christmas, the wife receives a monetary gift from her parents. This sum fluctuates, often reaching up to $1,000, depending on their financial situation. Her parents are very generous and want the best for their daughter.

Matching Gifts

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OP’s workplace rewards his efforts with a yearly Christmas bonus, typically in the ballpark of the amount his wife receives from her parents, making them even for their individual spending accounts.

Pockets of Independence

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Earlier in their relationship, the couple decided their Christmas cash would remain untouched by household or shared expenses. They could spend This individual ‘treat yourself’ money on whatever they desired.

A Change in Fortune

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This year, things are different. The wife’s parents, facing financial hardship, can only gift her $100, a stark contrast from previous years. Meanwhile, OP celebrates a promotion and a consequential rise in his Christmas bonus, pocketing a handsome $1,300.

A Request for Redistribution

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Upon learning of OP’s substantial bonus, the wife suggests a fresh approach. By sharing their combined Christmas cash, they would both have an equal $700 to enjoy. She thinks this is fair because they are a single-income household, and her parents’ gift is not the same as income.

Holding Firm to Tradition

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OP remains resolute, reminding her of their initial agreement. This was their independent spending money, separate and unequal, governed by outside circumstances. He does not want to cut his prize in half to split with his wife.

The Past Resurfaces

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In their conversation, OP recalls a past Christmas. That year, his bonus was a meager $100 due to company troubles, while her parents gifted her a substantial $1000. He never asked for a share, nor did she offer.

The Tug of Fairness

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OP underscores the inconsistency in his wife’s stance. Why should it change now if the precedent wasn’t set during her more prosperous year? She didn’t share with him when she had a significant windfall.

An Ongoing Battle

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The couple’s household, once harmonious, now echoes with the sounds of disagreement. The topic arises frequently, casting a shadow over their interactions. The wife feels mistreated, and the husband feels she is asking too much.

Weighing the Equity

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OP wonders if he’s in the wrong for adhering to their previous agreement like his wife had done. This year’s significant disparity in their independent spending money raises questions about fairness.

The Lens of Benefit

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The couple’s previous Christmas arrangements had smaller discrepancies, and only now, when it benefits her, is there a push to equalize their independent funds. Due to his promotion, there is a good chance his future bonuses will be higher, too.

Revisiting Old Scars

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OP can’t shake off the memory of that challenging year when he was handed only $100. OP’s wife didn’t consider pooling resources then, so why should he now? The couple’s dispute isn’t contained between them. Their home, with their two children, feels the ripples of their conflict.

Seeking Validation

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Confused and seeking clarity, OP presents his tale to an audience. Is he wrong for adhering to tradition? Their dilemma remains unsolved. OP ponders whether rules should be upheld or if changing circumstances warrant a shift in approach.

Was The Man’s Behavior Appropriate?

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OP posts his story online for feedback and perspective. The readers in the forum had a lot of mixed views on the matter.

Forum Responds

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One reader said, “I thought you should split the money with your wife until I read that when the situation was reversed a few years ago, she didn’t share with you. Based on this, you would be ‘in the right’ to refuse to share.”

Another Commenter Thinks

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image credit: dean-drobot/shutterstock

Another responder wrote, “You had an agreement. You’re just following that agreement. She also followed that agreement when it was beneficial for her.”

A Third View on The Story

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A different person stated, “Wife didn’t care about husband spending a whole year with almost no spending money to himself. This needs to be a discussion and agreement going forward, a good faith gesture from OP is only going to teach wife that she’s won.”

A Final Perspective on the Matter

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Another reader commented, “I wanted to say you were since all money should be household money, especially when one parent is stay-at-home. But all other money is split as it should be, and she didn’t want to share in the same scenario when she came out ahead.”

What Do You Think?

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What are your thoughts on their actions?

What would you have done in this situation?

This story is inspired by a thread from an online forum.

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