Ask Rene:
My Wife Gave Her Brother
Money Without Telling Me!

Now What? 

Hi Rene..


My wife gave some money to her brother without my knowledge or consent. If she had asked, I definitely would have said no because he is unreliable and already owes money to us and several other family members. I don’t understand why my wife feels the need to loan him money that she knows we’re never going to see again, especially since she knows how I feel about it. This isn’t about the money as much as it is about her going behind my back. How can I get her to see my point of view?

Sign me: 

Mad Max

Dear Mad Max:

Houston, we have a problem and it’s more than can be fixed in a 4-paragraph answer from Good Enough Mother. You see, what your wife did was violate one of the big pillars in any relationship: trust. The question is what to do about it now and how to keep it from happening again.




This seems as good a place as any to start, in fact, it’s where you must begin. Ask your wife why she did what she did and explain how it made you feel. But, can I be honest? I’m a little worried that she gave her brother the money at all, especially in light of the fact that he owes money to you and other family members already. And what really concerns me is that she did it behind your back, knowing full well you would not approve. She put his needs ahead of your feelings;  that’s a no-no if a marriage is to remain strong.

Read more: Guest Posting: How Will YOU Survive The Q4 Money Drain?



If your wife doesn’t understand your point of view (and if she doesn’t apologize because I think you are owed one), there’s a relatively simple solution: separate checking accounts. Then she can do whatever she wants with her money. If she wants to give the money to her brother, then it can come out of her own account. Caution: given her past behavior, you might want to make sure she doesn’t syphon money off your joint account, into her account and then into the hands of her ne’er-do-well sibling.

Read more: The Gem Debate: Do You Have A Handle On Your Family Finances?



My mother always told me not to borrow trouble so I’m a little hesitant to bring this up in this instance, but perhaps this is something that needs to be on your radar, if it’s not already. It might be time for you two to see a marriage counselor. Or a pastor. Or someone who can talk to you about the current trajectory of your  marriage. Little or big, lies are hard on the health of a lasting relationship. An independent 3rd party might help her see why this was wrong and how it hurt you and your relationship.

Read more: What’s Love Got To Do With It? 19 Lessons From 19 Years Of Marriage


One last thing: your wife, though she thinks she’s helping, is actually hobbling her brother. Giving him money keeps him needy and asking for more; helping him learn to provide for himself is a far better way to go.

That’s my advice.. what say you GEMnation? Was his wife wrong to give her brother money What would you tell him to do?

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