Years ago lots of women put a little something away in case they got divorced. Their husband was the breadwinner generally. They had quit their jobs or pursuing their careers to keep house and raise the children. Without having something to fall back on they would have been in a real pickle. The idea was that you kept your own separate savings account, even if you had to keep it from your husband. Lots of women in the baby boomer generation went through vicious divorces. This was the only way they knew how to make it through.
Of course today usually both people in a marriage are working and pursuing their careers. Also, the court system has changed. Assets are, in theory, divided more equitably. Whether this holds up in practice however usually depends on who you are asking. Today we also have prenuptial agreements which can protect both parties. Though even with a prenup you can still end up in a protracted legal battle. The case to stow a little scratch away for a rainy day then is often for men or women who want to treat themselves but avoid fighting with their spouse about how much they are spending. Some people think this is completely rational while others, ludicrous. So should you keep money on the side that your wife or husband doesn’t know about?
Most marriage experts counsel against it. Part of any good marriage is an underlying bond of trust. It’s through trust that intimacy and respect relies. But squirreling away a nest egg will damage that bond of trust. Most things don’t stay secret forever. If it comes out it will hurt and perhaps even sever that bond of trust. Once broken it will take great pains to repair your trust bond again. The best way to do it is to avoid it. If you are squirreling away a nest egg in case of divorce, think about why you are doing this. Is there a chance that you will actually become divorced? Is the marriage going through a hard time? This could be a subconscious cry for help on your part. Investigate these feelings and see where they lead. When you uncover the severe issues the marriage is having, let your spouse know how you feel and what you were considering and use it as a wakeup call to fix and reinvest in the marriage.
If you are doing it because of your spending habits, consider whether or not they are healthy. If they aren’t, talk about this with your spouse and seek help to overcome your problem. But if it’s just that you feel uncomfortable approaching your spouse about it, then think about what the marriage means to you. Talking about uncomfortable things should be alright. You are life partners sharing your future together. Build up the courage and let them know how you feel. For more financial advice read, Home Finances for Couples: Resolve Money Problems in Marriage and Learn Easy Steps to Manage Your Family Budget by Leo Ostapiv.