I am hardly a relationship expert by any stretch of the imagination, but I thought I could at least tackle this question sent to me by longtime reader Logan*, who has a situation that relates to his upcoming Christmas bonus. I’ve done a few blog posts on Christmas bonuses before, so it fits well within my spectrum—but the real kicker of this conundrum has given me pause. But don’t take it from me. Read for yourself:
First off, I want to say that I’ve been reading your site for about six months now. I am not a Cubicle Chick, but enjoy your articles, especially the tech reviews and the career posts. I appreciate your hard work a lot.
I searched your site to see if you had blogged about Christmas bonuses before, and I see you have. My question is rather complex, but thought you might address it in your Cubicle Confessions. I was notified by my boss that I would be receiving a sizeable Christmas bonus this year after not getting one last year. I’ve been with the same company for ten years and got a Christmas bonus every year but last year. The bonus this year is triple what I got in 2011. My wife thinks that I won’t be getting a bonus this year since I didn’t get one last year. I don’t want to tell her because she is bad with money and she will go through it all in a few months. I want to save the money and so we can finally buy a house in 2014. This bonus is large enough that it can help us with the downpayment.
I’ve been married to my wife for six years and I love her a lot. But I have gone into bankruptcy because of her spending and now I also have poor credit. Letting her know about the bonus will just open up a can of worms that I don’t want.
I know I sound like a bad guy, but I am doing this for the family. I am tired of not getting ahead. I want to invest in a home and pay off some bills. If she gets her hand on the money, we won’t be able to. She will run right through it. What is your advice?
Lying in a relationship is not good, period. No matter how much you try to make it seem that you are doing the right thing, you are lying and keeping something from your wife. How would you feel if she kept something like this away from you? In a marriage, you must communicate and be honest. You need to tell your wife about the bonus. But also tell her that it will go towards paying off debts and for a downpayment for a home. Let her know what the money will be used for and it isn’t for her to spend frivolously. You can even let her know that the funds will be put in a separate account and not commingled with the other funds so she won’t abuse it by spending.
There’s nothing wrong by opening a separate account and keeping the funds in it for the future for the two of you. But not telling her about the bonus is a no/no. Nothing good will come of it.
Congratulations on getting what sounds like a great bonus. Good for you!
What advice would you give to Logan?
*name has been changed