Ask Emma: My partner’s money worrying is driving me mad

 WomanWe’ve teamed up with our sister magazine Woman’s Own and their counsellor Emma Marlin to solve your relationship problems.
This week she offers advice on how a couple should jointly look after their money.

Q My ex was terrible with money, so I always used to look after our finances because he couldn’t be trusted. I love my new husband but he goes through bank statements asking me what every single £20 was for. I’m not a big spender so I resent the fact he thinks I might be blowing our cash like his ex did. His bill-combing is driving me around the bend.

– Frances, via email

Emma MarlinEmma’s advice

I think this situation may be easier to resolve than you think. Try these three steps…

1. This is as much about the past as the present. It’s clear you and your partner both like to be in control of the money. As you say, neither of you could really trust your ex around money so it’s possible you are unconsciously tarring each other with the same old brush – and overreacting as a result.

2. Go through your statements together. I also think you need a joint account for paying the household bills and separate sole accounts where you deposit a monthly sum for personal use only.

3. Try this new approach for three months, then re-evaluate. Keep tweaking it until you find a way of handling your finances that keeps you both happy.

Still looking for more advice?

– See more Ask Emma

Relationship advice

– The latest from Woman’s Own