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Secretive spouse
by: Anonymous

When my parents and grandparents were married, the sign of a good husband was one who handed over his wage packet unopened to the wife for her to sort out the domestic finances and to pay all necessary bills; this was in the north-east of England and the time period I'm referring to is from the end of the first world war to the early 1960's.

Of course, married women rarely worked outside the home back then. At the same time period, my stepfather's attitude to money was that because he as the man earned the money it was his right to decide what was spent and on what.

I remember when I still lived at home with my Mum and stepfather that Mum was never allowed to know how much Ray earned - ever - and until after Ray died and Mum had to sort out his finances she didn't know how much money he had in the bank.

Ray kept his personal papers in all sorts of unlikely places from a box on top of the wardrobe to a bundle of papers tied up with string and languishing in the garden shed and it took her a good two years to sort everything out.

Both my Dad and stepfather were the same age and they were brought up in times when people's lives and expectations were so very different to those of modern women.

Doing it all
by: Carol E.

I have complained in the past that the hubby did not want to have any responsibility of handling the finances or major decisions but now that I have come to grips with it all, I am content that I now know, if anything should happen to him, I am up on the whole thing. It is he that I worry about if I happen to leave this earth before he does. BUT I am sure he will figure it out though.

What I miss the most is not having my mom or family to bounce things off of. Mom passed when I was in my 20's and my sister passed when I was in my early 40's. It's been frustrating and now that I am older than what they have lived it gets rough at times to focus, however I am forging ahead and trying to plan for when hubby completely retires.

Keep bouncing from one thing to another, but will get there.

A Secretive Spouse's Death
by: Anonymous

How wonderful to be married such a long time and how great it is that she feels comfortable entrusting her life to her relatives.

Unfortunately my sisters wouldn't help me at all.

I live in Pennsylvania and they live in other states but just didn't want to get involved. I find that to be very sad but it is their choice and I have to respect that.

My mother & father died long ago but thankfully my mother instilled in me the will to take care of my own life and now I am doing just that!

A Secretive Spouse's Death
by: Anonymous

Thanks Wendy for your contribution.

It's interesting that so many women don't want to learn anything about their bills.

I know, I came from the 50's error and women usually just stayed at home & raised the kids; very little of them worked & of course, the father's usually took care of the bills but it's sad because it leaves the wife out in the cold if God forbid she's left "holding the bag"!

It's no fun and can really send you over the edge.

Thankfully it took me about 4 months to dig out from under & now I am the one taking care of MY HOUSE! Lol


Wendy You are obviously a brave woman, Phyllis and did what you had to do to live on. Whomever is left behind has no choice but to pick up the pieces and LIVE, many don't do that so well and life is never good again.

p.s. My in-laws: He had cancer for years, so they had plenty of time to consider her options... but nobody did. That would acknowledge that he was sick... so they pretended instead, leaving her devastated at his death.

A Secretive Spouse's Death
by: Anonymous

Yes Indeed I finally am!

If you are willing to learn, life teaches you ....
by: Retd. Prof. Durgesh Kumar Srivastava, New Delhi, India

My eldest sister, DIDDA, is 88+, in reasonable health, and both successful and popular. A housewife, and a mother of 6 sons and 1 daughter, She led a life of serving others with love, affection,contentment, patience, tolerance and non-interference. When you have qualities like these, and are willing to learn, you never face any problems with the affairs of the world.

She was 70+ when her husband passed away. They were married for 54 years. They were never financially well off and had to struggle to make both ends meet.

Her contented nature and large-heartedness made their life joyful. Her attitude to material things was never "mine" and "yours", but always "ours". She maintained family unity by her simple and unselfish attitude.

The children supported each other financially and emotionally. I remember that at one time, nearly 40 members of the extended family were taking all their meals from the joint family kitchen. Incomes, expenses and household work were shared not equally but equitably.

The large family lived in a 16 roomed house rented by her father-in-law in the 1920s. DIDDA continues to pay the rent of the house out of her family pension, although the children and grand children of her late husband's two uncles live in the same house.

She told me "The rent is so small that I pay it instead of collecting contributions from other co-occupiers. Worldly hassles like dealing with work at the bank or paying bills is entrusted to others with full faith and trust.

The only work that DIDDA does these days is to sit undr the warm sun and keep an eye on her little great-grand-kids playing around her. I covet the life of the type that DIDDA is leading today. DKS, 22 DEC., 2013

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