Just The Wife

Over 11 years ago when we married I placed my husband on a bank account I’d had for five years. Now when I rarely call about an issue, like a waiter stealing my husband’s card number and trying to charge thousands of dollars, they say they cannot talk with me without my husband’s approval.

Newlyweds. Place your names on everything. If something happens to your spouse, heaven forbid, if your bank, cable, electric. gas, water, sewer won’t talk to you without your spouse’s authorization, you’re up a creek without a paddle.

I’m retired now but worked my entire life and made a big mistake when we moved here two years ago. My husband came into town for a conference then flew home and we drove two cars cross-country. I put everything in his name because he’d have to sign for things in those two weeks. BIG mistake.

For these two years every time I’ve an issue, rare, I have to wait until he gets home, I call the number, he says the last four of his SSN and birth date and says, “I’m going to give you to my wife, here is her SSN and birth date and she is to be put on the account and has every right to do anything on our behalf. Here she is.”

Do not allow this to happen to you. Luckily when I make a mistake, I learn from it and never let it happen again. Yesterday I talked to his work. We’re married and file taxes jointly. The company changed hands a few months ago and our tax information is confusing.

I called the company to ask about what happened with deductions when they fired everyone then made them sign papers on the spot re-upping with the new company. No spouses were allowed, as it was an impromptu secret meeting. My husband signed papers I never saw.

They were very kind when I called yesterday but due to “social situations” I’m thinking divorce, they would not send me our deduction information for last year. In a pinch, I asked if it could be emailed to my husband with something that just said “Please forward to Dee.” Well, I got it, but am still “just the wife” which I hate because I’ve had a career for years. Just because my bank or our cable or electric company don’t get it, I’m retired and I pay the bills. My dear husband did send his company some version of a power of attorney so I could receive the tax information I should be providing in the first place with the knowledge of who we are and what we have and what the IRS needs from us. Cheers? Dee

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