OK, so how about approaching him in this way (not that I think you should have to do this much leg work/convincing, but if you're intent on 'keeping the peace' in this situation, I want to try to give some actual ways to make it work):
1. See if you can get some kind of official state statute or something like that that shows as next of kin you're going to be screwed if something happens to him, that you and your kid will essentially be in the lurch - I dunno, from a lawyer or financial advisor, I have to imagine someone would be willing to help you out for little or no money, or at least point you to where you could get some kind of legal statute. Show this to him and ask that your name be put on the account soley so that money isn't bound up in legal tape if a tragedy occurs. An actual physical document would really help with this
2. Have him type and print up a list of the account numbers and locations and any online passwords, and put the paper in your lock box or safe (perhaps I am assuming everyone has a lock box or safe, cause we do) so that *if* something should happen to him, you're not left in the lurch figuring things out. Hell, even have him seal it in an envelope so that it's less "I want to see our accounts" and more "In case of emergency".
And then just really leave it there in the lockbox and don't take it out to check things out.
3. Ask not for a dollar figure, but if something happens to him, do you need to look for a job that week? Next month? 6 months from now? That is the info you need to know for you and your child.
Then I'd let the other details go (IF I was trying to keep the peace and this was a contentious issue in my marriage). Because really, if the bills are paid, you have money for discretionary income, you know how quickly you'd need to get back to work if a tragedy happened, and you *could* access the accounts if you really
needed to in an emergency, that's what you need to know from a tragedy standpoint, in the bare bones sense.
THEN, HOWEVER, I'd work on why he is stuck in this frame of mind and why it would seem that he doesn't trust you (which may or may not be true). That would HAVE to be addressed, somehow, be it through a secular or religious counselor, legal or financial advisor, or whatever.
The more I think about it, the less I have a problem with him handling the money and "giving" you discretionary money every month - that's not an issue to me at all, it doesn't feel childlike or anything to me - it sounds like he gets the money from his job and then puts it where it needs to be so that everything is covered and everyone has what they need, and a little of what they want (discretionary) - the fact that he doesn't bother YOU about any money you happen to make makes him seem less "evil"
to me. I think if he were truly abusively controlling about this, he'd require you to tell him how you spent the money he gave you and he'd "make" you fork his money over to him to control and dole out instead of "letting" you do what you want with it. Do you think that there's any issue like he doesn't want to admit to his own mortality or something? Like in denial that anything would ever happen to him? Like, why 80% (or whatever the real percentage is) of people don't make wills? Or that if you "need" to have access to the accounts, it's because he's ungenerous or not fulfilling his responsibility to you (which is maybe a source of pride to him?) ? I dunno - I'd have to get to the root of it and figure out exactly why he's refusing, if it was my husband. At the very least to understand him.
Personally, I think your best bet is to try to approach it from a legofinancial (is that a word?
) direction, as it's harder to argue with logic/laws than it is to argue with emotions (like trust and love) and 'tradition'. I think the bare bones are: You need to be legally on the accounts as a joint owner in case of emergency, and you need to know how much reserve you have for monthly expenses if something happens to him and you and your child are on your own.
Propose this to him: He gets in a car accident and is in a coma for several weeks. You still have to pay bills. How are you going to do that if you're not on the accounts or only on as next of kin? He's not dead, but he can't give access consent either. If he can give a satisfactory answer to that that has legal standing, then OK. If not, then you need to be on the account.