My wife and I share the same apple ID on our devices. We each have our own apple ID (she probably doesn’t even know hers though), but I also set up a “family” apple ID which is what EVERYTHING gets synched to.
Both our phones also use the same itunes ID for making purchases. If she buys something i don’t want on my phone (an app for example) its simple to delete it. Same goes for her.
The big deal breaker for me and the reason I set it up like this is for photostream. She takes pictures (frequently of our kids) and they show up on my phone. I take pictures, they show up on hers. But more importantly, Aperture uses this apple id and pictures from either phone are automatically downloaded.
But this also allows to to share the same calendar and contacts. We don’t need separate calendars. One calendar for both of us. She adds a kids doctors appointment on her phone, shows up on mine since we are using the same calendar data. Same with contacts. One address book for both of us – always in sync. No changing one contact on one phone and the other never getting updated. No more “hey, did so and so change their phone number?…oh yeah, forgot to tell you.”
Messages get sent to our phone numbers, so there is no duplicating of that or double messages showing up.
For us, this setup works and I imagine is why others set it up this way too. Its a workaround to apples crappy implentation. Sounds like they got the kinks worked out for family sharing but at the end of the day you still have to manage two sets of data, one for each spouse. That’s a pain. Even then, I’ve not read anywhere that this new family sharing will work for photostream.
I understand you are trying to use an icloud account in your own specific way, but this is not how an icloud account was designed and intended to be used.
Apple designed the icloud account to be assigned to individuals, not partners. That way, when you jump from your iphone to your ipad to your mac, everything remains beautifully in sync.
if you and your wife want to share apps and music, great, share an apple ID for apps and music.
If you and your wife want to share a calendar, great, you can share a calendar through icloud to each other.
if you want to share contacts, well, this is where apple doesn’t really have a solution for you. but luckily, microsoft exchange uses push, and you guys can share an account there. or you can use gmail contacts, sadly those will no longer push updates to phones. these aren’t perfect solutions, so i recommend you give apple feedback and ask for shared contacts.
again, icloud accounts were never designed to be shared between two people. you are using the icloud account incorrectly, so you really shouldn’t be upset that things aren’t going the way you want them to.
there are solutions out there for everything you’re looking for. again, just want to reiterate that icloud calendars can be shared amongst individuals to achieve what you want.
the only thing you won’t get by using the system properly is shared contacts through icloud.