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Partner of 5+ years is keeping a financial secret


Kitty2705

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Hi, my partner and I have been going through a rough patch lately, I broke up with him in June, for giving me silent treatment after arguments and withdrawing practical and emotional support after same. It got to the point where it was the straw that broke the camels back. We decided to give couples therapy a go and have had several sessions already. Finances are something that have been a sensitive subject for us. I am the higher earner, I paid 80% towards house deposit we bought last year and have paid for 100% of renovations. I never make him feel bad for this by the way. He said that he would pay me back for the difference in deposit at some stage (18k) We are due to get married in one year. I have pulled him up in the past for borrowing money from a friend to go out drinking as we have a lot going on and he gets super defensive. In a recent therapy session we were discussing finances and he said he had something that he’s not ready to tell me yet. He told the therapist it was ‘sort of’ to do with finances. A couple of days after I had a conversation with him and explained I didn’t think secrets had a place in relationships and I asked him to help me understand what the barrier is as to why he feels he can’t tell me. I never asked him to tell me what it was but explained it made me feel anxious. He told me it was none of my business and it didn’t directly affect me. Had another chat a few days after I said I was ready to listen when he felt ready to tell me. He thinks once he’s saved his part of the wedding what he does with his money is his business. I expressed my concerns about having to be prepared for the future, e.g. having money set aside for when we have children (I’m almost 33 and he’s 34 so this is in the not distant future). My company do not do maternity pay so I would be relying on him to provide. I would also like to buy a car and get driving lessons. He said he can save 1k per month and currently has 7.5k saved, we got engaged 14 months ago so either I think it’s unrealistic or he’s not being completely transparent. I can only speculate what the secret is, I think it’s possible he wants to get a nose job to help him breathe better at night as his nose was broken in the past from his sport. He also got braces last year which I contributed the cost. I feel frustrated that he’s keeping something from me and I don’t know if I’m being taken advantage of financially. Or maybe I’m being unfair? Would love some input. Thanks :-)

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I broke up with him in June

I think you should remain that way.

 

I feel frustrated that he’s keeping something from me and I don’t know if I’m being taken advantage of financially. Or maybe I’m being unfair?

NO, you are not being unfair. YES, you are being taken advantage of financially (imo). You would be making a HUGE mistake marrying this guy. HUGE. You are looking down the barrel of a lot of misery and unhappiness, pain and hurt. There is no place for secrets and deceit in a marriage. None. And this guy seems to be full of it. There are so so many warning red flags in your face and you really should take heed.

 

In a recent therapy session we were discussing finances and he said he had something that he’s not ready to tell me yet. He told the therapist it was ‘sort of’ to do with finances

 

What did the therapist say when he told her this?

 

Whatever you do, do NOT marry this guy or have kids until ALL of these issues are fully sorted out. Maybe time to rethink this entire relationship because it's already in a lot of trouble. Never ever settle just because you've been together for some time.

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If you are going to be spending a life together, then you both need to take responsibility for that life, and finances are a major part of what that life will entail. He should be showing some concern for planning ahead. Has he expressed interest in having children? Because if he wants them, then he really should be planning ahead. By 34, and engaged, He should be starting to think more about his future. Having said that, there should also be room for fun. You need to work together - something that you'll need to do if you are married - to plan a budget. Divide it up how you think is best. If he is meeting his share of the expenses, then he should be allowed to spend some money on himself. But he needs to learn that you cover the basics first, know how to prioritize. Saving for the wedding is only the beginning. Honeymoon, mortgage payments, medical expenses, children - there's always something. And especially these days with COVID, work situations can change in a moment so financial situations are not stable.

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Find someone you do not have to support like a child. Sure, he won't tell you, as he knows you will foot the bills. You have also been a big part of the problem, as you have enabled all of this nonsense for far, too long.

 

This guy is awful! He is manipulative, secretive, nasty individual. He is a terrible choice for a life partner!

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No way would I marry someone who was keeping a secret like this. I wouldn't trust him, sorry.

 

You probably should have stayed broken up, OP. It doesn't sound like the relationship is working, and it's certainly not solid enough to sustain a marriage and everything that comes with a lifetime commitment.

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It sounds like neither of you have committed to each other financially.

Sure it might look like you did by paying 80% deposit on the house but to agree to marry , finances are joined , that means both income and expenditure so why would there be any expectation for him to pay you back? Irrelevant that you didn’t make a big deal of it but by not telling him he doesn’t need to pay you back is basically you not financially committing to him. But merely to a property shared.

 

There is a suggestion in that itself that bills will be split 50/50 irrespective of individual incomes.

Which leaves him out of his depth wrt personal disposable income.

 

If you were to financially commit to each other , both salaries would go into one account and all joint expenses , mortgage utilities , holidays etc comes out of that account.

Plus an equal amount comes out into each individuals savings account. For personal use.

 

And out of your personal accounts , you pay for your car and driving lessons , he pays for his nose job and braces etc etc

 

Are you willing to financially commit ?

Because it sounds to me like you are not , nor is he.

 

And if that’s the case then no other form of commitment , marriage can work.

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Is the house in your name? Take him off the deed, if he is on it. It's your house. Make him pay you rent equivalent to half the mortgage. He needs to pay for half the maintence, utilities, other bills, etc.

 

He doesn't want to get married. He doesn't want to pay for a wedding he doesn't want.

 

A therapist can't correct the mistakes you are making or turn him into what you want. Buy your car and get your license. Stop paying for his cosmetic dental and surgical procedures.

 

Why is he borrowing money from friends? Does he have a drug or gambling problem? You should not be financing that either.

 

It sounds like you are feverishly marching forward alone toward your dream of house, wedding, husband, family, etc. but he is not on board. He has his own agenda of just lying and being a parasite. No therapist is going to fix that for you.

 

You are dumping money into a nightmare. A "secret" nightmare. Therapy jargon like "transparent" won't help you with that either.

 

If you want an honest decent man who'll be a good husband and father, this is not the guy for that. You can't buy love or honesty with money.

I paid 80% towards house deposit we bought last year and have paid for 100% of renovations. [/Quote]
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y company do not do maternity pay so I would be relying on him to provide

 

Nope.

if you make 80% of the money, then its also up to you to save to be not working 6 weeks to 6 months or more after having a baby. You will rely heavily on him for grocery runs, to make some money so you are not living of of savings but its unrealistic for the person making 20% of the money to fund 100% of the lifestyle. If you bought a house or renting someone you are not married to, a good rule of thumb is to pick an equitable place to live -- unless it means you live in an unsafe, run down building, go with what the one who makes less can afford half of. The 2 bedroom condo vs the gated community 4 bedroom home or the 3 bedroom ranch vs the mini mansion.

 

That being said, I would not be down with secrets. I do think its okay if he had a small debt that he was paying off that he didn't tell you about, and its okay for both of you at this point to have discretionary income - after all, you are not married. I learned the hard way to always have a little emergency money set aside that was separate and only for me. But the way he is talking about it sounds EXTREMELY fishy and i would wonder if it was something big lie child support you didn't know about or something shadier.

 

BTW, if you are NOT getting married and its broken off for good - i agree that the money he saved towards the wedding is his to do with what he pleases.

If you are NOT getting married, its time to sell the house or buy him out of it.

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y company do not do maternity pay so I would be relying on him to provide

 

Nope.

if you make 80% of the money, then its also up to you to save to be not working 6 weeks to 6 months or more after having a baby. You will rely heavily on him for grocery runs, to make some money so you are not living of of savings but its unrealistic for the person making 20% of the money to fund 100% of the lifestyle. If you bought a house or renting someone you are not married to, a good rule of thumb is to pick an equitable place to live -- unless it means you live in an unsafe, run down building, go with what the one who makes less can afford half of. The 2 bedroom condo vs the gated community 4 bedroom home or the 3 bedroom ranch vs the mini mansion.

 

That being said, I would not be down with secrets. I do think its okay if he had a small debt that he was paying off that he didn't tell you about, and its okay for both of you at this point to have discretionary income - after all, you are not married. I learned the hard way to always have a little emergency money set aside that was separate and only for me. But the way he is talking about it sounds EXTREMELY fishy and i would wonder if it was something big lie child support you didn't know about or something shadier.

 

BTW, if you are NOT getting married and its broken off for good - i agree that the money he saved towards the wedding is his to do with what he pleases.

If you are NOT getting married, its time to sell the house or buy him out of it.

 

Great advice. Also why are you saving money towards a wedding -what's the expense? Given your financial situation I'm not sure it makes sense to have a big party you have to save for - why not have a lovely wedding ceremony and perhaps a nice lunch with family/a few friends after and have a party when you can afford it (my wedding including everything -clothing too plus religious officiant fee, etc was around $1,500).

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Going to be very blunt here.

 

I think you are marching blindly ahead with your plans for house, marriage, baby, etc while completely ignoring the fact that your partner is not really on board with any of that OR stopping to even consider if he is the kind of a man you should marry at all.

 

I think if you continue to bulldoze your way forward, you are in for a world of hurt and a divorce down the road.....an expensive one for you, as you'll end up paying him alimony. So if you insist on carrying on, at the very least get a good prenup for yourself.

 

As for the maternity leave, since you are the higher earner, it would be on him to stay home, not you. You need to be realistic about needing to get back to work asap because no, you will not be able to live on just savings and 20% of income.

 

Regarding finances at large, once you are engaged and planning marriage, you are correct that there can no longer be any secrets or "none of your business" type responses. This is a time where all cards have to go on the table and you have to work out how you are both going to manage money and debts going forward as a couple. If he is keeping secrets or you simply cannot agree and do not see eye to eye on this, that's your giant flashing neon sign that you are not compatible and shouldn't be getting married. disagreeing about money is one of the huge reasons for divorce. This is not a topic to be treated lightly.

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For clarity, I do not earn a huge amount more than him, I have always been good at saving and I made money from selling my apartment. First post was maybe misleading. I am not ‘bulldozing ahead’ with plans either, we have both discussed our future including children after marriage. I want to work part time after I have children so that I can spend as much time as possible with them. That’s a personal choice and one he knows. We’re not talking small money here, it seems to be thousands he’s planning to spend on something without yet telling me. Thanks all for the input, it’s much appreciated!

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For clarity, I do not earn a huge amount more than him, I have always been good at saving and I made money from selling my apartment. First post was maybe misleading. I am not ‘bulldozing ahead’ with plans either, we have both discussed our future including children after marriage. I want to work part time after I have children so that I can spend as much time as possible with them. That’s a personal choice and one he knows. We’re not talking small money here, it seems to be thousands he’s planning to spend on something without yet telling me. Thanks all for the input, it’s much appreciated!

 

He knows, yes, but does he agree? And I don't mean just lip service to shut you up and make you happy, I mean does he really agree. From what you are posting here, even with the clarification, it doesn't sound like he is even remotely on the same page as you. His lips and feet are moving in opposite directions.

 

OP, couple's therapy is for people who've been married 20+years, have had a mostly good marriage, have children and a life built together and might be having some temporary issues they need some help reconciling or talking through. When you have to go to counseling to make a dating relationship work, that's your clue that you aren't compatible.

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Trust and equity are the backbone of a partnership. This is unbalanced and he doesn't have your back when it counts.

That's not something that can really be worked out IMO.

A man ( or woman) shows you who thry are when things get a little rough. He's shown you. He can't even buck up and do the right thing after an argument. That's emotionally immaturity.

You want the person who you can rely on, and him you. Well he can rely on you but not the other way around.

You need to find your equal, and he's not it. Just my opinion.

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Cancel marriage plans. Your partner is shady, tricky, deceitful and distrustful. Never marry him and never have children with him otherwise you will regret it.

 

Dissolve the relationship. If you think you're frustrated now, you can't imagine the hell he'll put you through later especially if you become legally (married) entangled with him. Release him from your life so you will not carry financial burdens and never have to feel wary and jaded.

 

Your partner is a disaster waiting to happen. It's increasingly apparent that he'll make your financial nightmare worse as time marches on.

 

Exit the relationship while you can. Better safe than sorry.

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Formally married and divorced here. We divorced for several reasons and one of them for having different values regarding money.

While going through my divorce I read something I wish I had seen prior to getting married.

 

That you need to set aside all the warm fuzzy, romantic reasons why you would marry someone and ask yourself if this is someone you would consider going into business with.

 

Because marraige, running a household and raising a family if very much a business. If you have different values and views on how to handle money, you underestimate the importance of what it plays in the marraige and the balance of power it represents - then you are setting yourself for lifetime of challenges and likely disappointments.

 

He's already making unilateral decisions without you and telling you it's none of your business.. What do you think the rest of your life will look like?

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Carpricorn3, I really don’t know, I feel like there’s a cloud hanging over the relationship until he tells me what this thing is. He said he’s still feeling insecure after being dumped (even though he understands why I got to that point). He needs to feel secure in the relationship again. I feel like I can’t decide until he opens up to me.

I have told him I’m ready to listen when he wants to tell me so I hope that doesn’t take long. We are in therapy now and I feel it’s premature to walk away just yet.

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Carpricorn3, I really don’t know, I feel like there’s a cloud hanging over the relationship until he tells me what this thing is. He said he’s still feeling insecure after being dumped (even though he understands why I got to that point). He needs to feel secure in the relationship again. I feel like I can’t decide until he opens up to me.

I have told him I’m ready to listen when he wants to tell me so I hope that doesn’t take long. We are in therapy now and I feel it’s premature to walk away just yet.

 

I can understand you feel it's premature to walk away - after all, 5 years is a long time and of course it not an easy thing to do. BUT, I would still strongly advise you to heed all the warning signs. This is your time to be strong. Really strong and don't fall for any feeble excuses.

 

I have to say that I find it a little rich of him to state that HE "needs to feel secure in the relationship again". Wow. What!?? If anyone needs to feel secure it would have to be you and right now, I can't see how you can trust him. And without trust, you have nothing. Without trust you can never feel secure. Again, take heed.

 

Speaking for myself only, if I had such alarm bells clanging so loudly in my head, I would cancel ALL wedding plans and take time out to really think this through. This is your entire future on the line. For me, the writing is on the wall. I would rather walk away than end up getting divorced 1 or 2 years after getting married.

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Carpricorn3, I really don’t know, I feel like there’s a cloud hanging over the relationship until he tells me what this thing is. He said he’s still feeling insecure after being dumped (even though he understands why I got to that point). He needs to feel secure in the relationship again. I feel like I can’t decide until he opens up to me.

I have told him I’m ready to listen when he wants to tell me so I hope that doesn’t take long. We are in therapy now and I feel it’s premature to walk away just yet.

 

You didn’t feel it too premature to walk away last June?

You outlined to him your reasons for walking away to him which included but not exclusively financial reasons.

 

Who initiated a reconciliation and why?

 

And why get back together before the issues were resolved? It’s harder to resolve issues once you go back without them resolved first.

He doesn’t need security in the relationship , you went back to him regardless. He is now pretty secure than he can continue as he was and even if you leave you will come back. You have proved that point.

 

You have inadvertently essentially enabled him to keep finances secret from you by paying for his braces etc when at that time it would suggest he had no savings, but all of a sudden he has 7.5K.

 

I think it’s more you needing security in your relationship because now that you have gone back without resolving issues you are the vulnerable one. But you have placed yourself there. If you understand what I mean.

 

And now you are the one in limbo.

There really isn’t much you can do about it now you are backed into a corner.

Except to give an ultimatum?

Lay all finances on the table via a financial consultant or walk away.

 

It sounds like you will cop a financial loss by walking unless you can prove who paid what for the deposit etc

 

Without having transparent finances , you are fighting a losing battle anyway.

So don’t wait for him to tell you in 6 months or a year that he has alternate financial plans that don’t include you.

At this point it doesn’t even sound like he is interested in getting married.

 

So are you willing to get this sorted and walk away like you were apparently willing to do last June?

Time to get serious about whether this relationship is actually likely to go anywhere or not I reckon!!!

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He's feeling insecure emotionally or feeling insecure financially?

Because they are two different things.

I get you two had a bump in relationship, but you both should be working on the same page to forward. . .assuming he agreed to stay together.

 

He is operating as an financially independent person while at the same time you are deeply financially entagled with him and that isn't right. It also does not foster good will. In turn your trust for his commitment is being challenged.

 

It feels like he's holding onto his purse for leverage. That and he can't even trust you to tell you where he stands is crytic and unneccesary.

 

I hope you return and share with us what his big secret is.

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Carpricorn3, I really don’t know, I feel like there’s a cloud hanging over the relationship until he tells me what this thing is. He said he’s still feeling insecure after being dumped (even though he understands why I got to that point). He needs to feel secure in the relationship again. I feel like I can’t decide until he opens up to me.

I have told him I’m ready to listen when he wants to tell me so I hope that doesn’t take long. We are in therapy now and I feel it’s premature to walk away just yet.

 

One day you will realize it's over though when none of your goals align. You might not want to end it now but you can slow it down. Post-pone any wedding for a few more years. If having kids is not a priority this shouldn't matter to you. If you are pressuring yourself for more out of the relationship, then you'll have to have a stronger backbone than this. One thing I like to do is visualize what I see for myself. If you can visualize that future and everything in it that you wish and hope for and pay attention to your initial gut instincts and thoughts on it, you'll know exactly what you have to do. Or what should be done. If the vision is scattered or doubtful, find the strength to slow it down or walk away.

 

Hope you feel better soon.

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