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Money advice - how not to let money ruin my relationship


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1 hour ago, sundara.savdhan said:

  He is taking virtual appointments . However due to potential competitors , it becomes tricky to have a consistent flow of clients. I have seen the effort and hard work he had gone through to set things up so it is not I have any doubts about him not pushing himself enough. Before we met, he was doing all sorts of jobs to keep up with paying his rent and bills to where he was living but ever since we got into a situation like this, perhaps, he has become too comfortable . Our views on money are totally different (no surprise there). In one of my calls to the bank last year (he was with me) he must have heard my savings account figure and wondered that there is no need for him to struggle and slowly decided to disconnect from his other-not-very-satisfying jobs to permanently do what he loves to do. I have never said phrases like "leave the job, do something else, I will pay you" etc., etc., The situation started of as a booster to get his dream job moving but we can't always blame covid for that. 

 

He doesn't have to make me feel guilty but my personality itself is a guilt-driven one so I won't take measures like cutting off the allowance or asking him to do things that he never liked that much in the first place. I know whenever I have suggested him to take offers from other stable income places, he has compared me with his ex-es and friends who told him that he needed to do something more for a stable income. He didn't abuse or anything, but he expressed in such a way that I would feel empathetic towards him. Although I felt sorry for him back then, I now think his exes and friends weren't saying anything to put him down. They were only advising for his own future and for his independence. We live in a money-driven world and where there is lack of it, the respect sort of fades off. At least my upbringing was like that so its difficult to modulate myself to my partner's philosophy and principles. At least in this aspect we have a lot of incompatibilities. But how important is the financial aspect is the worrying thing. 

 

What you are saying about his business and competition doesn't add up. Sure, getting a patient in the door might be competitive and difficult, but when it comes to therapy, people tend to stick to one therapist that they feel a rapport with. So if he gets people in the door and then majority are bailing out....it's not competition. Unpleasant as this may be, consider that he actually isn't very good at his job or has no clue how to market or run a business. Also, it is the one area that is experiencing a huge boom in business precisely due to covid while there isn't a sudden inflow of new therapists to answer the demand. In fact people are waiting 2-3 months just to get in an appointment - that's how busy this field is. 

The second paragraph is flat out concerning. You are twisting yourself into a pretzel to sugar coat the fact that he is actually manipulating you. What you are describing is really textbook manipulation and particularly easy if you are guilt driven type person. The implied threat there is you better not act like my ex's or you will become an ex too.

Anyway, when it comes to money, don't talk about feelings, talk about limits. In fact, it shouldn't even be a discussion. More just you letting him know that this stipend will dry up by x time and he needs to find other means accordingly. Three sentences really and again, not a discussion and you shouldn't even be asking or allowing for him to guilt trip you with his "feelings". Of course he is going to feel bad when you refuse to be milked. That's tough. Again, there is a difference between stepping up and helping your partner out when he is down and becoming his ATM.

If you want more equality when it comes to household chores, again, just come to a simple agreement that a, b, c you will do and x, y, z are his to do and then do not do his chores for him.

Realize that while in a perfect world we wouldn't have to discuss these unpleasant daily things and couples would never argue about dirty socks and hampers, buuut in this real world we live in, ALL people test boundaries. Even the nicest, sweetest people will push your boundaries and if they find that you don't have any, they will start using you as a doormat to wipe their feet on, aka take you for granted. It is just human nature. Your job is to figure out healthy boundaries for yourself and learn how to communicate them and enforce them effectively. Lots of books out there to help you with that. It might not feel very romantic, but healthy long term couples are masters at that kind of communication with each other. Nothing like brewing resentment to kill off relationships, so don't do that to yourself. Learn how to say NO.

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Optimistic is lovely.  And doesn't pay the bills. And making silly excuses like "I have a guilt driven personality" lets you avoid taking responsibility here and expressing yourself in a clear, assertive way.  

1 hour ago, sundara.savdhan said:

 He is a really good guy and I often see him as a misfit in this cruel world where greed and power rule people's heads.

Nope.  Please don't buy into the woe is me victimhood.  He fits in fine cause he has a sugar mama who gives him an allowance.

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3 hours ago, sundara.savdhan said:

 

he has compared me with his ex-es and friends who told him that he needed to do something more for a stable income. He didn't abuse or anything, but he expressed in such a way that I would feel empathetic towards him. Although I felt sorry for him back then, I now think his exes and friends weren't saying anything to put him down. They were only advising for his own future and for his independence. 

It seems he's had some a certain amount of practice at this.   This situation isn't an exception to recent circumstances.  It's appears to a lifestyle of his.

There is something to be said in the world of psychotherapy, that if your repeated knee jerk reaction is guilt, then that is something you need to look into.

As a team, you have every right to sit down as team and be totally transparent about finances and collaborate with you.  You attempted this and what did you walk away with?   Guilt.  That reaction of yours works pretty well for him.  It takes the conversation off the table and things remain the same.

You pay all the bills, support him, give him allowance.  He doesn't contribute to the household chores.  What exactly are you getting out of this?   

I am all about helping someone out.  But if there is no end date and they won't discuss one, then it smacks a little more of someone taking advantage of the situation.  That's what brought you here and if you don't address it, the resentment builds and things will go off the rails. 

You share a great deal of empathy and concern for his side.  Does he feel any of the same for your experience in this?  I suspect he pushes your easily accessed guilt button and you back down.

He makes these conversations difficult to address for a reason.  It doesn't mean you should not continue to try to have them.

Edited by reinventmyself
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I strongly agree on transparency (not just finances). You should be asking yourself if you both share the same goals or have similar work ethic. I would not be able to date or live with someone who doesn't share those things.

 

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12 hours ago, Rose Mosse said:

I strongly agree on transparency (not just finances). You should be asking yourself if you both share the same goals or have similar work ethic. I would not be able to date or live with someone who doesn't share those things.

 

Yes what is the plan?  What shared goals do you have? 

You transfer the money into his account so why not simply pay his tuition directly?  The school doesn't care since parents do it all the time.  Also if he moved in with you and doesn't pay rent and the only bill he seems to have is a phone bill (which you could arrange to direct pay as well) I am not sure why he needs a set 600 a month.

I am sure you have plans for yourself right?  Maybe a nice vacation or investing for retirement or a house.  You have lived together for 3 years so you should have a household budget written out.  Costs on one side and income on the other then at the bottom savings, retirement and investing.  100 for a cell plan. 200 for school leaves 300 to put away for vacation or retirement or even a down payment on a house or car.

How long has he been in school?  Exactly how much longer does he have to go?  It seems to me that he may not want to finish because then the gravy train will stop and he will be out of excuses why he isn't being an equal partner in the relationship. Many young people avoid life by becoming professional students.  They never seem to finish and when they get close they all of a sudden need more letters after their name.  MBA, PHD...

The fact that you came here means you feel taken advantage of and taken for granted deep down.  If he really cared about you he would have seen it already and not put a guilt trip on you whenever you tried to express how you feel.

It is your money, your place and most importantly your feelings.  How much longer can you eat your feelings?

Lost

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Thanks again for all your replies on this discussion. I traced back to the time where things were ok and how decisions were made from his end to switch over to not doing any backup jobs just because he felt ok to not have any backup jobs. I may have nodded along for his decisions (blinded by sympathy and love) not knowing what I am nodding for. He didn't ask me "Is that ok?"  when he made some decisions. Instead , he put his goal first and looked forward to getting it done but I didn't realize that the boundaries would cross from me paying all the common bills to me paying his bills as well. Even this is quite a late realization for me and drawing a graph forward if I don't stop it at the right time, I might end up becoming a permanent source of income for all his needs. As much as I want to be of help, I also have limits.   Glad we are not a married couple, yet .  Phew !!

Looking at my own behavior pattern, I feel delicate to ask anyone any favor especially financially. Not sure what I would have done if I were in his shoes. He does feel bad asking me for it every month but I have not let it be a blocker and I have carried on as normal. But only lately, I realize that just because I have saved for a rainy season doesn't mean I could let some of it go on a monthly basis. None of his switch over jobs seem to be stable enough either and he comes back saying this and that which makes me wonder , will it ever stop. I am also at a job which I don't really feel 100% satisfied but hey, it pays the bills and keeps life moving towards future goals. I shouldn't feel guilty to put a limit or say NO to what makes me feel uncomfortable.

When I traced back to few months earlier, I also realized that he had applied for another course and also a mobile phone upgrade. I recently downgraded my phone tariff as there wasn't a need to use excess or even a new phone. Hmmm..  I can see it now. There is no equals as yet. 

I now know the leftover amount due for the main course and once that target is achieved, I will stop payments . In the meantime, I will try again to get him find other stable jobs at least until his goal oriented job kick starts after the pandemic. I can't cry over spilt milk but at least when I set things straight and tell him in an assertive way, 

If he is in for the long run, then he will do whatever it takes to improve this relationship  (or)
If he tries to get me to feel sorry for what I have suggested, I will have to find a suitable way to end this relationship.

My heart says he is a gem of a guy but the turn of events so far might have been tactical from his sub-conscious level (survival tactics). Perhaps I might have done the same if it were the reverse way, who knows. 

I don't want to be a pushover or build a resentment tower for future disaster. I have to value my own feelings first.

Thank you everyone 🙂

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Unfortunately this battle is with yourself.

You resent it yet enable it. You need to come to terms with that.

You need to decide to relinquish financial control over him...or not.

It's almost like you are afraid of him or being alone. First reflect on what is driving this within you.

Then make a decision about what you want to do financially. 

Right now bickering about his allowance is undermining both of you.

Maybe you're simply incompatible. That's another possibility to reflect on.

 

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19 hours ago, smackie9 said:

I'm sorry you are in this situation. It sucks, and I can see where you are coming from. Me personally would never put my husband in that kind of situation, I'm too stubborn/proud for that. So when I read about things like this, makes me wonder about their character. Are they lazy?, are they even appreciative? why haven't they made any effort to make up for it in other ways like doing all the chores? or want to pay it back, or figure out a way to not have to ask for money...I can see why you feel taken for granted. For him there seems to be no shame in it.

I agree! I am the same way - although I take care of my 13 month old full time, take on freelance work whenever I can, and do most of the chores, etc. I STILL feel guilty for not contributing financially the same amount as my husband. I even feel guilty for the one hour a day break I get where he takes over care of our son. I’m extreme in the other way, to an unhealthy degree, but I cannot understand those who feel no discomfort at all at using and entitling themselves to others’ finances. 

OP, I echo what other posters have said - set your boundaries and you can do that fairly, compassionately, but also firmly. If he takes offense to you reasonably protecting your finances whilst also still offering him some support, then he is not emotionally mature enough to be in a relationship with you, someone who likes to share in an emotionally equal, mature, and joyous relationship.

Edited by LotusBlack
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It doesn't matter if he feels bad -watch the feet -what he does -not the lips, what he says.  I'm impressed that you're owning up to your role in this - please don't indulge in "blinded by sympathy" because it's easier to choose passivity, right?  Imagine when you have financial issues or you're close to retirement and you wonder why you were this person's Wallet for thousands and thousands of dollars?

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5 hours ago, sundara.savdhan said:

In the meantime, I will try again to get him find other stable jobs at least until his goal oriented job kick starts after the pandemic.

If I may make a suggestion at this part, I'd be a bit wary of this and once again assuming that caregiver/parent role. Hopefully he joins the dots himself once he recognizes that the current allowance is ending and will take strides in finding another source of income.

Edited by Rose Mosse
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Thank you all again for making me come to a rational decision. This time when I spoke about it when I had a moment to be calm and focused, it didn't seem difficult to say it out and make it clear that something needs to be done to pay his part of bills himself from next billing cycle, although I offered him to help for the course fee as I now know the final figure and it's relatively less considering how the entire economy is sort of disrupted during covid times. 

So there lies my support and I feel happy about it. Plus I feel happy and grateful about my own job that I can look after myself and my partner for common expenses. Any savings thereby is only going to mean good for our household , pension funds, holidays ,special occasion gifts or for emergencies. I don't want to be alone with all my savings either. So it's probably the right time to figure out what our common goals are for the future and work towards them. Whatever happened so far could be seen as a lesson learnt to not repeat in the future. This time I didn't feel guilty talking about it because I was confident enough to tell my head that I am on the right track. And my message was well received as well without any negative reactions from his side. He never reacts badly, I know. It's just my confidence and being assertive that needs more focus on. Thanks to you all who helped me tune my head and heart in the right way . We fall, we get up, we walk again carefully. 

I am very hopeful that things will work out better for both of us pretty soon. Fingers crossed 🙂  Love you all. 

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This messages forum is really helpful. It feels like anonymous talking therapy to discuss issues so we definitely don't feel like we are alone. An apt title for the www as well - enotalone 🙂   Wish you all the very best in your life and future goals. I will be a regular member here and see if I can support other members from my own life experiences. I feel very positive today 🙂  

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I read something once that was helpful for me.  That a marriage or partnership (where you are sharing a home) is like running a business.   Set all the warm fuzzy things aside for a moment and ask yourself if this is someone you would run a business with.  Because running a household is very much like running a business.  From what you've shared this is not a good business investment for you and the long term losses may be too great.

Often times we need to balance dealing with issues such as this with you heart and your head.   It's hard to seperate to the two at times, but in this case it might be necessary.

It appears you are at war with yourself making heartfelt and practical choices.  I wish you the best.  

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2 hours ago, sundara.savdhan said:

Any savings thereby is only going to mean good for our household , pension funds, holidays ,special occasion gifts or for emergencies. I don't want to be alone with all my savings either

How is this an "our" thing?  You're not married, right?  Do you really plan to mingle money to this extent especially given his situation and his actions in accepting all of your money "allowance"?

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