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Have I let money rule my head ? how do I get out of this anxiety cycle?


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I am so unhappy and depressed because
- The work that I do is not motivating and I feel like I am just in it for the money . I am making money with the worry that I won't have enough to support me or me&partner in the future. I am not fully enjoying the benefits of the money. I am using it only to pay the household bills . I personally have no ambition to get anywhere in life except for live it everyday as basic as possible. I don't have any big dreams of achieving anything. What I have now is enough however there is always a fear that what if I don't have anything tomorrow ...

As a result of this, I feel unhappy in my relationship where my partner is trying to make ends meet doing jobs that barely provide enough money to fund his own personal bills . I am accumulating money like a future fund for emergency but feel uncomfortable about spending it for causes that will nurture the present life. I am afraid of investing my money due to risk of loss. I feel secure seeing the bank balance now and again as if it's like my regular supply of oxygen without which I won't be able to live. I love my partner but I fear that my money worries and his lack of money making skills combined will cause friction in our relationship. I may be uncomfortable sharing the fruits of my labour but it's not his fault that he is in a low paying self employed job. 

Have I let money take over my life and dictate what I should do to keep it accumulating rather than enjoy my life in moderation. I am so confused. I am also not very confident to resign my current job and find a new one or find an alternate career path because I feel too old for that but I've only reached 40.

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29 minutes ago, sundara.savdhan said:

it's not his fault that he is in a low paying self employed job. 

Why do you you believe this? Who's "fault" is it? 

Do you live together? How are you managing household expenses?

You don't have to love your job. But when you live with someone like this and have to support him, it's no wonder you are burned out.

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2 hours ago, sundara.savdhan said:

What I have now is enough however there is always a fear that what if I don't have anything tomorrow ...

 

2 hours ago, sundara.savdhan said:

I am accumulating money like a future fund for emergency but feel uncomfortable about spending it for causes that will nurture the present life.

Living with this kind of fear is soul'destroying OP.  Nurturing the present life is what matters.  The future isn't here yet, and there is no way, absolutely, of telling what the future might bring.  "Futurising" only promotes anxiety.   I am not saying you should blow all your money on the "today".  

 

2 hours ago, sundara.savdhan said:

my partner is trying to make ends meet doing jobs that barely provide enough money to fund his own personal bills

Well, at least he is trying, but I suppose you must look hard at whether this is the partner for you. 

I just glanced through your thread of March this year: how not to let money ruin my relationship

So, your partner is working jobs while studying. Still? How long before he graduates?  And will he then become a higher or better earner?

 

 

2 hours ago, sundara.savdhan said:

it's not his fault that he is in a low paying self employed job. 

No, it is not his fault, nor is it yours.  I don't see you saying anywhere that you are "supporting" him now.  

Your thread is headlined and this is the real issue here.  As I said "futurising" will only make you more and more anxious. 

"how do I get out of this anxiety cycle?"

2 hours ago, sundara.savdhan said:

I am not fully enjoying the benefits of the money.

OP, hoarding money will not get you out of this anxiety cycle. 

I just glanced through your thread of March this year: how not to let money ruin my relationship

So, your partner is working jobs while studying. Still? How long before he graduates?  And will he then become a higher or better earner?

I see this:

"He is a self employed psycho therapist who relies on customers finding him through his website and adverts "

This profession has the potential for earning good money.  Has he any clients at all?

Accordingly I do not quite understand why you say this:

"his lack of money making skills combined will cause friction in our relationship. I may be uncomfortable sharing the fruits of my labour but it's not his fault that he is in a low paying self employed job. "

I don't know about where you are OP, but here psychotherapy sessions can cost 150/160 Euro an hour, and upwards.

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I think it's important to be well matched as far as ambition, work ethic and financial values - and that is true even if at certain stages of the relationship one person is the sole provider- for example a guy who chooses to be a "stay at home" dad (believe me those who are caring for their children full time rarely stay in one place or at home if they want to stay sane) - might make no income but it might be a couples' decision on how best to use their current resources -the person not working still has his or her strong work ethic and ambition, the couple trusts in this and together they -being compatible with financial values - make this financial and practical decision together.

I had somewhat of a love/hate relationship with my 15 year career in the past which was very stressful at times, unpredictable and crazy hours, and also fascinating work at times, prestigious, financially lucrative so it allowed me to build a financial nest egg over a decade while I was single in case my future husband couldn't support us while i wanted to be home raising our child.  I was single.  I had no children.  I couldn't even freeze my eggs back then and yes I made that financial decision for far into the future. 

I think making financial plans and saving and building a portfolio/nest egg is a fabulous idea and doesn't need to be anxiety ridden but in your case the cons seem to outweigh the pros - you really hate your job, you hate that you are doing this for a partner who is not pulling his weight so your goal is not a dream/a positive one, and your partner doesn't seem to appreciate all your sacrifice. So in your case I'd shift my plans so that you are in a mental health place where you feel like you are taking care of you more. 

Do the number crunching -if you only have to support yourself or contribute to a family income in the future while you are not fully employed or employed outside the home -whether it's because of kids or a desire to slow down or travel or take up a new hobby - would you have to stay at this job?  What other jobs are available where you can take a paycut and have a better lifestyle/enjoy your work more and still save -for yourself, not your partner?

My planning turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life and it's still paying off today, over 10 years after I stopped working the more than full time crazy hours.  But your anxiety is telling you something -your plan is too one sided and you're not taking care of you.  I strongly suggest the number crunching and meeting with a financial planner perhaps (I have one, he has been so very helpful).

Good luck!

 

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Sounds like you need therapy yourself. It's not a mental health crisis to do a job because it pays well. But if you have no interest in life, that is a crisis.

Do you think you have unreasonable expectations for money and what it brings to your life? 

Have you ever talked to a financial planner?  They can talk to you about money, reasonable steps you can take towards financial security. Saving for specific things like, unforeseen expenses /emergency fund  (like a car repair or to replace your roof),  saving long term for retirement, and saving for a cushion of expenses for 6 months in the event you lose your income should cover any thing that happens in the future. 

If you have savings like I explained, why are you so nervous? If investing scares you learn the facts about different investment vehicles, go to a reputable advisor, talk about your risk aversion. 

Being paralyzed by fear is never the answer.  Doing nothing is doing something and has consequences, too. You may be missing out in tax breaks, gains and dividend income by doing nothing. 

If you live and pay for your partner then of course you should talk to them about your concerns for your future together. 

If you do not, then maybe you're being unreasonable in your concern or maybe your incompatible.

I need to understand more about that to really comment. 

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I agree with @Batya33

Also, OP really try to sit down and ask yourself "what can I do as of now to improve my financial situation?". It could be changing jobs, changing housing, or changing expenses. It could also be spending a part of the money you have on an activity that brings you fun or joy until you find more income. And, with the number crunching, you can set goals with timelines and do your best to stick to them.

You can do it. But, reflect first- including on your SO choice.

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You sound fearful of your wealth. Have you tried talking with a therapist or educating yourself a bit more on investing and how to handle your finances? 

I don't think this is about your partner unfortunately. Couples can complement each other being quite different or varying in ambition or interests. You have to dig deeper on why money has such a hold on you that it causes so much anxiety. Your partner is a scapegoat and a punching bag for your anxieties and issues. He can be whatever he wants to be as long as you respect that and vice versa. 

 

 

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4 hours ago, sundara.savdhan said:

I am afraid of investing my money due to risk of loss.

You don't have to invest if you don't wish to.  However, you could, for example, take out a private pension plan, if that would set your mind at ease. Check out this https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/

If you are in the U.K. you will surely have heard of Martin Lewis!

4 hours ago, sundara.savdhan said:

seeing the bank balance now and again as if it's like my regular supply of oxygen without which I won't be able to live

That is rather worrying, OP and a wretched way to have to live. 

I understand you are NOT paying for your partner as you say he is making just enough to pay his own bills. 

Things can be a lot simpler than you think OP. 

Maybe I am wrong, OP, but could it be that you mean that your partner is not so good at setting up and actually running a business (psychotherapy). I realise that due to Covid face to face has been out up to now.  He would likewise need to see a business advisor to work through the process of running a business. To begin with, has he joined the professional association for psychotherapists? He may have to work, initially, in a joint practice, where, importantly, he would have his own consulting room.

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Just to remark OP that I have three friends who are psychotherapists, one is a first cousin.  Even before Covid they were booked up three or four weeks in advance.  My first cousin (a woman) tells me she has been working flat out all day online since Covid.   Before Covid she worked out of a joint practice. The other two friends are men, and are busier than ever, online up to now. 

One of these men has a consulting room at his own home, as in, an extension built on for that purpose.

You need to be firm, OP, and suggest that he takes measures to set himself up in business. 

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Thank you all for your wonderful replies. I think there is more within me to be addressed before I can say anything about my partner . I may be having mood swings about situations from time to time. A certain element of OCD mixed with Black and White thinking .  I know at the end of the day, "I will survive".  My mind needs to be in a calm place to enjoy life as it is at present and not let money take over my life. I am in a decent place and I am able to support my partner but the worry is about not having that freedom to leave the job because it doesn't just affect me, it affects my partner as well.

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5 hours ago, sundara.savdhan said:

I may be uncomfortable sharing the fruits of my labour

One way or another, OP, it would be advisable to encourage your partner - for his own sake - to learn how to run a business and work at something which he loves (I am assuming he loves the career he has chosen?).

5 hours ago, sundara.savdhan said:

The work that I do is not motivating

This is a separate matter OP. You dislike your job.  Have you explored other avenues within your career? Spoken with recruitment agencies/head hunters? It would do you good just to explore what's out there, if only to compare with what you have. 

You remarked:

"find a new one or find an alternate career path because I feel too old for that but I've only reached 40."

40 is young OP!

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5 hours ago, sundara.savdhan said:

I am so unhappy and depressed because
- The work that I do is not motivating and I feel like I am just in it for the money . I am making money with the worry that I won't have enough to support me or me&partner in the future. I am not fully enjoying the benefits of the money. I am using it only to pay the household bills . I personally have no ambition to get anywhere in life except for live it everyday as basic as possible. I don't have any big dreams of achieving anything. What I have now is enough however

- Is okay to be in it for the money - many are the same. ( Do you wish you had a diff job at this time?) 

- If your partner is a good one & you do see a future with him, then if you are both working, it should be okay.

- Not enjoying the benefits? ( eg no holidays/time off?) Ohh you really should do this. Arrange a time & try to have some money set aside - for a rainy day.  We ALL need breaks.

And if all you do is work, what about other interests.. crafts? No large things- cars? lol .. you can always look into a cruise.. they are so nice! 🙂 ( It's called 'live a little') .

I figure, what you have now is a 'nest egg' and that's good!

 

5 hours ago, sundara.savdhan said:

I feel unhappy in my relationship where my partner is trying to make ends meet doing jobs that barely provide enough money to fund his own personal bills .

- Barely enough... but is he managing to?  As mentioned, you could be looking too far into this, where it is affecting your relationship - is this how you want it?

 

5 hours ago, sundara.savdhan said:

I am afraid of investing my money due to risk of loss. I feel secure seeing the bank balance now and again as if it's like my regular supply of oxygen without which I won't be able to live

- Look into your options.. dig deep.  I am sure there are a few that are trustworthy - should you actually consider.

 

5 hours ago, sundara.savdhan said:

Have I let money take over my life and dictate what I should do to keep it accumulating rather than enjoy my life in moderation. I am so confused. I am also not very confident to resign my current job and find a new one or find an alternate career path because I feel too old for that but I've only reached 40.

- Sounds like, this is where you're stuck.. what to do & how to handle.. Plus, how to live. 😕 

Yes, you can 'enjoy you life', as I mentioned.

- As for your current job.. is there a reason you feel you should leave it?  Can you handle it?  Then maybe you are fine. 🙂 

And re: age & your future with employment, people change jobs & careers continously (often), throughout life.  Some find they've hit a dead end, some need 'change', some feel overly stressed, etc.

Option is all yours!

 

As mentioned above, you may want to consider some prof help.. to help you work through all of this, if it's consuming you to the point it is affecting your mental health ❤️ .

 

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46 minutes ago, sundara.savdhan said:

Thank you all for your wonderful replies. I think there is more within me to be addressed before I can say anything about my partner . I may be having mood swings about situations from time to time. A certain element of OCD mixed with Black and White thinking .  I know at the end of the day, "I will survive".  My mind needs to be in a calm place to enjoy life as it is at present and not let money take over my life. I am in a decent place and I am able to support my partner but the worry is about not having that freedom to leave the job because it doesn't just affect me, it affects my partner as well.

A lot of anxiety comes from unknown and not knowing what your options are. If you feel immobilized and unmotivated or resentful with your work, look at other options. Forget about supporting him. Support yourself (your mental health first) and find that peace of mind. You're balancing a lot and then getting frustrated over all of it including your partner. Your money works for  you, not the other way around.

It's good to reach a calm place but keep doing things that support that peace of mind. That may mean finding alternate sources of work or speaking to others who have a similar background, finding your own path. Don't forget to cultivate your interests too outside of work and relationship. You need those things to keep you grounded and sane. Otherwise, what else is life about. Find time for lots of play too.

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Hey, OP. Sorry that you are dealing with this.

I saw two themes of special note in your post. The first, is a lack of meaning or purpose. The second, is financial anxiety or money hoarding. 

Regarding the first, it seems like you do not have a sense of purpose in life. The sufferings of life can be all the more acute and painful when we do not have a finish line in mind. And in contrast, when people have that end goal, they will willingly subject themselves to suffering to get there. Think marathons - people willingly run those through the pain. The goal/finish line makes the suffering worth it.

Related - something that really helped me in the last half a year or so is going through meaning-centric therapy, called the "logotherapy." You may benefit from a therapist who provides both cognitive behavioral therapy (for the money and purpose) and logotherapy (for the purpose) - that is what helped me tremendously. Additionally, there is an excellent book on the topic called Man's Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl. There is a free audiobook on YouTube. Link forthcoming.

I do not have much of quality to say on the second point other than you would benefit from a professional: whether that be a therapist or credible financial planner, as some of the other posters suggested.

Hope this helps, OP.

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3 hours ago, sundara.savdhan said:

I am in a decent place and I am able to support my partner but the worry is about not having that freedom to leave the job because it doesn't just affect me, it affects my partner as well.

Unfortunate, both things come from a point of control. Controlling your partner by giving him an allowance, yet resenting that. Felling in a rut in your job because you need control over money.

Are you sure there's not a fracture in the relationship causing resentment? 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Totally understandable! I think having a plan and working towards some money goals, like saving for an emergency fund could help. Have a budget also for vacation and fun too! What made me really feel secure was first getting that emergency fund taken care of, it took a while at first, but having say 3-6 months of living expenses all saved would take away a lot of anxiety I'm sure!

There's a really great book called Unshakeable: Your Financial Freedom Playbook

I'm probably going to go re-read that, has some really good ideas!

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