The issue of money in relationships can be tough, particularly when one of you isn’t as responsible with your cash as your partner is.
This is the exact dilemma a woman has found herself in with her boyfriend.
She explains on Reddit’s Relationships forum that her boyfriend is always complaining about not having any money, even though he earns much more than she does. She says it’s due to his spending habits, calling him “pretty much advertiser’s dream”, but when she brings this up he gets defensive. “He sees some ad on Instagram or TV and gets in his head that he needs some item, like some particular new trainers or some new gadget, and then he just has to have it, which is fine, like, that’s up to him,” she writes.
“But he goes through this whole ‘will I, won’t I’, torturing himself for a few days, swinging back about how he’s too broke and he already spent x last month but then he really does need this thing because blah blah blah. And for me it’s like, ‘Dude, just get it, or don’t get it, I don’t care anymore’.
“And then he gets it, and a few days later he’s in a s— mood about how he’s so broke because he checked his bank balance and it’s really low and he will spend a few days moping, and it’s just this endless cycle.”
Sometimes she tries to “warn him off the purchases” by saying things like, “Do you really need that?” or suggesting a particular purchase can wait until next month.
“But it never works, he just gets p—ed at me and so I give up. Then cue the next week or so of him p—ed off because once again he’s over spent for this month,” she continues.
“Or he goes to the store and then has a crisis about how he is so broke so be shouldn’t get it after all, then acts all self-pitying and injured because it was for harrowing for him to go and then not get the thing (but don’t worry he will go back tomorrow and get it).”
The girlfriend says she is finding it “super draining”.
“I have no problem with treating yourself, I’m not super frugal myself, but it doesn’t run my life and I’m tired of getting caught in the crossfire of how much it runs his life,” she says.
“I don’t even care about the money, he doesn’t spend more than he has (usually). It’s just s— vibes he’s always locked in some deep torment about it all.”
The woman explains she met her partner in college, and he was a spendthrift then but she thought this wouldn’t be a problem once he started earning more money, but instead he “just buys more expensive things now so day to day it’s the same”.
One Reddit user suggests trying to go a bit deeper when it comes to discussing her boyfriend’s spending habits.
“I might also talk about where this comes from and what his relationship with money was growing up. Sounds like his relationship with purchasing is slightly wonky. You can learn a lot about somebody by learning about their relationship with money,” they write.
“Long term, I would personally have a problem with this myself because it speaks of a habit that drains his bank account, and that kind of financial precariousness is a turn-off for me.”
Another suggests telling the boyfriend to wait 15-30 days before making a purchase and then if he still wants it, to go for it.
“I also live frugally even though my partner and I make well more than others our age,” they explain. “It’s something I’ve always grown up with (even though my parents are well off) and it’s hard to shake. I don’t moan about it, but I have an internal struggle sometimes when I buy things that are wholly unnecessary.”
Others suggest the boyfriend’s money problems don’t bode well for the future of their relationship.
“Tell him you’re worried about your long-term financial partnership as well, if he cannot figure out a healthier way to handle money, and his feelings about money,” they write.
Another commenter agrees, writing: “The bigger picture, though – can you see yourself being with him while he goes through this ridiculous cycle over and over again, indefinitely? How can you ever jointly plan for a house or wedding or vacation or anything at all if that’s his behaviour with money?
“If you want to spend your life with this person then you need to think long and hard about what steps you can take to change things around, like for example meeting with a financial advisor or even a marriage counsellor, because pooling your funds while he’s still acting like this would be an incredibly bad idea.”
Another is more abrupt about this point, writing, “Dump him. He will never change and you will always struggle with money and have to work till you drop dead because he never saved a penny.”
Share your story at 9Honey@nine.com.au.