I’m struggling with how to address financial issues with my partner. When he first moved in with me, I was assured that it would be a partnership.
He made no efforts to contribute to the monthly maintenance costs and only after arguing about it did my partner take over paying for the cable/Wi-Fi.
While I endure stress to save and manage bills and real estate taxes, my partner clearly stated that this wasn’t his problem.Yes, I own the apartment, but how did I suddenly get stuck with 99% of the responsibility for living in a home, and how is this considered a partnership?
If we were renting somewhere, would I get stuck with the majority of the bills? I feel taken advantage of while I spend every day working to make sure that at least one of us has the fiscal health to keep a roof over our heads. When I try to discuss this, he argues and complains about how I make more money than he does. Mind you, my “lifestyle” includes wearing the same two pairs of jeans and sneakers that are 10 years old, spending on bills first and saving for occasional dinners out.
I just feel like I’m enabling someone who can’t get his finances together, and then I get attacked for being a jerk when I bring it up. I can’t win this argument and my partner sees nothing wrong with it. How should I bring this up? What can I do? — Frustrated Enabler
Reading this query made me want to scream and high five my favorite columnist, Amy. I agreed with 99% percent of her answer. I will get back to my disagreement in a moment. I love Amy’s questions- these are crucial. Ones I would have added to the list Did you ask each other these questions: “Did you get anything in writing?” “What are your life goals?” “How much money do you need to make your goals a reality?” “Are you investing? If not, why not?” “Where are you getting your financial advice?” Now, in saying that, none of these questions need to be delivered in an interrogation format. They should be asked casually, once things are headed in the serious direction, and they all should be answered before you move in together. You should also check in with yourself about how these questions make you feel, and the reactions they spark from your partner. Now, back to my one disagreement with Amy. I don’t agree this woman needs to only get a new roommate. She needs to find a new partner. A partner is not someone who makes you feel bad about making economic sense. Furthermore, if he can’t cover the basic living expenses, how can he ever cover future goals such children, homeownership, and travel? What would you do?
You have “a thing.” And no. it’s not your “issues.” Or your “stuff.” It’s the only thing you love doing. And maybe even being. Maybe you feel it when you’re plugging in a guitar. Maybe you feel it when you’re sitting in the middle of the ocean alone. Waiting. maybe you feel it when your’ taking a load of a little league to districts, two states away. Whatever it is, it’s your thing. And its always been your thing. Okay, sure People may share the same thing. But deep, deep deep down, you know your thing is a little different. (okay…a lot different)