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Wealthy boyfriend doesn’t understand financial struggles. Causing mental strain and affecting relationship.
I have been with my partner for 6months and I’m struggling because he is from a upper middle class background where he has never struggled financially. He gets mild anxiety but has limited experience with serious mental health issues. He is an extroverted idealist and loves going out, eating out, going places and trying new things. He very rarely has to consider whether he can afford something and if he wants it, he usually gets it. He works 4-5 days a week, earns good money and lives at home.
Meanwhile, I have anxiety and depression which seriously affects my ability to work. I’m from a lower class family who have always struggled financially so I don’t have money to fall back on. I can usually only manage working a single shift a week due to my anxiety and survive primarily on centrelink payments. I moved from home to be closer to university which I’m struggling to complete and 90% of my income goes to living expenses.
He is constantly asking me to do things with him and usually these will cost money so my last 10% goes to things I do with him. And he wants even more. He says one day I’ll be able to afford things and he offers to pay for things before then but when he pays for things it makes me feel inadequate. When I’m earning more money I’m worried that everything I earn is going to go to this lifestyle that isn’t necessarily suited to me (an introvert). I want to be able to save money and do things when for him but I feel he is going to suck up all of my money because he doesn’t struggle the same way I do. I don’t believe I will ever be earning money in the same capacity and he seems to think that I will and will eventually be able to pay him back essentially.
When I wasn’t in a relationship, even though I was still quite poor, I never really worried about money the way I do now and it’s really affecting my mental health. I don’t know what to do because I love him and we have a pretty healthy, good relationship. I know I need to discuss it with him but it’s hard to know what a good middle ground is that doesn’t end in him feeling under appreciated.
Thanks for any advice!
Ah, totally understand! My hubby works and gets well paid, but I have been unemployed for 18 months. We live in the city so the job market is really competitive. I am copping a bit of pressure from hubby to find work. We have a joint bank account but every time I shop I feel like I'm spending "his money". When we were dating I was so generous with the little money I had. Now we're married I have become very frugal. I would encourage you to complete your University study, as I am unqualified and therefore unlikely to earn a higher income. I would encourage you to have a conversation about your situation, background, and how you are feeling - but I know this is not always practical. Until then maybe you could do what I do - return & earn scheme for discount on groceries and online surveys to earn a few $$! Fake it until you make it?
I did red your other thread abut cPTSD but will not touch on that. Your problem here is actually two I think.
Firstly his types of entertainment (or lifestyle if you prefer) is not one that comes naturally to you, and I get quite a strong feeling that even if circumstances were different you would wish to save, not always spend and could easily forgo the outings etc.
The other is of course at present you have little money to spare and are using that to pay your way with your partner, which in fact I don't get the idea you are that happy about.
I guess it realy does come down to your partner's willingness to take your welfare into account. Managing to work one shift per week is in all probability a triumph, however he, without a similar background, does not really understand that and offering to pay is no real answer.
In the long term I guess he has to understand and adjust if you realtionship is going to be successful. Otherwise resentment on your part and a dismissive attitude on his may result. Consequently trying to get it sorted now would be wise.
Do you think you can talk it over and get him to see you are unhappy with things as they are?
As for a compromise, if it was me I'd be asking to mostly do things that did not cost, with an outing on an infrequent basis which he could pay for. That way you save (which is a source of pride in itself) and you find out if your partner is happy to be with you, not just have you as a companion for "going out, eating out, going places and trying new things".
If a conversation is not the best way, how about either a letter or even an intermediary?
Hi OliviaTS (with a wave to Croix 👋),
The issue that you have with your partner is not related to him having money. Rather, the issue is related to his attitude about money. He expects you to adopt his lifestyle with little regard for the fact that this is not a lifestyle that you want or can afford, and expects you to entirely foot the bill with no assistance from him despite having the means to. As I see it, you have been willing to compromise here and go out more than you would like (which, as a fellow introvert/home body, I can completely appreciate that is a compromise!). However, he has not afforded you the same regard. Based on that I think that you need to communicate to him that you will only go out when you can afford to pay, and for you that is 1 time a week. If he wants you to go out more then that is on him. That being said, this does speak to a larger issue of his lack of regard for you or willingness to see you as a team.