He’s Got His Mind on My Money…

by dahliarosemonroe
Money money money muhhh-nay

From Mardigrasoutlet.com

I recently went from working as a temp at my current job to being shifted to perm with the company itself. That means getting a salary, insurance benefits, paid time off — all of that. I actually got a higher salary than I was expecting, which was awesome. I was literally so excited about it all I could hardly sleep last night, and I have had to cover this smile on my face for over 24 hours now. Except, there is now an issue at hand because of all of this: my boyfriend SB.

I told him yesterday while I was at work that my boss was putting me on the company payroll, and at a higher salary than I expected. I also told him that my boss was going to put me on the insurance plan ASAP as well, when I would have to wait three months, usually. What was his response to all of this? “When do you get your first paycheck?”

No congratulations, no enthusiasm, no happiness for my success – nothing.

Instead, he wants to know the exact day I will be receiving my first salaried paycheck. He doesn’t just ask once – he asks three times. I tell him I wanted to get about $300 in new clothes with my first paycheck, which is certainly doable after I pay the rent and get some food and the like. My boyfriend starts telling me that I should shop at H&M and The Gap because they are cheaper, and to not spend all of my money and be irresponsible. I got incredibly irritated at this. First of all, I have been paying 6/7 of the rent. I buy most of the food. I only get $25 a week from SB for the rent, as well as maybe $30 in food after the normally $60 or $70 in food I buy runs out. Which leaves him with about $185 for himself since he says he makes $240 a week through his temp agency job at a hospital in Brooklyn. When I was working the temp agency thing at my job, I paid 6/7 of the rent like I said, and I would buy the majority of the food as well. Then I had to get my MetroCard. Let’s not forget my doctor’s visits and prescriptions I had to pay for with no insurance. That left me with nothing usually; either that or I had to call my parents and ask for help monetarily. Yet he’s bitching about no money? It really got to me, considering I sacrificed for that.

As I responded to SB’s telling me where to shop, I tried to withhold my inner rage: “I don’t like those stores, they’re not my style. I prefer NY & Company and Express”.

(His reply? “Jesus…”)

I understand, I shouldn’t blow money and then not be able to pay my share in what I need to later. But that hasn’t happened at all with me since we have been living together. I don’t see how he has any right whatsoever to tell me what to do with my money so long as all of the necessities like rent and food are taken care of. After those are dealt with, my money is just that – mine. It’s my prerogative what to do with my bank from then on.

Also, SB has been getting rather short-tempered with me lately, getting more irritated at me with things he would never get irritated about. That, and since I told him about my going on to permanent, we have not had sex. We usually have sex every day, at least once. Today is day two of celibacy with him. I have just been getting a generally “weird” vibe from him all around.

The only thing I can figure is that he is jealous that I will be making a substantial amount more than him, and possibly feeling a bit inadequate as well. Most men feel this innate need to make more than the women they are with, which I have always believed to be absolute rubbish. Just because your woman makes more bank than you do does not make you less of a man; as a matter of fact, men out there, you should celebrate it. You’ve got a woman that can hold her own, is smart and driven, and certainly won’t be a mooch or a gold-digger. Men need to stop being so self-absorbed over this and need to start seeing themselves as part of a team. Being in a relationship should never be a competition.

I know for a fact that SB has a bit of a preoccupation with money. I remember him telling me that he wanted to go to physician assistant school rather than nursing school because he would “make more money with not that much schooling”. I remember him telling me in the first place that he wanted to get into nursing to make good bank with not that much school. He also gets in a really weird mood when he doesn’t have much money. For me, money is really just a necessity to live; it is not an end-all. I have been without much money at all over the past few years in my life, so if I had $20 to last me a whole week I wouldn’t complain, so long as I had a place to stay and food to eat. Obviously it is not the optimal way to live, but if that’s the only option, so be it. I have more things to fulfill me in my life besides money.

SB has never lived outside the comforts of his parental home before this. He has never had to pay rent, buy groceries, or anything like that. I know that takes some time to get used to, but with him turning 27 in a few short weeks, one would think he would be prepared for that rather important part of being a responsible adult. I’m trying to adjust him to that. I am trying to make the split in responsibility fair, but I also want him to pay as well. That’s how things operate. As a matter of fact, everyone I have talked to regarding this very issue has told me that he should be paying exactly half of everything. I agree with this; however, if this were the plan of action, SB would really have no money for himself, which is no fun either. I know if it were me, I would be rather irked at that. So I am trying to be fair in that respect as well. But I am still getting the ugh-this-sucks-I-have-no-money gripes. I think he holds that against me a bit as well. But he has to learn that you have to pull your own weight. I have known that for years, because I have been out of my parent’s house for years. He may resent me a bit for it now, but I think ultimately he will look back at this as a milestone in his entrance into independent adulthood.

I almost feel as if I am much older than SB even though it’s the other way around (he’s a couple of years older than me). I have had quite a few people tell me I act like I am in my 30s and that I have been through in enough in life so far that I could be in my 40s or 50s based on my life experiences. That really has not hit me that much until recently with SB. Even with apartment hunting, I have been through that. I know what you have to do, what you should look for, what you need to ask about, and how much things will cost. I don’t think SB really realizes all of this. I try to tell him, but I don’t think he really listens to me.

Honestly, through all of this, I have realized how we are at different parts developmentally and maturity-wise in our lives. I honestly don’t know how that is going to affect our relationship from here on out. We have a lot in common and share a decent amount of other traits (such as sense of humour), but when it comes to fundamental things like this, it can really put a touch on things. The money issue is just that – an issue – in and of itself. I know he respects me, but I don’t think he respects me enough to listen to me and know I am a capable person. Maybe he doesn’t even realize how he is acting towards me. I think we need to have a serious talk about all of this. I do love him, but I am not happy with the current state of things between us. If we both want things to work out in this relationship, we need to make a few repairs.

4 Comments to “He’s Got His Mind on My Money…”

  1. I definitely agree that you should have a talk with him. If your maturity levels are so different, though, it might be a case of he’s just not ready for this, yet. I think that you’re right about him feeling inadequate about you making more money, so to compensate he’s trying to control the money you bring in. Its good that you aren’t letting him do that. I agree with you that he needs to learn to function with a girlfriend as a team. He’s actually getting it really easy with so far having to pay so little. He’s acting very spoiled and selfish and he definitely needs to stop. You’ve bent over backwards to make this financially work so that he’s comfortable and he’s still not happy. Perhaps instead of being grateful he’s learned to expect you to bend over backwards for him? I don’t know. Just a thought. If that’s the case, that needs to be nipped in the bud. Immediately.

    Money is one thing most couples end up arguing about. Its also one of the top factors in break-ups and divorces. In fact, I believe it is THE top factor. But, I could be wrong as I don’t currently have a link to prove that. But, I could find a list of the top ten or top five, I’m sure, if you would like!

    Still, I think that setting aside some time to sit down and have a real discussion about this is a very good idea. I hope that you and he are able to work things out for the best. Good luck!

  2. As Banpaia said, money issues are one of, if not THE, primary reason marriages fail. So you certainly need to sort this out now, not later.

    I’m wondering if his sense of self is shaken. We all like to think we’re enlightened and modern, but he may not have realized before just how much it bothered him that you are supporting the both of you. It’s been ingrained in men for centuries that they are supposed to be the breadwinners, they’re supposed to be taking care of everyone else with their money. (And in the old days, they did so little around the house itself, paying rent was one of the few things they could point to and say, “I did that, I made my family’s life better.”) Maybe he could suck it up while you were both temping, but now that you have a for-realz job with an even bigger pay gap, it’s sinking in. He probably doesn’t WANT to resent you for this, but conditioning is hard to shake off.

    When you do sit down and talk, and are making plans to move forward, I suggest you lay out all the expenses and then divide your shares more proportionately based on income. Maybe it was 60-40 before, and now it’s 80-20. It’s perfectly reasonable to ask him to pay for 20% of your expenses. If that would put him in a really tight bind, then perhaps you need to re-evaluate how the money is being spent. You can continue to subsidize him while he’s getting his education, but make it clear that, just as you won’t run out and buy diamonds, he also can’t expect you to furbish his sillier habits.

    If you want him to feel like he’s really contributing, like what he does pay for is vital, don’t split the utilities, have him pay all of them. Or maybe he foots the grocery bill in full. Give him something he has control of, something he can point to and say, “That’s me. If I don’t work, we literally don’t eat.”

    If he’s resenting the amount of money you have ‘lying around’, don’t leave it lying, metaphorically, in your pocket. Open a savings accounts and put money into it regularly. Name it the Vacation Fund or the Better Apartment Fund or the Buy a Working Dishwasher, something the two of you will one day benefit from. You’ll both get to enjoy it, and meanwhile he doesn’t feel like you’re rolling in cash while he’s scrimping along.

    You’re being very calm and mature about this, and seem to have a good read of the situation. Here’s wishing you luck during that conversation!!

  3. Thank you everyone! I have not had a talk with him yet, since I am charting out the logistics of the conversation I intend to have with him. I see that this could be a conversation gone horribly wrong with just one thing I say potentially being miscontrued. When I have the conversation, I will certainly share with all of you what happened! Thank you for all of you support! 🙂

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