One of our reader has had the courage to share her story with us. I know looking back tough my relationships I know have been there as well. So I share Kelly’s story and my comments about my life and what I have learned shall follow.
“My experience has been in the financial area. From 2000-2003 I was in a relationship with, what I thought at the time was a cheap ass. He didn’t spend much on anything but when he did it was big. For example, he wouldn’t buy himself anything but necessities, we rarely went to dinner, movie, etc on any type of regular basis. However, when he bought himself a new pickup truck, he put 50% down. It was $45,000. When we did go somewhere, it was 10 days to Wildwood. He never came home with flowers “just because” but came home with the engagement ring of my dreams. Go big or go home was his motto. He was good at saving and budgeting because his mom taught him how. She raised him & his brother on her own. She had to budget closely & save where she could.
Why are we still not together then? I was working FT as a medical admin & PT at a pharmacy. Between the two jobs I had more money coming in than I had time to spend. Not a bad thing. I decided it was time & that I was able to move out of my parents’ house. I was 23. I had known this guy for many years & we had mutual friends so we saw one another often. We would talk to one another when we had problems. He was home with his mom & brother & many of our friends were also getting out on their own. He decided he was ready to do the same. After 4 short months, I discovered that living on my own was not easy financially, & I hated living alone. I could pay my bills, buy food, all that stuff, but when something big happened, car breaking down, needing a new washer machine, etc. it set me back. This guy & I got talking & decided let’s get a place together. It would help me financially & even though he didn’t need the help financially, he was ready to move out. We found a modern 2 bedroom close to work for us both & signed a 2 year lease. All was bliss for the first year. I then began having medical issues that caused me to be unable to work. I felt since, by the second year of us living together we were engaged, that two people support one another in a relationship. Financially being one way. This person was more along the lines of since we were not married yet, your stuff is paid by your money & my stuff is paid by mine. Selfish I thought & still do think so. After one week of being home wondering what the hell was wrong with me, I got myself to my doctor. When I came home with my prognosis, he told me that if I could not work & could not pay my part of the bills for the apartment, “There’s the door. Don’t let it hit you in the ass.” The next week I was packing up everything I had brought to the apartment & moving home with my parents. Devastated, & feeling like a failure. I thought, what the hell happened to for better or worse. If he couldn’t support me not only financially but lovingly when I was sick, he wouldn’t have done it after the wedding.
Fast forward……..12 years. He is still the same regarding finances & money. Me, the lessons in budgeting & saving he tried to show me & get me to live by back then, took me about 9 more years to learn. I am now married to someone that although he is older than I am, is no more financially responsible than I was at 23. I am now going through with my husband what I put that guy through years ago. In sickness my husband & I support one another. However, he is a firm believer in what’s mine is mine & what’s yours is also mine. Point being, where money is concerned, if one of you is not wealthy, you need to budget. If one person is willing to do so & be responsible while the other person in the relationship wants to spend Fridays check by Monday & not paying bills, there is going to be a problem. Find this out in the relationship before moving in together, getting married, etc because if you don’t & can’t agree on a method to meet on common ground, the relationship will not work out.
Here ends my book. Thank you.
This story kind of brings me back to a couple of my other posts. In life we all have the pre conceived notion of what our perfect relationship is. Web MD has defined a list of 7 common relation problem finances is one of them. I will post the link to that WEB MD story and a couple others below.
My personal opinion is if you are sharing a house and are engaged to be married you basically should in my opinion be there to support each other whatever the situation may be. Now I wouldn’t support going out and blowing a crap ton of cash on material needs, I have always and most likely will still be the giver. Hell even with close friends I will put out whatever they need if I can reach it. I have been in this situation in my married life I was the primary provider for the most part. In one of my last relationships I was at a point between jobs and I have to say in both the times I found myself in need both of my EX’s stepped up to help while we were together. Financially I am still a mess I can budget others money better than my own but I am confident that one day I will get there, I am also sharing a couple other web links for your reading pleasure. There is also one on budgeting.
Thank you again Kelly for your story and having the courage to share it with us.
If you want to shares a story or a topic please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org . Also please feel free to share this blog to people you think it will help. After all that is why I do it. To help others thereby helping myself.
Dave Ramsey’s Budgeting guide
WEB MD article on 7 relationship problems and how to solve them.
Green Paths article on relationships and money